Freedom to Shame


| July 31, 2002

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.'
--Abbie Jarman
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