Freedom to Shame
The Locust Street Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia is used to
confrontations from anti-abortion activists in their parking lot,
reports City Paper's Bruce Schimmel, 'but now public
shame through an invasion of privacy is being added to the arsenal
of anti-abortionists.' California-based abortioncams.com
hopes to frighten women away from receiving an abortion by
publishing photographs of people entering clinics.
Claiming to be a 'news service,' abortioncams.com hides behind the First Amendment while, as Locust Street Planned Parenthood's Dayle Steinburg laments, 'the right to privacy is not in the Constitution.' The abortioncams.com crew - any volunteer 'reporter' who sends in pictures - hasn't arrived on Locust Street yet, but they'll hit many clinics across the country, snapping pictures of doctors, patients, and license plates.
Pennsylvania is a predominately pro-choice state, but that doesn't protect the right to abort from being overturned on a national level. But Steinburg remains strong despite both a possible legal overturn, and guerilla attempts like abortioncams.com, gathering volunteers to escort patients into the clinic in case camera-clad protestors show up. 'Planned Parenthood will be employing another instrument of the First Amendment in its defense,' Schimmel noted. 'They intend to shield their clients with newspapers.'