Post # 1
Apparently we’re supposed to get a decision about this soon, maybe it’s already happened and I haven’t found it?
In Massachusetts, there is a 35-foot “buffer zone” around a clinic from the edge of the property, where no protester may enter. This is due to previous attacks and the feeling by patients that they are unsafe with people being allowed to get close.
Protest groups have brought the case to the Supreme Court that the buffer zone is a violation of their first amendment rights and they should be allowed to “sidewalk counsel” as close as they like. They said that nobody will listen to them from 35 feet away, and they can’t properly talk to patients.
My feeling: Uh, duh, that’s the point, to stop you from harassing people who are exercising their legal right to medical services (which may or may not be abortion, could be birth control or genetic testing or mammograms or any number of other things). Free speech means you get to stand in the public square and talk and if someone feels like listening, fine. It doesn’t mean you get to corner and stalk a captive audience. If you don’t like it, complain to whoever attacked a clinic and ruined it for the rest of you.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, do you think people should be allowed to protest as close as they want, or do you think patients have the right to a little personal space while they’re walking in/out?
Bonus: Do you have the same opinion about other businesses? Imagine it’s a McDonalds, and vegetarian health foodies are standing outside screaming at diners, or something like that… personally I think a 35-foot protesting buffer zone outside nearly any business is a sound idea, and clearly delineates the difference between protesting and harassment.
Post # 3
They have no right to harass people seeking medical treatment. they are interfering with peoples rights to privacy and medical treatment. they are not ” counciling” anyone. they use fear tactics and intimidation. Until each and every one if them is legally signed up to adopt they need to keep their mouths shut IMO.
Post # 4
I am fairly stanchly pro life, but find that people who protest like this do far more harm than good. I show my stance by supporting groups that help women make a different choice but it still needs to be a choice, not a bumch of raving lunatics who scare them off. Also it makes no sense to me because a fraction of what Pp does is abortion, more is testing and treating and BC which I am all for so girls dont get to the point of needing the option of an abortion. As soon as Dh and I are finacially stable and finish school we will also be foster/adoptive parents. I believe one should be part of the solution not the problem.
Post # 5
Even when they have adopted all the unwanted children in the world they should still keep their mouths shut.
Post # 6
I think it is perfectly reasonable to personally be pro-life, but when it comes to this issue, I think religious/political activists are truly abhorrent. Sure, it’s fine to help women understand their options, but once they have made a difficult decision it is incredibly self-absorbed and self-righteous to judge or coerce them. This is a prime example of ways in which religion can be insidious.
Post # 7
@ms-valentine: exactly. People need to mind their own m f ing business
Post # 8
We have protestors outside of our local PP. The clinic has an 8′ tall fence and gates around it (we’re in a college town), and the protestors MUST stay on the sidewalk outside the fence. They may not approach any car going in to or leaving the clinic, so long as the car is behind the gate. Our local office doesn’t even do abortions, so protesting there is useless.
Post # 9
No they shouldn’t be able to protest on what is almost always private property. I’m pro choice and protesters do more harm then good for the cause. I’d be more open to hearing their argument if thRy weren’t so aggressive and obnoxious about it though I still wouldnt change my Stance. I think it’s a lost cause for them and they’re wasting their time.
Post # 10
One of my close friends manages a PP and the stories she tells me are awful.
When I was 19, my then boyfriend cheated on me and so I went to get some STD testing done. There were protestors and one got RIGHT in my face and told me the devil was going to eat my soul from the outside in and then shoved me towards the door. Thankfully, the police were already there and she asked me if I wanted to press charges. I said no, that karma will kick her butt later and the police officer laughed and high fived me.
“Religious” groups like this make my skin crawl. They do nothing at all but look like fools and make ALL Christians look like evil hypocrits.
I agree that having a 35 foot buffer zone between ANY business is a good idea. Some wackodoodles take this stuff wayyyyyyy too far. If that same psycho would have gotten in my face now, I can asure you that I would be a lot more forceful about it as opposed to back when I was 19.
Post # 11
@vorpalette: Here they march right in front of the Womens hospital, it’s not illegal at all. WTF right?
Post # 12
@chasesgirl: I find it interesting that you say you are pro-life but then go on to say that women should have a choice. To me, that means you are pro-choice! I think that the big mistake many people who call themselves “pro-life” make is assuming that pro-choice means pro-abortion, which is absolutely untrue. I, like pretty much everyone else I would assume, think that abortion is a sad thing and fewer would be better. However, I think that women should always have the choice, and I think we should go about reducing the number of abortions by supporting birth control and family planning, not by restricting abortions. And I think you are absolutely right about those people doing more harm than good, both to the women they harrass and to their own cause.
I would be very upset if the court overturned that provision. I hate seeing those people out there, harrassing women who are either there for something totally unrelated, or have just made an incredibly difficult and emotional decision. Sometimes I see people protesting outside the PP on Commonwealth Ave in Boston- certainly appearing to be closer than 35′. However, I think in order to be 35′ away, you would have to be in the street! I wonder how it is legal for them to protest there…
Post # 13
I think it’s ridiculous that a buffer zone is even needed.
Post # 14
XD If I was at a clinic for a service and someone came at my face, Id punch them.
Post # 15
As far as I know FACE is still on the books. It seems to me that the buffer zones make it much easier to enforce.