Friday, June 27, 2014

The US supreme court's abortion buffer zone ruling protects a gauntlet of horror

Thursday's ruling may not eradicate all buffer zones overnight, but it gives protection to those who need it least. Photograph: Rogelio V. Solis / AP
Abortion clinics are not safe places — anti-choicers have ensured that — and if women are going to be free from harassment, the fight must go on.

Jessican Valenti, The Guardian, Thursday 26 June 2014 13.19 EDT

Imagine trying to walk into a building, trying to get a medical treatment – and someone screams at you. Someone is two inches from your face – two feet from the front door – and that someone is videotaping you, calling you a whore. There's ketchup poured in the snowbanks around you, made to look like spurted blood. You try to take a step forward, but people block your way, yelling that you're going to be "mother to a dead baby". They hold signs in your faces, whisper "murderer" in your ear as you pass. Maybe they shove you.

Don't believe portrayals to the contrary – from anti-choice activists and the news media – that these kinds of protestors outside abortion clinics are not grandmas praying, or kindly "counselors" who just want to talk reasonably to women. These people wait outside clinics to shame and to harass; they are there to scare.

Despite the horrifying experiences of women across the country trying to obtain abortions, the US supreme court ruled unanimously on Thursday that a Massachusetts law providing a 35-foot buffer zone outside of clinics is unconstitutional, and violates protesters' first amendment right to engage in "personal, caring, consensual conversations" with women seeking abortions.

(More here.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Steve Kellmeyer said...

Hey, if you don't want horror, don't have an abortion.

10:04 AM  

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