This week, the Supreme Court begins to hear opening arguments for yet another landmark first amendment case under the Obama administration â€“ McCullen v. Coakley. The outcome of this trial will determine the legality of â€śbuffer zonesâ€ť outside of aborton clinics, also known as areas deliberately cleared of protestors. This issue is particularly hot-button because anti-abortion activists have an established knack for the vigilant and cruel method of â€śpersuasion,â€ť to say nothing of oft-documented incidents of harassment and violence against women entering or exiting clinics. But on the other hand, restricting public thoroughfares to (allegedly) peaceful assemblies arguably contradicts our Constitutional right to protest in the streets.
Image courtesy of Amicus Magazine.
We all know that women's rights in general and the right to an abortion in particular have been under increasing fire from a conservative legislature and judiciary body, so, as you self-protect, we urge you to follow this case.* I tend to abide with The New York Times, who argue â€śthat the government may reasonably impose 'time, place and manner' restrictions on speech, provided they are neutral as to content.â€ť Points also for the Times' editorial stance declaring, â€śthe vast majority of women who do choose to end a pregnancy do not do so lightly, contrary to the condescending assumptions of anti-abortion activists and lawmakers.â€ť Yes, yes, of course.
And if anyone you know happens to need a refresher on just how miserable an ordeal abortion already is for a woman â€“ even before she's accosted outside of the clinic â€“ check out this New York Magazine feature.
*Bonus fact, for your up-to-the-minute-update ease: the SCOTUS has a blog.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.