Chicago—On Oct. 20 dozens of determined women and some men demonstrated against the war on women, this time spearheaded by the Catholic hierarchy in cahoots with crazy anti-abortion, anti-birth control fanatics. This was the same bunch who came out on June 8 (see “Fighting the war against women,” July- Aug. 2012 N&L) to try to claim that requiring employers to include paying for contraception in the insurance they provide for their workers is an attack on freedom of religion.
What was heartening was that, though our group remained about the same size, the war on women crowd was only about a fourth as big as they had been before. This time we had a bullhorn, which we all enjoyed immensely as it was both visibly irritating to those opposing a woman’s right to control her own body, and a great way to get our message across.
I had a long talk with an older woman active in the Grey Panthers who was so happy to see us there that she joined the demonstration—and she wasn’t the only one. That so many women and men are happy to see us protesting and join in is only one measure of how fed up people are with the attack on women’s bodies that became so blatant in this election year.
One sign spoke loudly to me: “When abortion is illegal, women die.” That is certainly the motivation for many of us standing there, that and a determination to control our own bodies, lives, and destinies.