THE BLOG
07/19/2013 12:01 pm ET Updated Sep 18, 2013

Rights and Realities

Time: Now, and the past 30 years

Setting: Day

Characters: Me, and Right to Life Protestors ("Protestor One" and "Protestor Two", collectively "Protestors")

(A street corner in the middle of a city, or outside of a suburban clinic. White Protestors with signs, and graphic pictures of fetuses and/or smiling white babies. A small table holds more graphic pictures, a petition and flyers.

I begin to walk by. PROTESTOR TWO sizes ME up. Sometimes I walk by, and sometimes I stop or the PROTESTORS stop ME. If I pause--)

PROTESTOR ONE
(Holding out a clipboard)
Would you like to sign our petition ? Are you interested in saving the unborn?

(I stop, and take a deep breath.)

ME
The unborn?

PROTESTOR TWO
Yes. The unborn babies. We believe in the right to life.

ME
Why are you protesting here?

(PROTESTOR ONE aggressively offers ME a brochure. I begin to reach out, glance down quickly, and then let it drop to the ground.)

PROTESTOR TWO
You don't have to take it.

(PROTESTOR TWO picks up the brochure.)

ME
I know I don't.

PROTESTOR ONE
Excuse me?

ME
I said 'I know I don't.' Why are you protesting here?

PROTESTOR ONE
There's lots of foot traffic, and it's always busy.

ME
You protest where it's busy?

PROTESTOR ONE
We protest everywhere.

ME
I've never seen you in North Philly.

PROTESTOR TWO
Oh. Do you live there?

ME
Does that matter?

(PROTESTOR TWO confers with PROTESTOR ONE. They stare at ME.)

PROTESTOR TWO
We'd like to talk to you about stopping the murders of unborn children. Would you like some information?

ME
Not really.

PROTESTOR TWO
Oh. I thought maybe you were interested in helping us.

ME
You're right to life, right?

PROTESTOR TWO
Of course.

PROTESTOR ONE
Yes.

ME
Does your group protest at prisons, you know Death Row?

PROTESTOR TWO
Well, I---

PROTESTOR ONE
I never have, but I think some people might.

ME
They might?

PROTESTOR ONE
....Sir...sir....

(PROTESTOR ONE exits holding out a pamphlet, chasing a pedestrian.)

PROTESTOR TWO
We're not a monolithic group, but we come together on this issue.

ME
I see. Does your group protest in low income communities of color?

(Beat. Beat.)

PROTESTOR TWO
Do you know someone we should contact there?

ME
Where?

PROTESTOR TWO
In low-income communities of color.

ME
No.

PROTESTOR TWO
Would you like to protest there?

ME
No.

PROTESTOR TWO
Oh. I thought you wanted some of our information to distribute.

ME
Why would I want to do that?

(PROTESTOR ONE returns, brochure still in hand.)

PROTESTOR ONE
Do what? Are you interested in stopping the murder of unborn children? It's tragic.

PROTESTOR TWO
She wants to give our information to low income communities of color.

ME
No, I don't.

PROTESTOR TWO
I'm sorry. I thought that was what you wanted.

ME
I want you to be honest.

PROTESTOR TWO
We are honest. We just don't know very much about those areas.

PROTESTOR ONE
Did you change your mind about signing the petition?

ME
Not at all.

PROTESTOR TWO
(to PROTESTOR ONE)
Maybe she wants to read it before she signs.

PROTESTOR ONE
(to PROTESTOR TWO)
That petition has small lettering. It's not very easy to read. Where is that other handout?

(PROTESTOR ONE looks through the papers on the table. I begin to walk away. PROTESTOR TWO catches up and walks beside me.)

PROTESTOR TWO
Just a second. We have more information for you.

ME
I don't think you have what I want.

PROTESTOR TWO
We have some sheets with statistics. The abortion figures are horrible.

(PROTESTOR ONE plucks a sheet from the table, shaking his/her head back and forth.)

ME
I don't want that kind of information.

PROTESTOR TWO
You don't want to read about these babies being slaughtered? I see you have a cross around your neck.

(PROTESTOR ONE continues holding the statistic sheet, then shakes it for emphasis. I glance down at it.)

ME
Who compiled these statistics?

PROTESTOR TWO
I'm not sure. We get them from our national headquarters.

ME
There's no breakdown by race or income?

PROTESTOR ONE
No. Babies are all the same.

ME
How about a geographical breakdown, demographics?

PROTESTOR TWO
The unborn everywhere are all precious gifts from God.

(PROTESTOR ONE shakes the statistic sheet again.)

PROTESTOR ONE
You can keep it.

ME
No thanks.

(I begin to walk away.)

PROTESTOR TWO
We might be able to get more information for you if you're interested. If you change your mind--
(I stop and turn back.)

ME
I won't. I just wish you were more honest.

PROTESTOR ONE
We are honest! What is happening right now in clinics all over America is a tra--

ME
You're racist. I do think you're right to life, but you're right to White life.

PROTESTOR TWO
We're not racist. We love all unborn babies.

ME
Just babies?

PROTESTOR ONE
We want to save the unborn.

ME
What about the born? Do you help them thrive? Make sure they have shelter and food? Love? An education?

PROTESTOR ONE
We protest against abortion. We don't address those other areas.

ME
Why not?

PROTESTOR ONE
I don't know where you're going with this---

(I begin to walk away, finger my cross, and then turn back.)

ME
Do you protest everywhere?

PROTESTOR TWO
What?

ME
Do you protest in Hasidic neighborhoods? Muslim neighborhoods? Do you protest in Chinatown?

(THE PROTESTORS look at one another.)

ME (CONT'D)
OK. Maybe I've misspoken.

PROTESTOR TWO
So you would like some material? There are numbers in the brochure you can call. Someone can probably answer your questions.

(PROTESTOR TWO holds out another brochure. I step back and watch it fall to the ground.)

ME
No thanks. Look. You're racist, but you're not pro-life. You're pro-White life... and anti-any life that's not White and Christian.

PROTESTOR TWO
You don't understand. We speak for those who can't speak for themselves.

PROTESTOR ONE
This isn't about race or any particular religion.

ME
This is about everything.

(I brush past PROTESTOR ONE AND PROTESTOR TWO. I walk away.)

THE BEGINNING

Sometimes I get an overpriced coffee, and sometimes I don't; but, I always make sure I've recently donated to NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

Mona Washington is a playwright. She is tired of fighting the same battles over and over, but can't think of a better solution.