A Real Racket: Now's Scheme to Silence Abortion Protest
Vitullo-Martin, Julia, Commonweal
On February 27, the day after the Supreme Court handed down its 8-1 decision overturning a federal racketeering conviction of anti-abortion protesters, I happened to get on the New York subway with one of the West Side's more repugnant prolife demonstrators. A fixture in front of a women's health clinic not far from Lincoln Center, this elderly man dresses up much like a carnival vendor. He wears--perhaps he sells--all sorts of paraphernalia attached to his fly-fishing vest: tiny baby dolls, flags with slogans, miniature surgical implements. He carries poster-size photographs of mangled fetuses, which he pushes combatively in front of women entering or leaving the clinic. He is clearly a little unhinged, but not unsophisticated. That day he was waving a new handwritten poster emblazoned, "The Supreme Court Has Set Us Free."
He pretty much had it right. The Court's ruling in the seventeen-year-old case of the National Organization for Women v. Scheidler was indeed a solid victory for protestors--of all …
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Publication information: Article title: A Real Racket: Now's Scheme to Silence Abortion Protest. Contributors: Vitullo-Martin, Julia - Author. Magazine title: Commonweal. Volume: 130. Issue: 9 Publication date: May 9, 2003. Page number: 10. © 1999 Commonweal Foundation. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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