- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
EDITORIAL: Free speech and abortion
Massachusetts may get an education in the First Amendment
Question of the Day
The Supreme Court saves its blockbuster decisions for the end of June, but it does more, announcing a new list of blockbuster decisions for the next term. The justices didn't disappoint Monday. They announced that they would take up a classic free-speech case that turns on the question of whether citizens have the right to express their opinions out loud.
Massachusetts law tries to protect abortion from criticism and skepticism. What was once the "Cradle of Liberty," where the Founding Fathers started the fight for fundamental American freedoms, has become a place where the state tells its citizens which words, gestures or phrases will be allowed. Five years ago, Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and close associate of President Obama, signed a law establishing "buffer zones" where the expression of pro-life, or anti-abortion, sentiment within 35 feet of an abortion clinic is forbidden. Anti-abortion protests are, of course, still allowed — but only if out of sight.
Opponents of abortion want to be heard by pregnant women walking to an abortion. They think a peaceful and respectful vigil might reach desperate women dealing with an unexpected or unwanted pregnancy. It's a message many women have not heard, as decades of the left's mantra "Our Bodies, Our Selves" have persuaded many of them that the life they carry is no more than a clump of cells that can be conveniently cast away. Pro-life advocates know better, that an abortion often wounds more than one victim.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit legal organization, took the buffer zone battle to court, to tell women "the other side of the story," lest they make an irreversible bad decision. "The government should not be allowed to create censorship zones, where the First Amendment doesn't apply, in order to silence a particular viewpoint," says Michael DePrimo, an attorney for the alliance. "This buffer zone was designed to censor constitutionally protected speech. We are confident the Supreme Court will strike down the law that created the zone so that our clients and other peaceful pro-life citizens can once again freely share their message."
The pro-life protesters want the women facing a difficult choice to know that there are viable alternatives to ending a life and the inherent promise of a child struggling to be born. They can get help and counseling in raising a child. They can give up their babies for adoption by couples yearning to give an unwanted child a loving home; 30 percent of Americans have considered adopting a child, according to a 2007 survey conducted by Harris Interactive and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
This is the positive message the government has no business suppressing. When the Supreme Court hears the arguments in this important case next term, we hope it sends the politicians of Massachusetts a clear and emphatic reminder that the plain speech of the First Amendment means free speech is free speech, even if certain politicians don't like hearing it.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reject any legislation dubbed 'comprehensive'
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Media are complicit in Hamas' tactics
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gazans should help defeat Hamas
- EDITORIAL: The impeachment trap
- EDITORIAL: Illegal aliens in the shadows? What shadows?
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Get Breaking Alerts
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- New York Times reporter Carol Vogel accused of plagiarism
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- ISIL destroys key bridge leading to Baghdad; suicide truck bomb severed supply line