Opinion

Believe in free speech and the right to life? Here’s how to protect both.

woman-thinking

Lynchburg, Virginia has a few interesting features. For a while, it was America’s premier source of ChapStick and enemas.

It also experienced some dog attacks when I was living there, so I wasn’t pleased to come home one night and find a large pitbull standing between me and the door. Seeing that its muscles were tense and its tail stiff made for a nerve wracking experience.

Or at least it would have been–the 9mm pistol I had on my belt took some of the edge off (it didn’t stay on my belt for long).

A bit of a standoff ensued; the dog dropped its head and I dropped into a Modified Weaver. After after a few minutes of eyeballing each other, our confrontation ended. The dog turned away and walked down the street, while I went into my house with renewed appreciation for the Second Amendment.

Recently, Australian “human rights activist” Tanya Cohen reminded me why also I’m a big fan of the First Amendment. As Rebecca Downs reported, Cohen is calling for a ban on pro-life speech.

“Laws,” she explains, “exist to enforce acceptable behaviour. Arguing against a woman’s right to choose is not acceptable behaviour. Ergo, there is absolutely no reason that it should be legal either.” She goes on to ask, “Does ‘freedom of speech’ allow people to oppose the values of the nation?” According to Cohen, it doesn’t.

A few things come to mind here. One is that if people have no right to oppose “the values of the nation,” then it would seem those fighting for religious freedom and gender equality in many parts of the world have a duty to keep their mouths shut. For some reason Cohen didn’t mention that.

Another is that if Cohen thinks interfering with “a woman’s right to choose” is unacceptable behavior, then she should have a real problem with the abortion industry. After all, it’s got a history of helping abusers and human traffickers deny choice to women and girls. The bad news is that Ms. Cohen appears to be unaware of this. The good news? I’m free to fill her in.

If you’re an abusive partner wanting to avoid the hassle of child support, you’ve got a good reason to be pro-choice…as long as that choice involves having an abortion, of course. Pimps have a similar incentive. Simply put, a trip to the clinic is an easy way to keep your victims on the street and bringing in money. Unfortunately, neither of these groups are fond of hearing the word “no.” The results can be deadly when they do.

Women have been shot, slashed, suffocated, burned, and fatally beaten for refusing to have an abortion, so it shouldn’t come as a shock that the CDC lists  homicide as a leading cause of death during pregnancy. Nor should studies reporting that more than half of women who abort feel pressured to do so. “Choice providers” aren’t surprised that coerced abortions happen. In fact, some are willing to arrange them.

In 2011, Live Action investigators took hidden cameras to Planned Parenthood facilities along the East Coast. Posing as pimps using underage prostitutes, they documented how Planned Parenthood’s staff were ready to lend a hand. Among them was Perth Amboy, New Jersey clinic director Amy Woodruff. Despite being told the prostitutes “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on,” Woodruff was unfazed. “If they’re 14 and under just send them right there if they need an abortion, OK?”

And, while pro-lifers are advancing legislation to protect coercion victims, pro-abortion lobby groups insist on standing in the way. That was the case when Texas state Rep. Molly White co-sponsored a bill requiring that abortion clinics offer a private room with information about assistance programs and a phone to contact law enforcement. Instead of getting behind the move, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas condemned it as “yet more abortion legislation in Texas that is not needed.”

There’s a simple way to strengthen your rights: exercise them. When it comes to free speech, that can include contacting your elected representatives and demanding legislation to protect women and children from coercion. You can also sign Live Action’s petition calling for an end to Planned Parenthood’s annual half billion dollar subsidy. Because while raising your voice might upset Tanya Cohen, it can help those who those who can’t raise their own.

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