Abortion Protestors Need To Stop Harassing Women At Madison Clinics


There are many avenues one can take concerning a political disagreement.  One can contact an elected official, write a letter to the local newspaper, or even seek office themself to affect change.  But when it comes to the physical act of harassing people who are legally operating within the bounds of the law there can be no defense of such behavior.

That is why I am very much in favor of the news from Madison Alderperson Lisa Subeck.

If her idea passes muster with the city council there will be a buffer zone located as the various clinics in Madison that will allow the entrances for women who seek health care services not to be intimidated or worse by protestors.  I suspect that the most important site in the city to be covered by such a law would be the East Side abortion clinic.

I am not using this post to weigh the merits of Roe v. Wade.  What I will, however, very strongly point out is that the 1973 landmark ruling is the law of the land, and to pretend that there are protestors who think themselves wiser or more learned than those who ruled from the high bench is simply preposterous.  They may have grievances and differences with the ruling, and that is fine.  But let those differences be noted in the proper forums.  The face-to-face protesting at health clinics is NOT the place to register complaints with the court ruling or the law of the land.

As such I am very much in favor of the action proposed by Subeck that would protect patients and employees from protesters with a protective zone within 160 feet of health clinics so that coming and going to clinics could occur without obstruction.  Some 20(?)  years ago I witnessed a group of protestors at a downtown location chanting and carrying signs decrying abortion.  What struck me then, and what I still recall now was more than the passion of their feelings, but their anger.  That anger should not be on display at clinics when women are entering and exiting.   All too often in our society we see where uncontrolled anger can lead.

The proposal, if passed in the weeks to come, would limit a protestor coming within 8 feet of a person so not to be able to engage in all the colorful ways their political theatre is played out.  The law would also not allow for signs if on a public way or sidewalk within the 160-foot-protective zone.

It would seem to me that in 2014 we might have progressed to the point where such new laws were not needed.  But that has been proven not to be the case.  As such the Madison City Council needs to get behind Subeck’s proposal and make sure it is enacted.

5 thoughts on “Abortion Protestors Need To Stop Harassing Women At Madison Clinics

  1. mark sevelis

    You are counting your eggs before they hatch. Check the “high courts” about a current case in Mass. where one city has the eight foot zone; another city has a 32 foot zone. SCOTUS is thinking that the protestors’ First Amendment rights are being violated. It’s shaping up that anything more than eight feet will be prohibited.

    Your side will have to come up with a solution to minimize abortions on demand. Snuffing out a human life b/c a woman or her sperm donor is too lazy to take a trip to the drugstore is a crime. My side will not give up until Roe vs. Wade is overturned. IDGAS if the Madistan City Council passes 100 restrictive laws.

    I know what you mean about all the anger though. I saw it with all the Madistan Goon Squads goose stepping around the Square and the Squalidarity Singers (the Nazi SS) damaging my state capitol building. What are you going to do when Scott Walker is elected to another term? Rumor is that right-to-work will be passed.

  2. First based on your attitude in written form I would suggest you might be the type of person that should be unable to force your way close to women at clinics. Second harassing women who have sought out a clinic for health reasons and are acting within the law only makes anyone who shouts at them or approaches a true knuckle-dragger.

  3. tom

    While I find abortion morally reprehensible, I cant quite condone casting figurative verbal stones at them. Part of this is because I have never been convinced or morally certain that I might not have made the same choices. How can anyone really know until they are in that position. Secondly, we live in a sick kind of culture which worships promiscuity and death. Consider how deeply we hide the reality of abortion underneath dehumanizing euphemisms like “women’s health services.” What other health procedure is so deeply obscured. I know that this is because we seek to shield women from the shame which many believe is associated with this act. How difficult it must be to be a woman sometimes, and sad when too many men are not real men.

    Sadly, abortion is merely the symptom. I would push the protesters back even further, I think, or send them to Hollywood and Wall Street.

  4. Also Mark, the law being heard by the Supreme Court is substantially different. That law creates a buffer around a clinic, not an individual and also does not have uniform application.

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