Anti-choice protesters outside North Dakota’s only abortion clinic are whimpering that a lone a counter-protester mocking them with “Hail Satan” signs are frightening them.
Local ABC affiliate WDAY-TV reports that: “Almost every day for the past week, Nik Severson has been counter-protesting the protesters at the Red River Women’s Clinic,” and both groups are complaining that the other is taking things too far.
Severson has been holding up signs for the past week reading “Hail Satan,” and mockingly referring to the anti-choice protesters as “women’s rights experts.”
Last week a protester sent WDAY-TV a video, telling the station that Severson’s comments were making the group feel “uneasy,” but Severson maintains his signs are sarcastic, adding that he hasn’t made any threats or untoward moves towards the group.
“I feel like someone needs to have a voice for the women,” Severson said, adding: “It’s a hard decision for these women to make this decision. And they don’t need any more hateful messages. There’s pictures of dead baby fetuses out here and it’s just a circus out here.”
Protesters, such as Bartholomew Schumacher, say he’s antagonizing them telling WDAY-TV that: “He just wouldn’t engage. He just kept saying we’re oppressive white men who want to control women’s lives and stuff. I don’t want that. I just want protection of the innocent.”
However, Severson says the anti-choice protesters are the ones taking things too far.
“I’ve had things shoved in my face, people walk in front of me… Now, I’ve had death threats. I’ve had people bring dogs out here and say the dog’s going to bite me,” Severson said.
Severson also says protesters have called the police on him five times the last week, but police say that neither group is interested in filing a formal complaint, and none of the confrontations have given them any reason to expect violence.
The Red River Women’s Clinic took to their Facebook page, addressing the news report by WDAY-TV, posting:
Guess what, friends? The beauty of the first amendment means that you get to stand in public and say what you want to say, as long as you don’t threaten anyone. Apparently, the protestors don’t like it when someone gives them a taste of their own medicine. They call the police. Who can’t do anything. Because, AMERICA.
In an article about how abortions providers are pushing back against anti-choice protesters, Common Dreams reports that: The Red River Clinic in Fargo, North Dakota is “is having volunteer escorts come once a week and chalk affirming, powerful messages onto sidewalks, do drawings and uplift the space,” according to Heather Ault, a visual artist and graphic designer who founded the art activism campaign 4,000 Years for Choice.
Ault, continued, telling Common Dreams:
Independent clinics provide the majority of abortion care in our country and independent clinics are closing at alarmingly high rate. Independent clinics are just creative, innovative, and true heroes in their communities providing abortion care.