This week was another excellent case in point.
Pro-Lifers Take Time To Counsel Mid-Week
Pro-lifers David and Darlene went to the Planned Parenthood location on Division and LaSalle to pray and counsel last Thursday. This location performs abortions six days a week, but usually pro-lifers are only there on Saturdays. This means the “clinic escorts” (“deathscorts”) are also only there on Saturdays. Coming mid-week, then, means pro-lifers can have uninterrupted conversations with clients.
David sent us his account of the day and of the police department’s efforts to “enforce” the Bubble Zone:
Today Darlene and I did some sidewalk counseling on the corner of LaSalle & Division. Since there were no deathscorts there today, we decided to stand next to the entrance of PP, making sure we were not approaching anyone with our feet. We were very effective in getting literature into the hands of the people walking in.
A PP director then threatened to call the cops if we didn’t move.
About 20 minutes later, one cop arrived and went inside. He came out and told us to move 50 feet away from the door. We challenged him, asking if he has even read the ordinance. He said ‘no.’
Refusing to talk to us any further, he called for backup: his sergeant. The sergeant showed up about 15 minutes later threatening to arrest us if we didn’t move 8 feet from the door. We challenged him on that and asked for everyone to read through the ordinance word for word.
Finally, he went inside, having discovered that his argument was flawed. He and two other cops came out 10 minutes later. The one cop, Mendez, told us that we are okay as long as we don’t ‘harass women’ and that we shouldn’t force literature on anyone who doesn’t want to take it. I said “we don’t harass women and we have no ability to force anyone to grab our literature.”
Even so, the sergeant then proceeded to ask us to move just a step more away from the door. He tried to tell us that we were technically now blocking the door (which we weren’t). He had nothing else to get us with, but wanted to have the last word.
All in all, it was a successful day in challenging the bubble zone. I expect the next set of cops to interpret it another way, but we can always reference today’s non-citation to bolster our defense.
On Saturday, I plan to stand right next to the door again, whether the deathscorts are there or not.
Planned Parenthood is building a reputation with the police as a place that lies. They give the officers their version of what they wish the law said, then they ask the police to enforce their imaginary law.
When the police do read the law, they find out they’ve got egg on their faces. If I was a police officer, I know I wouldn’t appreciate being lied to.
“Deathscort” Stands Inches from David’s Nose
On Saturday there were four deathscorts present. They stood in a square—two at the corners of the entrance, and two across from them about eight feet out.
As soon as the man on the north side of the door (Escort #2) wandered away, David took his space.
This caused mass panic on the part of the deathscorts. Escort #1 (the woman who regularly tells clients they are not allowed to bring pro-life literature into the clinic) immediately came up to David, telling him he was not allowed to stand there.
David politely disagreed. She continued to tell him he was breaking the law, then ran upstairs. I don’t know whether she called the police or simply spoke to her supervisor, but no police ever showed up.
While she was upstairs, the “escort” who had left his post. #2, decided to return to it. He positioned himself directly in front of David, completely violating his personal space. David calmly continued to pray his Rosary.
Pro-Lifer Allowed to Remain at His Post
When #1 emerged from upstairs, she told #2 to move, that he couldn’t remain in front of David like he was. She grabbed him by the arms and positioned him to try to block David from view of the girls entering in.
Later, David even held a sign reading “Abortion…One heart stops, another heart breaks” at his post next to the door. None of the deathscorts tried to prevent him.
We Know the Law and We’re Not Afraid
Do you think Planned Parenthood is starting to realize that we pro-lifers know what the Bubble Law says and that we’re not going to hide 50 feet away just because they want us to? Or do you think the police are tired of showing up every time Planned Parenthood calls them to complain that we’re breathing the same air they are?
The old adage “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. The Bubble Zone is a nuisance, but it’s not the cure-all they hoped for. And it’s certainly not enough to scare hearty pro-lifers away.