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.’