The anti-choice movement – aka pro-life aka anti-abortion – has a ton of ridiculous shit going on right now. Various groups in the US have it out for Planned Parenthood, because they see this organization not as one that provides much-needed women’s health support, contraceptives and legal abortions, but as one that is a multi-billion dollar profiteer on the illegal sales of “baby body parts.” The Center for Medical Progress is the anti-choice group that propagated these outrageous claims with a series of videos they claim are evidence of Planned Parenthood employees negotiating big deals for vats of aborted fetuses to be sold for exorbitant sums of money. Reading their claims on their site is like reading an Onion article, except it’s not hilarious because it’s real to these people. Their idiotic campaign to shut down Planned Parenthood actually got a response from the US government, who called Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to rebut claims that her organization was forcing women into abortions in order to profit from their fetal tissue. It also prompted Rolling Stone to run a piece about how Planned Parenthood is not selling “baby body parts” on the black market. First World Problems? You tell me.
I’ve been pregnant, and I can tell you what would shut those anti-choice men up quicker than anything is to knock them up and make them live through it – while working full time and looking after their other kids, and cooking for their wife every night. Maybe make them pack their wives and kids lunches before they go to bed. Anyway, the Satanic Temple (TST) is a strong supporter of legal abortion and of women’s right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy or not. It does all go down in her body, after all. Satanic Temple members in Detroit decided to organize their own counter-protest to a Citizens for a Pro-Life Society protest outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic last weekend, which was coordinated with anti-choice groups nationwide as a part of the #ProtestPP movement. It was maybe a bit too high-brow for the anti-choice protestors, as TST members dressed in fetish gear with disturbing baby masks on, and flogged themselves and each other while crying, while other members dressed as priests and nuns prayed over them. The video is truly hilarious:
You can hear the anti-choice commentary in the background, as the woman filming claims that the TST members are making fun of babies – uh, no, they are making fun of you, dummy! Even when a TST member speaks to the camerawoman, telling her that the protest is about the “Pro-Life” movement’s fetishization of the fetus, the woman doesn’t seem to get it. The coverage of the protest on anti-choice publications is equally dense, with articles claiming that the TST member were “mocking babies,” or “mocking the killing of unborn children.” Come on guys, I know that behind the prayer circles and cries “Praise Jesus” you are all into some freaky shit – don’t play dumb. I bet there’s a few adult babies in your ranks.
The Satanic Temple later released this statement about the protest:
In response to the nationwide Planned Parenthood protest, members of The Satanic Temple of Detroit crashed the event dressed in bondage fetish wear, baby masks and diapers and engaged in group flagellation. The performers were then painted gold by adoring fetal idolizers. The action was intended to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against the reproductive health organization.
The Satanic Temple (TST) believes that the anti-choice movement’s obsession with, and mischaracterization of the fetus obscures medical reality and a woman’s constitutional right to choice. Enlarged images of fetuses which are no larger than an inch and the personalization of mindless, senseless human embryos elevates the fetus to the status of a demigod.
I very much enjoyed watching their street theatre, but I can see why it went over the anti-choice people’s heads. They don’t believe they worship idols – Jesus, Mary or the Golden Fetus – so they don’t seem to understand that this could be a valid interpretation of their actions. There’s no one more stubborn or self-righteous than an anti-choice protester. I think it freaked them the fuck out, though, which is awesome. And it made me laugh. Well played, Satanic Temple!