Our Trip to the Democratic National Convention- Part 1

An Open Letter to the Anti-Abortion Protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte:

Hi. You might not know me. I was the Mom who was wheeled by with her two small children yesterday somewhere between 3-4pm eastern. My beautiful and smart-as-a-whip little girl was on my lap, as my father-in-law pushed my wheelchair. My son was holding his grandmother’s hand and my hand on the wheelchair as we crossed the street onto your corner.

We needed to enter the convention center to get our credentials to see the President speak and there was no way around you.

I saw you when we parked. I mentally calculated how to avoid your area. Not because I have any trouble teaching my children about abortion, or about differing opinions, but because they did not need to see 9-foot tall posters of dead fetuses while you screamed about me being a murderer through your megaphone. Scare tactics meant to frighten me and my kids.

Headed into Time Warner Cable Arena #dnc2012

On our first trip past, we avoided you. I gave myself a Mom pat on the back, but then quickly learned we had to doubled back and head right through you in order to get where we were going.

So I did what any Mom would do and explained to the kids, quickly, that we needed to walk near ‘a bunch of idiots’ who had ‘scary pictures’ and were yelling ‘very mean things.’ I then had them both cover their eyes.

We nearly made it past you, but my son, who was walking, had to look up every so often so as not to trip.

He happened to look up just as you put one of your horrible, misleading, evil, shocking for the purpose of shocking, posters in front of him.

He recoiled and yelled out. I held his hand tighter and said ‘It’s ok, we’re nearly through’ and we went as fast as we could past you.

Mom, why would they even do that? What is WRONG with those people?

They think they can change people’s minds about abortion. They think they can get women to give up control of their own bodies by shocking them with those pictures. They think if they are loud and they scare you they will get you to vote their way.

Mom, that is horrible. They are horrible. I HATE those people.

I don’t like them very much either honey. And normally I would tell you not to hate anyone, but I think in this case it’s ok. These really are some awful people.

So you see, guy with megaphone, lady holding baby, men with signs…while you have every right to be there and every right to scream and shout and shock your message from that corner- it didn’t work.

My daughter was horrified to the point of hiding her face, my son was disgusted and angry. He was angry you were trying to get people to vote your way by showing them those pictures. And once I explained to him what he was looking at threw his squinted eyes, he became even more angry you were flashing those fetus photos for the world to see.

But Mom, I thought you said girls had a real hard time with that, and it was sad. Why would they think it is easy?

Honestly honey? Because they are jerks. I know that’s a bad word…but they are. They didn’t care that you saw those photos, in fact, you saw how that man tried very hard to get in front of you and show it to you.

Yeah, that made me sad.

Do you want to talk about it?

A little. I’m sad those people are so mean Mom. And I’m never voting for what they want because they are so mean.

There you have it protesters. If you were out there to try to change the hearts and minds of those willing to even slightly consider your point of view, you failed miserably. As it turns out, you may have made sure to have driven away an open-minded young man.

And for all your talk of loving babies and children, you certainly showed zero love for the ones right in front of your face as we passed your way. You needlessly frightened little children, the same children you swear you care about so much you are compelled to stand on a street corner to preach about their souls and the soul of their mother.

Consider yourself at least two more votes down.
Oh, and you are still jerks. And I’m using my nice words.

Erin Kotecki Vest
Mom, Wife, Angry Democrat working hard to keep abortion safe and legal


  1. I wanted to cover my eyes and run when I saw those posters. I found them so distasteful (to put it mildly) and showed no reverence for life or respect for those babies and their mothers. Abominable. And the sad thing is those jerks were too ignorant to even see the irony…or even know what irony is.

  2. Because they embody the true essence of the word, namely, being both wholly unnecessary and possibly dangerous, I feel confident in using this word to describe the protesters who did their damndest to deliberately harm and upset your children: douches.

    I’m sorry you had to deal with that and hope the words you heard inside the building made up for that bad experience, in part.

  3. So sorry your children were subjected to that – it’s disgusting that “adults” would wave those hideous (and misleading) posters in front of your kids. You’ve clearly done a good job since they had reasoned responses.You are an awesome mom! Blessing to you and your family.

  4. I love the way you teach and talk to you children, Erin. You’re such a good mom! xoxo

  5. Erin,

    I read your blog regularly, but I’ve never commented. I wanted to take the time to comment today, to say that just when it gets too scary, when the prospects facing our country, our kids, get too unbelievable, I read something like this. And I am relieved and thankful that women like you are raising your children to be amazing, thoughtful, caring people, and I take comfort in the fact that they will one day take over the world. My daughter is only 2, so your son and daughter will be who she follows, who she emulates, who she works with to move the country forward. And I am consoled.

    Thank you.

  6. I’m so sorry you and your kids had to go through that. I know how sweet and sensitive they both are and those posters must have been horrific through their eyes. I’m glad you could use it as a ‘teachable moment’ and make something good out of it. You’re certainly a better person than I would have been. I would have asked them to their faces whether they thought they were “helping the children already here by traumatizing them for life.” I saw the Instagram feed from the DNC so I know you and your family had an awesome experience overall. Tell future president Hala that I’m trying to make a campaign sticker for her.

  7. This baffles me still. I’ve never understood why people have to resort to nastiness or unnecessarily cruel tactics in politics or religion, in offices, in marriages. Why is it so hard to have civil discourse? Why is it so hard to discuss things without saying someone who differs with your beliefs is outright wrong? I am literally confused. Believe what you want, voice your opinion, explain that opinion to me, but understand if I disagree. I WANT to hear others’ beliefs and I want to respect them for having them, believing in them, voicing them. At the same time, if I disagree, I want the same repsect.

    What I love, though, is that your children will be taught about abortion, allowed to make their own decisions about what they think is right or wrong and know that scare tactics won’t work to get their opinions across.

  8. I think it’s awesome that you took your kids to the convention. What an experience that must be for a child. Definitely something they won’t forget. I think it’s so important for kids to grow up being part of the political process. Kudos to you for not beating the crap out of the crazy protester, too!


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