Seattle Clinic Defense

Aug 07

Upcoming Events

Hope everyone is enjoying as much of this beautiful Seattle summer as possible.

Reestablishing a routine
We excited about getting back to a regular schedule. There is an anti-choice group that pickets the Madison Planned Parenthood every second Saturday. As always, we’ve got lots of banners and posters but feel free to bring your own.

Join us!
Stand up for reproductive justice! August Clinic Defense
Saturday, August 10
8:30am-10ish (we’ll make a group call)
Madison Planned Parenthood, 20th and Madison, Seattle

August Organizing Meeting
Saturday, August 31
12pm-1pm
Kaladi Bros Coffee, Pike St and Belmont Ave, Capitol Hill

Jul 07

Bi-Monthly Organizing Meeting

The day after our July Clinic Defense we will be having a general organizing meeting for SCD. Come to one or both. Either would be awesome.

Sun, July 14
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Douglass-Truth Library
2300 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122
http://goo.gl/maps/35Fqd

Jun 30

Stand up for reproductive justice! July Clinic Defense

Every second Saturday of the month, anti-choice protestors come out to the Planned Parenthood in Capitol Hill to intimidate and shame women accessing health care services.

We stand in support of Planned Parenthood in a peaceful, pro-choice defense of the clinic!

Bring your friends, your signs, and your love of reproductive justice!

We know it’s early on a Saturday, but that’s when the anti-choicers will be there, so we’ll be there to support the clinic. There’s no better way to start a beautiful summer morning than by standing up for reproductive justice!

Saturday, July 13, 2013
8:30-10:00am
Capitol Hill Planned Parenthood
2001 E Madison St Seattle, WA 98122
http://goo.gl/maps/oOoER

Jun 13

June 23rd Organizing Meeting

Yes we’re still alive!

We’ll be having a bi-monthly meeting at the Seattle Montlake Public Library on June 23rd at 1pm. We’re going to try to have a vote on the members of the SCD Steering Committee if enough people show up, so we’d love to see you there.

Montlake Branch of the Seattle Public Library‎
2401 24th Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98112
http://goo.gl/maps/J5gXL

Oct 03

DEFEND CHOICE: Fall 40 Days for “Life” Counter-Pickets
All counter-pickets will take place at the East Madison Planned Parenthood located at 2001 E. Madison St, Seattle.
Three Dates!
Saturday, Oct 6 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)
Saturday, Oct 20 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)
Saturday, Oct 27 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)
Anti-choice groups are at it again: planning a 40 day campaign to harass women and picket reproductive health clinics in an attempt to “protect life” by imposing their fundamentalist religious views on women making choices for their bodies and their families. Seattle Clinic Defense stands with women, families, and reproductive health care providers, and is counter-picketing the bigots on three Saturdays during the fall 40 Days for Life pickets. Join us!
Signs and BannersWe’ve got tons of great signs for folks to use but if you have a particularly great zinger or slogan-bring it! We also welcome banners from activist or community groups that support our project. We want to be clear: Seattle is a pro-choice town!
Endorsements Welcome!If you are part of a community or campus group and would like to endorse these actions or participate on a group level, please email SCD at seattleclinicdefense@gmail.com
We would also greatly appreciate your help in spreading the word to like-minded groups or individuals. Thanks!

DEFEND CHOICE: Fall 40 Days for “Life” Counter-Pickets

All counter-pickets will take place at the East Madison Planned Parenthood located at 2001 E. Madison St, Seattle.

Three Dates!

Saturday, Oct 6 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)

Saturday, Oct 20 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)

Saturday, Oct 27 10:30am-12pm (RSVP on facebook)

Anti-choice groups are at it again: planning a 40 day campaign to harass women and picket reproductive health clinics in an attempt to “protect life” by imposing their fundamentalist religious views on women making choices for their bodies and their families.

Seattle Clinic Defense stands with women, families, and reproductive health care providers, and is counter-picketing the bigots on three Saturdays during the fall 40 Days for Life pickets.
Join us!

Signs and Banners

We’ve got tons of great signs for folks to use but if you have a particularly great zinger or slogan-bring it! We also welcome banners from activist or community groups that support our project. We want to be clear: Seattle is a pro-choice town!

Endorsements Welcome!

If you are part of a community or campus group and would like to endorse these actions or participate on a group level, please email SCD at seattleclinicdefense@gmail.com

We would also greatly appreciate your help in spreading the word to like-minded groups or individuals. Thanks!

Sep 17

9/23 Organizing Meeting

Hi everyone!

It may be 75 degrees but fall is just around the corner. Join us this Sunday as we brainstorm ideas for fall campaigns and discuss how to make SCD bigger, better and stronger!

Sunday, Sept 23

11am-Noon

Elliott Bay Books Cafe, Capitol Hill

RSVP on facebook!

Bring your ideas and we’ll see you there!

Jul 22

Summer Reading Series: Bearing Right

Join Seattle Clinic Defense for our summer study series on William Saletan’s Book, Bearing Right:

In his gripping, behind-the-scenes account, journalist William Saletan reveals exactly how, thirty years after Roe v. Wade, “pro-choice” conservatives have won the abortion war. Having successfully turned abortion into a privacy issue, conservatives now prevail on issues ranging from abortion’s legality and parental notification to Medicaid, rape, and cloning; consequently, reproductive autonomy is now becoming inaccessible to the young and the poor. This eye-opening exposé tells how abortion rights activists—people who desired social change, women’s equality, and broader access to health care—have had their message co-opted in a culture of privacy and limited government. Bearing Right is also a story about the essentially conservative character of the United States today.

We are dividing the book into two sections:
Chapters 1-5 
Sunday, August 19
11am-12pm
Elliott Bay Cafe

RSVP on facebook to Part 1


Chapters 6-10
Sunday, September 16
11am-12pm
Elliott Bay Cafe

RSVP on facebook to Part 2

Northgate Clinic Defense

Saturday, Aug 4

9-10:30am

Northgate Planned Parenthood

Meet on the corner of N Northgate Way and Meridan Ave N

RSVP on facebook

Doing what we do best: a summer campaign against right-wind harassment of women accessing health care facilities!

Jul 17

Stand with Jennie Linn McCormack!

Wednesday, July 18
5:30-7:00
Westlake Park

RSVP on facebook

Jennie Linn McCormack is a single mother of 3 living in Pocatello, ID who found herself with an unwanted pregnancy in 2010. Faced with the barriers of only two abortion clinics in Idaho both hours away that according to state law must make clients undergo an “informed consent” appointment at least 24 hours before a procedure, a “fetal pain” law with no scientific base that won’t allow abortions in Idaho past 19 weeks, and a budget of only $250 per month in child support, Jennie terminated her pregnancy at home with an abortion pill purchased on the internet from an out of state doctor. After confiding in a friend, this individual told someone who then called the police. Jennie was arrested and charged with a felony under a pre-Roe v. Wade law that states only a doctor can perform an abortion. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. As word of her arrest spread through her small and deeply conservative community, Jennie Linn now faces isolation, shaming, discrimination and lack of support.


Jennie Linn was faced with a deeply personal choice that she is now taking public for the sake of us all. We won’t go back, and we won’t let her go through this alone.

Join us as we rally to show support for and raise awareness about Jennie’s case! There will also be an opportunity to write letters of support directly to Jennie.

If you are unable to attend this event, here are some ways you can contribute:
Contribute to her Legal Defense Fund: Send checks made out to the law office (Racine Olson Nye Budge & Bailey) and be sure to NOTE THAT IT’S FOR JENNIE’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND.
Send to: Attn: Richard Hearn, Attorney
Racine Olson Nye Budge & Bailey
201 East Center Street
P. O. Box 1391
Pocatello, ID 83201

Send money directly to Jennie to help her cover living expenses, childcare costs, and relocation. Make the check out directly to her, and address it to Jennie Linn McCormack, c/o Richard Hearn, at the legal office above.

Even just a note of support helps! Again, send to Jennie Linn c/o Richard Hearn, at the legal office above.

May 15

Countering anti-choice lies

Seattle Clinic Defense organizer Michelle Farber reports on a recent protest against an anti-choice speaker at the University of Washington.

SOME 75 pro-choice protesters picketed a lecture on May 3 at the University of Washington (UW) titled, “Do women have too many rights?”

The speaker, Abby Johnson, is a former Planned Parenthood clinic director who now speaks against women’s right to abortion. According to her website, Johnson has “always had a fierce determination to help women in need,” which is what led her to work at Planned Parenthood—and then leave, following a transformational “pro-life” experience after allegedly witnessing an abortion.

Her platform is a mix of co-opted feminist language regarding “choice” and non-scientific nonsense pieced together from Fox News and Live Action talking points.

Seattle Clinic Defense, a grassroots group dedicated to shame-free, medically accurate reproductive health care, and the Gender Equality Caucus of Occupy Seattle, organized a picket of the event. Seattle Clinic Defense’s actions, to date, have involved counter-picketing anti-choice demonstrators who harass women seeking reproductive health care at Planned Parenthood clinics across the Puget Sound area.

We stepped outside of that model for this action to challenge what we see as the modus operandi of the new anti-choice movement: showcasing young, female activists who portray their driving force as deep compassion for babies and women’s choices, so long as those choices only include parenting or adoption.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

THE EVENING started with UW student activists and pro-choice groups gathering to make signs and put stickers on coat hangers that said, “We won’t go back!” Protesters began a circular picket and chanted slogans such as “Keep your rosaries off our ovaries,” “Not the church, not the state, women must decide their fate,” and “Back alleys no more, abortion rights for rich and poor.”

After the picket, we moved inside to line the doorways to the event while holding our protest signs. We were met with hostile UW police, who demanded that we put away the coat hangers. As sharp objects, they were supposedly dangerous. That was the point: coat hangers are one of the many common items women have used to unsafely terminate unwanted pregnancies.

It was extremely satisfying to see a look of unease on many as anti-choice faces as they had to face our gauntlet to enter the event. It mirrored one of our most recent counter-pickets in Everett, Wash., in which about 30 anti-choice demonstrators lined the sidewalk on both sides leading to a Planned Parenthood.

We were sending a powerful message to the anti-choice members of the crowd: you are not safe from criticism here. Your tactics are unacceptable. See how uncomfortable it makes you to walk past us? And you’re just going to a lecture!

Inside, ushers handed out note cards for the “question-and-answer session,” making it obvious that only pre-selected, friendly questions would be fielded. The pro-choice audience heckled and shouted corrections to false scientific and historical statements, demanded citations, and booed and hissed appropriately.

For example, one of Johnson’s favorite talking points is that Planned Parenthood is a part of the abortion “industry,” and thus needs to meet a certain quota of abortions. Even more egregious is that Johnson asserts the cornerstone of anti-scientific rhetoric by claiming a fetus, at 13 weeks can not only feel pain, but attempt to “escape” the cannula used to evacuate the fetus from the uterus.

As we challenged the bald-faced, nearly comical lies and rhetoric that emanated from the stage, the anti-choice students asked us all to “be respectful” and “let Abby say her piece.” While some of us agree that the yelling got a little out of hand, the idea that folks should sit quietly with their hands folded and respect the speaker simply because she is speaking is fundamentally flawed.

Not only is what she says untrue, it’s downright offensive to women and health care providers. For too long, mainstream feminist organizations have ceded political space to hate groups that front speakers like Johnson. Free speech does not entitle one to escape challenge, especially when the material that is presented is non-scientific and laced with woman-hating, slut-shaming rhetoric.

Many people who are pro-choice believe that by counter-picketing the anti-choicers at clinics, we encourage higher attendance on their side—therefore, we should just ignore them. But they have created political space in front of a health care facility, and we’ll be damned if they go unchallenged.

The same logic holds true for an event that is titled, “Do women have too many rights?” Abby Johnson is a dangerous pawn in the new strategy of the war on women. In the 1990s, anti-choice groups tried violence; now they kill us with kindness, and the liberal feminist response has been to let them.

The religious extremists have the same end goal; they’re just adapted to a new strategy. We must also adapt and make sure that anti-choice groups and pro-choice sympathizers understand that when they use such language and tactics, it is not the exercise of free speech; the anti-woman minority has created political space in which hate speech can, and must, be challenged.

Originally published at Socialist Worker.