I was reading a blog article by Patch blogger, Maria Houser Conzemius, this afternoon and learned that there were anti-abortion activists along the bike route late this week:
Several pro-lifers came by with huge, horrifying photos of aborted, mangled fetuses proudly displayed on the side of their vehicle. An elderly man whipped out a megaphone and started proselytizing against abortion on the other side of the street from a vendor who'd set up to raise money for a kids' basketball camp. There were little kids with her, kids under 10, and they were mesmerized by the huge photos of the mangled fetuses.Maria didn't clarify where this happened, but another source indicated that it happened in Garrison (unless that was a separate incident).
"Don't look!" their mother yelled at them and told them to go back to the back of the truck. Of course, the kids looked anyway. They'd never seen anything so horrifying, and neither had I.
The mother told the pro-lifers that her kids didn't need to see that. Bicyclists yelled at them as they passed. Both the mother and I walked across the street to give them a piece of our mind(s).
But the proselytizers were filled with self-righteousness, creepy, scary self-righteousness, given the offensive and disgusting nature of their large photos.
I wonder how many other advocacy groups show up to protest this or push for that along the RAGBRAI routes? When I went to RAGBRAI, the bikers were mostly interested in beer tents, food, showers, and sleeping quarters. I question the effectiveness of such tactics. It's not like it's outside of an abortion clinic where someone might get frightened away from the clinic by the images of aborted bits of fetus. It's a statewide bike ride filled with people who likely are not struggling with a crisis pregnancy.