In an event organized by Samantha Rosell, Southwest Suburban Activists (SSA) reminded anti-choice demonstrators to mind their own uterus! The showdown occurred Thursday afternoon on the corner of 191st and LaGrange. With only about 15 people, the counter protesters experienced tremendous support from those driving by, while enduring insults being hurled by anti-choice protesters. A few people even pulled over to ask how they could get involved.
While the SSA pro-choice demonstrators were thrilled, their anti-choice counterparts were not. Though not shocked and offended by the disturbing and grotesque signs they were holding, they saw being confronted by those with a conflicting view as an affront. One mother even sent her young children to intimidate the pro-choice protesters. With their mother’s approval, the kids called the activists “sluts” and tried to intimidate them with threats. Nevertheless, the Southwest Suburban Activists persisted in the face of harassment.
Defending basic human rights was the reason Mateusz Tomkowiak showed up to the counter protest. Tomkowiak said, “Women should be able to make their own decisions about their own health and reproductive choices. It’s a simple principle, which is protected by the constitution and enjoys broad popular support.”
Event coordinator, Samantha Rosell admits, “I’ve always been a passionate feminist, and a woman’s right to choose has always sat at the forefront of my leftist agenda.” She also said she was “thrilled to stand alongside like-minded men and women against the unnecessarily graphic, close-minded, and heavily Christian influenced anti-choice demonstrators.” To capitalize on the success of the protest, the Southwest Suburban Activists have organized a phone bank event to support Planned Parenthood and access to healthcare in general.
The timing of the protest was also important as it coincided with the #Handmaids4HB40 event in Chicago. The demonstration and use of the hashtag is a way for groups and citizens to call on Governor Rauner to keep his campaign promise to protect abortion rights. HB40 has been on his desk for weeks and needs to be signed.