Illinois action blog

Monday, October 8, 2007

Extra Credit

Perhaps the biggest winners of the opening of our clinic are Catholic school kids. Why? Because Catholic schools award extra credit for school kids to come on out and rally against choice. A friend of the clinic sent us this email:

I understand why Catholic high school students protest abortion clinics, I did it too when I was 16. I screamed to stop abortion and I waved my fetus sign at passing cars...because I got extra credit.

At my Catholic high school in Illinois, students are awarded academic extra credit for participating in anti-abortion events. I stood on the street corner on Saturday morning, not because I was against abortion, not because I thought birth control was wrong- I was a passionate protester because I was awarded 10 extra points to my lowest test score.

My presence was not due to a religious fervor, or even a testament to my support - it was so I could get a higher GPA.

I grin when I see the kids at the center, because I was in their place only a few years ago - and I know what really brought them out to protest on a Saturday morning.

Yesterday our opposition held one of their so-called life chains outside the clinic. Their freedom of expression is honored. It is legal for them to stand on the sidewalk and oppose what the clinic does. Just as legal as all the activities in the clinic.

The funny thing is that in a few years or even days, clinic staff may see the same young women inside seeking birth control information. Why? Because Catholics have an abortion rate 1% higher than the national average. Far lower then those not practicing any religion, but still higher than church leaders would like to think. A friend who has escorted at Dr. Tiller's clinic (more on him in a future post) has said that it never fails. Once a year, she will hold the hand of a woman during an abortion procedure who was JUST protesting the day before. "But I'm not like those other women!" she will profess. And like clock work, my friend will see that woman on the protest line in a few days. It's good enough for her, but not for you.

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Anonymous Cara said...

It's incredibly sad that students are being manipulated into taking part in a cause they don't support for a better grade. It's exploitation, really. And though I respect and appreciate the honesty of the person who wrote that email, I have to say that it's sad so many would be willing to sacrifice their personal beliefs for something so relatively small. Of course, most of us are less than completely scrupulous in high school, and the adults are definitely the ones to blame for this situation. But protesting outside of Planned Parenthood isn't just about protesting, and it's not like any other protest. It's harassment of women trying to seek medical care. You'd like to think that we could expect a little bit better from a school . . . even if it is a Catholic school.

October 8, 2007 at 4:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops! i go to a catholic high school in the midwest. i dont get extra credit.... and you say that you "may see one of those same persons" standing on on the street at your clinic in a few years.... got proof? no. your making wild assumptions.

October 21, 2008 at 8:21 PM  

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