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So if you’re anti anti-stigma … “CHOOSE LIFE”?

October 21, 2012

On September 30 2012 I joined Reproductive Choice Australia for their flashmob to the end the stigma of the abortion.  With my two left feet it felt great to join 100 others in a fun yet constructive action to promote the #EndtheStigma campaign.

Youth for Life turned up wearing “CHOOSE LIFE” tshirts*, chanting in opposition throughout the performance of the flashmob routine.  Their action was praised on various pro-life sites.  Spend any time perusing these pro-life sites and you will see claims of  how pro-woman they are.  They will say they would never shame a woman  even though many stand outside abortion clinics intimidating women.

Yet Youth for Life turned up to oppose an anti-stigma campaign.  Let’s ponder that for a moment. They are anti an anti-stigma campaign.  So let me ask you the reader, if someone is anti anti-stigma does that make them pro-stigma?

The stigma of abortion harms women.  It silences women, makes women feel guilty for their choices and drives some women into depression.  Sadly some are all too willing to push the stigma under the guise of post abortion counselling and in doing so harm women.  People who push the stigma of abortion are certainly not pro-woman.

* The choice of “CHOOSE LIFE” tshirts was a source of bemusement/amusement to me and others.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the Youth for Life members know their history?

Katharine Hamnett designed a number of political slogan tshirts and her website states:

CHOOSE LIFE first appeared in a Buddhist exhibition that Lynne Franks, of Ab Fab fame, hosted. The CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt embodies an all-encompassing statement about ideal behaviour.

It’s not about the anti-abortion lobby. The US anti-abortion lobby attempted to appropriate CHOOSE LIFE. We are taking it back and promoting its real meaning. Ours is authentic and I believe in a woman’s right to choose.

In a re-issue of her iconic 1983 tshirts Katharine Hamnett clearly states:

Appropriation attempted by the anti-abortion lobby. KH (pro-choice) is taking it back.

The “CHOOSE LIFE” slogan in the context of the day was directed at drug abuse and suicide.

CHOOSE LIFE was relevant then. CHOOSE LIFE is even more relevant now.

“CHOOSE LIFE”  was popularised by Wham!, wearing the tshirts in their music video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go“. I doubt Youth for Life are in favour of George Michael’s “lifestyle choices”, but hey above all else they are anti-choice.

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