Dear PoP – Anti-choice protesters along Mass Ave., NW Yesterday

Photo by PoPville flickr user sciascia Photo from previous protest not along Mass Ave

“Dear PoP,

I had to go to Georgetown Univ. Hospital yesterday for an appointment. Afterwards, I took the GUH shuttle from the hospital to Dupont Circle at around 11:45 a.m. The shuttle takes a rather roundabout route up Wisconsin Avenue, around Observatory Circle, and then down Massachusetts Avenue. As soon as we got to Mass Ave., I saw several anti-choice protesters with those big photo posters that they like to parade around with along the west side of the road. Unfortunately, I didn’t react quickly enough to take a picture.

Any idea why they were there? Was it a special occasion or are they always/often there? I don’t usually travel on Mass. Ave. Could they be targeting a specific embassy? A likely target — the Chinese embassy — is on Wisconsin, though. Could it have been the British embassy? If so, I wonder what happened to spark the protest.

There were probably about a dozen people, but they were spread out along the road for a couple hundred yards, not grouped together, so it didn’t look like they protesting a particular embassy. If anything they appeared to be directing their signs towards the cars that were traveling north. The Vatican’s embassy is nearby, but somehow I doubt it would be the target (more like home base).

Anyway, I was just curious and thought you or one of your readers might know.”

Perhaps they were there to protest near the Vice President’s residence by Observatory Circle? This is the first I’m hearing of a protest like this around there. There is a well known protester of the Vatican who was recently profiled in a People’s District post. Anyone know what was going on?

93 Comment

  • “Anti-choice”…Does this meaen that supporters of a woman’s choice to get an abortion are now referred to as “anti-life”?

    • Welcome to adulthood, Anonymous, where people often name groups who oppose them, to their advantage.

      In that regard the term “pro-life” is much older and much more established than “anti-choice”.

      • Population control IS pro-life.
        Ergo, those who would oppose abortion are anti-choice.
        Seems pretty clear to me.

        • Capital punishment is a form of population control, what do you call those that oppose it?

        • Thanks for the Segway off topic, IntangibleArts.

          Every born human being is valuable. People who have large families are not bad people. The population problem is not about numbers or countries other than the US.

          To make the best future world for their children Americans should limit the size of their families to two ( or less ) children.

          If their family is already that size or larger they can still help by learning about population issues and teaching their kids.

          Current Population:

          6.9 billion people

          World fertility rate for population replacement:

          2.33 children per woman


          According to the United Nations, the global population could be as high as 11 billion in 2050 or as low as 8 billion, if the right programs are put in place now.

          Population growth stretches natural resources to their limits. Deforestation, food and water shortages, and climate change are all intensified by the addition of nearly 80 million people a year to the world’s population.

        • oh, and please, americans, have your children spayed or neutered. If you want any more, there’s plenty of strays to take in. Seriously.

          And never (ever) let a religious minority with ties to domestic terrorism intimidate you out of managing your life as you wish. Thank you very much.

    • Sounds like some dumb hippie term for pro-lifers. Either way they should GTFO.

  • All of the things that Christianity is about, it is a shame that the most visible things that get American Christians to turn out in the streets are anti-choice issues and harassing people who have not harmed them, who have happened to be born gay.

  • Anti-choice? Really? Are you crazy? I choose to give birth, the natural thing that occurs after conception and I’m anti-choice? You choose to kill a fetus (unnaturally) and you are pro-choice? How f-ing ridiculous can you get? You whacko lefty baby killers…

    • I am horrified, yes horrified, by the number of potential lives you have stolen by not choosing to impregnate yourself every nine months from the moment you are viable until you reach menopause.

      Think of all those eggs that you have sent down the toilet every month. Baby killer.

    • …and that right to choose what happens to your body after conception is exactly what those who work to prevent access to family planning services oppose.

    • yes. the “Choice” is not about what you do, but about the restrictions that the LAW places on you. if it is illegal, there is no choice. if it is legal, there is a choice. that what is meant.

    • Well, yes. If you “choose” to give birth, then that means there’s other options out there and you picked the one that you prefer. If you seek to restrict those other options so that people who get pregnant must give birth, then you are “anti-choice.”

    • Well hey now, I’m pro-choice and I’ve never had an abortion. Watch your logic.

  • Bad call, Prince. Agree, disagree, anywhere in the middle, I think this is needlessly divisive for a forum like this.

  • don’t know, but the chinese embassy is on connecticut right before the bridge into woodley park, i believe.

    isn’t the site they’re talking about near the guy who protests the catholic church and molestation every day?

  • Dunno if it’s related but there was a rack of Pro-Lifers (as indicated by the matching t-shirts they were wearing) in Rockville on MD-355 with the obscene pictures of “abortions” (more than likely actually pictures of miscarriages). Roe v. Wade was upheld in January, right? Is there any other anniversary coming up?

    • “more than likely” how?

      Abortion is savagery. There, I said it.

      • i agree. but so is having it made illegal.

      • savagery? human fetuses feel no pain before 24 weeks.

        savagery is focusing more on clumps of cells than the starving, abused, neglected children throughout our city and country

        • Painless killing = still not ok.

          Now stand back as I solve this abortion question for our nation once and forever right here on the PoP.

          “Be excellent to each other.”

          That should do it.

      • Abortion is savagery. There, I said it.

        What do you call bombing family planning clinics and killing gynecologists? See, that is what gets me about the extreme Christian fringe. They will defend the life of something that isn’t even a person yet, but they have no problem about killing adult human beings.

        • extremist arguments don’t hold water.
          once can simultaneously hold the belief that abortion AND bombings should be illegal.

        • beforewisdom: I am not trying to weigh in on the debate, but dismissing the entire pro-life argument because a there are a very small number of people within the movement who have engaged in violent acts is weak. I would hate to hear what your take on the Muslim religion is.

        • Let’s not assume that people who are against abortion are in favor of bombing clinics. That’s like saying muslims are all terrorists. One is obviously a radical fringe subset of the other.

    • I saw that driving home yesterday. I didn’t get a good look at the gaudy truck. I thought it was the Hillsboro wackos who picket funerals of gay people.

  • PoP – you had to see where this was going to go – right down the crapper

  • Wow, talk about unnecessarily provocative, PoP!

    • all you gotta do is not click on this thread. you have the choice.

    • As the person who sent in the original inquiry, I have to defend PoP. He posted my question verbatim. It was a question that I genuinely wanted an answer to: why were the anti-choice people (yes, I call them anti-choice, because they certainly aren’t pro-life) protesting at that particular location on that particular day? I sent it to PoP because he covers local happenings better than any other blog, and he has an active, involved readership that might know the answer.

      If you find the language offensive or “unnecessarily provocative,” don’t take it out on PoP.

      • “They certainly aren’t pro-life” Care to explain that one? If population control is part of the answer, please disregard my request.

        • It’s pretty safe to assume most anti-abortion types are also PRO death penalty and PRO war. You cannot be these things and call yourself Pro-Life.

          • Substitute “safe” for “convenient” and I think you have it.

          • +1

          • The “life” in pro life obviously refers to the life of the fetus, just as the “choice” in pro choice refers to the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. If someone who doesn’t support abortions can’t be called “pro-life” because of the points you brought up, then someone who supports legalized abortion can’t be called “pro choice” because the unborn fetus loses its ability to make all choices in life, specifically as to whether it will live or die.

            Now, I don’t believe any of that. I’m not supporting either the pro-life or pro-choice stance, but I think that your logic in calling it “anti choice” is juvenile.

        • When women cannot have safe legal abortions, women die. Not pro-life.

          • Thank you! someone finally making the valid argument.

          • so wrong and anti-life, Alice. What happens is they have the baby and someone adopts it.

          • Or the baby kills the woman because she was not healthy enough to carry it to term. Or she gets a “back alley” abortion that kills her and the baby. Or she is able to carry the baby she doesn’t want to term and it spends it’s first 18 years of life in foster care because no one wants it. Or she keeps the baby and it has a horrible life because it’s not wanted and she can’t bring herself to love it.

            In a perfect world the baby would not kill the mother and it would be adopted, but we all know this world is far from perfect.

            Making abortion illegal kills women. I would rather protect actual humans than clumps of cells that may become human. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one, but don’t force other women to do what you want.

      • Smilla, one of the Planned Parenthood clinics is on Mass Ave. Having patronized it myself, for health services other than an abortion, I can say it adds unnecessary stress to getting a pap smear.

  • i often see protesters in this location.

    there is indeed a guy who protests the catholic church and molestation who’s often there; i have also seen pro-life protesters there. i’m not sure who arrived first, but i’m guessing that one side saw the other, and decided to respond by getting their own message out at the same location.

    i always assumed that they chose the location in the hope that they will be seen by the vice presidential motorcade as it leaves the naval observatory; in the meantime, they can project their message to the passersby on mass. ave.

  • with regard to the original question, the papal nunciature, a.k.a. Vatican Embassy, is on Massachusetts Avenue across from the Vice President’s residence on Observatory Circle.

    Protester John Wojnowski is often there.

    I would not be surprised to see pro-life protesters there. Many groups making a point do so near supportive areas. I’ve seen AFGE do rallies outside of their headquarters.

    The Vice President’s residence would not be a surprising target either, given that Vice President has been outspoken about his Catholicism while at the same time differing significantly on doctrine and policy with the Catholic Church (and protesters who support its positions).

    And last, I would agree with those who hope that PoP won’t become a forum for big picture politics. I’d prefer more about how Big Bear gets its liquor license and less about what motivates protesters.

    • In this case, the commenters are responsible for turning this into a forum for big picture politics. I wasn’t questioning the protesters motivations as much as I was wondering if they are there all the time or if their protest was triggered by a specific event. But instead of answering my question, some people chose to post comments about the issue instead.

      Some issues bring out the kneejerk more than others (see guns), and I don’t think PoP should avoid them completely simply because a few people can’t resist talking about what *they* want to talk about.

      This is D.C. When there’s a protest on the Mall every month, it’s only natural that national political issues would creep into a local blog like PoP.

      • Of course — in DC arguing politics local or global is like exchanging pleasantries.

        We are the most politically attuned Americans in this country.

  • Sometimes activists on both sides of the issue do this without a particular occasion — they’re called visibility events. Just to get the message out there.

    Pro-choice vs. anti-choice makes perfect sense to me. The issue is the legal question of whether there should be a choice, no? You can’t be “pro-life” nor “anti-life.” Even if you think abortion is murder and thus the taking of a life, that term doesn’t distinguish you from people who are against the murder of people outside the womb, or capital punishment, etc. I’m not sure what the controversy there is, except people think pro-life sounds better and it more heart-wrenching (which, if that is all you’ve got…you’re standing on shaky ground in the first place).

  • People seem almost as passionate on this topic as they are about when dogs pee in gardens!

    But seriously… I know you’re all planning to solve the debate over abortion on PoP, but can anyone actually answer the question?

  • They may have just been in the wrong location on Mass Ave.

    National Abortion Federation
    1755 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
    Washington, DC 20036-2102

  • I am pro-choice. I have no issue with anyone taking a pro-life stance.

    I do have issue with having to blind my five year old’s eyes from the violent images being happily displayed on street sides.

    Aren’t these generally the same folks who oppose violence and sex on television and in video games? Where is that line? Don’t I have a right as a parent (of I child I clearly did NOT chose to abort) to chose when and what violent images he gets to see? At least until he can work a google search on his own?

  • i encourage people to use terms like “anti-choice” and “pro-death.” it lets me know right off the bat that i’m not going to be able to have an intelligent conversation with them.

    • Seriously. It’s as bad as the ignorant nutjob Republicans who insist on calling it the Democrat Party.

  • Really PoP? I realize that you have to fill the blog with several posts a day, but this is supposed to be a neighborhood blog- not a place for a g’damn Holy War.

    Everyday your blog seems to jump further over the shark.

    • If you didn’t let yourself get drawn in to the skirmishing, you learned a couple things about why people tend to choose this area for protests. It’s an area rich in protest history — I remember when the Bush and Gore dueling protests were out there at the Veep’s house.

      It behooves us to discuss this for the benefit of DC newbies who don’t know the history RE the “I was molested by a Catholic Priest” man.

  • While I’m bored by this debate, I thought I’d offer the following: Once I finally execute a successful putsch, President Poon shall offer Abortions for Some, Tiny American Flags for Others.

  • I stopped reading the ‘article’ at “anti-choice”. You can do a better than that can’t you?

Comments are closed.