Supreme Court Greenlights Cruel Hateful Intimidation of Women

by Mary Lou Greenberg | June 30, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


In its decision Thursday banning sidewalk buffer zones outside abortion clinics—areas around clinic entrances where anti-abortion protesters are not allowed—the Supreme Court of the U.S. said that these zones impeded the rights of those who wish to “engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives.”

There’s much more to say about this decision, but for now, let me describe some of the “caring, consensual conversations” outside the abortion clinic where I escort clients down the sidewalk to the entrance every Saturday:

“Caring person” in loud-conversation voice: “Don’t murder your baby!”

Client heading toward the clinic door shielded by escorts: “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Another “caring person” in louder voice: “You’re already a mother! You’ll be the mother of a dead baby if you go in there!”

Client walking faster, guided by escorts: “Go Away!”

“Caring” preacher person at the top of his lungs a few feet from the entrance: “You’ll burn in hell if you go in there!”

Another “caring person” in loud “conversation” with a woman going into the clinic with two small children: "Don’t let your mommy murder your baby sister/brother!”

And yet another, to a man walking in with his partner: “Be a man! Protect your seed!”

And the personal advice given by another: “You’ll get breast cancer/commit suicide/never get pregnant again if you go in there!”

It’s cruel, hateful, lying speech designed to intimidate and shame women out of having abortions. Now, further picture all this coming from the mouths of people who, with sneers and glares, try and corner women against a car or an outside wall... or push their way in front of women as they approach the clinic entrance for their appointments, forcing them to fear for their physical safety... or stand three feet from the entrance with a video camera trying to catch every face, every entrance.

Let’s be clear: this decision is not about “free speech.” It officially sanctions and gives the anti-abortion fundamentalist fascists free reign to intimidate and harass women at close range as they try to enter clinics. And while the above examples are of physically aggressive, mostly male protestors, I’ve seen a sweet little grandmother-type—which the Supreme Court decision supposedly was about—grab the arm of a woman entering the clinic and try to forcibly pull her away.

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.