New York City's pro–life advocates are bracing for an expected new law that they say will prevent them from gathering outside abortion clinics and will violate their First Amendment rights to free speech.Having people arrested, of course, is the whole point of this law, to suppress opposition. Ironic how the forked tongue left is all too quick to shriek "First Amendment!" whenever it perceives the slightest curtailment of their noisome activities, such as the disruption of church services or shouting down speakers in the academy with whom they disagree. Peaceful demonstrating at abortion clinics by pro-lifers is, however, another matter entirely and occasions shrill proclamations of a woman's "right to chose" or "control of her body;" unenumerated rights that apparently supercede the First Amendment rights of the protesters.
The Clinic Access Bill, known as Intro. 826 in the City Council, was introduced by Council Speaker Christine Quinn and is expected to pass overwhelmingly, possibly as early as Dec. 9. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is expected to sign it into law.
Opponents in the pro–life community, including officials of the archdiocese, say that a new law is unnecessary, and that the bill is so vaguely worded as to bar any kind of gathering at all. They say that the bill, in effect, allows clinic managers to have people outside their clinics arrested for harassment or interference without having to prove it.
It may seem perverse but in a way I hope this bill passes. The pro-abortionists want to up the stakes in the fight and that should be encouraged. Abortion is a low-background issue in this country, most good people, while finding the subject distasteful, would rather not think or hear about it (for fear, perhaps, of incurring feminist wrath). Since the hearty souls who tirelessly demonstrate at Planned Parenthood locales are not easily intimidated, the passing of the Clinic Access Bill will result in their very public and recurring arrests, thus pushing the "distasteful" matter onto the front page, frequently, for all to see.
Militant pro-abortionists and feminists have few fans (other than their own company) so the frequent jailing of pro-lifers at their behest could result in the majority of people, those who feel at least "uneasy" about abortion, to consider the matter anew (as I did many years ago). Constantly having abortion brought to people's attention by the constant arrest of its opponents might have the salutary effect of persuading them the abomination it is, resulting in support of legislation that at least curtails the practice. That, in turn, would increase the stigma of abortion, making future, more restrictive legislation easier to pass.
In time, the day will come when the unborn child enjoys the same constitutional rights as those today who want to kill it.
UPDATE: a related story.