Protestors Say Day Perfect to Raise Pro-life Issue
BU News Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Not everyone in Washington, D.C., this weekend was here to see President Obama be sworn into office for the second time.
For pro-life activist Jonathan Darnel, inauguration day was an opportunity to be seen and heard as a crowd flooded the National Mall for this morning’s ceremony. Darnel and a handful of other pro-life activists stood defiantly against the strong current of Obama supporters. They held up two large banners with photos of aborted fetuses.
Two women adorned in Obama shirts and buttons stopped to take photos of the graphic banners, presumably in irony, as they made sure to point out that Obama’s Health and Human Services mandate gave women such as themselves the right to choose.
Darnel didn’t miss a beat as they walked off laughing. “Ignorance is bliss, ain’t it ma’am?” The ridicule is not new to him. “They’re not really lashing out at us,” he said with a smile, when asked how he felt in situations where his ideas were mocked. “They’re lashing out at the ideas.” Darnel said he believes that a lot of the opposition stems from guilt.
Darnel, 31, is a full-time volunteer for the Center of Bio-Ethical Reform and previously served five years in the U.S. Army. “It occurred to me that my time was better spent defending life here,” he said.
For Darnel, today’s protest in Columbus Circle was a big day. He directed his fellow protestors to various intersections, answered questions, and fielded phone calls, all while making time to promote his cause to pedestrians headed to the Capitol Building.
“Obama is the most pro-abortion president ever,” said Ruby Nicdao, 50, when asked why they chose to protest during the inauguration. “This is a civil rights issue. These children are human, they have rights, too,” she said.
Nicdao said she didn’t understand Obama’s platform. “Black Americans are killed at a higher rate. He should be saving these children to propagate the race,” she said, pausing to relay this information to a group of Obama supporters stopped at a crosswalk. “Babies in the womb are so defenseless,” she said sadly as the light turned green and the crowd continued without acknowledging her pleas, “they have no voice.”
Fellow protestor Alan Teleck, 60, stood patiently next to Nicdao. “It’s an unjust law and it needs to be changed. This is how it will be changed,” he said, “we’re aborting our futures.”
Teleck referred to himself as a “weekend warrior”, working full-time for an IT Company in Virginia and joining the activists in his free time. Teleck gestured to the banner he was holding that featured the Obama family directly next to an image of an aborted fetus. “This was the best opportunity to point out that this is who they voted for.”
When asked if he would attend the inauguration, Teleck smiled assuredly and shook his head. “No, I’ll be here,” he said.
While none of the protestors planned to attend the inauguration, 50-year-old pro-life activist Linda Heilman, was pointed about her support of the U.S. government, regardless. “I would love to see a presidential inauguration. I respect the office and I respect the president. But this is more important,” she said.
“Usually we’re apolitical,” said Darnel, “but a lot of Democrats don’t even realize that Barack Obama is pro-abortion.”
Darnel’s voice rose slightly and his speech became more intense as he scanned the large crowd passing his colleagues, “This is the truth, this is what is hidden. Nobody wants to face the fact that this is the result.”
Darnel returned to his position behind the large banners just as a young woman walked through them. “Really?” she muttered, exasperated, upon seeing the images. Shaking her head, she continued en route to see President Obama sworn in for another four years.