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Campaign of lies and hysteria begins as Mass. Governor and Attorney General announce they’re filing another buffer zone bill after Supreme Court defeat!
Emotional press conference at State House.
POSTED: July 14, 2014
The Left’s obsession with abortion is now front and center.
In the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down the 35-foot “buffer zone” law around abortion clinics, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Attorney General Martha Coakley have begun a bold disinformation campaign of lies and hysteria charging intimidation and law-breaking in front of abortion clinics, and announced they’re filing a new bill within days to again attempt to restrict and subvert pro-lifers.
On June 28 the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously 9-0 -- including the four staunchly pro-abortion justices -- that the Massachusetts “buffer zone” law around abortion clinics was a blatant violation of the First Amendment. They stated that people must be allowed speak and pass out literature on a public sidewalk. Many thought that would settle the matter.
But on Wednesday, July 2, the Governor and Attorney General, along with the state’s major pro-abortion leaders, called a press conference at the Massachusetts State House to announce that the Supreme Court “failed to grasp the realities” and that their ruling “strikes a blow against women’s freedom” and “removed a law that worked.” Thus they announced that they intend to immediately craft a new law to attempt to stop the pro-life message and get it passed this month.
Kickoff of media disinformation campaign
The event was clearly intended to kick off a media campaign of emotional hysteria and disinformation (i.e., lies), purporting to inform people what "really" happens in front of abortion clinics in Massachusetts and will continue unless proper laws are enacted. This campaign is ultimately intended to pressure the Legislature.
The Attorney General and Governor made no effort to hide their close relationship with the abortion lobby and their complete disdain for the pro-life point of view.
Not surprisingly, the press conference was not on published schedule from the State House. Only the mainstream media (which is reliably pro-abortion) and “friendly” groups were notified. (MassResistance found out anyway!) Prior to the event, neither the Governor’s office nor the Attorney General’s office would confirm to us that it was being held.
HERE’S WHAT THE MEDIA WAS TOLD . . .
At the press conference, there were stories about pro-lifers screaming, blocking entrances and driveways and harassing and intimidating people, and generally interfering anyone’s ability to enter or leave abortion clinics.
There was talk about what supposedly went on before the 2007 law was passed, what happened while the buffer zone was in effect, and what’s happened in the days since it was struck down. Here are statements by the four speakers:
. . . AND HERE’S THE TRUTH
The Supreme Court essentially heard these same stories (and more) and unanimously rejected them as either untrue or gross exaggerations. Here’s why:
The Court concluded that the buffer zone was simply an excuse to restrict free speech.
Nor is there other corroborating evidence (such as photos or video, including surveillance video) to prove that the stories described above actually happened. Operation Rescue claimed that these accusations were basically unproveable fabrications, and the Court agreed.
There have also been no arrests since the ruling. In fact, in some ways it’s been calmer than before. After the ruling, Operation Rescue Boston asked their people to simply move a foot or two inside the old line rather than go closer, and not to appear provocative.
The hysterical rant by Marty Walz about what happened “last Saturday” after the ruling is completely untrue, according to all accounts we’ve been able to find. Her stories about the man from 2007 being “back in our doorways Saturday morning” and the man with the “fireplace poker” as well as the “mob” forcing people to jump into traffic – we could find no corroboration for any of that, certainly not in the Boston media.
The fact that a large percentage of the people outside abortion clinics are in their 70s and 80s also does not lend credibility about tales of wild and near-violent scenes.
The myth of “women’s’ health centers”
And finally, part of the propaganda has been to present abortion clinics as “women’s health centers” where women normally go for a range of reproductive and similar medical help, such as mammograms and pap tests, and also abortions. But as LifeSiteNews points out, that’s another key piece of disinformation:
Planned Parenthood attempts to repackage itself as merely "a place where women can go for low cost medical advice and care." It is not entirely consistent with the reality that Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading abortion provider, and “in 2012, abortions made up 93.8 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services.” But such a portrayal helps present the abortion industry as a woman-friendly health system under attack from misogynistic religious fanatics.
Any claim that abortion clinics are “health” centers is quite a stretch.
Martha Coakley: A rabid anti-family activist
Coakley, who is also running for Governor this year, is arguably the most aggressive anti-family public official ever elected statewide in New England. Besides her “abortion rights” activism, as Attorney General she’s supported the statewide homosexual movement and even raised money for them. She testified at the State House for the Transgender Rights and Hate Crimes Law. In 2008 Coakley's office filed a federal suit against the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.
Coakley had ample reason to be upset this time. She had defended the buffer zone law before the US Supreme Court and been soundly beaten by the pro-life attorneys.
But she’s not alone, among candidates for Governor, in wanting to do this. The other Democrat candidates for governor as well as Republican candidate Charlie Baker support her efforts “to make women’s health safe again”, according to the Boston Globe.
What kind of law is being crafted?
What will Coakley’s new law include? The plain reading of the text of the ruling doesn’t appear to leave her with much to work with. It basically says that free speech on the sidewalk must be protected, and that alleged criminal activity be dealt with separate criminal statutes – most of which already exist on the state or federal level.
Coakley said they will use as a “road map” for the bill whatever nuances and possible loopholes in the text of the Court’s ruling her legal team can uncover.
The ruling also does appear to allow bringing back the old 6-foot “floating” buffer zones, which Massachusetts and other states used to have years ago. But at the press conference, Coakley downplayed that. “It’s not off the table but I think as we’ve seen I don’t think it was particularly effective,” she said.
So besides restating laws that already exist, unless she invents something very unusual it’s hard to imagine anything else that would pass constitutional muster.
Laurence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said that any effort to narrowly tailor the legislation could go too far and appear to target antiabortion protesters for the content of their speech.
Crafting “a package that is limited to the abortion situation just raises the suspicion that these are all indirect ways of suppressing antiabortion speech,” he said.
A time limit: The end of this month
The Legislature ends its so-called formal sessions on July 31, which is effectively the end of the entire two-year session. So any bill must be introduced and passed by both houses by then. This also must include time for a public hearing, which Coakley and the Governor both said would take place.
As of this writing, their bill has not yet been filed. Why has it taken so long? One theory is that it’s so difficult for them to craft something that will hold water that it’s taking them an inordinate amount of time. But another theory is that they’re purposefully waiting until the last minute so they can rush it through a hearing and then quickly through the House and Senate without giving the pro-life community any time to put together a serious lobbying effort against it.
Can our side stop it?
The abortion lobby knows that with everything else going on at the end of the session, most of the Legislature would probably just rather let the Court’s ruling stand. That’s why they’re taking no chances and pulling out all the stops. There’s no question that the pro-life movement will be up against a veritable steamroller if the abortion lobby has its way.
To our knowledge, the only pro-life/pro-family group that was previously involved with this case, aside from pro-life legal groups, was Operation Rescue Boston. Except for the Mass. Catholic Conference and the Catholic Action League, no one else even supported our legislation to repeal the law.
But since the Court victory was announced, other local pro-life groups have climbed on the bandwagon, and even raised money on it.
But are they willing to roll up their sleeves and lobby as hard it takes to stop this bill? The mainstream pro-life movement in Massachusetts (as opposed to Operation Rescue) has a fairly reliable stable of wealthy donors, but has been criticized for being squishy on hard principles (which probably makes fundraising easier). In other words, they’re not exactly street fighters.
Currently, the only talk we’ve heard is that they’ll be “monitoring” the new bill to see if it’s constitutional. Maybe that will be enough. Or maybe not.
In any case, the public hearing testimony certainly promises to be a circus! We’ll definitely see what happens.