Ten Foot Bubble?
As Sidewalk Counselors and Prayer Warriors gathered on Saturday, February 13, 2010 to pray outside of Planned Parenthood at 1200 N. LaSalle in Chicago, they were subjected to yet another interpretation of the Bubble Zone law.
Making It Up As She Goes Along
This weekend saw the return of Officer Hagen. This is the officer who, on January 9, inaccurately told us we could not picket within 150 feet of the clinic or stand within 8 feet of the door but, upon reading the ordinance, magnanimously granted us permission to pray.
This week she told our sidewalk counselors they “can not come within ten feet of the doorway and try to hand—that’s panhandling.”
Ten feet? Panhandling? What?
To clarify that we were still talking about the Bubble, I told the officer that the Bubble [PDF] is only eight feet. She told me that the difference was insignificant. Holding her hands about 10 inches apart, she said “eight feet, ten feet, it’s this much.”
Maybe she meant two baby feet, because that’s not two standard feet with 12 inches in each!
The charge of panhandling strikes me as particularly amusing. “Panhandling” is asking for something, or begging. Offering literature is the exact opposite! It’s giving something!
Moreover, if the Bubble Zone ordinance was supposed to solve all of Planned Parenthood’s problems, why does this officer need to bring in extra, inapplicable, laws to get us to go away? What is the point of the Bubble after all?
Ignoring The Signs
Amusingly, now the police are taping me, taping them. The second officer to arrive on the scene went back to her car to get her video camera, then told me, “We all get cameras.” Later she walked up to me and took my photo. If she brings the picture back next week, I’ll autograph it for her.
As you can see in the video, someone had placed two signs outside the clinic on Saturday. Although last time Hagen was there, we were told we couldn’t let the signs even touch the sidewalk, this time she paid no notice to signs which were unmanned and leaning against a street sign.
One pro-life victory from this week, though, is the new billboard put up by Aid For Women. It’s on the newsstand near Planned Parenthood’s doorway and offers women real assistance. I know these ads are expensive, and I’m sure Aid For Women would appreciate a donation to support this project, if you are able.