Abortion

Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone Ruling Makes Liberals Like Cenk Uygur Embrace the Second Amendment

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American Life League/Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Thursday in McCullen v. Coakley quickly provoked a fair amount of outrage. The case concerned a Massachusetts law creating a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, in which protestors could not tread. Anti-abortion activist Eleanor McCullen argued—and Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed—that the buffer zones were an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. But the court's decision was narrow in scope, rejecting not the idea of buffer zones per se but the way this particular Massachusetts law was written. 

"For a problem shown to arise only once a week in one city at one clinic, creating 35-foot buffer zones at every clinic across the Commonwealth is hardly a narrowly tailored solution," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts, in an opinion cosigned by the court's four liberal justices (the other justices offered concurring opinions). Roberts suggested that a small buffer zone or a less broad law might pass muster. 

The decision seems like one that should appease folks on both side of the issue, if not necessarily thrill them. The court was careful to balance the safety interests of abortion clinic patients and staff with First Amendment rights. 

Here's how Cenk Uygur, host of the progressive political commentary program The Young Turks responded:

"You're gonna yell at those women making the toughest decision of their lives—a choice that's between them, their doctor, and having nothing to do with you or big government or your so-called god, which might not be their god? Well, you tell me every day that I've got Second Amendment rights. I guess in Massachusetts, Colorado, [and] Montana, those women have to show up with their guns and be like, 'Okay, you've got rights. You've got a right to get in my face; I've got a right to stand my ground, right?' I mean, that's what I'm told by conservatives day in and day out."

Oof, so much mess to unpack there. First, Uygur seems to suggest that being against a woman's legal right to make her own medical decisions is somehow anti "big government." Because this makes so obviously little sense, I'm going to suggest that Uygur is just throwing in "big government" there as a dog whistle for the kind of people who think wanting to limit government power is some sort of nutty, extremist idea. 

Moving on to the meat of Uygur's comments here: Why, yes, women seeking abortions do also have second amendment rights. If they feel physically unsafe heading to an abortion clinic, they could very well bring along a gun. And if they needed it for self defense, they could use that gun. If they chose to wave said gun in the face of people peacefully protesting, they would be subject to the same punishments as anyone who recklessly brandishes and threatens people with a gun.

I am not sure what is controversial about this. And I would assume that most conservatives, even extremely anti-abortion conservatives, believe that even women seeking abortions have Second Amendment rights. That is the thing about constitutional rights in this country: They apply even to people you don't like. Liberals may not like protesters like McCullen, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have First Amendment rights. And for the First Amendment to mean anything, it has to be interpreted broadly.

I think people like McCullen are scum, but I'm sure she'd think the same about me. If I was the type inclined to theatrics, I may choose to go protest her protests, to stand by her side advocating for reproductive rights—and I can't imaging many liberals having trouble with this. But if we create a free speech paradigm where McCullen's words and actions are illegal, than so would mine be. And a government big enough to arbitrarily suppress speech that's distasteful is also a government big enough to strip away any sorts of rights, including the reproductive rights liberals are so vociferously defending here. 

When I wrote about this issue for another publication in January, I admit that I had a different viewpoint. But I wasn't fully grasping the free speech implications then, and the more I've read about the case, the more I've come around. For people dedicated to the health and safety of those entering abortion clinics, I understand why the buffer zones may seem like an appealing idea. But only if you consider them solely within this context. If people want the right to protest outside Monsanto or the Westboro Baptist Church or wherever else, than McCullen and her ilk has to be allowed to protest outside abortion clinics. 

Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal asks, "why must harassment, initimidation, and terror have to be endured before women's constitutional rights are protected?" But "harassment and intimidation are already against the law, quite correctly," as a surprisingly cogent New York Daily News editorial notes. 

In New York State, it is specifically illegal to use or threaten force to injure, intimidate or interfere with access to abortion clinics. In New York City, an especially powerful law makes it a crime "to follow and harass another person within 15 feet of the premises of a reproductive health care facility."

Massachusetts went far beyond that.

Thuggery is a crime. Speech, even loud and impassioned speech, is the sometimes uncomfortable consequence of living in a free society.

Anyway, here's the whole Uygur segment, if you're feeling like a dose of outraged, disingenuous smarm:

h/t Chanelle Johnson 

NEXT: Friday A/V Club: Equal Time for Surrealist Subversion

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  1. You mean liberals are inconsistent and unprincipled? Who knew?

    1. And why are they always so goddamned stupid?

    2. Like where Cenk says that the antis are showing “grotesque” pics of abortions to those women ?

      But the abortion itself is OK ?

      Anyway, I do agree with his point about free speech cages with respect to government activities.

      I remember the “free Speech ” zone the Feds tried to create out at the Bundy Ranch.

      In other words, the government says if you want to exercise your 1st Amendment rights you can only do so if you stand in this little square over here. If you stand outside the square your 1st Amendment rights don’t exist and you are subject to arrest.

      Fuck Government employees. Why some people want to hire their next door neighbors and then give them the power to tell us how we can live is beyond me.

      That is what government has become.

      It’s your next door neighbor telling you what you can and cannot do.

  2. Yeah, saw a lot of slagging on free speech from the liberal Facebook Clown Patrol. What kills me about Uyger is that he seems to be arguing gun rights are…what exactly? Bad or good?

    1. He thinks that stand-your-ground laws give legal cover to shooting people who annoy you, or likes to pretend that, at least.

      1. HOODIEZ! SKITTLES! TEA!

        Ain’t nobody got time for that.

        1. Obviously asserting a right to self-defense is racist. You see, if we outlaw all use of violence, no one will be violent! Presto.

          1. I am just going to drop this one simple sentence into every single article that mischaracterizes SYG:

            “In the United States, stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense without an obligation to retreat first.”

            It won’t work on the deliberately ignorant like Uyger, but it may change some of the zombie hordes who follow him.

            Also, if Uyger wants to do some real good, he can go campaign for abortion rights in his native Turkey, where a wife needs a husband’s consent.

            tldr we should strip Uyger of his citizenship.

          2. An odd thing I’ve noticed about many on the left is that they see no difference between self defense and vigilante justice. No difference at all.

            1. If Trayvon got shot by an 90 year old women under the exact same circumstances I have to wonder how inconvenient it would have been for lefties to portray her as Bull Conner.

              1. She was paranoid and too quick to rely on a gun when her racist preconceptions from her childhood grasped her with an irrational fear of a small unimposing black boy.

                1. trshmnster…”…a small unimposing black boy”. Black boy!! Racist.

      2. No, that’s not stand-your-ground laws, it’s being a LEO.

    2. If I waved a gun at someone yelling “racist warmonger!” in my face, he would quickly go back to thinking 2nd Amendment rights are Bad.

  3. I’m going to suggest that Uygur is just throwing in “big government” there as a dog whistle

    Ya think? That’s sort of what people like him do. Because it works on his fellow travelers.

  4. Cenk does come across as an unusually stupid and incoherent person.

    being against a woman’s legal right to make her own medical decisions is somehow anti “big government.”

    What he’s really against is the First Amendment (speech and association). So, yes, when it comes to the decision limiting government power to control speech and association, he is pro-big-government, and his opponents are anti-big-government

    1. It should surprise exactly no one here that the left is anti-free speech. They are perfectly happy to criminalize speech they don’t like.

      The right has its bouts of that too, but much less so, and much further on the fringe.

      1. Just don’t show two men kissing on primetime TV.

        1. Hasn’t hurt Game of Thrones ratings any

          1. HBO is a pay channel. They don’t have ratings, as they have no sponsor accountability. They have channel subscribers. Period.

            It gives them a platform to spew progressive pablum through Bill Maher, John Oliver, and their various propaganda documentaries.

            GoT us popular in spite of all the floppy wieners. Not because of it.

      2. The right and left have traded places on this. The right used to be more for censorship than the left, by a long shot. Not any more.

      3. I believe that the roles used to be reversed.

    2. How is being 35 foot away from a door any limitation on free speech?

      In the first place, freedom of speech is not a freedom to be heard. But even if it was, any voice can be heard from 35 feet away.

      So no problem in speech as far as I am concerned.

      The problem in this issue is not speech but physical proximity to those who have demonstrated a desire to cause physical harm.

      I think that in dangerous situations, whether it be around the President, the Supreme Court, or abortion clinics, considering the possible curtailment of free speech to be the same, the same physical limitations need to apply.

      1. You should step 35 feet away from your keyboard before you try commenting again.

      2. What about job sites where Unionist are protesting? Why did you not add them as well to your laundry list of institutions you believe should have a buffer zone?

  5. That is the thing about constitutional rights in this country: They apply even to people you don’t like.

    This is why liberals hate the Constitution.

    1. This is why almost everybody hates the Constitution. People, in general, want to force other people to behave a certain way. Maybe 90% of people think that politics is all about making people conform. The left, the religious right, law and order conservatives, progressives, etc all hate the Constitution because it stands in the way of their agenda. This is why when the Constitution gets trampled upon nobody really cares.

      1. But without the Constitution, where will my regularly violated rights be codified?

      2. Zealots always strive for the goal of a utopian society on their terms. Pieces of paper must not stand in the way of that.

      3. Yes, good point. Protection for minority views gets in the way of conformity and everyone wants to other everyone else until they are un-othered. Or something like that.

    2. Also why they regard the first half or so of ‘Animal Farm’ as an instruction manual. As opposed to a cautionary tale.

  6. Progressives are not defending reproductive rights, they believe all those “rights” should be regulated and restricted by the state. They are defending the right to a regulated abortion. Like one is able to by birth control pills after following all the regulations or hire a surrogate mother after following all the regulations (progressives have no problem with the state can regulating the uterus in this case) or…

    1. (progressives have no problem with the state can regulating the uterus in this case

      because PROFITZ!11

    2. Actually no.

      I think progressives have come to understand that there will be opponents to their view on abortion.

      However, there has been enough violence done in the name of foetal rights that many rightly fear physical harm.

      And it is the primary, fundamental duty of any government to protect their people from harm.

      1. Preventing the possibility of harm, aside from being impossible, is not the government’s job. Nor is being yelled at or shown a sign “harm”.

      2. Police do not have a Constitutional duty to protect someone.

        (1) Richard W. Stevens. 1999. Dial 911 and Die. Hartford, Wisconsin: Mazel Freedom Press.

        (2) Barillari v. City of Milwaukee, 533 N.W.2d 759 (Wis. 1995).

        (3) Bowers v. DeVito, 686 F.2d 616 (7th Cir. 1982).

        (4) DeShaney v. Winnebago County Department of Social Services, 489 U.S. 189 (1989).

        (5) Ford v. Town of Grafton, 693 N.E.2d 1047 (Mass. App. 1998).

        (6) Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. 1981).
        “…a government and its agencies are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any particular individual citizen…” -Warren v. District of Columbia, 444 A.2d 1 (D.C. App. 1981)

        (7) “What makes the City’s position particularly difficult to understand is that, in conformity to the dictates of the law, Linda did not carry any weapon for self-defense. Thus by a rather bitter irony she was required to rely for protection on the City of NY which now denies all responsibility to her.”
        Riss v. New York, 22 N.Y.2d 579,293 N.Y.S.2d 897, 240 N.E.2d 806 (1958).

        (8) “Law enforcement agencies and personnel have no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others; instead their duty is to preserve the peace and arrest law breakers for the protection of the general public.”
        Lynch v. N.C. Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E. 2nd 247 (N.C. App. 1989)

  7. Would a buffer zone preventing progressive windbags like Uygur from getting within 35 feet of a TV studio be unconstitutional?

  8. Hard to see how this is all that different from Snyder v. Phelps, where the Court (8-1) said that loony Fred Phelps and his WBC folks could protest a military funeral from the sidelines.

    Actual assault and sort forth still banned. But waving signs is allowed. Pictures of fetuses is no different than waving pictures of dead soldiers (or dead civilians they might have killed.)

    1. Didn’t the Court find that the protesters had to stay a certain distance away in that case?

  9. Megan: Hey, you’re really hardcore, aren’t you?

    Mac: Oh, well, you know. I mean, if you really wanna see hardcore…(hands her a piece of paper)

    Megan: What’s this?

    Mac: That’s the list of doctors I’m gonna kill.

    Megan: There’s two already crossed out.

    Mac: Yeah, I know.

    1. +1 poop in the bed

    2. that was a pretty good episode, but than again aren’t they all?

  10. Are these people deliberately misunderstanding what “stand your ground” means, or are they just stupid? Answer: yes.

    1. I have to believe that, in their own twisted logic, they hate stand your ground laws because they imply a)a right to private property, b) a right to defend/protect your property and yourself, c)said rights imply the right to own the means to defend yourself and your property, and d)all of these mentioned items are actually the province of the state.

      1. I think you’re right on a, b and c. Not sure about d since they were referring to the patients doing this and not calling for armed agents of the state to do that on their behalf.

        1. Only because they were copycatting conservatives. They’d much rather have the state do it on their behalf (which is why they’re angry about the decision).

    2. Mr. Uygur you are hereby found guilty of premeditated ignorance. Your sentence is the harshest I can mete out – you are hereby condemned to remain Cenk Uygur for the remainder of your days upon this Earth. May God have mercy on your soul!

      1. That’s so cruel.

        1. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

          1. Hey he got off easy, he could have been condemned to be Amanda Marcotte for the rest of his days

            1. The state can’t be trusted to wield that kind of power.

      2. I still would rather see him piled in a landfill with his fellow subversives. Not as much long term torture, but it puts him out of our misery.

    3. According to Jonathan Haidt, liberals do not understand conservatives as well as the other way around.

    4. It looks like they have gained a miniscule token of understanding, since they have stopped calling them “shoot first laws”.

  11. I may choose to go protest her protests, to stand by her side advocating for reproductive rights–and I can’t imaging many liberals having trouble with this.

    I find this phraseology so tiresome. While Christians in general and Catholics in particular may have problems with the ways that women chose to avoid having a child it is pure sophistry to suggest the primary objection to abortion is an interest in intruding on a woman’s reproductive rights. I am absolutely committed to all women having the right to abstain from sex, to get an elective sterilization, to find contraceptives up to and including Plan B right next to Preparation H and to give up the results of an unplanned pregnancy for adoption. The fact that I believe an unborn child is a living human and the state has an interest in protecting this human’s rights has neither jack nor shit to do with a woman’s reproductive rights.

    1. Interesting since most anti-abortion people also have problems with Plan B, and even hormone-based BC. Could you comment on how your view differs from those people and what makes Plan B acceptable?

      1. Interesting since most anti-abortion people also have problems with Plan B, and even hormone-based BC.

        Factually incorrect. Not even close, if you mean hormone-based BC.

        89% of people say that birth control is “morally acceptable.” 38% say the same of abortion. Mathematically, most people who think that abortion is morally unacceptable must think that birth control is acceptable.

        If you’re trying to restrict it to activists, sure, you might get some different answers, but that starts getting as valid as saying “most people who are pro-abortion support killing infants.”

        1. I specifically said “anti-abortion people”. You are conflating that with self-identified Catholics.

          Now, I’d be interested to see a poll of self-identified anti-abortion people on both hormonal contraception and abortion. I assume that hormonal contraception acceptance would be at or lower than 38% and that acceptance for abortion would be effectively zero, with possible exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

          1. 51% of Americans perceive abortion to be morally wrong, while 89% are OK with birth control. As a matter of subsets, the maximum percentage of the pro-life movement which can be in the “unacceptable” part of both subsets is ~20% of the movement. IOW, something like 80% of the pro-life movement is OK with birth control per Gallup’s polling. This holds consistent with my involvement with the movement.

            1. I bet most people who say in polls they support gun control don’t support what gun control activist are willing to reach either

              1. Uh… yeah.

                Do you have a point, or are you just wasting our time again?

                1. Who do you think pushes pro-life/gun control legislation, the average pro-life /gun control self-identifier or the pro-life/gun control activists?

            2. I’d still like to see actual survey numbers. And numbers that specifically address hormone-based female contraception.

              1. Back in college we worked with a data set called the GSS which had questions on abortion and bc. I don’t know if it’s publicly available, but a simple cross tabulation could shed some light

              2. You saw “actual survey numbers.” That survey is not of just “self-identified Catholics.” It is of all adults, they just also show a Catholic, non-Catholic breakdown for the one issue. Possibly you’re being confused by the headline, or your reading comprehension is lacking.

            3. Yeah, I mean, I don’t have data on this, but I have to agree that it’s a wild mischaracterization of abortion opponents to say that “most” are against hormonal birth control. Protestants do not typically have a problem with hormonal BC and make up a significant share of abortion opponents. There was a bit more anti-Plan B traction, and more folks have adopted the anti-BC stance over the past few years perhaps, but far, far more people are A-OK with BC than with abortion.

          2. No, you’re misreading the survey, Tonio. Please actually read the article. It is not a survey of self-identified Catholics.

        2. 7 of of 10 Americans believe in angels.

          Who apparently are not gods, somehow.

          So there’s that.

      2. Could you comment on how your view differs from those people and what makes Plan B acceptable?

        It is my understand that Plan B is primarily prescribed and consumed to suppress ovulation (and apparently debatably to prevent implantation). In an angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin way I am fine with that. But by the time I started looking at (and listening to) my children’s ultrasounds at 7 weeks I was experiencing a lot more than a clump of fetal tissue. Elective abortion is ugly, it is not without profound risks and side-effects and it is the ultimate act of disrespect for life. Just my opinion.

        1. Thanks. Compared to most anti-abortion people you have a nuanced view of things.

          1. Also, Tonio…..The morning after pill does create an abortion, but there is no sentience whatsoever while cells are merely dividing.

            If a person is anti-abortion, not from a soul and religion point of view, but from the point of view of ‘do no harm’, no harm has been done in the first one or two days.

        2. swillfredo, you are wise.

        3. I’m of the same opinion WRT Plan B, and most the anti-abortion folks I know are of the same opinion WRT hormone-based BC. The line most anti-abortion folks draw is either before or after Plan B, unless they’re Catholic.

          Some may feel that birth control has contributed to sexual immorality, but that’s entirely irrelevant to the abortion argument.

        4. Institutional infanticide. And to any progs who care to rebut, no I’m not religious. Agnostic by trade. Just analytical.

          1. I am an atheist. So life is very valuable to me, because I think we may only have one. I definitely have no basis to believe in any heaven or hell.

            But I do believe, until there is better evidence, that an embryo is just an extension of the mother – until it is able to live on its own.

            Under Christianity, life is not considered until a breath is taken.

            1. You should femsplain Catholic beliefs to Catholics.

            2. Under Christianity, life is not considered until a breath is taken.

              Really? Which particular Christian doctrine confirms this?

              And apropos of your obvious leanings, at what point do you consider an embryo to not be an extension of the mother? Because science can now employ technologies to keep preemies alive long before they would be able to survive outside the womb on their own during a normal pregnancy.

      3. “Interesting since most anti-abortion people also have problems with Plan B, and even hormone-based BC.”

        How many anti-abortion people do you know?

    2. Interfering with reproductive rights is not the motivation for pro-lifers, I am sure. But the question of balancing a woman’s rights with that of an unborn whatever-you-want-to-call-it is still relevant.

      Though I disagree with you on abortion, I also am really tired of the sophistry. Just say “abortion rights” if that’s what you are talking about. Unless you want to allow OTC birth control, selling of eggs, un-regulated surrogacy, etc. then don’t tell me that you are all about reproductive rights and freedom.

      1. “Interfering with reproductive rights is not the motivation for most pro-lifers”

        Maybe not the average self identified pro lifer, but among pro life activists I’m betting it’s at least a big part of it. Conservative Catholics dominate that movement, and the Church frowns on reproductive technology pretty generally

      2. I would find your post more convincing if you referred to them as “anti-abortion” instead of “pro-life”.

        1. The debate over terminology is so closely linked to the merits of the underlying dispute that these language disputes are virtually inevitable.

          Having said that, I wouldn’t mind the term “anti-abortion,” because it’s actually more accurate than “pro-life” and helps avoid the clever prog riposte, “if you were *really* prolife you’d support [insert item on the prog agenda].” No, I’m anti-abortion, now tell me about those *other* issues you want me to agree with you about.

          Also, when you say “anti-abortion” people know what you mean. It drops the pretense that “I’m anti-abortion too, I just don’t want to prohibit it, and I want it subsidized!” Everyone knows at some level that “anti-abortion” doesn’t mean *that.*

        2. That should in fact do the opposite; it would make it very obvious that he wasn’t being objective and was speaking from a biased angle.

        3. Yes, I am sloppily conflating the two. Pro-life and pro-choice, as used in the abortion debate are both manipulative and often inaccurate terms to use given the other beliefs of many of the people who tend to apply them to themselves.

          1. I know a woman who had a ski trip planned for the following winter, to Switzerland. In August she found out she was pregnant. She and her hubby owned a house, both had good jobs and were educated, etc, and she had an abortion because it was going to interfere with her ski trip, for which she had paid non refundable deposits.

            Most people don’t like this choice. And, they don’t like the choice to abort because the couple wants a boy, not a girl. Most ‘pro-choice’ people aren’t. They’re just pro their choice.

            1. And I know a girl who had an abortion because she was raped by her father.

              Pro-life people want to imagine the simple, happy scenarios, and believe that all people who get abortions are sluts who find BC inconvenient.

              1. “Pro-life people want to imagine the simple, happy scenarios, and believe that all people who get abortions are sluts who find BC inconvenient.”

                Since the prolife counselors at pregnancy care centers, and outside abortion clinics, deal with all sorts of women, I imagine that they aren’t as full of illusions as you indicate.

                1. But…I am sorry to hear about the case of that poor girl.

                  I’m not sure how an abortion would make her better off, but in any case I would think that punishing the guilty father would be better than punishing the innocent child.

                  1. “I’m not sure how an abortion would make her better off”

                    1) No one knew about this at the time
                    2) Her father had a violent temper
                    3) She didn’t feel like she had anywhere else to go
                    4) There were physical considerations due to her size and weight
                    5) She was very young, and faced with an extremely difficult circumstance.

                    There was nothing right about anything having to do with the situation.

                    As I mentioned above, you’re one of the rare people whose position I respect on this issue despite it’s being so contrary to my own, because I know you are sincere, but I have to disagree with the sentiment that there was any “innocent child” involved besides her.

                    But I do sincerely hope her father eventually got what was coming to him, because if one person deserved to suffer, it was him.

                2. I have no doubt – I’m talking more about your partisan types who are talking about “well I just can’t imagine why a girl can’t just get birth control, why they have to rely on abortion, etc.” as if the girl needs to come justify herself to them and detail the extenuating circumstances in order to make it okay.

                  I certainly don’t count you in that crowd.

                  1. This was in response to the 7:04 post.

            2. On the other hand, do we really want such a self-absorbed twit to reproduce?

              1. I actually do think that she was concerned that if she had the baby, it might turn out like her father.

            3. And you are lying.

              No woman, even if true, would admit to this – just from social convention.

        4. Lol

          “You aren’t serious unless you tailor your language to my favor my worldview.”

          Seriously dude? Just fuck off.

      3. If your answer has something to do with “balancing” rights, you’ve got your logic terribly wrong somewhere. One never needs to balance rights to uphold NAP.

        If the thing is a live human being, then NAP applies. If it isn’t a live human being, then NAP doesn’t apply. Said another way, if it’s a live human, then it has rights. If it isn’t a live human, then it doesn’t have rights.

        1. “if it’s a live human, then it has rights. If it isn’t a live human, then it doesn’t have rights.”

          But that’s exactly what is at issue. Legally, we have to pretend that there is some moment at which an expendable cell becomes an indispensable Human Life with all the rights of a fully developed adult human.

          In reality, I think we all (or most of us) know there is no “line.” There is a continuum over which, at some point, the fetus is roughly comparable to a tadpole. There is a point where it gets to more of a fish-like level, etc.

          At what point does that organism develop to a point where it attains all the rights of a fully developed human?

          IOW, the question is not “which human’s rights are more important,” it is “at what point do the rights of the developing organism come into competition with the rights of the existing organism.”

          1. My vote is on the biological beginning of sentience.

            1. An earth worm has sentience, as does an ant. Sentience has to be defined somewhat.

              I’m with you though, really. When cells are dividing there is no sentience. No harm has been done. Somewhere along the line it cannot be denied, it is a human.

              I had a discussion with a guy yesterday. He absolutely believed it was a woman’s right to choose. I showed him a pic of a 16 week old fetus. Holy cow! He had no idea. He changed on the spot.

              1. At 16 weeks a human fetus looks remarkably like a dog’s.

                1. There are arguments against abortion that are completely independent of whether or not a fetus is or is not a human.

                  http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/ab…..ture.shtml

                  The claim that the primary wrong-making feature of a killing is the loss to the victim of the value of its future has obvious consequences for the ethics of abortion.
                  The future of a standard foetus includes a set of experiences, projects, activities, and such which are identical with the futures of adult human beings and are identical with the futures of young children.
                  Since the reason that is sufficient to explain why it is wrong to kill human beings after the time of birth is a reason that also applies to foetuses, it follows that abortion is prima facie morally wrong.

          2. “Legally, we have to pretend that there is some moment at which an expendable cell becomes an indispensable Human Life with all the rights of a fully developed adult human.”

            No we don’t. There are two very logical places to draw this line, conception and birth. Legally, we do stupid things because some people don’t like those options. The continuum answer is illogical (very hard to defend logically).

            “In reality, I think we all (or most of us) know there is no ‘line.'”

            There are 2 lines. People just don’t like them. While the thing may LOOK like a tadpole, it is still human and still alive.

            “At what point does that organism develop to a point where it attains all the rights of a fully developed human?”

            When it is alive and human.

            “at what point do the rights of the developing organism come into competition with the rights of the existing organism.”

            When it is alive and human.

            1. Arbitrary lines Ace.

              I can draw many lines between your two lines. You drew two TIME lines. Not simply biological lines.

              1. Arbitrary? Conception and birth are arbitrary?

                I suppose if you used a VERY strict definition of the term you could say that. However, ANY other definition would be MUCH more arbitrary than the ones I drew.

                Biologically speaking, when it is a single human cell it is human. And if it’s alive, then it’s alive…

                1. But that’s what I’m saying. You have a deep need to find a line where one does not exist. Your response to the idea that the line does not exist is to assert “the line must exist, because we need it to.”

                  Everything you have said so far is tautology. Human = human, therefore: human.

                  1. I don’t understand how that is even controversial. Animals don’t have the right to life, and dead people have no rights.

                    It is a simple step to say that you need to be alive and human to have rights, therefore sperm and eggs don’t (not human).

                    Do you have a better way of explaining who has rights? I’d love to hear it.

                    (There is always a line. One must find the line. Failing to find the line gives many an excuse to kill “undesirables”.)

                    1. “Animals don’t have the right to life”

                      Not uncontroversial.

                      “Do you have a better way of explaining who has rights?”

                      I think any reasonable discussion of rights has to be tied to sentience, hence dead people having no rights despite being human.

                      The fertilized embryo is not sentient, is not, in fact, significantly different from an unfertilized embryo.

                      Part of what I’m implying is – doesn’t it seem odd that in an instant we consider something as transforming from something that can in good conscience be wiped up with a tissue and thrown away to something that is to be treated as an absolutely indispensable life with inviolable rights?

                      I understand that “the moment of conception” is an *easy* place to draw the line, but considering the real damage it does to real people’s lives to draw the line that far back, is it really so far beyond discussion as to whether it is appropriate?

                    2. “Not uncontroversial.”

                      True, but not really arguable. If animals have rights, then animals can violate rights. If animals have rights, then either murder is OK or carnivores are screwed.

                      “I think any reasonable discussion of rights has to be tied to sentience…”

                      Why go by the subjective definition when there is an objective definition? Funny how those who want to defend abortion insist on doing it by non-scientific terms. In other words, the ONLY time you want a live human to be destroyed without it being illegal is abortion.

                      Let’s assume that “sentience” is the correct place to draw the line. Define. Now defend your definition against those who say the ant is sentient. Now tell me that the one to four celled human isn’t sentient. We know when it is alive. We can’t even define the term “sentient”. Again, can I now kill “developmentally disabled” people?

                      How does it damage them?

            2. What is your definition of ‘human?’

              Is it sentience? That doesn’t develop until late in the process and plenty of animals have that.

              Is it an ego, a sense of a unitary self? Most people don’t even think infants have that until a few weeks.

              Is it human DNA? There are cell cultures and tumors that meet that criteria?

              Is it some nebulous fact that this thing is going to grow up to be a human? Not every fetus does, not by a long shot.

              I guarantee, there is no definition of ‘human’ you can provide that one of us couldn’t smash to pieces with ‘reason.’

              Ultimately, this, like everyone else, probably just boils down to your feelings.

              1. “What is your definition of ‘human?'”

                Human DNA and alive. I suppose that is a tiny bit too simple for you as the tumor example. However, the tumor is unregulated cell growth, unlike after conception.

                Oh, and this thing will become what even the most ardent abortionist will agree is “human” unless something stops it (disease, damage from the mother, vacuum to the brain). That is quite significant.

                Please, continue to try to smash. It makes my argument better.

        2. If you change being to person I’d agree.

          1. That’s because you don’t like the simple concept of “human”. You’d rather have the “squishy” definition of “person”; a definition you can move about as you like.

            The problem with movable definitions is that someone will move them until obvious evil (evil obvious to most everyone) is done. Many slave-owners didn’t think Africans were “persons”.

            1. ; should be a ,

              An edit button would be wonderful.

    3. If a women cannot access an abortion due to interference from the state the state turns her into breeding stock, a non-entity that exists only to host.

      The fetus or tiny little human being cannot come to term and be birthed without the consent of the mother. This has everything to do with ‘rights’ of an individual.

      1. Well, you could argue that there was tacit consent given by her when she engaged in the one behavior that produces new humans. Even with the use of BC, it’s not an iron-clad guarantee of no procreation.

      2. The fetus or tiny little human being cannot come to term and be birthed without the consent of the mother. This has everything to do with ‘rights’ of an individual.

        Fortunately there are dozens of ways to avoid becoming pregnant, all of them cheaper than an abortion, thus sparing a woman from having her rights as an individual in any way infringed.

        1. And none of which are 100% reliable.

          1. There actually is one way that is 100% reliable.

            1. What makes me think that your way is no way?

            2. Except for that one time, 2,000ish years ago.

          2. I can think of two ways without thinking too hard.

        2. With the day after pill, abortion should almost cease to exist. I guess a lot of people are just batshit stupid.

          1. This is a trueism.

        3. So the being inside a women instantly trumps the rights of the mother.

          How would this work? Would we shackle women in breeding centres until they give birth? Or maybe just a small fine?

          What about a women impregnated against her will? Tough luck? Maybe a nicer breeding cage?

          Once pregnant would we place women under probation to ensure the rights of the unborn? check for alcohol, nutrition, exercise, etc?

          1. So the being inside a women instantly trumps the rights of the mother.

            When rights are in conflict I prefer the outcome where the fewest lives are lost. And how does the irresponsibility of the mother in some way obviate the rights of the unborn? If a pregnancy would literally destroy a woman’s life then the responsible choice is abstinence or sterilization. If sexual activity is a must then all modern birth control methods, used responsibly and especially in tandem, are virtually 100% effective. Women impregnated against their will have a perfectly safe, far-superior-to-an-abortion option in Plan B. I believe they are standard issue with most rape kits. There are so many options that preclude the need for an abortion.

            1. So what do you do with all the irresponsible women that have an abortion?

              What if a pregnancy threatens the mothers life? Do the rights stay with the fetus until 50.01% chance the women might die?

              What if plan B is not immediately available? what if women’s rapist does not let her go to the pharmacy in time?

              What about partners who deliberately compromise birth control? A women could be pregnant for weeks before suspecting.

              If she drank a lot when she did not know and this induced a miscarriage has she committed abortion crime?

              1. What if a pregnancy threatens the mothers life?

                This is, what, maybe 5% of all pregnancies?

                What if plan B is not immediately available?

                It’s sold at every local drug store in their pharmacy.

                What about partners who deliberately compromise birth control?

                There’s this thing called “the pill” that only gets compromised if you don’t take it every day. If you’re too lazy to swallow a tiny pill on a daily basis, you’ve got bigger problems than condom sabatoge.

                If she drank a lot when she did not know and this induced a miscarriage has she committed abortion crime?

                Why would someone be prosecuted for a spontaneous biological act?

                You’re not really arguing with logic here, but emotion.

      3. If a women cannot access an abortion due to interference from the state the state turns her into breeding stock, a non-entity that exists only to host

        Since this is all about the rights of individuals in your opinion, would you also be willing to legally release the father from any financial obligation towards parenthood, if they decide they don’t want to raise them? Or do you consider men to simply be sperm donors and ATM machines?

  12. The butthurt (Cenk Uygur’s) is delicious.

    No, he’s not actually embracing the second, so much as petulantly bringing it up for reasons of false equivalency.

    Also typical proggie misunderstanding of the principals of SYG.

    1. At this point one has to assume such misunderstanding is willful or reckless

  13. My guess is that not a single person referred to in the article actually read the decision.

  14. When I wrote about this issue for another publication in January, I admit that I had a different viewpoint.

    For those of you curious:

    http://www.bustle.com/#/articl…..ment-right

    1. “Anti-choice” activist? What does that even mean? Anyone has a choice, as long as that anyone has a mind.

      1. If prolifers had their way you could choose to be arrested for abortions, embryonic research, IUD, IVF, etc, sure

        1. If prolifers had their way you could choose to be arrested for abortions, embryonic research, IUD, IVF, etc, sure

          Tilt at that windmill!!

          1. I’ve posted enough ‘so con’ articles from pro life advocates to demonstrate their opposition to iuds surrogacy etc

            1. There are certainly some, especially Catholics who also object to all of those things. But you get all kinds of people on both sides. I think you are unfairly generalizing.

              1. Maybe it’s just the fish-eaters he has a problem with?

                Nah, that’d be too easy.

              2. Zeb, you get more of what you reward. Giving him attention just encourages him.

                1. Still smarting over not knowing what the = sign stands for, or over my rejecting your wise ‘life advice?’

                2. Bo doesn’t bother me as much as he seems to a lot of people here.

                  What I really need is to be reminded to stop responding to Tony.

            2. this is not a clearing house for so-cons, but you know that. You also know that a good many folks here don’t like abortion very much, but they don’t get excited about birth control or surrogacy or the rest.

              1. I’m not limiting my discussion of ‘pro-lifers’ to the people who post here. Why would I? I thought I was pretty clear I’m talking about the prolife movement.

                1. I’m not limiting my discussion of ‘pro-lifers’ to the people who post here.

                  Or even to reality.

          2. More like take a whack at the strawman.

            1. Potato/Potatoe…you get it.

            2. You do know I just posted about Bobby Jindal vetoing a bill to legalize surrogacy in LA a week or two ago, right? In his statement he said he did so out of ‘pro-life concerns.’

              So, strawman and windmill?

              1. “Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has once again vetoed a bill that would set up a legal framework for surrogacy births in the state, saying the legislation ‘still raises concerns for many in the pro-life community.'”

                http://www.christianpost.com/n…..ps-120732/

                You might also want to google ‘Personhood Bills’

              2. Racist !

        2. People who make generalizations are all alike.

          I am so glad I have people like you to tell me what I think.

  15. OT: The UNLV Student Government are about to get a lesson in doing business with the Clintons.

    UNLV Student Body President Elias Benjelloun agreed and weighed in on Clinton’s controversial speaking fee. “We’re excited that Hillary Clinton would come to the university to fundraise on behalf of our university. We’re excited anyone wants to come to UNLV and fundraise on our behalf. When we heard $225,000, we weren’t so thrilled?We’d hope that Hillary Clinton?returns part or whole of the amount she receives for speaking,” he said.

    Sure, buddy. She’ll finally develop a sense of shame just in time to give you your money back.

    1. Whenever colleges pay exorbitant amounts such as this for the likes of Hillary Clinton, the school’s YAL / SFL / College Republicans (etc) should demand matching funds to host Rand Paul (or similar).

      Even if they don’t get the funds, it may discourage future invitations for shitbags.

      1. Better answer – no student activity funds. Pay-as-you-go.

    2. I see this as a delightful twist on all the “speaker disinvitations”. Oh certainly come and speak, however….

  16. “Patriarchy, get your hands off my uterus! It’s a woman’s fundamental right to snap the neck, sever the spine or scramble the brains of pre to recently born infants. That is a sacred pact between a woman and her doctor.”——– Science.

    1. Life is cheap, abortion makes it cheaper.

      1. Of course life is cheap. It’s hardly a scarce resource.

        1. But my own life is really important to me.

          1. If life were important to these proto-humans, they’d tell us so. We’re practically doing what they want.

            1. You never know. Newborn babies seem pretty unhappy about the whole situation.

              1. Jesus Christ, I hope you’re not serious.

                1. Is that to me? I hope it is obvious that that is not a serious attempt at justifying legal abortion (which I do favor for rather different reasons).

  17. My my my. Such overheated rhetoric from this man! Isn’t this the very sort of violent talk that directly caused an innocent but courageous Congresswoman to be shot and wounded? Didn’t Sarah Palin have blood on her hands because she put a bullseye in a political ad? Didn’t liberals like this guy insist that we swear off all such violent commentary to avoid repeats of such tragedies?

    1. Nope, sorry… that only applies to conservatives. Liberals’ shit don’t stink and their words can never be construed in a violent way.

  18. If they chose to wave said gun in the face of people peacefully protesting, they would be subject to the same punishments as anyone who recklessly brandishes and threatens people with a gun.

    I don’t like Sean Hannity’s show that much either, but I’m not sure having him call you a hero is really a “punishment”.

      1. SD is an idiot. Don’t try to make sense of its ramblings.

      2. There’s a double standard regarding what constitutes “threatening” with regards gun rights activists. If they’re the shooter, just vaguely looking like someone who might be armed is enough to justify preemptively shooting someone. Meanwhile, a bunch of guys with rifles can follow you down the street, surround your car, and everyone should know they’re just open carry protestors and not threatening at all.

        1. See what I mean? SD appears to be confusing gun rights activists with cops.

          “If they’re the shooter, just vaguely looking like someone who might be armed is enough to justify preemptively shooting someone.”

          If you actually bothered to inform yourself with any research, you would know that CCW holders are far more cautious with their firearms than cops are, since unlike cops they can and will be held personally liable for any mistakes.

          1. Most CCW Holders are. That doesn’t stop people from defending the Michael Dunns of the world. Likewise it’s hard to describe the Open Carry Texas people as “cautious”.

            I’m not criticizing gun ownership, self defense, or firearms carry in general.

            I’m criticizing the tendency to jump to the defense of loonies.

            1. So stop jumping to the defense of loonies.

            2. Sure, some people are assholes, and Open Carry Texas is probably not helping their own cause too much.

              At the same time, long guns are the only kind of open carry permitted in Texas, so they are using the only open carry method available to them.

            3. So you’re fully in favor of a libertarian conception of gun rights, but you just have some concerns?

        2. Meanwhile, a bunch of guys with rifles can follow you down the street, surround your car, and everyone should know they’re just open carry protestors and not threatening at all.

          Or they could be cops. I mean, anti-gun folks don’t find them threatening, right?

        3. If they’re the shooter, just vaguely looking like someone who might be armed is enough to justify preemptively shooting someone.

          You just made that up.

        4. People try to make those arguments, but I don’t think they usually get very far.

        5. SD, Ima need a statement from a “gun rights activist” to the effect that “just vaguely looking like someone who might be armed is enough to justify preemptively shooting someone”.

          I’s also gonna need an incident where a bunch of open carry activists followed someone down the street and surrounded their car.

          Good luck. I’ll take an apology for crapping lies on our discussion, in lieu of actual facts.

          R C Dean

  19. What, exactly, makes McCullen — and people like her — “scum”? I admit that I have not followed the case that closely, but from what I read on the description on Cornell’s law site, this is what she and fellow protesters did:

    McCullen parks her car on Commonwealth Avenue and covers it with pro-life signage, while other people pray with loudspeakers, sing religious hymns while holding religious imagery, and counsel potential patients.

    And why would a pro-lifer consider you “scum” just because you hold a different opinion and choose to publish it? I am pro-life, but I’ll reserve my disgust for those who perform the act and not merely those who believe it to be a good or morally neutral act in the abstract.

    1. I do hope she answers you – I am curious to see what that response would be.

    2. And why would a pro-lifer consider you “scum” just because you hold a different opinion and choose to publish it?

      That question answers itself.

      1. Disregard – I just realized I misread that.

    3. McCullen parks her car on Commonwealth Avenue and covers it with pro-life signage, while other people pray with loudspeakers, sing religious hymns while holding religious imagery, and counsel potential patients.

      See, it’s intractable Nazi cunts like this that make any compromise on this issue impossible. Goddamn scum of the earth.

      I kinda sorta believe in their right to speech now though.

      /ENB

  20. ‘Okay, you’ve got rights. You’ve got a right to get in my face; I’ve got a right to stand my ground, right?’

    The real absurdity here is that without knowing the SYG dog whistle background, this sounds completely insane. Uh, yeah, you…have a right to stand your ground when someone is yelling in your face…controversial? What. The. Fuck.

    I mean, I know what they’re reading into it, but don’t they realize how fucking stupid it actually sounds? (No. I know. No.)

    1. Obviously, Cenk believes that being confronted by a fellow citizen who has views differing from yours is an act of micro-aggression, and since you can use force against someone who aggresses against you . . .

      He thinks its perfectly legal to shoot abortion protestors in the face.

      1. Quite possibly so. Good observation. Cute handle.

      2. He might not think it is legal but he certainly has conveyed he thinks it would be a good thing to do.

      3. The reason most lefties shit their pants over gun ownership is because they think everybody else is as out of their fucking skull as they are. Since they would immediately resort to shooting someone in the face as a result of, say, seeing a dead fetus on a protest sign, they project that onto everyone else.

    2. I don’t think Cenk knows the kind of can of worms he’s opening up here. If some SEIU thug or Social Justice Warrior starts yelling in my face, by his implication I can invoke SYG and blow their face off.

  21. The only real thing that mention of SYG was, was to be able to take a concept that those icky conservatives like and use it against them. It’s pretty obvious that he’s hoping that a turn-about-is-fair-play scenario will get everyone to unanimously reject SYG. Then, everything else related to self-defense.

    The Young Turks Turds, for sure.

  22. I think people like McCullen are scum[…]

    I believe that people who want to convince me that killing puppies is wrong are scum, too.

    I mean, if you want to play that game, Elizabeth…

    1. Yeah, fuck puppies!

  23. to stand by her side advocating for reproductive rights [sic]

    Right. Abortion is to “reproductive rights” as mariticide is to marital rights.

  24. “I think people like McCullen are scum, but I’m sure she’d think the same about me.”

    If McCullen thinks choicers are scum, she conceals it well.

    When she won this case, here’s what she told a reporter:

    “The image of abortion protestors as violent and angry bothers her.

    “”It’s rare, but it does happen and it’s counterproductive,” McCullen said. “If you’re disturbing the peace or harassing, then call the police … I’ll be the first one to dial the number.”…

    “”We need gentle, loving people that are not judgmental, that are there to help,” McCullen said in a phone interview with The Republican/MassLive.com….

    “McCullen said her mission is about “surrounding (women) with love.” “I love women and love women that need help,” McCullen said….

    “”We surround them so they don’t feel alone, and hopefully friends and family come around,” McCullen said.”

    http://www.masslive.com/politi…..leano.html

    If ENB doubts McCullen’s veracity, call her up and do an interview! Try and get her to admit her hatefulness! Ask, “do you think I’m scum?” I don’t think McCullen views ENB as scum.

    1. Rats, beat me to it NGKC.

    2. Oh, the article linked by The Tone Police above shows that ENB *already* interviewed McCullen.

      So, let me ask ENB: Did McCullen seem to regard you as scum during the interview?

    3. That linky led me to another linky…free speech is such an inconvenience, I guess?

      1. It was my first run-in with abortion protesters in my life, and they were both as close to me as I am to this computer screen right now. They were not aggressive verbally ? although, as an atheist, I do find a lot of God talk kind of aggressive. But they were certainly aggressive in the sense that they were taking up space next to my body without my consent.

        Note: the author went to the clinic where these people were already standing. But they were still guilty of “taking up space next to my body without my consent.”

        I can’t wait for that to be made a crime. This is just the next step towards “anything that makes me frightened should be illegal”.

    4. I don’t think McCullen views ENB as scum.

      It makes it a lot easier to hate somebody if you can rationalize it as a reaction to their disdain for you though. So, there’s that.

  25. I think people like McCullen are scum

    Elizabeth, any support for this? I mean, I don’t agree with the lady but by all accounts she’s exceptionally polite, not in-your-face or assaulting, and in fact is vocal to decry those on the pro-life side who are. She has a viewpoint and tries to express it peacefully.

    From this link:

    Eleanor McCullen, the face of the pro-life movement in Massachusetts, said she does not yell at abortion patients waving placards of a dead fetus. The image of abortion protestors as violent and angry bothers her.

    “It’s rare, but it does happen and it’s counterproductive,” McCullen said. “If you’re disturbing the peace or harassing, then call the police … I’ll be the first one to dial the number.”

    If you have evidence to the contrary, that would be useful to know, and educational. Otherwise you undermine your arguments and the utility of your writing with this sort of idiotic editorializing.

  26. Liberals Like Cenk Uygur

    There is nothing “liberal” about Uygur. He is an authoritarian fascist who dreams himself your master.

    1. Uh, isn’t that what liberal means?

      1. I still cling to the idea that liberal is something distinct from progressive and involves some degree of respect for other people’s rights.

        1. Bitter clinger.

    2. Oh, you mean classical liberal. Well, no one except classical liberals know what classical liberal means.

      1. Even 8% of self-proclaimed classical liberals have no clue what it means.

  27. Why is it that nurses can strike hospitals and nobody talks about the necessity of “buffer zones”? Why is access to abortion more privileged than access to heart surgery?

    1. Because war on womyn!!!

    2. Personally I’m not committed on the buffer zone issue one way or the other, but this, I think is a false analogy – the striking nurses are not protesting your right to get heart surgery and are not accusing you of committing a horrific crime by attempting to get it.

      1. You’ve never head of anyone getting grief (or worse) for crossing a picket line?

      2. the striking nurses are not protesting your right to get heart surgery and are not accusing you of committing a horrific crime by attempting to get it.

        So it’s fine to suppress the speech of people if you disagree with the content. Since nurses don’t have icky views, it would, of course, be absurd to impose a buffer zone.

  28. Here is the thing.

    If the protesters are getting in the face of the clinics customers then that is by definition assault. Arrest the protesters for assault. If they are directing an unending stream of verbal abuse at the customers then that is by definition harassment, arrest them for harassment. Further there is no 1st amendment protection from torts and you could easily be sued for assaulting or harassing someone so the patients themselves could take matters into their own hands and file lawsuits against individual protesters.

    The law is completely and utterly unnecessary.

    1. It’s unnecessary for the *stated* purpose, which is to avoid the evils you describe, but what if the purpose is to limit protesters because their speech is considered bad?

      1. Notorious, I am now Officially Concerned by your skillful pre-emption my posts. ARE YOU IN MY HOUSE????

        1. No, but they say great minds think alike. And so do ours.

        2. HE’S IN UR BASE…KILLIN’ UR COMMENTS!

          1. All your comments belong to us. /Skwerlz

    2. And in fact the Commonwealth conceded at arguments that there were other such laws on the books and that very, very few people had been prosecuted under those.

      I have exactly zero problem with arresting people when they assault you even to the point of yelling in your face in a directly threatening manner or obstructing you from movement. But this went way beyond that into the “they’re saying things that make people feel bad” zone. For people saying things on a public sidewalk. I mean, come one. A 9-0 decision is just a smack down, even if the opinions were split in other ways and even if it is the Nazgul.

      1. Yep, I had an argument with my wife about this last night.

        I mean I am an athiest who believes that in some cases NOT getting an abortion is a form of child abuse (not that I would ever try to legislate or require anyone to do it) but if someone is standing around peacably protesting something they object to and not directly interfering with anyone else then their right to free speech trumps anyone elses feels

        1. Yep, I had an argument with my wife about this last night.

          I’m sorry you lost the argument.

        2. “in some cases NOT getting an abortion is a form of child abuse”

          Thank you for having the balls to say that.

    3. If the protesters are getting in the face of the clinics customers then that is by definition assault.

      Typical definition of assault is something like:

      “Intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.”

      Note the requirement for both intent on the part of the “assailant”, and reasonableness on the part of the “victim.”

      Its possible, sure. But “getting in the face” of someone in and of itself isn’t assault without something more.

      R C Dean

  29. “The decision seems like one that should appease folks on both side of the issue, if not necessarily thrill them. The court was careful to balance the safety interests of abortion clinic patients and staff with First Amendment rights.”

    Not really. While the court unanimously struck down the law, a majority was willing to accept at least *some* laws singling out abortion clinic protesters for special regulation, while exempting other protesters.

    Which raises the point Papaya SF made above: “Why is it that nurses can strike hospitals and nobody talks about the necessity of “buffer zones”? Why is access to abortion more privileged than access to heart surgery?”

    I would add, “Why is it that protesters can assemble in front of a business to protest the owner’s views on, say, same-sex marriage, without observing a buffer zone (even the more limited kind of buffer zone that Roberts and the liberal justices contemplate)? Why is it that the minimum-wage crowd can assemble outside of a McDonald’s without observing a buffer zone? Yet suddenly when they’re in front of an abortion clinic, out come the buffer-zone laws?”

    1. Because, Eddie, AFAIK the only buffer-zone laws apply to clinics. IOW, this is a that’s how the law works situation. The courts only rule about the legality of specific laws, often as narrowly as possible.

      1. The Court specifically considered this question. They split 5-4 (as opposed to the 9-0 vote to strike down the law).

        Consider the R.A.V. case, which banned “fighting words” based on race. The Court said that was unconstitutional since the government can’t single out racist speech.

        Yet through logical twistificaitons, the majority somehow decided that you *can* single out demonstrators outside clinics.

        Imagine that there’s, say, a law that you can’t “harass” someone outside an abortion clinic (however harassment is defined).

        Now suppose that there are two demonstrations in one city at the same time.

        In front of an abortion clinic, there’s a demonstration and one of the demonstrators “harasses” one of the clients or staff. The demonstrator gets arrested.

        Elsewhere in the city, there’s a minimum-wage demonstration in front of the McDonald’s. One of the demonstrators “harasses” a customer going into the McDonald’s (“you’re complicit in the exploitation of the etc. etc!”). The law applies only to abortion clinics, so this demonstrator can’t be arrested.

        Isn’t this the kind of discriminatory law the First Amendment forbids?

        1. The law applies only to abortion clinics, so this demonstrator can’t be arrested.

          The McD’s protester, obviously, can’t be arrested under a law that only prohibits protests at clinics (presuming the McD’s isn’t located near a clinic). That doesn’t protect the protester from arrest on other grounds, under other laws, etc.

          The situation you describe seems not so much discrimination as the clinic law being a violation of FA rights.

          All I’m saying Eddie is that this is how the law and the courts work in practical, objective terms. You seem to want the court to make some type of sweeping announcement about all FA rights. Good luck with that. As stated above, courts (judges) are averse to making those broad, sweeping rulings; those tend to get overruled if not immediately stayed, the judges don’t like that.

          1. “pronouncement” or “ruling” would have been a better word choice than “announcement”

            1. The Court regularly strikes down convictions based on the fact that the law under which they were convicted was discriminatory.

              I’m not going to look up the citations, but they had a case in the 1970s where a person picketed a public school and was convicted under a statute which banned such picketing. The Court overturned the conviction because it found that the law was unconstitutional. Why? Because the law had an exemption for labor picketing. Now, the defendant wasn’t engaged in labor picketing (I forget the exact subject of the protest), but because he was convicted under a discriminatory law (arbitrarily excluding union picketers), the Court set the guy free.

              There are a bunch of cases like that.

              1. Scalia and three others would have made a similar decision in this case – the law was unconstitutional because it singled out clinic protesters. The majority rejected Scalia’s arguments.

      2. I believe he means the larger point – what would the justification be for an abortion clinic, but not any of the other places.

        Obviously the Court only looks at what is in front of it (most of the time, sort of).

        1. Sure, but in the R.A.V. case and others, once the Court found the statute discriminatory, it struck it down. The specific case in R.A.V. involved racist speech, but because non-racist speech was exempt, the statute was declared invalid. They didn’t wait for a case of non-racist fighting words to arise – how could they, when the exemption of such words was precisely the problem?

          It’s like they had a law banning “criticism of the Democratic Party.” They would strike down that law immediately (I hope) without waiting for a bunch of examples.

  30. ‘Okay, you’ve got rights. You’ve got a right to get in my face; I’ve got a right to stand my ground, right?’

    “What about the fetus’ right to stand its ground? Huh, Mr. Smart Guy? HUH?”

    Methinks, Mr. Uygur needs to consult a dictionary for the word “right.”

    1. Walk up to the next preggo you see, show her a tiny little gun and tell her you’re going to empower her fetus to defend itself.

    2. In that one sentence, anyway, he does seem to get the right idea about rights. Assuming that by “stand my ground” he doesn’t mean “shoot you in the face”.

      1. Stand my ground means you are entitled to use deadly self-defense rather than back off. 2A means guns.

        So, “stand my ground” + “2A” = shoot you in the face.

        And you know that’s what he thinks anti-abortion protestors deserve, anyway.

        R C Dean

  31. You’ve got a right to get in my face; I’ve got a right to stand my ground, right?’ I mean, that’s what I’m told by conservatives day in and day out.

    The level of sarcasm behind these words tells me that Cenk Uygur does not believe any of us has rights at all except those that are graciously granted to us by the State, which is why I think he believes he’s countering one absurdity (in his mind) with another (again, in his mind). The problem is that his comment still makes no logical sense because if he trust the state grants rights, then clearly the SCOTUS decision granted a right to the anti-abortion group to be closer to abortion clinics to protest, so what is exactly his problem?

    Obviously, proggies make NO effort to be consistent in their principles. It is always what’ expedient for them.

  32. While the rational members of the Reason commentariat recognize Cenk Uygur’s rant as an incoherent buzzword salad, I am sure it evokes all the right feelings in the ‘intentions count’ crowd. That is what we are up against folks.

    Elizabeth – calling McCullen ‘scum’ was out of order. Some of us may disagree with her in whole or in part, but she is at least honest. Cenk, not so much.

  33. Yeah, what was up with the scum comment? That’s low brow.

    1. ENB does a lot of things right (including alt-text most of the time), but being objective on abortion is not one of them.

  34. “I think people like McCullen are scum…”

    The very next sentence:
    “f I was the type inclined to theatrics…”

    Hahahaha, that’s a fucking joke, right? You’re not inclined to theatrics, but hey, calling someone “scum” for the crime of being a completely peaceful pro-life advocate is totally even-keeled and reasonable and not laughably melodramatic.

    “Lberals may not like protesters like McCullen, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have First Amendment rights.”

    Nah, it just makes her a scumbag.

    Absolutely fucking amazing that at a “libertarian” site, of all places, holding a viewpoint that differs from that of Her Majesty Elizabeth Nolan Brown makes one “scum”. What a fucking joke.

    1. Come on, her bio says that she was formerly a “Women’s Culture Blogger”. What did you expect, the voice of Reason?

      1. Zombie, I think you misspelled “Womyn’s”.

        R C Dean

  35. Its awesome.. Start working at home with Google. It’s a great work at home opportunity. Just work for few hours. I earn up to $100 a day. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out http://www.Fox81.com

  36. The Young Turks is just a circle jerking echo chamber that reads Huffington Post articles to its viewers. To them, anyone that isn’t a progressive is insane or a paid off shill for the corporations. I didn’t think anyone took them seriously.

  37. I do not see how this is a free speech issue.

    It is very easy to make oneself heard across a 35-foot span.

    If their position could not be heard at the clinic entrance, then maybe they would have an issue.

    1. I do not see how this is a free speech issue.

      That’s because you’re a moron, which you make evident in the sentences following the quoted one.

  38. I wish somebody would page me for the abortion threads. I know it’s way late, but here it is: the official Reason abortion thread anthem.

  39. The Young Turks are like dogshit lying on the ground. Why you would quote or post a video of dogshit forces me to wonder if you are dogshit also. If nothing else you got me thinking.

  40. “I think people like McCullen are scum, but I’m sure she’d think the same about me.” So, defending human life is now considered scum-like behavior? I suppose that you would be labeling Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison “scum”, too, if we were living pre-Civil-War America. I didn’t realize that I was reading The Huffington Post.

    Uygur’s an idiot, no doubt about it, and he’s a depraved idiot if he justifies the killing of innocent children. Just because committing homicide is a difficult decision doesn’t mean that it’s okay.

    If somebody is struggling to support their family, I will help them. If somebody needs help finding suitable foster parents, I will help them. If somebody needs help taking care of their children, I will help them. I will devote my time and money to causes which seek to protect the lives of innocent children. I will not, however, permit, condone, or support the killing of children. That is why I believe abortion should be banned, not because I hate women. If I hated women, I wouldn’t want to save so many girls and boys from being put to death.

    And no, an individual has no right to use “self-defense” in order to commit murder, just as you cannot use the right to privacy to commit or conceal a murder.

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