ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of apolitical volunteers in Maryland disarmed an anti-choice protest with peaceful response, giving rise to the formation of Voice of Choice as a counter-attack option for victims of protest harassment.
Voice of Choice began when a group of anti-abortion protesters attempted to pressure Todd Stave, a Maryland entrepreneur who owns a building leased by a women's health center where abortions are performed. "They showed up at my daughter's school on back-to-school night, with a banner with my picture and phone number," Mr. Stave explained. "I started getting phone calls and emails from individuals who said they were praying for me and demanded that I shut down the clinic." What the protesters had not been told was that Mr. Stave had no legal recourse against the clinic. "I couldn't shut it down even if I wanted to," he remarked.
Maddened by the organized harassment and inappropriate (albeit legal) picketing at a schoolyard, Mr. Stave's friends and neighbors mounted a response by returning protesters' calls and emails. "We gave them a taste of their own medicine," Stave explained. What began as a few friends and neighbors grew exponentially until thousands of volunteers were contacting the anti-choice protesters who had harassed Mr. Stave. The polite calls and emails neutralized the protesters who had jumped on a bandwagon seemingly without regard for the civility or efficacy of their efforts.
Emboldened by their success and exasperated by the unchecked, extremist tactics employed by anti-choice activists, a core group of Mr. Stave's supporters has joined together to from Voice of Choice, a grass-roots platform for unpolarized, pro-choice social action. Through Voice of Choice, Stave and others plan to help victims of anti-choice harassment fight back through legal means, including civil litigation, organized calling and email protests, and mass or social media campaigns designed to expose and discredit individuals who engage in bullying tactics under cover of anti-choice activism.
About Voice of Choice:
Voice of Choice is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of anti-choice protest harassment. To volunteer or donate, visit www.vochoice.org .
SOURCE Voice of Choice