Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Dubbed free speech zones by some newspapers, bubbles by others, there is widespread agreement from a minority of screaming anti-abortion activists: it's an affront to free speech. And I agree. This new Chicago ordinance infringes on First Amendment rights of people. Not all anti-abortion activists like to kill clinic workers. Just most of them.
I have a solution though: classify the protesters as cigarettes.
You might say, "That's a whole 7 feet less free speech!" And yeah, it is. But free speech doesn't apply to cigarettes.
15 feet would give protesters plenty of room to shout at the abortion clinics. All they have to do is shout louder now. They're free to do that much, and I know they can. At the same time, it allows clinic workers to feel safe, especially after the Surgeon General's Warnings are tattooed on all the protesters. It's only a safety precaution.
It's much easier to reclassify something we don't like than to pile more laws on top of it. Fewer messy Supreme Court visits and fewer accusations of bigotry. Plus, the Chicago City Council can slap a few taxes on the protesters, too. It's a win-win situation for the city and the budget.