Supreme Court Backs Anti-Choice Zealots

Anti-Choice Zealots100-Foot Keepaway Zone for Those Wearing Black Robes. Zero Feet “Safe Zone” for Women Outside Clinics

Where all this is heading.

So. The Supreme Court insists on having law enforcement protect its own courthouse steps and its justices, by keeping everyone 100 feet away. Yet, in today’s decision, they struck-down the Massachusetts law requiring anti-abortion protestors to give a 35-foot “safe zone” to people entering women’s clinics.

Massachusetts had passed that now-annulled law, similar to what other states and municipalities have done, in the wake of shootings of medical personnel who worked at women’s clinics. Shootings that have happened in many places, including Massachusetts, and always perpetrated by antichoice zealots.

Another reason for passage of “safe zone” laws is because the zealots — whose avowed purpose is interference and obstruction — had been using quite extraordinary means to intimidate people.

In Massachusetts, those means included the zealots dressing in Boston Police hats — which are distinctively recognizable — and even wearing Boston PD uniform shirts.

In that police attire, the zealots were stopping cars entering parking garages adjacent to women’s clinics, demanding the names and appointments and contact information from the cars’ occupants. With that information, they performed targeted harassment, calling their victims by name, adding the usual vitriol about how you will burn in hell because you are not agreeing with them.

Apparently, with the Supreme Court’s decision today, those Massachusetts antichoice zealots — who are experienced in impersonating officers of the law to facilitate their intimidation technique — are free to resume it.

Specifically, the court ruled that antichoice protestors can approach anyone and get close enough to hand them literature. Which is also close enough to scream vile things at them and juxtapose themselves in the intended paths of their targets, which these protestors are infamous for doing. After all, their avowed purpose is interference and obstruction. And the Court ruled that behavior is protected as a First Amendment right of antichoice protesters.

The Court seems to have granted these special rights only to antichoice protesters.  If you are an Occupy protester, you will still get arrested if you get close to a Wall Street banker and call him a crook and a bloodsucking parasite.

The Court seems to have narrowly affirmed the “rights” of antiabortion protester Eleanor McCullen and her attorney, Philip Moran, who brought the case. But, as always, ruling that some grandmotherly old lady can harass people does not license only grandmotherly antichoice advocates to attempt to deny others’ rights under the Court’s own Roe v. Wade decision. The incongruities are baffling.

We wonder if the current members of the court have ever heard of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the catalog of legislation that has followed it?

We are waiting for just one woman from another state to encounter obstruction from antichoice protesters outside a clinic in Massachusetts. Or one woman being harassed after she has ridden Amtrak or Greyhound to get there, since using an “interstate transportation” carrier counts within a state, thanks to the high court’s own decisions during the Civil Rights Era.

Either the antichoice protestors are above the law when it comes to interfering with the rights of others to engage in unhindered commerce, or the hard-fought Civil Rights laws passed 50 years ago will stand. The Court cannot have it both ways.

A case filed by a plaintiff under those circumstances would bring the Supreme Court to a crisis: either the antichoice protestors are above the law when it comes to interfering with the rights of others to engage in unhindered commerce, or the hard-fought Civil Rights laws passed 50 years ago will stand. The Court cannot have it both ways.

And then there are the states with laws that allow you to pull out your concealed handgun and blow away anyone who you feel is threatening you.

How long before someone who is already emotionally distraught — over whatever condition is bringing her to a women’s clinic in the first place — feels threatened by some screaming zealot whose tonsils are coming out of his mouth, and she pulls out her .38 and splatters his head all over the sidewalk?

larry-wines-formalIt’s interesting, too, that states pressing for “protected carry” of loaded firearms seem to be the same states suddenly passing laws to shut down women’s clinics. Perhaps they see it coming.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be the final arbiter. But it appears that Smith & Wesson will be, whether it’s the antichoice zealots killing more doctors and nurses, or the harried and harassed patient reacting to what she sees as a threat to her own safety.


  1. Luis Lozano says

    I’m waiting for the flood of lawsuits from other groups that have had their freedom of speech restricted by so called free speech zones around other government buildings, military installations, nuclear plants, political conventions, etc. etc. You can’t have it both ways. Either you have free speech or you don’t. The other issue is my freedom not to have someone yell at me when I am walking down the street and offering me religious or political literature. Don’t I have a right to walk down the street in peace without being accosted by some fanatic of any stripe. Let the games begin.

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