Friday 06-05-2016 - 16:29
This is a guest blog by Alex Binnie, Birmingham University Students' Union Women's officer.
This time last year, I attended a counter-demo against a March For Life event in Birmingham city centre. It was organized by the charity Abortion Rights, in partnership with some of my feminist friends here at UoB. Abortion Rights is an amazing campaign working towards defending and extending people’s access to safe, legal abortions. If you haven’t heard of them before I’d highly recommend checking out their website and joining as a member.
The day itself was one of my favourite memories of my first year of Uni. It was a daunting task to come face-to-face with a large crowd of “anti-choicers”, but so worth it. I remember chanting on the microphone with a few of my friends, when someone who had nothing to do with the protest came and pulled us to the side to thank us for what we were doing. Throughout the day people passing by would come to shake our hands or give us high fives, which was probably what made the day feel the most rewarding. A woman from the anti-choice crowd did come up to me at one point to tell me that Jesus would forgive me for all my sins, how she knew about my extensive list of sins throughout my lifetime I shall never know.
So this year I was delighted when Abortion Rights contacted me again to ask us to join forces for the Stand Up For Choice protest again. Alongside the NUS we hope to get as many people to come along as possible.
I urge you all to tell your friends, tell your Women’s Associations and Fem Socs to come and join us on Saturday 14 May at 10:45am in Victoria Square. Check out the Facebook event page, share and like us to extend the message far and wide. We will be gathering to hear speeches before the March for Life crowd arrives, then of course it will be time to get out our pro-choice signs and chants to put their offensive placards to shame. It’s a great opportunity to meet some other pro-choice activists and learn about the amazing work they do for women in this country to protect their reproductive rights. You’ll need to bring your own banners and signs, although we may have a few spare. See you all there!