Action Alert!

A looming Supreme Court victory for the pro-life cause?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 16, 2014

Yesterday the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, a challenge to the “bubble zone” law that bars pro-lifers from coming within 35’ of any abortion clinic in Massachusetts. It’s an interesting case, and if the justices’ questions to opposing counsel were indicative of their ultimate votes, a case that pro-lifers are likely to win.

Eleanor McCullen is a friend. She is a gentle, cheerful, prayerful lady, with astonishing perseverance, who has spent thousands of hours outside the clinics, and saved scores of lives simply by approaching troubled young women and asking them if they need help. She is, therefore, a threat to the abortion business.

Ask yourself how anyone could view Eleanor—a diminutive grandmother with an elfin smile and a pair of artificial hips—as a threat. It’s impossible. But in the abortion industry they can do several impossible things before breakfast. Which brings us back to yesterday’s Supreme Court session.

If you have some extra time, browse through the transcript of yesterday’s proceedings. If you jump to page 37, you can read the section that I consider the comic highlight of the morning’s arguments. The embattled assistant attorney general of Massachusetts, defending the bubble-zone law, is backed into a logical corner, and forced to argue that if there are two people outside the door of an abortion clinic, one arguing that the place is safe and the other that it is dangerous, then the latter is causing “congestion” at the door, while the former is not. It’s not a matter of what they are saying, the hapless counsel doggedly insists; it’s a matter of cutting down on “congestion”—by excluding the people whose message is unwelcome.

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.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.