Special thanks to my friend John at http://usanow.blogspot.com for his article on this topic. (Which also happened to be the source where I found out about this)
Some of you may remember Operation Rescue. I certainly do, because my family (including me) was heavily involved in Pro Life causes throughout the 1980s. We would go to protests nearly every Saturday. We picketed Planned Parenthood, medical plazas that did abortions, even KU medical center (where at one end they have a premier NICU and at the other end they used to do late term abortions). We even picketed at abortionist’s homes and at the leasing company that leased clinic space to abortionists.
We put the leasing company out of business. People just didn’t want to deal with the stigma of constantly having protesters hanging around.
99% of the protests were completely peaceful, on public ground (like sidewalks) and were completely silent. You always here about shouting matches and pro-life protesters trying to make women feel bad as they entered the clinics. Not true. I was there. If you weren’t there, then shut your mouth. We would stand in silence on the sidewalk holding signs.
There was also Operation Rescue. Operation Rescue was much more aggressive in it’s actions. They would do “Sit-Ins” where they would chain themselves together in front of clinic doors. This was highly effective, and people were all of course arrested. Although it was silent and was peaceful, it was still trespassing. Yes, I understand that trespassing is illegal. Hippies and liberals have been protesting in exactly the same way since the 60s.
I read somewhere that in America we have the right to peaceably assemble… the right to free speech. Oh, now I remember… it’s in the Constitution.
Well, NOW (National Organization of Womyn) and Planned Barrenhood didn’t like the bad press of having protestors holding signs that referred to abortion as murder. Which it is.
They decided their best bet was to go after Operation Rescue, because trespassing is illegal and Operation Rescue was organizing the protests. So they took Randall Terry to court… I’m NOT making this up… on RICO laws. In other words, for protesting and voicing his opinions, they were saying that we was a mob boss. That’s about the size of it.
Well, I hope you are all gasping at the mere thought. Do you want to live in a country without free speech? How about with selective free speech? In order for free speech to exist, it has to exist for everyone. The KKK has it. The NAACP has it. Ted Kennedy has it. Why shouldn’t pro-lifers have it?
Did you know that it’s now illegal for me to stand less than 200 yards from a clinic on PUBLIC property with a sign? I can stand on the sidewalk in front of any other business of any kind and it’s perfectly legal.
NOW and Planned Barrenhood were SO off their nut, that guess who helped defend Randall Terry? You’ll never ever guess in a million years.
The ACLU. Even the ACLU could see that it was an infringement… the first step in the erosion of free speech.
And guess what, the Supreme Pizza Court just voted unanimously AGAINST NOW and Planned Barrenhood. I guess even in this screwed up world, there are a few basic rights that even they can’t deny.