Upon arrival it was apparent that there was not a line at all, simply people entering and leaving the building. There were about 15 of us already there, including several members of our chapter, as well as a Students For Life group from Southern California, and members of the community. West Coast Regional Coordinator Camille Rodriguez was already engaged in a very intense conversation with some of the attendees. I was later told from the other members that the woman originally approached Camille with agitation, but that the woman was moved to tears by the empathy, understanding, and clarity with which Camille spoke. She wanted to talk more after the show and said she had never had such a conversation about abortion from "the other side". They hugged as they said goodbye.
|Why are we so dope?|
A woman approached us who immediately let us know that she supported our right to be there, and believed strongly in the right of free speech. She said that she had had "many" abortions, but that allowed her to attend Harvard to study neurology. Learning about brain development in utero made her sometimes question the morality of abortion. She also mentioned concerns about the fetal tissue donation program, and what she felt were the racist intentions behind the founding of the organization. I offered her a copy of the contract and she freely took it.
When the counter protesters decided to leave I said "I appreciate your passion, have a good night", and one of the women was totally surprised and immediately said "Thank you for saying that, I appreciate yours too!" It was so genuine that it caught me off guard as well! We saw the humanity in each other and didn't reduce each other to the signs we were holding.
Overall I felt like the crowd was able see the person behind the protester. San Franciscans are raised up protesting. Many of them know what it's like to fight for a cause and it's much harder for them to dismiss us, since they know the personal sacrifice it takes to get out there in the cold in the hopes of reaching just one person. I'd like to think we we reached a few.
Thank you to everyone who came out or tweeted along with the live stream. Our efforts combined can turn the tide against the one organization truly exploiting women and unborn children for their own financial gains. #ShutItDown