To Our Supporters, Volunteers and Friends,
When we launched Voice of Choice, I certainly didn't expect to be lauded by anti-choice groups for our efforts to thwart their bullying tactics. I do find their spin interesting, however, and, the way I see it, it is good news that we are getting negative attention from the anti-choice groups. Every mention they make of our efforts, whether fact or fiction, helps focus a spotlight on their behavior.
Anti-choice bullies write in their newsletters that they are happy to receive calls from our volunteers objecting to their tactics, because we give them the opportunity to spread their opinions on abortion call by call. Let me be clear: we do not call to debate the issue of abortion. We call to tell them their behavior is disgraceful and to demonstrate the distressing effect of hundreds of incoming calls and emails on one individual.
I received criticism for using the term "Christian like" in our communications, for which I apologize. When I went to explain that the term was used to describe a polite demeanor, the religious zealots had a field day. Voice of Choice is not a religious group. But we will stand up for those who are being bullied in the name of religion.
Despite our targets' objections and red herrings, I am pleased to report that our efforts to curtail anti-choice harassment are succeeding.
- In October, we launched a counter-harassment campaign in Denver in support of a pro-choice provider who was the victim of relentless bullying. Today, as a result of thousands Voice of Choice volunteers, the active protesters in Denver number HALF their ranks; those that continue their misguided efforts are much tamer in their tactics. Our campaign is not over yet.
- Also in October, Voice of Choice volunteers effectively averted what would have been a horribly distasteful and inappropriate protest planned by anti-choice bullies at a Baltimore fundraising event for breast cancer. More than 500 Voice of Choice volunteers called and emailed the organizer of the protest, and local Voice of Choice volunteers showed up at the appointed site to reproach any protesters who dared show up (thanks to our efforts, none did).
We are gearing up to do even more. Next on our agenda is to build a reference gallery of anti-choice protesters so they can no longer hide behind the veil of anonymity and group-think. Post photos of protesters and anti-choice bullies on our facebook page www.facebook.com/vochoice and tag them with any identifying facts such as name, date and location. It's time these people are held accountable for their misguided actions.
Please continue to spread news of our work via facebook and email. Invite your friends to join us www.vochoice.org/volunteer and support our efforts www.vochoice.org/donate so we can do more.
Todd Stave, Director