Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

The enduring myth of pro-life violence at abortion clinics

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 30, 2014

In a Boston Globe column decrying what she sees as the negative effects of the Supreme Court decision that struck down a Massachusetts law establishing a 35’ “buffer zone” outside abortion clinics, Yvonne Abraham suggests that sidewalk counselors impose terrible burdens on abortion-minded women by talking to them. But that’s really not a persuasive argument, so Abraham invokes the popular myth:

In opening the zone to so-called counselors, the court also opened it up to the nut jobs who don’t just annoy patients and workers, but terrify them. They’re the ones who yell at women, who get up in their faces wherever they can, who dress like guards, who take down license plate numbers, who physically block people from entering the clinic.

Under existing law, even after the Supreme Court decision, anyone who blocks the entrance to an abortion clinic is risking a 2-year jail sentence. And since there is a beefed-up police presence at the clinics in Massachusetts, arrest would be a certainty.

All these clinics have security cameras. Isn’t it just a teeny bit curious that there isn’t any footage of pro-lifers screaming at women or blocking their paths? If there were an example—just one—we’d be watching the video on TV news every night. But there isn’t. Not one.

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 CatholicCulture.org. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - May. 10, 2017 12:05 PM ET USA

    Phil Lawler asks, with regard to the validity of Anglican orders, "Are we being prepared for another break with the teaching of previous Pontiffs?" I think we can count on that, but of course the new teaching will be expressed in such ambiguous terms that bishops can, as in the case of Amoris Laetita, interpret Church teaching any way they want, as long as they have a "clear conscience."

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 10, 2017 12:02 PM ET USA

    I looked at the interview. Thanks for the link. "Father Scalia handles the questions well." He didn't merely answer the questions well, but his answers were superlative. Since the interview was not theological in nature, but intended to put him on the spot, it is understandable that he would stick to short, less controversial answers. However, there can be no more forceful explanations for a male priesthood than these: (1) Christ called them _by name_, and (2) they serve _in persona Christi_.

  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - May. 09, 2017 2:39 PM ET USA

    I find it no coincidence that ever since Marty Baron - the editor who spearheaded the Boston Globe's 2002 onslaught against the Church - has taken over the Washington Post, the paper has become increasingly hostile to the Catholic Church.