Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in McCullen v Coakley. At issue in this particular case is whether a Massachusetts law that establishes a “buffer zone” outside of abortion clinics is a violation of the rights of abortion protesters who tend to make clinic visits more difficult to the patients who need to use the clinic for any reason (including abortions).
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m a firm believer in the First Amendment, which protects both the freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble peaceably. Abortion protesters more often than not do not assemble peaceably. They try to provoke and incite a reaction from others.
But they still have the right to say what they want to say. That doesn’t mean that I am obligated to listen to them or agree with them, though. And I certainly will maintain the right to think that they’re assholes for doing what they’re doing.
The reports I’ve seen generally seem to think that the buffer zone law is going to be struck down as unconstitutional. While I think that doing so could cause more harm than good, it’s probably the right thing all the same.
But if it does happen, I think it’s high time for the pro-choice side of the argument to take on the anti-choicers and play their game. I have seen these protesters outside of Planned Parenthood clinics as well as hospitals and OB-GYN offices holding up signs expressing their views.
Why, then, can’t there be protesters outside of Catholic hospitals or OB-GYN offices that are either affiliated with those hospitals or ones that simply don’t provide abortion services waving similar placards? If an anti-choicer has the right to tell a pregnant young girl that abortion is murder, why wouldn’t I have the right to inform any pregnant woman that the Catholic hospital considers the life of the parasite growing inside of her to be more important than her own?
There may be legitimate reasons not to have an abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Even ones based upon religious beliefs. But I’m not a big fan of people imposing their religious beliefs on others as though they were the only ones who had a lock on what is right or wrong.
The simple truth, though, is that I, as a man, ought not to have much say in the question unless I were the father. And even then, my say probably isn’t as great as the say of the mother herself.
Is that really too hard a concept to grasp?