When you hear the words "anti abortion protester," what comes to mind? Shouting, bug-eyed Randall Terry and his Wrestlemania threat videos? A lady who makes her kids hold up signs containing pictures of dismembered fetuses and shouting at women as they enter Planned Parenthood? A room full of male legislators who can't say the word "vagina?" Well, I'm happy to report that the new face of the anti-abortion movement is much less unpleasant looking. In fact, it's downright photogenic, pleasant, and rock concerty — which makes it even scarier.
Dallas Observer staff writer Anna Merlan attended a 3,000-lady-strong rally called The Esther Call, a revival-style gathering for young women who believe that God is the sort of dude who unleashes tornadoes that destroy entire towns as a kind of cute way to say "wassup" to people at pro life rock concert/church services. Led by a charismatic, tight tee shirt-wearing, guitar strumming dude named Lou Engle, the anti-abortion protest/church service looked a lot like a new breed of anti-abortion rally, characterized by concert-style lighting in a feminine pink, speaking in tongues, crying in the mosh pit, and proclamations that the wrath of a vengeful God is going to rain down on America because abortions. But first, before you're cast into hell, Lou Engle and the gang are going to pray for you in a fun, free-form concert-style setting with cool youthy music. It's like Coachella, if the point of Coachella was to take away women's access to both abortion and legalized birth control. Coochella.
The new sleekly-marketed anti-abortion movement is trying to get away from the old, uncool abortion protesters of The Old Days, the kind that drive SUV's into abortion clinics and murder health care providers and repackage it in something new, youthful, and "cool." Outlawing abortion wouldn't punish women, they argue. It would actually promote civil rights and women's rights. Central to their new marketing strategy is the oft-repated notion that women deserve better than abortion. To be fair, we also deserve better than pregnancy, which for all its natural beauty and majesty, contains many elements that suck a whole lot, like morning sickness and delivery table pooping. And also, to be fair, I've heard that a problem-free IUD is better than both abortion and pregnancy. But I digress.
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