weekend question.jpgThe Los Angeles Times reported July 3:

The 1st Amendment rights of two anti-abortion activists were violated when they were ordered to stop circling a Rancho Palos Verdes [CA] middle school in a truck displaying graphic photos of aborted fetuses, a federal appellate court ruled Wednesday….
[A] U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously ruled that school officials and sheriff’s deputies violated the men’s free speech rights by ordering them to leave the school’s neighborhood….

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The 7-by-20-foot truck with photos of first-term fetuses on three sides appeared near Dodson Middle School around 7:30 a.m. March 24, 2003, as students arrived. Several stopped to stare at the photos, which showed fetuses with small hands and feet and the word “choice” in quotation marks and big block letters….
Assistant Principal Art Roberts told the trial court that he saw several children who appeared to be angered by the images and that he had to discourage a group of boys from throwing rocks at the truck.
Roberts called deputies, who stopped and searched the truck and another vehicle, then ordered the activists to leave the area, according to court documents.

“It’s the off-putting speech that needs protection, otherwise there is no need for the 1st Amendment,” said Robert Muise, a lawyer for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, who filed the suit….
Gregg Cunningham, the center’s executive director, said… “Students who are old enough to have an abortion are old enough to see an abortion.”

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Mary-Jane Wagle, chief executive of Planned Parenthood LA, said her group was concerned that young children may be exposed to graphic and jarring images without proper discussion in school or at home.
“Certainly we know they will be horrified, but will they understand what they see? We don’t know,” Wagle said. “We really believe that what’s important is for families to talk about these issues at home, in a safe place.”

CA children can abort without parental notification.
Several questions: Do you think children deemed old enough to get abortions on their own volition are old enough to see what they’re getting? What about the photos made the middle school boys angry enough to throw stones? What do you think of the PP exec’s response? What did she consider “graphic” and “jarring” about the images her organization creates? Why did she “know” children would be “horrified” by them? Why did she consider the family environment a “safe place” to discuss what abortion is but not a safe place to discuss obtaining one?
[Photos courtesy of CBR]

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