Action Alert!

the pro-life 'crime' caught on videotape

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 03, 2010

The Creative Minority Report offers this video of the incident that resulted in the arrest of a pro-life activist in Chicago. Joseph Holland was charged with disorderly conduct for…

Go ahead: watch the video and see if you can find the criminal infraction. The law says that Holland could not obstruct the entry to the abortion clinic. He clearly didn’t. He also could not approach anyone seeking to enter the clinic. Instead a clinic escort seems to have approached him, and then filed a complaint.

This video is now easy to find on the internet—I found it, obviously, and you did too if you clicked on the link above. Yet the major media outlets in Chicago haven’t begun railing against this obvious effort to curtail the free speech and free movement of pro-life activists. In the years since Roe we’ve come to expect that sort of selective blindness from the main media outlets. Without that media silence, the “bubble zone” ordinances that bar pro-life activists from the sidewalks outside clinics could never have become law.

In this case, however, the media silence seems to go beyond acquiescence, to the point of becoming active participation in the propaganda campaign. If you can watch this video, and then report with a straight face that Joseph Holland was obstructing access to the clinic, you aren’t reporting accurately.

I’m reminded of a column that actually did appear in the Boston Globe years ago, reporting that during a sidewalk confrontation, a pro-life activist had repeatedly hit the feet of a pro-abortion counter-demonstrator with his face. It couldn’t possibly be true, you understand, that the abortion advocate kicked the pro-lifer in the face. It was axiomatic that the pro-life activist was the aggressor. When the facts don't fit the story line, and you won't change the story, the only alternative is to change the facts.

NB: Important update-- good news-- here.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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