Action Alert!

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 See full bio.

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