Frustrated and bemused by the pro-life protesters at the local clinic in Cary, N.C., Tina Haver Currin and her husband Grayson Haver Currin decided to exemplify "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
So they joined them, and have joined the protesters every Saturday, but in their own way and with their own sense of humor. The resulting project has now being documented in our favorite new Tumblr, Saturday Chores.
"We were getting supplies for a garden box. We both grew up not too far away, and we've seen the clinic in question hundreds of times," Grayson Haver Currin said. "But for some reason, on this morning in particular, the protesters got under our skin a little more than normal. I'm full of crazy ideas and jokes, and Tina tells me which rare ones are good. I suggested that we make a sign that said 'Weird Hobby' and point at one of the protestors."
Now that the couple are going to the clinic consistently, brainstorming what slogans to put on the signs has become a bit of a fun tradition.
"We're just goofy, I think," Tina Haver Currin told Elle. "We talk about it on the way to the clinic. We keep poster board in the car and just spit out ideas. We'll flip-flop who's holding the sign and who's taking pictures each week so we're sharing the heat."
Grayson Haver Currin noted that the counterprotest is not only intended as satire, but also as an infusion of both levity and support to women going to the clinic. "While it's true that we're mocking people, we consider the chief value of what we're doing the solidarity that we demonstrate for the individuals or families that need to use the clinic's services for whatever reasons they may have," he said. "Generally, upon arrival, they only encounter hate. We want to offer a rejoinder, however slight. And we also hope to show passersby on the busy thoroughfare that the far religious right need not be the only ones with a voice; those with progressive views have one too, and we should use it."
In light of the McCullen v. Coakley decision, which overturned a Massachusetts law providing the state's abortion clinics a 35-foot buffer zone to protect patients from harassment and abuse, their efforts appear to already be helping to ameliorate the vitriolic energy accosting women as they enter the clinic.
The couple doesn't interact with the clinic workers or visitors due to the clinic's own buffer zone, but they hear protesters yelling at the families as they go into the clinic.
"We've been able to stop them from doing that simply [by turning our camera phones on them] because they don’t want us to record them doing that," Grayson Haver Currin told Elle. "They'll put their signs away too sometimes. We know for sure that the people entering the clinic while we're there are not being harassed or hearing anything they don't want to hear."
Image Credit (all): Saturday Chores