Real Time: Harassment in Aurora


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The Planned Parenthod Aurora blog reported yesterday that anti-choice protesters have hunkered down in the parking lot of a Dominick's grocery store across the street from the new clinic. Dominick's is owned by Safeway Inc., the second largest grocery chain in the U.S. One of Aurora's city attorneys told Planned Parenthood that the owner of the property had the right to give protesters permission to use the parking lot as a base for their operations, which raises the question of why Safeway would give permission to anti-choice protesters to harass women seeking health care, not to mention the staff of the facility.

Early this morning Aurora staffers witnessed a man photographing the license plates of women and staff arriving at and leaving the clinic. Presumably this information may be used for further harassment. There is also evidence to suggest that Ann and Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League are involved in or have condoned this activity.

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  • http://www.ravingatheist.com invalid-0

    The protesters want to persuade women against having abortions, and to persuade the staff not to perform them. It’s called free speech. The same free speech that the many of the boyfriends and families of the women exercised in persuading them to have abortions, and that pro-choice organizations exercise in persuading people that abortion is morally acceptable.

    Why do you hate free speech?

  • invalid-0

    is not the only term I’d use to cover what these protestors are doing. To use the term “free speech” is a bit of a misnomer – harrassment and taking someone’s photo without their consent and other activities that can well be considered a public nuisance are more descriptive. Whether anti-choice activists like it or not, abortion is LEGAL in this country. While you have an absolute right to protest or rally and make your cause known in many ways, harrassing the women who may be entering the health center for an abortion (a personal – PERSONAL – decision that they have come to about a safe and legal procedure that has nothing to do with strangers shrieking on the street) and the staff of health centers is not something I would boast about. In fact, at this Planned Parenthood, abortion care makes up a very small percentage of their services. So, it’s actually more likely that these protestors are ranting and raving and taking photos of women (and men) who are visiting for birth control, annual exams or pap smears, sexually transmitted infection testing, etc.

  • amanda-marcotte

    They're cowards and you're a coward for pretending that thinly veiled threats aimed at women for the high crime of being sexual beings, i.e. being human, are nothing but a calm persuasive technique. That's like saying that the Mafia showing up at you door with bats and guns and offering you "protection" are making a simple sales pitch.

     

    Camping out and scaring women for wanting birth control pills, condoms, and yes, abortions, sends a message all right. The message is that women with a sexuality—which would be, actually, all women—deserve to be harassed and yes, even killed. When someone threatens you with stalking, they make the message loud and clear that their willingness to assault you is only bound by law, not morals.

     

    So, the question is, why do you hate women so much, RA? What about women as they are in the real world—which includes sexual activities and sexual desire—makes you burn so much with hate that you endorse barely concealed threats of violence?

     

    Your notion that women could only desire to prevent conception or terminate pregnancies at behest of male control is nothing but plain old projection. That you desire to control, punish, dominate and abuse women doesn't mean all men do.

  • invalid-0

    Im absolutely prochoice and saw this demonstration in effect-completely disgusted me. However, I also work for Dominick’s and they don’t own this property. It’s leased from a landlord and the landlord would have had to give said permission- not Safeway or Dominick’s. There are other businesses in that lot too. Not to mention the other businesses at that particular intersection that were swarmed with prolife protesters and their posters of aborted fetuses.

  • http://churchgalposts.blogspot.com invalid-0

    yeah, the protesters are just wanting to help these poor misguided women who can’t possibly know what they’re doing and need some raving lunatic stranger waving a picture of bloody body parts to tell them what’s what.

    sounds less like ‘persuasion’ and more like ‘harrassment’ based in sexism to me.

    other people want to persuade folks of all sorts of things – like jehovah’s witnesses coming to my door on saturday mornings. but the funny thing is, when i ask them to leave me alone they actually leave me alone. they don’t set up camp on my street and yell verses from The Watchtower at me, hoping to convert me. why? because they’re not crazy.

  • invalid-0

    If you go to the Dominicks’ website, the first thing you see it a big pink banner with a picture of Melissa Etheridge saying “Join us in the fight to EDUCATE and FIND A CURE for breast cancer.” (emphasis theirs) So allowing people to intimidate women who go to/work at a clinic that gives breast exams etc seems rather counterintuitive, to put it mildly. Especially since when you click on that banner it brings you to a page that informs you that “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Regular
    mammograms and screening tests increase early detection, when it is most treatable.” According to their website, PP performs about 840,000 breast exams per year.
    For more on people’s experiences calling the company and info on which phone numbers have yielded the most positive results, check out the comments from the post on feministing:
    http://feministing.com/archives/007860.html#comments

  • http://www.ravingatheist.com invalid-0

    Dear Amanda,

    I don’t hate women, not even you.

    Most of my free time is now spent distributing this life-saving book to doctors, patients, caregivers and hospitals to help women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a debilitating pregnancy-related disease. Thousands have benefited from this comprehensive research and advice on treatment options contained in the work, and we’ve received requests for it from top physicians at major teaching hospitals including Johns Hopkins. Many of the women who use it have, like its author, had abortions because of HG and are desperate to survive the disease to have a child. Despite it alleged commitment to womens’ health, you won’t find a word about treating the disease on Planned Parenthood’s Web site.

    You may disparage sidewalk counseling and protests outside abortion clinics all you want but the fact is there are many woman like the one in the video clip in this post who are grateful for it. And there are many women who are pressured into abortion by spouses, boyfriends and family who would decide differently if offered other options. I don’t participate or condone violence against anyone and I condemn those who do. If you want to lump me in with the tiny number of anti-abortion psychopaths engage in it, fine, but I could as easily lump you in with the pro-abortion parents and spouses who threaten to kill women for not getting abortions.

  • http://www.ravingatheist.com invalid-0

    See my response to Amanda, below.

  • http://churchgalposts.blogspot.com invalid-0

    is not what these protesters are doing. (and, really, passing out pamphlets on the sidewalk to women on their way in to see their doctor is hardly the best way to distribute information about healthcare.)

    your initial comment was disingenuous.

  • http://www.rhrealitycheck.org invalid-0

    Thank you for the information on the issue of abortions And there are many women who are pressured into abortion by spouses, boyfriends and family who would decide differently if offered other options.in and all over the world,You may disparage sidewalk counseling and protests outside abortion clinics all you want but the fact is there are many woman like the one in the video clip in this post who are grateful for it.I don’t participate or condone violence against anyone and I condemn those who do. If you want to lump me in with the tiny number of anti-abortion psychopaths engage in it, fine, but I could as easily lump you in with the pro-abortion parents and spouses who threaten to kill women for not getting abortions.

  • invalid-0

    [quote]And there are many women who are pressured into abortion by spouses, boyfriends and family who would decide differently if offered other options. [unquote]

    Unless you have credible evidence to prove it, you can’t assume “many women” who choose abortions did it because they were “pressured” by outside forces. Plus, you are only assuming these women weren’t offered “other options”, and you know what happens when you assume too much.

  • http://www.rhrealitycheck.org invalid-0

    Thank you for the information on the issue of the topic,And there are many women who are pressured into abortion by spouses, boyfriends and family who would decide differently if offered other options.Unless you have credible evidence to prove it, you can’t assume “many women” who choose abortions did it because they were “pressured” by outside forces. Plus, you are only assuming these women weren’t offered “other options”, and you know what happens when you assume too much.

  • invalid-0

    Of course women are persuaded to get abortions by their boyfriends. Women always consult men before making any important decision. After all, how can we expect females to
    direct their own lives? Such a thought is not only absurd but
    unholy. Men own your vagina. Too bad that the vagina is conected to a woman. I would really like to see self-sustaining vaginas,,without the need for an actual person built around the vagina. This would be great for men in that
    they no longer are required to feed the woman before having sex with her. Those days are gone. Now, men can just pick up a vagina on the way home,,use it,,then just throw it away.

  • invalid-0

    This is why I’m a clinic escort. I’m there to make sure that people can get onto the property without being harassed by the strangers who insist that they make decisions for them by yelling at them, and giving misinformation. Oh yeah, that’s real helpful. There’s free speech and there’s stupidity.

  • invalid-0

    I have a term for people who stand outside of reproductive health clinics with the intention to intervene in the personal lives of women who are exercising their moral agency and legal rights. These individuals are HARRASSHOLES. They have no respect for privacy and are fighting their own individual and collective shadows that they don’t have the courage, intelligence and ability to face and transform. They are blind to their projections upon others and cloak their behaviors in religious intent and moral sanctimony. They are to be pitied for their judgemental ignorance and I encourage anyone who has to come in contact with them, Planned Parenthood staff, women seeking services and those subjected to witnessing their harassment, to treat them with the compassion and respect they are incapable of demonstrating themselves.

  • invalid-0

    Well they are that but they are much more dangerous in their recourse to intimidation. They can imply a threat to life that chills the atmosphere and creates a world of hate that can incite some of the more fanatical to dangerous action. This can never be far from the consciousness of anyone who works in or is close to someone who works in a clinic. They have to work with this fear everyday and in fact are knowngly sacrficing their security for the interests of those who use the clinic services. Those people who work there and those who walk in the doors for help are true heroes who are not giving in to intimidation.

  • invalid-0

    This week has been rather dull, so thanks. I needed the snark.

  • http://www.rhrealitycheck.org invalid-0

    Thank you for the issue on the matter of thing in the same thing of roads,other people want to persuade folks of all sorts of things – like jehovah’s witnesses coming to my door on saturday mornings. but the funny thing is, when i ask them to leave me alone they actually leave me alone. they don’t set up camp on my street and yell verses from The Watchtower at me, hoping to convert me. why? because they’re not crazy.

  • invalid-0

    They can take 2 pictures of my license plate for all I care. While their at it, they can take a picture of my middle finger every morning as I drive by the Planned Parenthood protestors. I love catching them while their praying and then honking, they look up thinking their getting some kind of support from the passers by and low and behold it’s just me giving them my morning high salute!

    I am however, going to write Safeway and let them know I no longer have any desire to spend one red cent of my pro choice money in their stores due to this BS.

  • invalid-0

    Until you’ve walked a mile in a woman who is considering abortion shoes, you have no voice. Please kindly STFU!