anti-abortion picketers = average, strong, or extreme support?

Essentially a poll. If you read that a pro-life person had been an abortion clinic picketer/protester, would you consider that an average amount of support for pro-life positions, a strong amount of support, or an extreme amount of support (I’m assuming no one would think it’s a minimal amount of support)?

This isn’t meant to be a discussion of abortion, just your reaction were you to learn someone had picketed a clinic.

Depends on how often they picketed, why, and how long ago or I guess how old they were.

I know of churches that use clinic picketing as youth group field trips, the kids are all kind of peer pressured into it and go along because it’s still a fun day out with your friends, or something like that.

So, went along in their teens a time or three? Average.

On and off as an adult? Extreme.
I guess there is no middling strong off the top of my head, but something in between those two examples.

Seems extreme; from the standpoint that the person took time out of their day to go down there and physically protest.

If it were made known that a lot of people were going to be there doing it, it might seem to be ‘strong’ or ‘average’ because there’s safety in a crowd - the person wouldn’t seem to be sticking out their neck so much.

Depends on the type of picketing- strong if all one does is hold up a text sign & being relative peaceful, going into extreme if one holds up bloody pictures & yells at people.

I’d take that as a sign of strong or extreme support. I think that’s the same litmus test I’d use for any social issue (animal rights, war/peace, gay rights etc.). I think average supporters might sometimes picket/ march in support of political parties and labor unions. Those groups have a broad base and are formal about mobilizing their base. Other than that, if average supporters of various positions picketed, the streets would be a lot more full.

I think it would depend a lot on why they did it. I’m sure there’s some people who don’t feel strongly at all about abortion who go along with it so they don’t seem “immoral” to their peers.

I’m reminded of the little Asian girl in “Juno” who’s the one lone protester outside the clinic, telling Juno that her baby has fingernails, etc.

Strong to extreme, again based on behavior. Strong is standing there offering financial support, compassion and abortion alternatives. Extreme is shouting hurtful names or lies, or holding up posters with disturbing images or bombing or shooting abortion clinic personnel.

Average people simply don’t protest actively, no matter what the issue.

IMHO, the very act of going there puts the protesters into the “extreme” category, except for children in the scenario posted by Queen Tonya.

Question to those voting “extreme”: what would you consider “strong, but not extreme”? I ask because I’m looking for something between “has a private opinion which may be shared and defended in personal conversations and/or on a message board” and “protests at a clinic”, and I’m coming up empty.

Extreme, no matter what their reasons for going along (excepting, of course, those who had no choice, i.e. children).

Strong would probably be writing letters urging that abortion be banned, either to politicians, the local paper, or to other bodies who may be relevent to the issue. Creating petitions, running a website to promote the Pro Life agenda… all things that involve taking active steps to convince others that abortion is wrong without actually going so far as to confront women face-to-face as they are making their choice.

I guess for me “strong” would be single-issue voting, or naming abortion as the top issue in every election.

I started the thread because I felt like I might be pegging someone as “extreme” because of my own biases instead of what society-at-large would think.

Definitely extreme. “Strong” to me would be someone who donates to pro-life organizations and refuses to vote for pro-choice politicians, even if they agree with them on most other issues.

I don’t know. The responses might be skewed a bit based on the makeup of the board.

Even so, I’d have to go with strong as a starting point myself - and peg that to behavior at the protest. I have protested against abortion myself, but this was never at the clinic itself. Frankly, I think this makes a difference.

I always approached the issue from a non-religious viewpoint, though. I am aware of many others in the movement animated by other motivations - for better or worse.

I’ve talk with many protesters, and I’d have to say extreme. Telling women going into Planned Parenthood “Do go there. They kill babies in there” is fanaticims at its worst. I always chimei n “She has every right to go into any building offering a legal service.”

One such protester told me “If women don’t want children, they should keep their legs close.”

After having read This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctorby Susan Wicklund, hearing about someone picketing a clinic seems like an “average” or mild activity. This woman was threatened and stalked many times, her home invaded; her daughter had to be taken to school in a police car.

If I heard about people who “just” picketed a clinic, I would think that average support, but after reading that book, I might be worried that that’s not all they do.

I agree with this. Except that even in Queen Tonya’s senario, I would rate the teenager as a “strong”. Only actual children would get a pass from me, as of course they have no choice in the matter.

Otherwise, “strong” would mean someone who participates in websites specifically about it, signs or creates petitions, or donates money.

Sort of depends.

  1. Respectful distance, no shouting - average to “feels strongly”
  2. Crowding, preventing access, shouting things - strong to extreme
  3. Out every single day, all day, all alone outside the PP clinic - extremely extreme (my Planned Parenthood has one such. I wonder what he does for money.)

The thing that bugs me is when the alleged protestors are extremely misinformed. I love it when they shout “don’t kill your baby!” as I walk to the PP to get my annual g-ddamn pelvic exam. PP provides low cost primary care, including prenatal care, its not an abortion factory. I’d like to know where else an uninsured person can get a full pelvic, all labs, birth control prescription, and a chance to talk to someone who seems genuinely interested in their health and listens to all their questions, AND can provide continuity of care over the years, for $80 or less.

I wonder what he would say if you walked calmly up to him and said, “I’m not pregnant, I’m just here for my yearly gynecological exam. Please stop shouting.”?


Strong would be writing letters and calling your government representatives, signing/distributing petitions, etc. I consider all single-issue voters extreme by definition.