While reading about Forced Pregnancy Promotion sidewalk proselytizing at Canadian high schools, I was struck by a couple of quotes from one media article.
Doug Liberty, whose16-year-old daughter, Halle, was accosted by the protesters, said picketing a school at rush hour is simply dangerous. "She was approached by this person, she said she didn't want to speak to them and they got right in her face," Liberty said. "She was very irritated and upset by the whole thing."Later in the same article we hear from the 'righteous' group responsible for a multitude of anti-choice protests across the country Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform.
For Stephanie Gray, the group's director, it's all about getting the message out when the audience is there. She specifically rejected allegations students were accosted during the action. "Our team holds signs and is stationary," she said. "Our style is to be stationary and if people wish not to engage with us that is up to them."
CCBR is the Canadian farm team of this American group CBR, who calls them CBR-Canada and has a Stephanie Gray video featured on their front page. There are a lot of things to be addressed about them and their preferred fellow travellers but I want to address that talking point of who's accosting whom. Free speech for the picketers? To the letter of the law. For the students? Not so much. The words of a teacher at one of the schools picketed...
"Obviously," he says, "I believe that people have a freedom of speech but, you know, something that one of the kids said was that: the students actually don't get to choose to go to school. So on one hand there's freedom of speech, but on the other hand there's [the fact that] kids actually aren't free to avoid those messages" — giant posters of dead fetuses displayed "prominently" in front of their school.and...
"I think telling girls who find themselves in difficult situations, who have to make difficult choices, I think calling them a murderer, is an act of violence," he says. "I think putting a focus on women's bodies and increasing women's shame is an act of violence. And I think doing that in a space that students are forced to be in is potentially an act of violence."Ok, that's directly targeting legally juvenile Canadian high school students -at- their schools. What about actual medical clinics and hospitals that include abortion among their services? Let's go for the gusto. Let's hear from the US, the legal environment CBR/CCBR also feel is too liberal in allowing utero-humans control over their bodies, but at least would be an improvement over the professed Netherworld of Casual Murder and Indifference To SufferingTM that is Canada.
From Shakesville blog, a guest post by a clinic escort:
Sometime this summer, the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of buffer zones around abortion clinics. Buffer zones keep protesters out of the immediate vicinity of the clinic, and allow patients and staff to safely access clinics. Many of them are fairly small—15 to 30 feet wide. Opponents of buffer zones claim that they infringe on free speech: If people want to talk to the clients of abortion clinics, if they want to protest the operations of the clinic, it is their constitutional right to do so. The figurehead of this opposition is Ellen McCullen, a charming grandmother of four who claims she just wants to "walk and talk gently, lovingly," with clinic clients.Sound familiar? Read on. Lovingly, I don't think it means what she or CCBR think it means. They can claim the words, they can claim empathy, they can claim Morality(whatever that means to them) but how they walk the talk is where people need to pay attention.
PS: You know what's odd? I can't define any difference between Anti-Reproductive Freedom promoters who'd force people to serve their sexual fears and the Westboro Baptist Church's free speech protests, yet the WBC draws far greater international condemnation of their aggressive crusade of lies and cruelty condemning human sexual rights. You know what's odder? I'm not even sure the WBC has ever picketed schools or threatened to picket schools, without there being a shooting at one first.