Federal Lawsuit Filed Challenging Portland Buffer Zone


Last week, attorneys from the religious advocacy organization the Thomas More Center filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Portland, Maine, buffer zone ordinance enacted earlier this year by the city council.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court on behalf of an evangelical couple and two of their seven children, argues that the ordinance, which creates protest-free zones within 39 feet of a reproductive health-care center, infringes on their constitutional free speech rights. The plaintiffs, Daniel and Marguerite Fitzgerald, and their high school age children are frequent protesters at the Portland Planned Parenthood center and claim a right to “counsel” patients, including an ability to speak in close proximity to them.

The lawsuit asks the federal court to declare the buffer zone unconstitutional and permanently block the city from enforcing it.

Representatives from Planned Parenthood dispute claims that the buffer zone prevents protesters like the Fitzgeralds from getting their message to patients. Prior to the passage of the Portland ordinance, protesters created what Eric Covey, Maine Grassroots Organizer for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE), described to RH Reality Check as a “harrowing gauntlet” along the sidewalk leading up to the health-care facility, in which patients, staff, and pedestrians had to navigate to reach their destination.

“The patient safety zone ordinance, since it was passed, has made a tremendous difference in the ability of our patients to access health care free of harassment and intimidation while still preserving individual rights to freedom of speech,” said Covey. “The protesters are still able to communicate their intended message, but the buffer zone provides the physical space necessary to allow them to get into the health-care center.”

The issue of balancing the rights of patients to access reproductive health care free from intimidation versus the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley, a challenge to a similar Massachusetts buffer zone law. And while the courts have generally sided with health-care centers, during oral arguments it appeared as though there were a majority of justices willing to scale back the Massachusetts law specifically, and perhaps the legality of buffer zones entirely. A broad ruling in the McCullen case could affect the legal challenge to the Portland buffer zone.

“No one should be forced to endure intimidation or harassment from strangers on the way to a doctor’s visit,” said PPNNE Director of Public Affairs Nicole Clegg in a statement. “I hope the court will agree that this ordinance strikes the right balance between the rights of women to access health care, the city’s interest in protecting public safety, and the free speech rights of all Portland residents.”

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  • fiona64

    claim a right to “counsel” patients,

    What are these idiots’ qualifications as “counselors”? The possession of megaphones?

    They just want a captive audience for their harassment.

    • expect_resistance

      It’s harassment plain and simple.

      I think Amanda Marcotte said something about this in one her podcasts about the antis believing they are entitled to a captive audience for their bullying.

      • Renee Goodwin

        I think that is a common issue with the folks that think they know what god wants other people to do, they have no sense of respect for other people’s beliefs

        • lady_black

          Funny how “god” always hates the same people they hate, isn’t it?

          • Renee Goodwin

            yeah, but as delusional as these folks are, they have convinced themselves that only “they” understand what god wants everybody to do, I guess they skip reading the actual bible and make up their own words

  • cjvg

    There is no constitutional right to a captive audience, regardless of how much you like the sound of your own voice or the righteousness of your personal ideas

  • Jennifer Starr

    Here’s a picture of Marguerite Fitzgerald, standing next to what I’m assuming is her daughter. What a pleasant person, huh? http://media dot kjonline dot com/images/995152-2013ph.bufferzone02_11.23_971 dot jpg

    • Renee Goodwin

      for some reason I couldn’t get that link to work, even after doing a copy and paste

      • lady_black

        Me either.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Sorry about that–let me get another link. http://media dot kjonline dot com/images/995152-2013ph.bufferzone02_11.23_9710 dot jpg

          • lady_black

            Still doesn’t work, and I think you are typing them in with errors (like the word “dot”?) Try copy/paste. It’s highlight, control c… then cursor, control v.

          • Jennifer Starr

            If I post without the dot it goes into moderation and doesn’t post– but you can copy/paste and replace the dot with a . and it should work.

          • Mirable

            Try posting with the dots in place in the future, but with spaces around them – that way people can copy paste into their address bar ,and remove the spaces surrounding the dots.

            The actual dots…these .

          • Mirable

            Her link is blocked by the spam filter. That is why she puts a dot in place of .

          • expect_resistance

            Could you post the link? I think you are the only one who can posts live links.

          • Mirable
          • expect_resistance

            Thank you :)

          • Jennifer Starr

            Thank you–you are awesome :)

          • Mirable

            If you have problems in the future just msg me and I can repaste to make it ez for everyone else! (esp if they can’t figure out the new system)

          • Mirable

            uhm…

            uhm…

            http://liveactionnews.org/heartbeat-bill-aims-to-protect-unborn-children-in-alabama/#comment-1255233037

            So apparently…

            PJ is a ‘minority’ and Lady Black wants to commit genocide on non-whites!!!!!!!!!!

          • lady_black

            I’ve posted links. I’ve also gone to interesting links others post here. Hers appear to be riddled with errors, though it’s hard sometimes to know what the errors are so I can repair them. That’s why I suggested she use her copy/paste function.

          • Mirable

            I posted the right one just below.. Hers worked fine – I just had to remove the ‘dot’ and replace it with ‘. ‘

          • lady_black

            Thanks. I don’t know her. But still I don’t think I’ll be handing over the control of my life to the likes of her anytime soon. She looks absolutely miserable, doesn’t she? She’ll help you be miserable too.

          • Mirable

            haha for a sec i thought you were talking about Jenn. I’m like damn..that’s a little harsh for a link-posting-problem!

            lulz

          • lady_black

            No, I meant the… ahem… “lady” in her picture. She looks absolutely miserable. I’ve seen happier faces on homeless people.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Yeah, she’s a grim looking thing. Her poor daughter doesn’t look too happy either.

          • Mirable

            She was using her copy paste function and putting a ‘dot’ in place of the ‘.’ I fixed it.

            Here:

            http://media.kjonline.com/images/995152-2013ph.bufferzone02_11.23_9710.jpg

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOS39OVbhjo

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            She looks absolutely nuts.

          • fiona64

            She looks like many, many women I knew in Portland who believe that “Jesus” has commanded them to be frumpy. :-( I actually feel very sorry for such ladies.

          • expect_resistance

            Using the copy and paste it turns the dots into % signs. Check Mirable’s links.

          • Renee Goodwin

            if you google Marguerite Fitzgerald protester, the Portland Press Herold link has the story and pictures, took me a bit of thinking to try just searching for her name and adding the word protester.
            Btw she is one mean looking old biddy, I can’t imagine that needing birth control or getting pregnant are anything that she would have to worry about, since with that mean face, I can’t conceive of a male wanting to get busy with her

          • Mirable

            I like how PJ is now accusing you of black genocide

            Lovely

            She’s such a twit.

          • Ella Warnock

            I think it’s hilarious how she’s always accusing choicers of being unduly influenced by their, “feeeeelings.” Ah, no, that particular degree of sentimentality over the “preborn” is endemic to antis pretty exclusively.

          • expect_resistance

            They guy IS creepy. Do you know who the women are with the “white caps” on their heads? Are they Mennonites? I’ve seen them at the annual Good Friday “counter demonstration” of the antis. Just curious.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I’m not actually sure. I guess they could be but I’m wondering if it’s some kind of modesty/head covering thing. I know some Mennonites, but none that dress like that.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Maybe Amish.

          • lady_black

            They’re Mennonites. Being from Lancaster County I know the difference.

          • expect_resistance

            Thanks for the clarification. I see them at the Good Fri. protests and was curious.

          • lady_black

            They do around here.

          • Renee Goodwin

            How did you get the link to work? I tried it in both explorer and in firefox and still can’t get to it

          • Mirable

            I re-pasted it. Scroll down.

          • lady_black

            Yes, the women wearing the “sin-sifters” are Mennonites. For reference, so are the owners of the Conestoga Wood Corporation who’s anti-contraception lawsuit is going in front of the SCOTUS. My daughter once worked briefly for that wretched place. Had I known what they were all about at the time, I would have told her not to work there. They fired her when she got hurt on the job. Those nice Christian folks.

          • Shan

            Is that what they’re called? Sin-sifters? Wow. I see lots of women and girls wearing those around where I live and I never new what they were called.

            Abrahamic religions are crazy about women’s hair, aren’t they? I worked with an Iranian guy when I was in college, who explained to me that the reason women were required to cover their hair was because it was believed to emit special rays that excited men beyond their ability to control themselves.

            So I asked him how come men were weren’t required to cover their eyes instead, since they were the ones with the self-control problem? Being an ex-pat, he just shrugged. He wasn’t trying to justify it, he was just trying to explain it.

          • lady_black

            LOL. Sin-sifters. That wasn’t nice was it? I have little time for people with bizarre hair fetishes. In Abrahamic religions women are forbidden to wear their hair short like a man. But then you musn’t let anyone see it! I have hair down to my waist, mainly because I’m too lazy to go get it cut into something I have to style every day, and too cheap to pay for a hairdresser. I tie it up to keep it off my neck, and I’m not about to cover it for anyone, not even Jesus himself. Darn hot flashes are bad enough without covering your head!

          • expect_resistance

            Sorry I’m going off topic with the hair thing.

            I’ve tried to understand wearing the hijab. I live in Minneapolis and we have a huge Somalian community and most of the Somalian women wear a hijab. A Muslim student group in my city sponsored an event called “Hijab for a Day” were non-Muslims could get a free hijab to wear for the day. I tried it and wore a hijab for the day, but it’s not for me. I looked more like a nun. The women who covered or wore a hijab told me it’s about being modest and a sign of their devotion to God. I’ve tried to understand but still see it as a sign of patriarchal religions. The hair thing is weird. Not just in Abrahamic religions but the FDLS too.

            I hear you on the haircutting thing. I’m too broke to pay for a haircut. I have long hair and only get a hair cut once a year by a professional and cut my hair in-between.

          • Ella Warnock

            Well, of course they’ve been conditioned by their patriarchal religion to believe that it’s modest and a sign of devotion. If women had thought that up on their own, that would be one thing.

            I love long hair, but I don’t like the Quiverfull’s, Gothardite’s and mormom polygamist’s erstwhile commandment that women must have long hair. My husband really loved my long hair, but when I started wearing it shorter he realized that it was still flattering and that, more importantly, *I* was more comfortable. That was good enough for him.

          • lady_black

            Actually they’re called prayer caps for Mennonites, and bonnets or prayer coverings for Amish.

          • Renee Goodwin

            I do like the term sin-sifter tho, has a nice ring to it

          • Renee Goodwin

            That’s why the really super religious jewish wear wigs or headcoverings, apparently men other than their husband aren’t supposed to see their hair, I thought the wig part was kinda funny, but it is true

          • Shan

            That makes it kind of like a merkin, doesn’t it?

          • lady_black

            I didn’t know that! How odd.

          • Renee Goodwin

            Google “jewish wigs” the fortune wigs site has a decent explanation, the dang things are kosher. From the website “Jewish Wigs are our chief specialty, rabbinically certified kosher and fully compliant with all halachic requirements”

            Yeah no kidding, the thing that makes it so strange to me is they don’t wear the wigs to make themselves look unattractive, they actually want the wigs to look nice, they wear them cause their extreme version of being jewish has a law/rule about the only male allowed to see a woman’s real hair is her husband

          • fiona64

            And the very orthodox women shave their heads after marriage. I am not making this up. It’s far less common than it used to be in Jewish communities.

          • expect_resistance

            You’re so right, Abrahamic religions are crazy about women’s hair. I love your question to the expat from Iran. They should have to cover their eyes if they can’t control themselves around women. Again women get blamed.

          • expect_resistance

            Thanks for the info on the “sin-sifters” and Conestoga Wood Corporation. I’ve never heard of them. I’m sorry your daughter got hurt working for them but at least she doesn’t have to deal with their crap anymore. I’m adding them to my boycott list.

          • Shan

            I think if you put a space between the http:// and the rest, the site will let you post the link.

      • Ella Warnock

        I couldn’t either, and I’d like to see it.

    • lady_black

      I don’t care what she looks like. No woman has to listen to anything she has to say. If they’re interested, they can approach HER. This is not about a constitutional right. The right to free speech doesn’t guarantee a captive audience merely trying to enter a clinic.

      • Jennifer Starr

        I agree completely.

  • anja

    A family of conceited Idiots! They’re is a constitution right to free speech NOT a constitutional right to an audience. Particularly an unwilling one. That is harassment.

    People should stand out side churches & organizations such as the Thomas More Center and harass employees and customers with the typical abuse that they apply to clinics, doctors, and patients who are doing nothing wrong or illegal. Unfortunately, I bet it wouldn’t be long before the protesters are unjustly arrested and new tyrannical one-sided anti protest laws are passed by bigoted lawmakers. It’s already happened in places like Wisconsin.

    It scares the crap out of me, and most people I know, that religious zealots are abusing their authority to force their beliefs (or accepting money for force other people’s beliefs) onto the people they represent instead of representing their constituents. History has shown that in most cases, religion and progress (both socially and scientifically) are inversely proportional.

    • P. McCoy

      Since when do religious fanatics who harass and intimidate and thus are in reality domestic terrorists get the right of free speech to anyone. They deserve to be turned over to Homeland Security. The idea of going over to the. Thomas More Law Center and sidewalk counseling them about their acts of aiding and abetting such terrorists is a good idea too.

      • Renee Goodwin

        I hate that they think because they “found” jebezus that they have the right to stick their nasty noses in everyone else s business

        • HeilMary1

          They didn’t find Jesus! — just spoiled pedophile priests who want their altar boys served over the dead bodies of their mothers.

      • fiona64

        The antis always argue that it’s not ‘terrorism,’ and every single lunatic anti is a “lone wolf.” Never mind the connection that every man jack of them has to Operation Rescue … oh, no. It’s not terrorism.

  • shy guy

    claim a right to “counsel” patients

    She has every right to counsel” patients,

    What laws are stopping this woman from becoming a licensed and professional counselor and buying some land down the street from the clinic.

    Opening up a Christian abortion counseling clinic that people can choose to seek out of there own free will and on their own terms because they want the information she will provide free of charge of course……

    • lady_black

      There IS no “right” to “counsel me” unless I grant it, then it’s a privilege. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

      • shy guy

        I agree 100% with you. I was saying if she is not willing to exercise her actual right to put up some money time and effort where her mouth is by opening up and running a legal legitimate business, she needs to shut the smurf up and go back outside the buffer zone ;)

      • Ella Warnock

        Since so many of the looniest toons also disapprove of contraception, why aren’t they attempting to exercise their “right” to loiter outside of any ob/gyn’s office and “counsel” women about the evils of “abortifacient” birth control? That would be the logical next step and would be ideologically consistent.

        • lady_black

          Or even family practitioners, which is where most women get their birth control pills and other contraceptive care. I just got into it with someone over on liveaction about that. She claims that hormonal birth control is “abortive” because it *might* prevent implantation. She understands neither abortion nor pregnancy. I pointed out that most of these free-floating fertilized ovum will never implant on their own, and she will neither know it nor have the ability to influence it in any way. Thus it’s not even worthy of consideration. That happens far more often in the lack of hormonal medications which suppress ovulation.

          • Ella Warnock

            I just love the “might” argument. Let’s just say for the sake of argument that hormonal birth control is “abortive.” If I’m using that form of BC and it does cause a failure of implantation – well, mission accomplished. I didn’t end up with a kid I didn’t want, which was the whole POINT of birth control. That’s hardly anything I’d be expected to panic and hyperventilate about, is it?

            Now, if such a thing makes one queasy, then one needs to stick to NFP or condoms or what the hell ever kind of “pro-life,” less effective bullshit birth control they choose. And then happily have all the little oops babies resulting from said “birth control.” It’s been a very long time since I took hormonal BC, and I’m not the least bit worried about any poor little zygotes that “might” have failed to find purchase in my rocky, inhospitable uterus. What ridiculous, sentimental tripe.

          • lady_black

            I agree 100%. I have actual REAL problems to worry about, and absolutely no worry to spare for how many “living” cells failed to implant in my uterus over my reproductive lifetime, and were harmlessly passed in a menstrual period. I file that under “not meant to be” and it’s not like I had any control over the matter to begin with. I chose to use highly effective contraception and didn’t particularly care how it worked, so long as it worked. Thus I was never faced with an unwanted pregnancy. Dealing with the wanted pregnancies were difficult enough.

          • Renee Goodwin

            LOL NFP, aka do you want to be a parent?

          • lady_black

            Also known as “the rhythm method.” “periodic abstinence,” and “Vatican Roulette.” Every 20 years or so, they dust it off, delouse it, and trot it out under some new name. But by any name, there’s a name for it’s adherents. The name is “parents.”

          • HeilMary1

            They also don’t want to know about the abortifacient effects of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages served at their blessed events.

          • Ella Warnock

            I wonder how many pregnant women are actually successful at cutting out all caffeine and alcohol? I’ve never been pregnant, so I haven’t been privy to any of the pregnancy secrets women discuss.

          • lady_black

            I am addicted to caffeine, and had the occasional glass of wine during pregnancy. It never caused me any problems. Back in the day, they didn’t even tell women not to consume caffeine or alcohol. Nobody ever even asked about coffee, tea or soda. the prevailing attitude was that an occasional drink (not drunken binges) were harmless. I still think they are harmless. I’ve never known any woman who’s fetus was damaged by very light alcohol use. Heavy alcohol use is a different matter. If it’s harmful to YOU it’s harmful to a fetus.

          • Ella Warnock

            I always figured many women’s experiences were more like yours than not. If I had decided to get pregnant, I also always figured that the PC brigade would nail me to a cross if I drank caffeine or alcohol in public.

          • lady_black

            These days they just might. You have to understand, my youngest baby is now 28 with a baby of her own. Times were different back in the eighties. People minded their own business more.

          • Renee Goodwin

            Actually small amounts of beer or coffee help with breastfeeding, nothing to excess, but a bottle of beer is fine, and a couple of cups of coffee a day

          • Mirable

            If Ingrid is so concerned about zygotic life, you should ask her how many snowflake baybeez she is willing to gestate and give up for adoption. Every 10 months she could give the gift of life to multiples! And it should not be a problem for her because pregnancy is ez pz!

          • lady_black

            OMG. She drives me nuts. What an overly-emotional sap.

          • Mirable

            She tried debating here once, but was driven off after cjvg schooled her on fetal brain development.

          • lady_black

            LOL. Did you see the citation she posted? I took that apart in about 15 seconds.

          • Mirable

            No, I only read part of it today. That’s a big thread! And I love how everyone is congratulating MamaBear for ‘owning’ you and can’t give her enough thumbs up! I forget what point MB made, but it was something super dumb.

          • lady_black

            Her comments are usually so dumb I don’t bother replying, or even looking. How did she “own” me?

          • Mirable

            “”There is nothing outside the realm of modern medicine because we now have really good end of life PAIN CONTROL!
            Really?
            Let’s use a non-medical example:
            You are innocent (healthy lifestyle) but convicted of a capital crime anyway (terminal diagnosis).
            Your lawyer tells you that there are many appeals (treatments) that will allow you to live longer. He has sometimes even stretched the appeal process out 10 years. But, short of new evidence turning up (a cure), you will be executed. But, don’t worry. He has it in “control” because he can make sure your execution (death from your disease) is painfree!
            Although you may be grateful for the appeals (treatments) and assurance of freedom from pain at the end, I really doubt you would consider delays of a death sentence and that you will go painlessly as “control.”
            To continue the analogy, you are comparing a 9 months sentence (healthy pregnancy) to life in prison (permanent serious health conditions) or life on death row (terminal health conditions).

            My husband came home from work telling me a YOUNG man, still in job training, broke his leg on the job last week. They found it was terminal cancer in his bones and it was announced at work he died yesterday. At least I have made it to middle age. Don’t you dare tell me modern medicine always has control and don’t you dare compare healthy women choosing to kill healthy babies with people who have REAL DISEASES that disable or kill!””

            Rachel is also pretty dumb.
            Along with Andy ” kiddo” Corrales.

          • Ella Warnock

            As a breast cancer survivor, I do feel for Mamabear as she’s living with continual treatment for stage 4 breast cancer. What I don’t like is that, as this example shows, she’s trying to morally lord it over lady_black by making a ridiculous comparison involving cancer. Not cool. She says modern medicine doesn’t always have control, and she’s right – and that extends to pregnancy and childbirth, as well.

          • lady_black

            I feel for her due to her fight with cancer. But as I remember it, Mamabear loves to heap blame on women in general. If you end up pregnant to an abusive man, it’s your fault for not being able to foresee it. Never mind that most abusive men begin abusing during the first pregnancy when he perceives his victim as trapped. I don’t care for attitudes like that, especially coming from other women. It makes me ashamed for her.

          • Ella Warnock

            Yep, she does like to blame women for everything. If antis didn’t uniformly possess that tendency, they might be able to come to more sensible conclusions.

          • Mirable

            This is what MB was replying to:

            LB wrote:

            “””To the contrary, madam. Modern palliative therapy is very good at
            eliminating suffering. I have absolutely no problem calling a doctor to
            increase a dying patient’s morphine dosage to such a level that comfort
            is achieved, even if it’s the middle of the night, and I have to wake a
            doctor multiple times. I have done so many times, even if I suspected
            discomfort by clinical signs (such as thrashing about) if the patient is
            unable to verbalize pain. I have collaborated many times with hospice
            as a staff nurse in long term care, and in caring for my own family
            members. I’m committed to providing absolute comfort to the dying, even
            if by doing so it shortens their life by a few hours. I don’t want the
            family’s last memory to be of their loved one in pain. You couldn’t wish
            for a better nurse than me when it comes to end-of-life care. I can’t
            do anything to change a patient’s terminal condition when there is
            nothing left to do for them medically. But I can damn sure make certain
            they aren’t suffering.””

            —————

            Notice how MB completely ignored the points LB was making?

          • Ella Warnock

            Yep, I noticed.

          • Shan

            I wanted to reply to lady_black over there because of when my dad died in hospice care just a few days after knowing he even needed to BE there. It was such a shock. I don’t even know HOW to thank the kind of people who can do what LB does. But there were so many ugly people over there on the “heartbeat bill” site, I didn’t even want to open up THAT much because, like 5×5, they can be so hateful and judgmental because of their ignorance. They only seem to care about the continuation of whatever they consider to be the “spark of life” whether it’s at the beginning of the end of the entity they think it inhabits. They don’t seem to be able to consider that forcing that “spark of life” to continue might ever be cruel or inhumane.

            People who can do what Lady_black does are amazing and I’m thankful that people like her exist. They take care of the end-of-life patient – thinking of their humanity, dignity and comfort the whole time – while the rest of us who consider themselves to be their loved ones are still in shock going “Wait…what? He was fine just a few days ago…”

          • expect_resistance

            Completely agree, hospice nurses are beyond amazing. A few years ago my grandma died in hospice. I was very close to her and it was very difficult for me. The nurses and the hospice staff were incredible. I don’t have enough words to express my appreciation for them.

          • lady_black

            Yeah Andy is a real hoot. Of course, he’s still young enough that he knows everything. And what would I know? I’m old! Not only can’t I read and write, I also drool a lot.

          • Mirable

            I giggled when MB said that you were probably not a real nurse because you didn’t know that 11 week fetuses make purposeful movements in the womb, and that they touch and hug and stroke one another, cuz they are like fully conscious and shit and can express love!!!!!

          • lady_black

            Well some male politician claimed that a fetus masturbates at 15 weeks. But only a male fetus. Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.

          • Jennifer Starr

            And don’t forget, they spend their time writing cheesy little diaries about how they’re going to love baseball, and singing, and have blond hair, etc.

          • Jennifer Starr

            Ahhh–to be young and know everything–I remember that feeling. The older I get, the more I’m aware of what I don’t know.

          • Mirable

            I see it now. Pre-fertilization pregnancy eh?

          • Shan

            What, birth control has the power to make us go back in time now?

          • Ella Warnock

            Well hell, if it does this old menopausal woman is going back on it.

          • lady_black

            Yes! Pregnancy can now be diagnosed prior to fertilization, according to a source cited by a really dumb anti-choicer.

          • Shan

            Is there a home testing kit available at Walgreens yet? If I can get one that tells me a month in advance of when one of my last remaining eggs is going to get fertilized, I think I’ll just plan on us ordering pizza and having a Netflix binge that night instead..

          • Jennifer Starr

            How exactly? Because even if an egg is fertilized, until it actually implants successfully in the uterus you’re not going to have a pregnancy. This is nothing short of ridiculous. I won’t even go into the lunacy of claiming that everyone born after 1/22/73 is somehow an ‘abortion survivor’–that’s nothing short of ridiculous. If I get swim in a pool and don’t drown, does that make me a drowning survivor? Sheer idiocy

          • Ella Warnock

            I was born before 1973, but I can assure you if I’d been born after that I would NOT be a “survivor” of abortion. My mother would never have had one under any circumstance except perhaps a life-threatening condition. Even then, I’m not so sure. Love the drowning analogy.

          • Jennifer Starr

            I was born on January 31, 1973, and I didn’t survive squat, though I was apparently about a week late at that point:)

          • lady_black

            Anti-choice sites lie. Imagine that.

          • Mirable

            However, we are all ‘idiot survivors’.

          • lady_black

            Yeah. And THIS is what she posts as a citation. My twelve year old nephew wouldn’t fall for this kind of verbal flim-flammery. No matter WHAT definition you give to “conception” that will never make “fertilization” the same thing as “pregnancy.” I almost fell off my chair laughing when I got to the part about being able to “diagnose pregnancy prior to fertilization.” That’s a direct cut and paste from her citation.

          • fiona64

            Please, oh, please, link me to this discussion …

          • Mirable

            Your wish is my command…

            http://liveactionnews.org/heartbeat-bill-aims-to-protect-unborn-children-in-alabama/#comment-1255110424

            The entire thing is full of lulz

            Andrew J Corrales lectures LB on life and self-defense
            PJ4 says that she is a minority that LB wants to genocide
            MB says that LB doesn’t know that feti are fully conscious in the womb and therefore can’t be a real nurse
            Rachel says some dumb shit

            A barrel of laughs.

          • Ella Warnock

            If fetuses are fully conscious in the womb, why don’t I remember my time in the womb?

          • Ella Warnock

            Well, well, it just must be that they’re well aware that pregnancy and childbirth are just a tad more than an “inconvenience.” Apparently adoption of older or special needs or non-white kids is also inconvenient. You’d think that supporting “life” of any age would be worth the length and expense of the adoption process. Alas, though, you’d be wrong.

          • Mirable

            Yes an anti choicer on mommyish had the gall to say that she was going to adopt, but ‘ now isn’t the right time’

          • Ella Warnock

            Wonder what makes her time so much more valuable than the woman who chooses abortion? And who cares about “her time” if there’s a kid out there in need that she could be helping? Is her time more important than that kid’s life? Of course, if you were to ask her these questions, crickets would commence their loud chirping.

          • Shan

            Remember the flap way back when in Seattle when two servers got fired at a Red Robin for refusing to serve a drink to a pregnant woman? With the way things are going, now they could have her arrested and charged with child endangerment.

          • Ella Warnock

            I remember that. A lot of people who would happily slap the cuffs on a pregnant woman “behaving badly” were livid that those servers got fired, too.

          • lady_black

            They deserved to be fired. It’s none of their damn business. A big-time drinker isn’t going to be ordering a beer at Red Robin anyway. The servers were out of line.

          • Shan

            I lived in Seattle at the time and was flabbergasted by the arrogance the servers displayed. 10 years later, I’d moved away and came back after having had my first kid whilst living abroad and thought for sure a decade had brought a bit more enlightenment. I found that wasn’t so much the case when I was working on making my 2nd kid. Turns out that Americans were not just still but even *more* under the impression that every pregnant belly is public property.

          • goatini

            “every pregnant belly is public property”

            Correct. In the U S of A, it is rapidly getting to be that female US citizens are nothing more than public baby ovens to be owned and/or exploited.

          • HeilMary1

            My mom and an ex-coworker at USAToday had tea and cola-induced miscarriages.

          • lady_black

            So they said. Are they doctors? Because even doctors don’t know what causes a miscarriage.

          • expect_resistance

            Followers of “The Pill Kills” campaign.

          • lady_black

            I rarely say this and mean it. But these people are nuts. They have a bunch of loose screws, and no understanding of how hormonal birth control works.

          • expect_resistance

            You are a like a modern day Xena. :)))))))

        • HeilMary1

          There are too many such offices and not enough protesters. Plus, these loonies don’t want to be greeted by family member PATIENTS.

          • Ella Warnock

            Exactly.

  • HeilMary1

    The Fitzgeralds are Munchausen by Proxy bullies just like my sex-hating bully mom and her cheating, enabling, racist husband. My mom and dad regularly protested a PP clinic in Doylestown, PA, which must have been quite a sight for our neighbor prostitute whom dad was getting it from on the side!

    • expect_resistance

      That would be something to see. They are hypocrites for sure.

  • lady_black

    What makes these nuts think they have any right to “close proximity” to anyone? What about the right to simply enter your doctor’s office free from harassment? These people don’t know why someone is entering a clinic. It’s none of their business. I’m not a violent person by nature, but if I was being harassed while trying to enter my doctor’s office, I might react violently.

  • Ella Warnock

    As far as I can tell, “counseling” is something that one seeks out and ASKS for, ostensibly from someone that you’ve checked out and deemed as qualified to address your issues. If I’m looking for grief counseling, I’m hardly going to talk to some schmoe on the sidewalk outside of a funeral home, for example.

    How tolerant could I expect a neighborhood to be if I appoint myself as a counselor and hang around outside a bar and harangue its patrons about the eeevils of that devil drank? And hey, friend, Jesus wants to heal your addiction, and I’m his anointed messenger. Just trust me on this! Without, of course, even knowing whether there’s a dependency problem or not. Knowing nothing, actually, and having no authority aside from that I believe I’m borrowing from a nebulous magic man. No, what I could expect is a boot in the ass, and rightly so.

  • Lynnsey

    The fact that these people can’t “protest” without getting right in peoples’ faces tells you all you need to know about them. This case should be thrown out right away because, as others have pointed out, you don’t have a right to an audience for your speech.

    I still don’t understand why this is even a question. If I did the kinds of things these wingnuts do at a dentist’s office, I bet it wouldn’t take me 10 minutes to get arrested.

    • Shan

      “If I did the kinds of things these wingnuts do at a dentist’s office, I bet it wouldn’t take me 10 minutes to get arrested.”

      And about 14 seconds in front of a church.

      • Renee Goodwin

        Might be fun to test, we would have to do something along the lines of occupy, and have plenty of news/press/video cameras on site, we could hold up signs that say “God wants YOU to have an abortion”

        • expect_resistance

          Great culture jamming idea. I like it.

          • Renee Goodwin

            We could say that we are only there to “counsel” them LOL

      • expect_resistance

        Yep. If this happened the cops would issue tickets for disorderly conduct or make arrests. It’s a double standard that the antis can protest outsides clinics. If this was a non-women’s clinic anyone protesting would be cited for disorderly conduct. But somehow it’s okay that women’s clinics get protested by bullies.

  • expect_resistance

    Anti-choice “sidewalk-counselor” bullies piss me off. Their First Amendment rights are NOT being violated. They do not have a constitutional right to bully, harass, and intimidate women. Personally this annoys me because I’ve had my first amendment rights violated during the protests during the 08 RNC convention. During several days of protests, we were maced, tear-gassed, and assaulted with flash-bang grenades.

    • Shan

      I posted a thing here earlier this morning linking to an article I’d read elsewhere with women detailing their experiences running protester gantlet. That post isn’t here now, either because I didn’t post it right or because a) I had a click-link to another site that’s against the rules or b) because I suggested too strongly that crazypeople accosting folks on public sidewalks should be pepper-sprayed.

      That last bit, I admit, may have been out of line for a site moderator to be allowed to remain up on this site, but really…All I was trying to say is that if random protesters of anything came up to me on any OTHER sidewalk anywhere else (like at a bus stop instead of a clinic) and started screaming in my face and throwing shit at me like one of the women in the article described happened to her and her relatives, they should expect to get maced. And the police should expect to get called out to deal with it and know that it’s the screaming shit-throwing whackjobs who need to be taken away and prosecuted, not the people defending themselves.

      • Mirable

        It was the link. Got caught in spam filter. Put spaces around the “. ” and it should get through.

        • Shan

          I’ve posted links the same way I did in that post (a space after the ://) and they either go through or get caught up in the “pending moderation” loop. I don’t think I’ve seen one just…disappear.

    • Aquaria

      Read up on what happened when Rage Against the Machine decided to hold a concert outside the Democratic Convention in 2000, protesting the two-party system of plutocracy masquerading as a government. The pigs showed their true, totalitarian colors that day, too. The pigs even went after reporters.

      We live in a police state, and most Americans are too fat dumb and self-satisfied to know it.

      • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling
        • expect_resistance

          Crap that was awful, but it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t trust the cops at all. I’ve had run-ins with cops before and what I would consider harassment, not to the extent of the women in the video, but still made me fear for my personal safety.

          I’m surprised the cops didn’t arrest the man filming it. The don’t want any evidence of their bullying behavior.

      • expect_resistance

        The police hate Rage Against the Machine. In 2008 at the RNC convention in St. Paul, MN Rage tried to play at an outdoor concert and the police stopped the show and pulled the electricity for the bands equipment. That didn’t stop Rage as they did an short acapella‎ show anyway.

        Have you seen the documentary “Terrorizing Dissent?” It’s about the protests during the 2008 RNC convention. The film shows, “first-person accounts and footage from more than forty cameras on the streets, The film focuses on the story of dissent suppressed. People charged with ‘conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism’ speak out against the government’s campaign to manipulate media coverage and label civil disobedience and community organizing as terrorism.”

        • Mirable

          Got any other documentaries to recommend? Or books? I am always on the lookout for something new!

          • expect_resistance

            Sure. I’ve got lots of suggestions. Any particular genre? I’m kind of a nonfiction book freak and documentary film addict.

            Check Films for Action (.org). A great source for watching documentary films for free.

          • Mirable

            I like politics, history and cultural docus.

          • expect_resistance

            A few recommendations:

            “Expect Resistance” and “Days of War, Nights of Love” by CrimeThInc. books

            “End Game” volumes one and two by Derrick Jensen. He is an American author and environmental activist (and critic of mainstream environmentalism).

            “All our Relations” and “Last Standing Woman” by Winona LaDuke an American Indian activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer of Anishinaabe descent.

            “The War on Choice” by Gloria Feldt

            “Blood Magic The Anthropology of Menstruation” by Thomas Buckley.

            “Greed is Not Enough” by Robert Lakachman. A book about Reaganomics, or ‘Trickle Down Economics.’ It’s an old book but still a good read.

            “Death of the Liberal Class” and “Days of Destruction Days of Revolt” by Chris Hedges.

            Documentaries by CrimeThinc.:
            END:CIV
            Breaking the Spell
            The Miami Model

          • Mirable

            Thanks!

      • expect_resistance

        And, in 2008 at the RNC convention the cops went after Amy Goodman and her crew. She had press credentials and the cops just ignored it and her first amendment rights. I think she sued the St. Paul Police and won.