Operation Save America protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Jackson, Mississippi, police department Monday. Inside, fellow anti-choice activists were facing criminal charges associated with protest activities.
The bill, known as An Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities, was rushed through the legislature after the state’s buffer zone law was struck down in June.
Last week activists interrupted a New Orleans Unitarian Universalist service to hector the congregants, demonstrating how the anti-choice movement is seeking to attack the long-standing American tradition of religious tolerance.
The complaint cites incidents dating back to 1996 in which the Jackson police detained, threatened arrest, and arrested Pro-Life Mississippi members while protesting what is today the state’s only remaining abortion clinic, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Operation Save America protesters have focused primarily on harassing the staff, volunteers, and patients of reproductive health-care clinics in New Orleans this week. They held a “wake” for what was said to be an aborted fetus in Jackson Square, and gathered at the home of a physician who is an abortion provider.
The protests appear to be motivated in part by the construction of a new Planned Parenthood facility in the city that will offer a full range of reproductive health services.
The Hobby Lobby case was about birth control coverage, but to see and hear the anti-choice protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court steps Monday, you might have thought the Court was reconsidering Roe v. Wade.
I have seen countless women reduced to tears and shaking, just for trying to access the health care to which they are constitutionally entitled. That isn’t peaceful assembly. That is harassment, hiding behind the First Amendment.
I don’t remember ever seeing the word “gentle” used to describe queer activism in the ’90s, anti-war marches in the 2000s, or the Occupy movement in 2011, even though those activists have a much more “gentle” record than anti-choice protesters do.
In striking a Massachusetts buffer zone law, the U.S. Supreme Court has dramatically reframed the debate over balancing the rights of patients and providers with the rights of abortion protesters.