A religious group began staging public prayer demonstrations outside an abortion clinic on Friday and will continue to do so until it is shut down.
The Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, which is made up of Catholics from across Hertfordshire, intends to continue praying outside the Danestrete Health Centre in Stevenage until the abortion clinic, operated at the centre by sexual health organisation Marie Stopes International, is no longer in use.
THE HELPERS OF GOD'S PRECIOUS INFANTS.
Sorry, can't quite get over the hilarity of that. Give me a sec.
Okay! I've stopped laughing, for now at least. I've been typing this repeatedly all day, and due to my speedy-but-not-always-accurate typing skillz (honed in Yahoo chatrooms in my foolish, meatspace friend-free youth), I keep typing "The Helpers of God's Previous Infants".
Now I'm laughing again.
I do often wonder why anti-abortion protestors choose that, of all the possible causes in the world, to focus their time, money and energy on. (Like when people donate to fucking donkey sanctuaries. Have I mentioned recently that Britons give more money to donkey sanctuaries than to charities working to end abuse? I feel this bears repeating.) I mean, your money, your time, spend it how you want; you could quite easily tell me it's ridiculous to give my money to ASN and Rape Crisis when there are children starving in Africa, or whatever your pet cause happens to be: I think we've agreed that there is no universally accepted scale of The Worst Thing In The World, and therefore no official ranking on Who Needs Your Money The Most.
But the fact that anti-abortion protestors are all about saving the lives of God's Precious Foetuses while they're in the womb, and yet seem to lose interest the second those infants make their way out of the tunnel of love, does suggest that it's conceivable that their priorities have more to do with misogyny, with sex-negativity, with the desire to control women's bodies and social position, than it is with the saving of God's Precious Foetuses in and of itself.
Because when God's Precious Foetuses stop being Foetuses, and grow up into children and teenagers and adults with needs and problems and voices of their own, the anti-abortion movement - and the wider right wing to which it belongs - has fuck all Help to give them.
When God's Previous Foetuses experience drug addiction, mental health problems, homelessness - the anti-abortion right wing can be found privatising the health service, selling off council houses, pulling funding from addiction clinics and not donating to Mind or Shelter or Action on Addiction.
When God's Previous Foetuses live in the developing world, the anti-abortion right wing will be merrily denying climate change and buying goods made in sweatshops and propping up dictators.
And of course if God's Previous Foetuses grow up female, and fall pregnant and don't want to be, the anti-abortion right wing will be right there: waving placards and letting them know they're going to Hell and proferring empty promises of help if they just promise not to hurt God's Precious Infant. Once that Precious Infant is born, however, they've disappeared again - back at the clinic doors. More Precious Infants to save.
So hey, give your money where you will; do whatever combination of activism and volunteering that you feel does the most good in the world and keeps you more or less sane. But I personally feel my energies are better spent improving the lives of Previous Infants, because they are Precious too.