#40DaysOfTreats – Showing Pro-Choice Support In The UK – With Cake!

A counter protest for 40 days doesn’t seem right – why draw attention to them? Instead, lets do something for the people who are probably most affected and could use the boost.

Let’s give the nice people at BPAS 40 days of treats - Okay, we’ve got to do something about this - 40daysoftreats.tumblr.com.

You know something that may not often come to mind with anti-abortion protesters and prayer groups? They can legally ‘block’ the way to providers… and make it very, very uncomfortable for those going to those services, let alone the people who work there. We’ve had members of the Perth Atheists ponder how best to tackle similar anti-abortion protests here (not unlike the ’40 Days for Life’ vigils outside the British Pregnancy Advisory Services).

Now? Although this is a story heralding from the UK and we’ve never met, I recognised the name of Carmen D’Cruz (http://www.carmenego.com - who has appeared at a number of skeptical events in London – including Westminster Skeptics, which is a great gathering!) and I really, really like the positive spin it makes in regards to counter-protests. Indeed, there shall be cake – with the  The Forty Days Of Treats Website!

The Guardian – Cakes and the right to choose: Unhappy about a pro-life campaign outside the BPAS, two friends decided to act – in a peculiarly British way

They were especially keen to support the charity after the recent Nadine Dorries amendment aimed at stripping abortion-providers of their role in counselling women. Instead of holding a rival protest and further upsetting women who went to the clinic, Carmen D’Cruz and Liz Lutgendorff decided to “express our opinion through cake” – and 40 Days of Treats was born.

For every day the pro-lifers were praying outside, D’Cruz and Lutgendorff vowed they would cheer up staff inside, and launched their idea on Twitter and Tumblr. “We thought it would be nice to show lots of us appreciate the work they are doing. It’s not combative, or confronting the protesters in a way that no one would want,” Lutgendorff explained.

I’ll be conducting an interview with ’40 Days’ for the Token Skeptic podcast, which should be out very soon. You can follow the 40 Days Of Treats on their official Twitter account at http://twitter.com/40daysoftreats - and Tweet your support (or even send treats!) to @clare_bpas@edforchoice @marie_stopes @abortion_rights @FPACharity!

Image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Aliasalpha

    Hmm, its hard to resist the idea of cake and I have to say there does seem little more british than seeing something they want to change and responding with morning tea, simultaneously civilised and slightly mad.

    You’d think there’d be laws designed to stop people blocking up businesses & public buildings, loitering or breach of the peace (they do it for more ethical protestors). Hell have them declared as parked vehicles and get them towed

    • Kylie Sturgess
      • Aliasalpha

        Nah there should be a sillier alternative that doesn’t involve getting a nice tank all dirty with moron juice.

        Maybe rent a cherry picker and dangle enormous keys (each the size of a person) from the bucket then move it up and down quickly so they jangle. It’ll be like distracting a baby but bigger, more impractical and show that a farcical crowd can be met with an even more farcical response.

  • San Ban

    LOVE this! Problem is that in USA it’s VERY difficult to gain access to clinics, for good reason! They’re also very suspicious of bulky parcels in the mail. I’m putting my head to the problem of getting some treats to my local Planned Parenthood clinic.

  • martha

    Does this 40 days thing go on in the US? I posted the following over at Crommunist, and I just wondered if this advertising supplement I found was part of it:

    In the coffee shop of my small midwestern town, inserted in the local state college’s school newspaper, I found a huge, full color advertising supplement from the “Human Life Alliance.” It was an assemblage of lies & propaganda far beyond anything I remember seeing even at my Catholic alma mater, but very slick & probably convincing to the uninformed. I know a lot of university and college people read FTB, have you seen this thing on your campuses? It’s titled “And Justice for All.” Isn’t that sweet?

    • Kylie Sturgess

      I don’t know – but I’ll be interviewing one of the people behind the 40 Days of Treats tomorrow for my podcast and I’ll ask? :) If anyone else has some questions for them (like San’s, as that’s an excellent point about ‘what if people are suspicious – what else could be done that won’t seem to be a threatening parcel?) let me know! :)

      • Aliasalpha

        Ask if they’ve considered developing a machine to shrink women who need an abortion down to the size of a cupcake so they can be safely smuggled in. 2 women enter with cake, 25 women come out later confusing the hell out of the protestors