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Forced Birthers Just Want To Annoy You In Person, Is That So Wrong?
Your reproductive rights roundup.
Forced Birther Desperate To Annoy Abortion Patients Up Close
One of the few remaining protections that abortion patients have is that they are allowed to go and get an abortion (where they can) without anti-choice wackos like Wendy Faustin getting in their personal space and trying to "counsel" them.
First Liberty Institute
Faustin has been annoying people outside Colorado abortion clinics for decades and is very upset about laws requiring her to keep 100 feet away from the entrance to an abortion clinic and eight feet away from patients. She is quite sure she has a First Amendment right to give these patients pamphlets and to try to convince them not to have an abortion, and she is suing to overturn state and local laws protecting patients from her harassing them.
These laws exist because people have the right to access healthcare without being harassed by people like Faustin. If those patients do wish to speak with her before going in to get an abortion, they are free to do so and she and others are surely accessible to them at eight feet away. Everyone walking into an abortion clinic knows that part and parcel of that experience is having anti-choice zealots scream at them and if they wanted to talk to those people, they would do so.
“Distributing leaflets discussing abortion, its risks and implications, and its alternatives is core expression protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” the complaint states. “Orally discussing abortion, its risks and implications, and its alternatives with persons entering an abortion clinic is core expression protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”
The First Amendment does not cover personal interactions, which is why restraining orders and no contact orders are legal and why people on parole or probation are routinely prohibited from interacting with felons. Faustin has a right to express her viewpoint but she doesn't have a right to engagement or discussion.
New York AG Also Wants To Protect Abortion Patients From Wendy Faustins
New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Red Rose Rescue, a forced birther group that routinely blockades the entrances to clinics and even invades them, refusing to leave until they are hauled away by police.
“Red Rose Rescue has made it their mission to terrorize reproductive health care providers and the patients they serve,” said James in a press release. “Only we have the right to make decisions about our own bodies — not anti-choice legislators, and not bigoted zealots. We will not allow Red Rose Rescue to harass and harangue New Yorkers with their outrageous militant tactics. Make no mistake: abortion is health care, and as New York’s Attorney General, I will continue to protect and defend everyone’s legal right to safely access health care.”
The grand dame of Red Rose Rescue is one Monica Migliorino Miller, who is responsible for all the grisly pictures you see anti-choicers carrying posters of outside of clinics of fetuses that were actually too far along to have actually been aborted.
No, The 12-Week Abortion Bans In North Carolina And Nebraska Are Not Very European
At Vox, social policy reporter Rachel M. Cohen makes some excellent points about what Republican politicians are getting wrong when they try to compare their 12-week abortion bans to 12-week abortion "bans" in Europe — specifically that they are not really "bans" at all.
The 12-week gestational limits in countries like Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and Italy are for elective abortions, meaning that doctors do not have to cite a reason for performing them. After that, abortion is still permitted, there just has to be a reason for it. The "reasons" allowed include medical issues, but also mental health and socioeconomic reasons, which the Republican bans on abortion health care certainly do not include. It's not great and it would certainly be preferable for those limits to not exist at all, but it's something.
The other reason they are very much not the same is that these countries have universal healthcare that covers abortion. People don't have to pay for them so they don't have to wait for their next paycheck in order to afford one, as they often do in the United States.
I do think it's important to note, however, that there is in fact an abortion accessibility crisis in Italy — because the country is so Catholic, there are not a lot of doctors who actually perform abortions, meaning that patients can't always get the health care to which they are entitled.
Nevertheless, this is a really necessary distinction that hasn't been made enough, and the "Oh, don't you all think Europe is so great and liberal? Even super liberal France doesn't allow abortion after 14 weeks" talking point needs to die. It's an abortion, not a fucking croissant.
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