It’s Time to Give Anti-Choice Zealots A Taste of Their Own Medicine

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The concept of being allowed to say anything, anytime, and anywhere is a fundamental right in America and, indeed, most of the civilized world. Although the concept of vocal harassment is commonly understood as offensive behavior intended to disturb or upset another person repetitively, it is a fundamental right protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there are no bounds on the freedom of speech regardless the speech’s offensive nature or the damage inflicted on the recipient of harassing speech. One often wonders why the Constitution’s framers did not include a guarantee of freedom from harassing speech in the Bill of Rights to protect innocent Americans from those abusing the freedom of speech, but they likely never imagined good Christian people harassing other Americans seeking medical services like help getting pregnant, cancer screenings, abortions, contraceptives, or family planning assistance.

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled, unanimously, to uphold the right of anti-abortion advocates, prospective murderers, abortion clinic bombers (domestic terrorists), opponents of Planned Parenthood, and anti-women’s rights groups to get up close and personal with women seeking medical services to harass, disturb, and upset them. It is not that the women haters were muzzled before the High Court’s ruling, they just had to stay 35′ away from the women entering Planned Parenthood where they could hardly block the entrance, spit in the women’s faces, and wave “fetus signs” in their faces while screaming all manner of harassing insults; what the anti-women’s rights groups consider both freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

There was a good reason for the 35′ buffer zone around family planning buildings, but according to the Supreme Court protecting women’s entry to clinics from violent anti-choice advocates that resulted in the deaths of two people in Massachusetts is not a good enough reason for a “safety zone.” Interestingly, the Supreme Court has never found the buffer zone around the High Court building unconstitutional, but that is likely because the justices are predominately male. The Court said that law enforcement could politely ask the screamers to kindly move aside and let the women pass unmolested to seek medical attention, but that is as unlikely as anti-women’s choice advocates not screaming and spitting at the women. In fact, law enforcement typically takes the side of anti-choice protestors because they are “exercising their free speech and religious freedom” according to an incident in California about five years ago.

A California opinion columnist for a local newspaper was driving to get a routine blood test at a local laboratory and inadvertently drove into the wrong medical complex. However, because there was a one-way entrance, the journalist had to exit through another driveway that anti-choice protestors were blocking. The small group approached the vehicle, screaming “baby murderer” and struck the vehicle with a “fetus sign” and a scuffle ensued. After confiscating and destroying the fetus sign, law enforcement rolled up and despite witnesses verifying the journalist’s story that his exit was blocked and his vehicle assaulted with a fetus sign, they warned him that he violated the protestors Constitutional rights, took down his driver’s license number, and told him to stay away and “stop harassing Christians.” Fortunately they did not force the man to pay for the fetus sign.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right that is not reserved for religious extremists protesting dead soldiers’ funerals, or anti-choice protesters harassing and berating women seeking medical care; or atheists protesting, screaming, and waving signs at anti-choice protestors entering their place of worship. Remember, a buffer zone is only Constitutional around the Supreme Court and that leaves every church in America open for people to exercise their constitutionally-protected freedom of speech and express their opposition to a world of bible-based affronts to gays, women, non-believers, and advocates for democracy. In fact, there is no reason why any American who supports separation of church and state, public school without religion, women’s right to choose, same-sex marriage, science, and freedom from religious tyranny should not be protesting fundamentalist Christians entering churches mercilessly.

Freedom of speech goes both ways and it is high time to give back to religious extremists what they dole out against women with impunity; and Supreme Court approval. One understands the Court’s adhering to the First Amendment’s free speech clause, but it is beyond the pale they ignored the reason why screaming, spitting, fetus sign-waving women haters were restricted from getting right in the faces of women seeking medical care. So it is reasonable they will ignore the anti-choice protestors’ cries that their religious freedom is being abridged by Americans getting up-close-and-personal and berating them incessantly every Sunday morning as they attempt to maneuver through anti-theocracy protestors exercising their freedom of speech.

 

70 Replies to “It’s Time to Give Anti-Choice Zealots A Taste of Their Own Medicine”

  1. Well maybe women should stop being so ashamed of the fact they are having an abortion. They need to stand tough and not let these lunatics get to them. They aren’t doing anything illegal (yet) so should keep their heads up and their wits about them. We can’t let these rabid gasbags decide how we feel about a medical procedure. Stand tough ladies. Do not feel embarrassed or intimidated.I can speak from experience.

  2. And you being all knowing can determine each women’s medical needs? Here is an idea which people like you rarely have. You don’t like abortion, then don’t get one. See how simple that is

  3. I have often wondered why atheist or prochoice voters don’t picket churches. Is it because atheist or prochoice voters have more class?

  4. Nicole here is the reality of it all, If YOUR not pregnant then abortion is none of YOUR business! Anti-choice/ Pro-lifers are only concerned with THEIR power over YOU! The fetus is nothing to them only THEIR POWER! is the issue. Even that woman who started this whole mess by sticking her nose into where it DID NOT BELONG! in Mass. She is a complete fraud like all Anti-Choicers and Pro-Lifers. They are mental!

  5. I get so irritated at these psuedo religious zealots wanting to impose their will on others. Who the hell has any right to tell any woman what to do with her choices over her own body. I would bet if the roles were reversed and it was about a mans choice there would be laws up the ying yang to protect them.

    Can anyone convince me that the protesters in these lines are pure of heart and intent. I’ll answer it for you. NO. Nothing galls me more than a hypocrite.

    They want to force a woman to have a child. Then once that child is born they don’t want to provide any assistance.

    They scream pro-life. Yet their eyes glaze over at the thought of war. They drool over giving someone the death penalty. Sorry, must be the coffee.

  6. The “Pro-life” crowd is in reality pro-theocracy. This is the ugly face of theofascism. Unless we stand tall in defiance of these religious zealots, Christaliban sharia law will be coming to your home community sooner than you think. It is also long past due that the tax exempt status of religion is revoked as the current setup violates the first amendment.

  7. How is getting a pap-smear or a cancer screening for breast cancer or a routine blood test or family planning help or even pregnancy care “killing a fetus” and how is it any of YOUR business?!!! Stay out of our business and our vaginas, there’s a really big stone one in Germany, why not crawl into that one and stay there.

  8. The religious zealots religious freedom does not give them the right to try to deny everyone else’s religious freedoms. They need to mind their own business, and stop trying to deny everyone else’s religious freedoms. Abortion has nothing to do with religious freedom.

  9. You’re confused. Women aren’t ashamed of having abortions. Women are tired of being screamed at and harassed by religious zealots.

  10. In a way its too bad that we, being of sound mind have to much civility and manners to turn the table on them.

    But it will make for a feel good moment if we march and protest them going onto their churches on Sunday but no spitting. That alone shows how degraded these misfits and dregs of society who they are.

  11. Becuase we dont care if they have a religion. Not one bit. But when their religion try’s to take over our lives it is a different story

  12. Don’t be stupid Nana, I had my abortion 2 decades ago and have never regretted it once. I rarely think about it until I see you ignorant folks that dedicate your lives to a dusty old book try to tell the rest of us how to live our lives.
    These women have a right, guaranteed by the SCOTUS to terminate their unwanted pregnancy. If you and your churchie friends don’t like it, go to the polls and leave us alone.

  13. You idiot. Family planning clinics, such as the Planned Parenthood clinics, provide various cancer screenings for women; and men. They also counsel women on contraceptives to prevent UNWANTED PREGNANCIES to avoid an abortion. Further, you blatant fool, many women seek MEDICAL CARE to help them conceive. Can you not comprehend that it is none of your religious business what any woman in America decides is their own reproductive choice? Your ilk just cannot fathom it is a personal decision. If you were as religious as you feign, you would know that in your rule-book the bible, your god almighty said on several occasions that there is no living being until the fetus exits the womb and breathes air.

    Crawl back to your Dark Age religious cave and gain some perspective on the principle of butt the F*CK out of women’s lives. While you’re at it, research the term “medical care and abortion.”

  14. I would gladly contribute time and money to pro-choice organizations who:
    1) Provide support and transportation for women who must travel great distances to visit a legal abortion clinic; especially in wide-open states like Texas where it is an eight-hour or more round trip.
    2)Help cover cost of baby-sitters, lost pay, etc. incurred because of the state/church-sponsored nuisance laws.
    3) Form a group of sturdy UNARMED young men similar to the Guardian Angels to escort women through the recently-removed buffer zones and kick the shit out of these gangs of fetus-picture waving, cursing, spitting “christians” [Lower case intentional] to and from neighborhood abortion clinics.
    Then we’ll see if the bought-and-paid-for SCOTUS can come up with another ‘freedom-of-speech’ law to cover that!

  15. For all you people getting exercised about the Court’s free speech zone. No government action can be declared “unconstitutional” until somebody files a suit about it. If you don’t like the one around the Supreme Court, get the process started by suing.

  16. I am an atheist. I am a man. I believe that abortion is wrong. I also believe that it’s none of my business what someone does unless I’m directly involved ie. its my baby too. A lot of you are saying and this article too that you should go protest a church or anything else…… why? Why stoop to their level? That makes you all just as hypocritical as them. I feel that nana person is on to something, not right, but on to something. You shouldn’t care what people think. I do see your side and it makes sense. But why feed them? Ignoring a bully generally causes them to lose interest. But I’m also an anarchist and feel like you shouldn’t get welfare for the baby after its born or that welfare should exist at all, in any form. I don’t feel the oppression of anyone to be the way to deal with anything. You want to kill babies, by all means go and do it. I guess my point is, do what you want as long as it effects no one but yourself. Do let the opinion of others destroy your happy day…

  17. Nana, if i could “like” your posting more than once, i would!!!
    and to the others posting against hers? i really do think that you need to read and think about what she said again…
    she is not putting down those using the clinics, she is in support of them. but she is putting down the rabid protesters….

  18. good grief!!! if you think that abortion is the ONLY thing that goes on in a women’s health clinic or a planned parenthood facility??? then you are still living in the dark ages.

    so very much more goes on in those clinics. contrary to your way of thinking they do much good and they do save lives….

  19. Hmm…maybe more women would feel less “ashamed” if other women would stand up for them, and stop blaming them for policies that erode their rights. Women, MUST stop blaming other women. It begins in grade school and it never ends…grow up. Hold MEN accountable for a change, and stop alienating your own gender. Men are responsible for these policies, not women, and women need to spend more time defending and protecting other women. This “pass” that men are always given, is absurd. The motto of “boys will be boys” is bullsh*t, and I am tired of it, and especially tired of hearing it from other women. Use your head.

  20. One day in the near future, it will be men who will be either forced or volunteered into having a procedure that will make them sterile until they are married and ready to be fathers. Can anyone imagine that? The need for abortion will be reduced drastically. Once a man get his wife pregnant, he is to report to a medical clinic to be sterile again. If he strays from his wife and get another woman pregnant, he will be punished by being sterile permanently. What? Rabid Anti abortionists will scream big government? Loss of freedom? It’s okay for big government to forced their will on women but not men? The pro lifer protesters best be careful who they pick to scream at, spit at or touch. The would be victim could be armed. Right wing nuts aren’t the only ones that could use the stand their ground laws.

  21. I may start believing these people are really “pro-life” when they start objecting to the killing of the already-born as much as they do for the “un-born”.

  22. @Larry…I have wondered the very same thing myself. I am an atheist, in one of the worst states for being an athiest (Florida). I must admit that my patience for maintaining etiqutte is wearing thin. While I believe that the enlightened among us should absolutely turn the tables on these backwards, self-righteous, cave-dwellers; protesting churches in my state would probably get me shot. Moreover, the shooter would likely be set free on a Stand Your Ground defence. (although maybe not, since I am white).

  23. If I were a mean-spirited person I would wish upon you the loss of your job, personal wealth, general or specific health, and any other reason people avail themselves of what there is remaining of a safety net in this country. I suppose you refuse to pay taxes also? No? Hypocrite.

  24. It might SAVE the life of the mother, it might keep her from committing suicide, or hurting an unwanted child, and it is none of your business anyway

  25. I have thought about Nanas comment, and it boils down to blaming women for their feelings, this is not an appropriate reaction to what we are discussing. Women are directed to feel ashamed about their decision based on social pressure, and because of the protections given to those who wish them to feel this way. If pro-choice protesters stood out in front of clinics, this might change. However, pro-choice protesters do not, as they are well-aware that this is a personal matter, and they do not wish to disrupt the perfectly legal operations of the clinics. Picket the churches that create and uphold this type of thinking. Perhaps if these people were meant to feel “ashamed” about their way of thinking, things would change in this country.

  26. Maybe it is time for some radical offshoot of Zero Population Growth to start picketing fertility clinics.
    They could point out that if God wanted those people to have children they wouldn’t need godless science to artificially create life.
    They could shove pictures of deformed, abused and starved children in the faces of those trying to enter.
    They could point out the abortion of the unused eggs.
    Maybe a new law stating that a woman has to bear all the fertilized eggs they save. No exceptions for the health of the mother.
    Banning selective abortion if more eggs attach become viable in the woman then she wants. After all isn’t that just the same as those other people having abortions for equally frivolous reasons?
    New laws that ban any state or government benefits for family’s or children who are born with the use of fertility clinics.
    I could go on but the basic idea is turnabout is fair play.

  27. When it’s an etopic pregnancy, when the woman’s health and or life is in danger, and any other reason a woman may have for wanting the procedure. Until Viability, this is still a woman’s decision, no matter what you might think about it.

    Don’t forget that these clinics are often the only place where women can get other needed services. You are just being an arse when you harass a woman who just needs a cancer screening because she just found a lump.

  28. Pro Life = Anti food stamps, Anti Welfare Anti Immigration, Anti Housing, Anti LIFE. It also equals PRO WAR, PRO Gun, PRO NRA. George Orwell couldn’t have made this up.

  29. The clinic protests are about the protesters’ egos and attempts to control and judge others. They are not about the fetus at all.

    If they were, the protesters would use the most effective way to achieve their alleged end (the woman not having an abortion).

    If a woman goes to a clinic for medical care other than an abortion and has to run a gauntlet of screaming, threatening, abusive people, is she likely to seek assistance from those people later if she finds herself with an unwanted pregnancy?

    If she is feeling overwhelmed with an unexpected pregnancy right now is she likely to turn to the people screaming and spitting at her for help?

    If they were peaceably and kindly handing out flyers with information about available prenatal care, baby needs, child care, housing, etc., that might be something a newly pregnant woman would remember and seek out.

    The protests are about the protesters’ own anger and issues, not “saving babies” from abortion. They are angry,…

  30. The Supremes have just shown their ineptitude in allowing whose rights should overshadow another’s in America. Disgusting!

  31. I may get a bunch of pictures of girls with acid burns, hangings, etc. and then put up a big sign saying Christian Taliban. then every protest I see, I’ll pull over and put my signs up in protest to theirs.

  32. You Wanna Keep Harassing Women at Clinics? Then Let’s Play

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Look at that church. Isn’t it a pretty little church? It’s St. Mary’s Church in Grafton, Massachusetts. It’s freakin’ idyllic, no? It’s also deeply invested in anti-abortion actions. The congregation participated in 40 Days for Life, an action during Lent that 17,000 churches around the world took part in, with another 40 Days planned for September 24 to November 2.
    Read More
    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2014/06/you-wanna-keep-harassing-women-at.html

  33. You know nana, I was thinking the same. Stand strong, look them in the eye, confront them as they do you. Demand your right to the freedom granted by the constitution. I would also, warn anyone in my way, that I WOULD SUE THEM INDIVIUALY FOR impeding my rights. The constitution works both ways.

  34. These anti-choice terrorists are no better than the Westboro Church and need to be treated as such. They are committing hate crimes against women.

  35. Nicole, I wish you who say and talk of killing, would feel the same about war. Also, I do wish you would go back to the bible you all say you believe in and read at the very beginning in Gen. God gives a good example of when life begins. Gen chapter 2 Verse7.KING JAMES VERSION quote; Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH OF LIFE; and man became a living being.
    Now take your argument up with the word of GOD
    Leave the rest of us alone please.

  36. Why is it that your side only cares about life before a child is born, and you don’t care about its life after it’s born? It’s because you don’t really care about life at all–you care about imposing your will on others.

    How about you focus on your own life, and let others focus on their own lives?

  37. Hey hear is an idea for those that live in “Stand your Ground ” states. I would suggest having a shirt that states in big letters “I support Second Rights” and carry a big purse. This just might make these people stop and wonder.

  38. Fine Brent; just so we’re clear…it affects me that use the sidewalks, roads and electric grid that my taxes helped pay for. Knock it off and fend for yourself.

  39. Raymond, that’s a bad idea but I like it…

    How about women in Texas wearing a nice cross-body holster with a Smith 29 – 8″ barrel as they go to the clinic. I can see stopping, pulling out the weapon, aiming at a ant on the sidewalk, holstering the weapon and walking through the door of the clinic. I doubt that the spitters are going to get too close to that woman.

    How’s that for a REALLY bad idea?

  40. “Free Speech” comes in many forms.

    My favorite “Free Speech” involves 1 pair of earmuffs and 1 Freon powered boat horn.

    My response to any unwanted “Conversation”
    is a sharp blast of the boat horn.

    Even the Stupid people manage to get the
    message REAL FAST.

  41. How is spitting in a womans face that is going to get a pap smear to detect cancer “saving a child”? The hateful wastes of space that do this don’t care what the reason for being there is they just want to feel superior.
    I’m willing to walk women in while I hold a smoke flare and a high decibel air horn in ignorant idiots faces. Can’t wait for the fake christians that know nothing about the human body to push the boundary at our local clinic. It’s time to get seriously pro-active!

  42. I like Brian’s idea….
    I’ll try to “Reader’s Digest” this….
    The religious argument against abortion is bogus. There’s no direct or indirect ban of the practice in the Bible. As a matter of fact, there are THREE Bible passages where “God” says that a fetus isn’t a human being until it’s born, when he gives it the “breath of life”. The reason that wording is important is that a fetus is born with an umbilical cord attached. The umbilical cord provides oxygen and such while the fetus is in the womb. That’s the reason why the doctor/midwife has to smack the fetus’ bottom, to get it to take its first breath. So, in effect, the SCOTUS, in the Roe v. Wade decision, played God by ruling a fetus is a viable human being at 24 weeks, against Biblical doctrine.
    The Religious Zealots/Anti-Choicers hate it when you mention those facts…

  43. So then, if you swing a sign at me, and I take it and shove it up your ass, you know, to send you MY message, that’s reasonably, and quite arguably, now protected free speech.

  44. Except that will never happen. Americans are compliant sheep who don’t like to rock the boat or appear non-conformist. They’ll just sit back, enjoy their tv, fast foods, and second guess on social media those that do confront the clinic harrassers. Hey, how did that Occupy thing work out. Anything changed? Yeh, thought not.

  45. Hey, how did that Occupy thing work out.
    ———————————–

    If you think about it this ruling can be a blessing in disguise. I am thinking that when one protest there can be no buffer zones unless this ruling only pertains to protect the rights of the anti abortion mob

  46. I disagree that the escorts should be unarmed…if all the gun nuts can walk around shoving their AK-47 in everyone’s face then the escorts should do the same thing…let’s see how the anti=abortionists like it. These women need protection.

  47. @djchefron Anyone can be confrontational now, without ruling, tho you are sure to be brutalized & arrested by police like we (OWS) were. This ruling doesn’t change that, and is why most people won’t do it. They won’t sacrifice anything for their beliefs. Additionally, some states have been able to institute expensive permit requirements to hold a protest; some as high as $25K. In places where this has been instituted, it was by design to stop environmental protesters. Will be interesting to see if it ever impacts these religious zealots trying to block clinics…or are they exempt due to religious affiliation?

  48. The law now say you can do exactly that. Right up to the door of the Hobby Lobby, protest all you want, in the face of shoppers. Handing out papers flyiers ect. The Supreme court said so.

  49. …prob with these tactics would probably result in the pseudoChristian fascists claiming “martyrdom” and demanding legal rulings under “Freedom of Religion” laws…
    That don’t mean we can’t work to counter thier hateful screed; it’s just when they taste what they have been dishing out, they claim victimhood…when that happens we need to have Biblical scholars testifying that God did NOT say what they’re doing is righteous…and in fact everything they are doing is against everything Jesus Christ actually taught; thus they have proven by their own works that they are, in point of fact NOT Christians and have no claim under freedom of religion laws…just a thought…

  50. Riiiight. And any lawsuit brought before the SCOTUS that undermines protections of SCOTUS justices will, of course, be fairly decided by the very justices who benefit from that superior protection.

    Get real, Pini.

  51. Texas laws: read about Texan parental right. Public beating of children…OK
    Bruises, abrasions, choking, laserations, anything and everything is OK short of breaking bones and death…OK
    Quality of life.
    Care for life.
    Endure your hell doled out by your law abiding, church going, righteous Christian parents and legal guardians. Learn something and all will get free tickets to heaven. It is not about life on earth…
    Sitting on the right hand of God strumming harps is the goal.

  52. It is not about a woman’s feelings about her abortion. NOBODY wants to have one. But there are often reason why she needs to – including the health of the fetus, her own health and inability to care for a child. She is at a very frightening place in her life and does not need people screaming and calling her names. I agree with the person suggesting that armed escorts be used.

  53. They all should stay out of our bedroom,clinics and Drs. Offices. A matter of fact they should glue their foul mouths shut. I do not want to know or meddle in their business and I do not want them in mine. That is more than fair. Stay out of my business and I will stay out of yours.

  54. I am uncomfortable with being part of a pro choice movement that advocates harassing Americans as they attend church. True, based on freedom of speech and what SCOTUS has ruled, protesting outside churches for whatever reason is a constitutionally protected right, but I say – why stoop to the level of these radical anti-choice protestors? I’d rather see a protective wall of silent pro choice supporters line the walks of clinics to give patients a protective corridor to walk through, similar to what people outraged at Westboro Baptist Church do when they form a wall between funerals and WBC protestors. THAT’S a classy way to outmaneuver these harassers.

  55. Please help me understand how you can be for stopping the death penalty for criminals who have been tried and convicted of Killing someone or multiple people and yet you want to stick a fork in the brains of an innocent baby that has done nothing to anyone, as it comes out of the womb to abort it. Or cause the death of an innocent baby anytime between conception and birth. How is that different! Please talk about being a hypocrite OMG.

  56. A termination of pregnancy is best done between eight and 12-weeks of pregnancy.
    “Functional maturity of the cerebral cortex is suggested by fetal and neonatal electroencephalographic patterns…First, intermittent electroencephalograpic bursts in both cerebral hemispheres are first seen at 20 weeks gestation; they become sustained at 22 weeks and bilaterally synchronous at 26 to 27 weeks.”
    http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/anand/

    So your claim about “sticking a fork” in a fetus brain is not only being ignorant but you are a outright liar to advance your position. My advice to you is if you don’t want to have an abortion don’t have one otherwise stay out other peoples buisness

  57. Stuff,

    IT is very simple. FETUS is not a REAL LIVE BABY. Get over it and quit pretending somebody is killing babies. You prove your idiocy with your emotional garbage.

  58. But yet they misunderstand the Bible at the same time (if they’ve even read it). Jesus was after all, a very kind, nonjudgmental person. Either that, or they just can’t let go of the wrathful God of the Old Testament!

  59. Hmmm… what do you suppose this means for the Occupy movement? No more pepper spray, no more being arrested? It would seem so to me!

  60. after hearing about people’s experiences going into planned parenthood and being harassed, I’ve given a lot of thought about yelling at people going into cancer clinics and urgent care as a political statement (and to see if I’d get arrested). i’m not that much of a dick unfortunately.

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