Today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear a challenge to a law that protects women seeking reproductive-health care in Massachusetts - including checkups, birth control, and abortion care - from enduring violence, and harassment by anti-choice protesters outside of reproductive-health clinics.See, it's a free speechy thing.
Massachusetts has a 35-foot buffer zone (the distance of two parking spaces) that blocks anti-choice protesters from approaching women accessing health care. But anti-choice forces are fighting the buffer zone so that they can get even closer when shaming and harassing women entering these clinics.
Here are some glimpses into what is considered "free speech" by USian fetus fetishists.
And of course, there's this sublime expression of "sidewalk counselling".
Here's Robin Marty:
Ultimately, if the Supreme Court strikes down the buffer zone in McCullen v. Coakley, every clinic sidewalk could potentially turn into the sidewalk in Louisville [described in the piece], where anti-abortion protesters can openly chase clinic patients, “exorcise” escorts, and block doors — not with the metal or even human chains they used in the nineties, but with the emotional force of 100 bodies lining the street, shouting that you are a murderer.We here at DJ! keep an eye on what's happening down south. Because we have these dangerous nutters here too.
That type of “freedom of speech” won’t just be condoned; it will be actively encouraged at every clinic in every state in the country. The freedom to determine if you choose to carry a pregnancy to term, however? That could become a thing of the past.
I believe that our USian cousins dropped the ball on abortion with the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. They thought they'd won.
We in Canada had to keep fighting until 1988, all the while watching the violence and backlash in the States. Pro-choice USians have been on defence ever since 1973.
But now some good news. They plan to play offense in 2014.
States may have become the laboratory for advancing an anti-choice agenda, but [NARAL president Ilyse] Hogue said they also present the best opportunity for turning the tide. Although NARAL has yet to identify specific races to target Hogue expects to mount a full political program including media and field campaigns in as many as half a dozen states, and to be involved in dozens of others. Exposing anti-choice incumbents who try to repackage themselves in light of the GOP’s efforts to rebrand itself more women-friendly will likely be a key strategy. Nineteen anti-choice governors are up for re-election, including Sam Brownback.
In Canada, we've never stopped playing offense.