RIGHT TO LIFE MEETS THE REAL WORLD
It’s Saturday morning in the Capital of the Free Market World and so far, so good. About 14 inches of snow on our front porch and on the sidewalk but we’ve got maybe 6 or 7 more hours of snow to go. Our street has been plowed, not that I’m going anywhere, and since we don’t live on a main street, I am impressed. One kid has turned up missing here on Capitol Hill but so far no storm related deaths in the D.C. region. Road crews seem to have done a good job although since it’s still snowing it’s kind of a futile effort. No cars to be seen. A few people out walking through the snow and, of course, the television crews are reporting live from everywhere. They are basically reporting the same thing: Lot’s Of Snow! Yesterday, D.C.’s Mayor, Muriel Bowser, (yes a female, like our Police Chief, Kathy Lanier) requested that residents be off the streets and be inside by 3:00 PM. Looks like people did.
But for sheer tenacity (or stupidity depending on your point of view I suppose) you gotta give those right-to-lifers credit! They were down on the Mall in the thousands yesterday as Snowageddon approached. I was hoping it would come early but no such luck. I’m guessing they got back to their hotels or maybe shifted to the Planned Parenthood Clinic on Sixteenth Street just as the storm began.
They must have this protest rally at the same time every year. Somewhere back in the 1990’s we were having another snowstorm, not as big as this one but one that still caused the city to stop dead in its tracks for a day or two. Well, I was on Sixteenth Street trudging through about three inches of slush going home from work just after noon, snow was swirling around and it was hard to see. I was hoping for a passing taxi or a friendly driver who might pick me up since my shoes were soaking wet and I had neither hat nor gloves on my freezing person. It was not pleasant.
Somewhere along the way (no taxi, no friendly driver) when this tour bus stops right next to me, door opens, and I could see a bunch of folks in parkas and ski masks sitting inside. The driver said "Hello," as I stood on the bottom step and he began our brief interaction by making some remark about how nasty it was outside. I agreed hoping that my rescue vehicle had arrived. It was then that I noticed a bunch of signs and placards with “Say No To Baby Killers,” “Fetuses Have Rights Too” and other such sayings. I had read in the newspaper about the planned Right To Life demonstration that was scheduled but the info hadn’t stayed with me.
Then that I backed down off the step back outside and sure enough emblazoned on the side of the bus was a huge “Right to Life” banner with some sort of grotesque symbol, partially obscured by the snow but still legible. Okay. So I’m generally not a mean person, it’s not really a part of my normal, natural make up. But when the bus driver asked me if he was heading in the right direction to get to the Hilton Hotel some inner devil took over.
Well, they weren’t heading in the right direction since they were heading north on Sixteenth Street and had left the hotel behind them, three blocks to the south. I can’t explain why I said what I told the guy next. “Yes,” I assured him. It’s about two miles straight up Sixteenth Street. It’s on the right. You can’t miss it!”
He thanked me remarked how difficult it was navigating Washington’s streets. Yes, with our grid pattern, all the number streets run north and south, and all the letter streets east and west. Right. Really makes it difficult. Of course we do have those diagonal avenues named after the states, you know, like Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Kansas and Florida. (We don’t have an "Avenue" for California. There is a California Street. Don’t know why.) And those mysterious circles (round-abouts for you European folks) that suddenly appear without warning. It can be daunting.
As the bus slowly slid and slipped away heading up Sixteenth Street with the snow still pummeling the city, I couldn’t help feeling extremely satisfied that these folks were going to have a difficult time for the next few hours. After all they’ve made life hell for a whole lot of women over the years, to say nothing of doctors, and my small contribution to the counter battle was just a drop in the bloody bucket that is abortion wars.
I don’t know what happened to the Right To Life folks who were protesting here yesterday. But let me wish them an ex-post-facto greeting of good fortune for the next couple of days as they are imprisoned in their hotel rooms where they won't be able to demonstrate their devotion to life.
Have a good day!