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Uncomfortable truth: The real violence and harassment outside abortion clinics is against pro-lifers

POSTED: July 16, 2014

The abortion lobby and pro-abortion politicians constantly harangue about alleged violence, intimidation, and other law-breaking by pro-lifers outside of abortion clinics. It’s an endless refrain in the press. It was a major part of the recent State House press conference by the Massachusetts Governor and Attorney General.  And it’s the excuse for the new “buffer zone” law recently filed in the Massachusetts Legislature.

Boston Globe photo of Ray Neary standing outside Planned Parenthood in Boston, the day the US Supreme Court struck down the buffer zone law.

But the truth is actually just the opposite.

As the US Supreme Court noted in its ruling that struck down the Massachusetts abortion clinic buffer zone law, there have been no convictions of pro-lifers for any law-breaking outside of abortion clinics in nearly 20 years. And as Operation Rescue director Bill Cotter wrote  recently in the Boston Globe, there haven’t even been any arrests ofr pro-lifers for violence in that period.

On the other hand, violence, harassment, and intimidation against pro-lifers at abortion clinics is almost routine. People regularly scream at, curse, threaten, and even punch pro-lifers. Objects are thrown at them from cars. There have been numerous arrests and convictions. Most of the perpetrators are men pressuring their pregnant girlfriends to get abortions, or just plain angry people.

Three stories we recently heard

In the course of the last few days we’ve heard three stories, though there are many more:

1. Ray Neary, pictured above, is a retired teacher and former teacher’s union official. One day in 2009 Ray was standing outside Planned Parenthood in Boston with a sign just outside of the “buffer zone” line when a large man ran up to him a few inches from his face, spit on him, began cursing very loudly and threatened to kill him. Ray backed away and called the police, who later arrested the man after he had been hiding inside the Planned Parenthood building.

Ray pressed assault charges and it went to court. The man had “a very good lawyer” and got probation and some community service, but no fine or jail time.

2. “Evan”, a former Army officer, told us about an incident a few years ago at Planned Parenthood in Boston. A man came up to him and started swearing at him, then knocked him onto the ground. The man was arrested and the case went to court. However, Evan decided to offer to drop the charges if the man apologized, which he did.

3. We’ve heard first-hand stories of how the far-left “Code Pink” demonstrators would come to Planned Parenthood expressly to harass and intimidate the pro-lifers. It got so bad that the Planned Parenthood people apparently had to persuade them not to come back, lest their tactics backfire.

4. Planned Parenthood President and CEO Marty Walz made the following statement at a Massachusetts State House press conference on July 2:

While I was the lead sponsor of this buffer zone law, I came and visited Boston Planned Parenthood Health on Commonwealth Ave in Allston, so I could see for myself what the public safety problem was. And that public safety problem could not have been clearer. I stood in the doorway of Planned Parenthood and I had a protestor inches away from my face screaming at me as loud as he could. And frankly, it’s terrifying. That protester was back in our doorways Saturday morning. Just the way it was in 2007, scaring our patients and scaring our staff.

Just today a pro-life activist whom we’ve known for many years called our office. He said he and others witnessed that confrontation that Saturday, June 28, 2014 between Walz and the protester. But what Walz didn’t mention, he said, was that the person was a pro-abortion protester who had been screaming and swearing at a group of pro-life Hispanic children –- and Walz came outside to try to get him to leave so it wouldn’t look bad for Planned Parenthood.