We filled that coach bus for what we thought was a really good and clear-cut cause and marched on the capital on the 20th anniversary of Roe v Wade.
As we walked, I looked around and realized that though we agreed to protest abortion on demand, I disagreed with many of the people around me on other issues that were also important. In fact, when I looked at the signs and listened to the chants, I was embarrassed to be associated with several of the others. I didn’t like what they stood for.
Even while I was walking, I realized that our march would likely make no difference in the policy. It, like me, was twenty years old. I had never known a country where abortion on demand was unavailable, and I thought it extremely unlikely that it would be repealed. Our march would make no difference.
Right there, I decided that I’d never march again.
Not because marching is bad or always ineffectual. Not because I think no one else should march. Not because diversity coming together for one cause is distasteful for me (I actually think it’s great).
I decided not to march because my money and time would be better spent doing something about the issue. The rest of my 364 days had nothing to do with this issue, though I might have a conversation about it here and there. And at the time, I had no idea of its complexities.
If I really believed that this needed changing, I would spend my time contributing or volunteering at the local CareNet to offer an alternative to those who felt like they had no choice but abortion. I would spend my money donating to groups that champion the cause of the unborn and education about alternative choices. As it was, I spent my time and money getting myself to that march.
I Marched for Life, but my actions the other days of the year did not show I truly believed in the cause. Thing is, those actions are better than marching.
But I could have marched in the Women’s March. I teach and fight for and write about Women’s equality and the common humanity we all share. But, I’ve got two little ones that need me at home, so I had no plans to go. Besides, they didn’t want me. Though I recognize much greater complexity to the issue and have love and respect for those who disagree, I am still not for abortion on demand; the organizers didn’t want that diversity in their march.
Regardless, I don’t plan to march for anything anytime soon. I plan to make a difference on the ground for causes in which I believe. Frankly, for the issues that most concern me, I think that’s my best course of action.
So, I’m not against marching; I just think it should be accompanied by action the other 364 days of the year. And right now, I’ve only got time for action.
(Interested in hearing more from me? Check out my book, The Book of Womanhood)