Regardless of your politics, theft is theft and assault is assault

Civil disobedience is the act of breaking the law to make a statement about politics or justice, trying to effect social change by calling public attention to your grievance. An essential part of the act is to accept the legal consequences of  breaking the law. The difference between those who practiced civil disobedience in the 1960s to bring attention to segregation and today’s Woke Students is that the latter want to do the crime without doing the time. In other words, they think they should be able to vandalize, assault, and harass people in the name of their ideology—without facing legal consequences.

Another essential part of civil disobedience is in its name—it’s civil.  You don’t practice violence or destruction, for those practices detract from any public approbation you’ll get.

Here are two students who did face the consequences but think they shouldn’t have. Further, they’re not really practicing civil disobedience in the strict sense, as their crimes were theft on one hand and assault on the other.

The first video (sent by reader Su) is that of a University of North Carolina student who is pro-choice (I’m on her side there), stealing an anti-abortion sign from conservatives (I’m not in favor of that). A cop arrests her (she lies throughout: “I have no ID,” “I was going to give the sign back), and he treats her with respect, even informing her that those opposed to her views have free speech and a right to display their signs on campus. She still thinks she’s somehow immune to arrest.  I have little sympathy for her—or rather, I sympathize with her views but not her actions.

Both films come from the “Created Equal” site, an anti-abortion group that sets up anti-abortion tables and specializes in showing pictures of aborted and dismember fetuses. Their methods are repugnant, but irrelevant to the point I’m making, which is about the right to peaceably promulgate your opinions and take your medicine if you break the law.

Here’s an enraged woman, also at the University of North Carolina, who screams at and then punches somebody from the Created Equal display.  From Epoch Times:

The woman was identified as Jillian Ward, a pro-abortion feminist and aspiring journalist, according to Fox News. She was arrested by citation and charged with non-aggravated assault, reported the Daily Caller. It is unclear whether Ward attends the university.

If you want to break the law to make a political point, be ready to face the consequences of your action. I was once arrested for making a political statement, but peacefully, and I was prepared to go to jail had I not been given conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War. The heroes of the civil rights movement never committed assault on people or damage to property: they made their point quietly and were still beaten by billy clubs, thrown in jail, and bitten by dogs.  It was their acquiescence to their attacks and their legal punishment that inspired the country and helped bring reform.

Civil disobedience doesn’t work if you hurt people or damage property in your “statement”, for you get no sympathy for breaking the law by damaging people and property. These two women above are the consequences of an entitlement that wants to censor free speech and doesn’t want to accept the consequences of illegal “censorship.” They are having tantrums, not effecting social change.

 

109 Comments

  1. rickflick
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The worry, for me, is they give the left a bad name, undoing the work and wasting the effort of many who stay legit.

    • freiner
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      That’s my worry as well in cases like this.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      I feel the same. If you watched Fox News, you’d think all the left were part of Antifa.

      Of course, being anti-fascist is a good thing, but using violence to express that and enforce change is fascism too.

    • dvandivere
      Posted May 15, 2019 at 3:54 am | Permalink

      Although it is a bit galling that they’ll equate stealing signs with conspiring to assassinate abortion providers and bombing clinics.

      I’m not a fan of the violence (and I’m not sure of the date of the videos) but I could certainly empathize with women especially in Alabama and Georgia who feel like they’re already under attack.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 15, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

        That would be my feeling too.

        Compared with being forced to have an unwanted child which with consequences that will probably ruin your life (not to mention the unwanted child’s); or being jailed for an obscenely long length of time for exercising your choice of what happens to your body; what’s a couple of stolen signs?

        My only consideration would be, is stealing the sign more effective than not-stealing it?

        It seems to me the left (and I don’t mean SJW’s) is sooo careful and finicky and punctilious in its desire to be pure; while the opposition – all the right-wing fundies who vote tRump – don’t give a shit. Playing by the rules when the other side won’t is a sure way to lose.

        cr

        • Posted May 15, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          If anti-abortionists steal pro-choice posters and physically attack pro-choicers, I’d agree that they do not play by the rule. But we have no such examples here. (I’d say it is the rules themselves that are bad.)

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes, this is something closer to juvenile delinquent behavior – high school or grade school like. Once you are of age, you get to go to grown up jail.

  3. Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Please excuse my ignorance as a foreigner but the first woman was handcuffed whereas the second woman merely received a citation because it was “a misdemeanour”. The implication is therefore that the first woman committed a felony. Is that correct?

    If so, to my eye, the first offence was far less serious than the second one. The woman was going to destroy property but the property in question was only a couple of bits of wood nailed together with writing on it. The second woman committed quite a serious physical assault.

    I don’t think the first woman had much idea of how serious what she was doing is. I hope she gets off with a slap on the wrist and a valuable life lesson.

    I’m totally on the side of the pro-choice side of this particular debate, by the way.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes, physical assault would be far more serious than stealing a sign. Punching in the face would only be allowed if it were a supreme court justice. Just kidding.

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      My guess is the first time, the University police were caught off guard, but now are feeling more pressure to act.

      Still don’t know the outcome of the first incident: “The only statement UNC made after both arrests is that law prevents them from “commenting on disciplinary actions involving students.” (from Created Equal twitter.)

    • Adam M.
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      The implication is therefore that the first woman committed a felony. Is that correct?

      No, they are both misdemeanors, but police have discretion on how they want to handle it. If they want to use a light touch, they’ll just issue a demand to appear in court. Otherwise, they’ll arrest the person and bring them to jail pending a court appearance.

      While there’s surely local variation in police behavior, my impression is that a mere citation for assault and battery is rare. My guess is that the police were sensitive to the power and likelihood of student protest against “aggressive” police actions, didn’t want to handcuff a girl, were repulsed by the anti-abortion activist’s sign, or some combination…

  4. Harrison
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Civil disobedience requires that it be civil, i.e., peaceful. Theft and assault can never be civil disobedience even if the perpetrators were willing to go to jail for it.

  5. Geoff Toscano
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I note there’s no reference to the anti-choice lobby and their murderous tactics that include bombing clinics and shooting the staff. Of course when they, quite rightly, receive their (almost) just rewards then, well, they are martyrs!

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      So in your world, the pro-life movement is a monolithic bloc that advocates terrorism, with every member subject to vigilante justice. Per your logic, then all anti-war protesters in the 60s were in bed with the Weather Underground.

      Yes or No, do you condone these criminal acts in the video? If so, on what basis?

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    These women, especially the punching woman, should keep in mind, that many people vehemently disagree with their beliefs as much as they disagree with the people they stole from/assaulted. I don’t think they want to live in a world where it is okay to hurt someone or their property simply because you disagree with them. As an atheist, I imagine I’d get punched a lot.

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Outing yourself as an atheist to just anyone is not something taken lightly, for that reason alone.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        I think it depends where you are. For me, I fear passive aggressive bigotry more than anything. I use my real name all over the place and I said to a friend “I wonder if that’s going to bite me in the ass” and maybe it already has.

        • Posted May 15, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

          I feel, or felt as you I think. I also use my own name all the time, not that I participate in those forums which are shall we say uncivil.
          To date I have had no untoward problems and I think it would be better if everyone used their own names.
          Regards
          Robert Ladley NS Canada

    • dvandivere
      Posted May 15, 2019 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      I mean, you’re aware that there was essentially a conspiracy in the anti-choice community to murder people whose legal activities they disagreed with?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Non sequitur to this conversation.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted May 15, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      I must say that outing myself as an atheist (in deeply religious environments) has never led to punching, just some minor ostracism.
      But then, maybe I’m not satisfactory punching object, maybe I fall short somewhere?

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 15, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Depends where you live. In some countries you will be killed, others ostracized, and in the US in some parts, you will be so ostracized you won’t be able to get a plumber even (or so I’ve been told by closeted atheists). Still, atheists are the most hated group in the US so you have to consider your circumstances and location when you come out.

        • rickflick
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          Don’t forget: in the U.S. you can’t run for public office as an open atheist.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

            Satanist it is then.

            • rickflick
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

              That’s being creative!

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    … they’re not really practicing civil disobedience in the strict sense …

    Not sure they’re practicing civil disobedience even in sensu lato. It’s more a case of brats accustomed to having their way, being brats trying to have their way — brats on the right side of this issue, IMO, but brats nonetheless.

    Yet the time for legit civil disobedience may soon be upon us. This nation is, I believe, heading for a showdown soon over Roe v. Wade. Red states across the nation are rapidly enacting laws meant to present a facial challenge to Roe. Overruling Roe has long been the religious right’s primary objective, and it cut a Faustian bargain to vote for Donald Trump to accomplish that goal. If his SCOTUS appointees don’t produce, there’ll be hell to pay. And if they do, impecunious women in the states that have outlawed abortion will be denied reproductive autonomy.

    All that stands between those two outcomes is the commitment to stare decisis of a conservative, anti-abortion chief justice (and the heartbeat of an 86-year-old woman whose initials are RBG).

    • Historian
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes, if the Supreme Court overrules Roe, disobedience civil or otherwise will break out on a massive scale. The only thing that may prevent a descent into chaos that the decision would probably restore the situation before the original ruling, i.e., the individual states will decide on the legalization of abortion. Presumably, it would remain legal in most of the blue states. Maybe Justice Roberts will want to avoid the unraveling of society and will vote with the liberal justices (assuming there will still be four on the Court). In any case, the religious right is scared and will try to get its agenda passed into law while it can, regardless of the consequences.

      • rickflick
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        I just read a column describing how a medication, I think mifepristone, is beginning to be widely available and will allow safe self-abortion where anti-abortion laws are passed. I suspect this will, in a short time, end the abortion debate. Once it is in common use, no law to outlaw it will be enforceable.

        • Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          +1

        • Karst
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          You may be correct long term, but short term there may be considerable prosecution in states such as Georgia. The recent Georgia law will, if Roe v. Wade falls, seriously criminalize abortion, making it murder not just by a doctor, but also by the woman. Moreover, leaving Georgia to obtain an abortion would subject the woman (and anyone helping her)to prosecution under conspiracy statutes. Finally, those who had miscarriages could face charges if prosecutors thought they could prove that the women’s use of drugs, etc. led to the miscarriage. See articles in Slate for details.

          • rickflick
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

            Right, but you can see how desperate such laws will become. From the article I read, there are already networks of people working as providers and consultants. Not many people would like to see a young woman prosecuted for having a “miscarriage”. Yes, there will be litigation, but I think the winds are blowing rather hard in the right direction.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

              “From the article I read, there are already networks of people working as providers and consultants.”

              That was certainly the case in Ireland in pre-enlightenment days. Abortion Support Network was one such (English-based) organisation that helped Irish women across the Irish Sea to the UK.

              The risk is that any such network in the US might be attacked by ‘conspiracy’ charges such as Karst mentioned.

              cr

          • Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

            Then a woman breaking the law by self-aborting her fetus and taking the punishment would truly be engaging in civil disobedience.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

            “would subject the woman (and anyone helping her) to prosecution under conspiracy statutes.”

            ‘Conspiracy’ almost always stinks. It usually means “we don’t have any actual evidence against you but we’re going to get you anyway”.
            Or, “we don’t like your politics.” It’s a great weapon for tyranny.

            cr

        • Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          I expected that to be the case but good to hear the details. Assuming the drug is safe and effective, it will probably be preferable to going to the abortion clinic anyway, even if Roe is not overturned. Of course, the anti-abortionists will work hard to make the drug impossible to get so it still won’t be easy.

          • rickflick
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            The good news is there are already organizations in place that advise women on self-medication and make sure the option is available. They claim the drugs are safe and effective. If so, I think the game is up. The drug will become available regardless of laws passed by a Republican congress or politicians in a red state.

        • Posted May 15, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          Why has RU486 not already make this conversation happen?

          • rickflick
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know. I got the impression from the article (sorry can’t find it) that there are now newer, better drugs. Whatever the case, it does sound promising to me.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        The religious right’s ultimate goal is to enact a constitutional amendment conferring “personhood” on the “unborn.” That would take the issue away from the individual states, making abortion illegal across the land, and making abortion punishable as murder.

        Members of the religious right aren’t keen on putting this goal out front for the time being, since they know it’s beyond their current grasp, and since it could cost them allies among the relatively more moderate in the battle to overturn Roe v. Wade.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          Members of the religious right aren’t keen on putting this goal out front for the time being,

          Hmmmm, sounds like another “Wedge” strategy. Sounds familiar?

      • Murali
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        ‘Yes, if the Supreme Court overrules Roe, disobedience civil or otherwise will break out on a massive scale.’

        But if the SC overrules Roe, it would most likely be the case that it happened in a legitimate manner, right? A democratically elected president appoints justices to the SC in the appropriate way, and the SC overrules Roe. Are you saying that that Justice Roberts might consider something other than strict constitutionality when making his or her decision?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          I think the suggestion is that given that the *majority of Americans don’t accept this outcome, they will engage in civil disobedience against a law that is unjust, regardless of how legal it was in coming to be.

          *my intel could be wrong here. I thought I had read that the majority of Americans do support Roe v Wade.

          • Murali
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            In ‘disobedience civil or otherwise will break out on a massive scale’, the civil disobedience part seems fine. It is the other part that is worrying. I hope it does not come to that.

            I too have heard that the majority support abortion. However, there are at least two aspects to the issue:

            – One is if the choice to terminate a pregnancy is protected by the constitution.

            – The other is if it should be there at all. Even if it is not protected by the constitution, we could still envisage it being legal.

            Does a majority of Americans think that the right to choose is protected by the constitution?

            Unfortunately, if the SC overturns Roe vs. Wade, it is going to be easier for people to make abortion illegal in general in the US.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

              Yes and what I was suggesting with the “majority” is it’s another example of the tyranny of the minority – often a religious minority. I find it maddening, sad, and frightening.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

              Yes and what I was suggesting with the “majority” is it’s another example of the tyranny of the minority – often a religious minority. I find it maddening, sad, and frightening.

            • rickflick
              Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

              In the 1960s the only options for abortion was “back street”, “coat hanger” or traveling to a foreign (European) country. Today, one can travel to a neighboring state, or, as I said earlier, self-abort medically. It seems to me the pendulum has already swung. Although the Supremes and various fascistic administrations may cause trouble, I think the battle has been won for women of choice. What we are seeing in some red states are cries of desperation…the death throes of a bad idea.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          If Roe v. Wade were overruled, the right to regulate or outlaw abortion would rest with the individual states. Any subsequent civil disobedience would be directed at violating the state laws prohibiting abortion (rather than at the SCOTUS decision overruling Roe itself, although there would also undoubtedly be widespread protests regarding that decision, both outside the Supreme Court building and across the nation).

          • Posted May 15, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

            Isn’t however a next likely step after a repeal of RvW an attempt to criminalize abortion country-wide?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      You need doctors to disobey abortion laws. That’s how the laws got changed in Canada – when Dr. Morgentaler opened an abortion clinic and defied the law. He went to jail several times.

      • Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        +1

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        That was the case in the US before Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 (especially the case in New York before abortion was legalized there in 1970).

        And it may soon be the case again in the red states that are passing anti-abortion laws now.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

          Now that Alabama and some other states have passed laws effectively eliminating abortion (heart beat detection) and the women can get 99 years if they try anything including leaving the state, they are just about ready for those good Catholics on the court to make it legal.

          • Historian
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Take a gander at what the Republican legislature in Michigan is trying to do. Fortunately, the Democratic governor will veto the bill.

            https://www.huffpost.com/entry/michigan-legislature-bans-abortion-procedure_n_5cdb29e7e4b0b53922030553

          • rickflick
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

            Once you get a couple of 17 year old girls in prison for 99 years for miscarriage, the force of public opinion will shift. Even in red states. Anti-abortion extremism is only countenanced while the rubes and yokels can think it’s not there own wife or daughter.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 4:14 am | Permalink

              … and the 17-year-olds will still be in jail for life.

              How many martyrs does it take to restore a little decency to society?

              Compared with that prospect, I’d say smashing a few objectionable signs is trivial by comparison.

              cr

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 4:21 am | Permalink

            “women can get 99 years if they try anything including leaving the state,”

            Is that really so? How can that be constitutional? I would have thought freedom to travel (within the country) was a constitutional right. Otherwise it’s worse than the Iron Curtain.

            99 years? That’s disgusting. The US never fails to amaze and appal me. Some aspects so advanced, other facets of it so barbaric.

            cr

            • rickflick
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

              Chalk it up to religious intolerance. They think the fetus has a “soul”. Compared to murder, 99 years is nothin’. Oddly, as soon as the “soul” is born, they lose all interest in it’s welfare. It becomes a potential criminal or burden on the state.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            if they try anything including leaving the state

            That aspect of it hadn’t made much news this side of the pond. Then again, since we’re in the process of trying to remove freedom of movement from the citizenry, I doubt it would raise much objection from the Brexit crowd. And I do have vague memories of the Ulster Bigotry Party trying to prevent citizens travelling to other parts of the country which they so dearly wish to be associated with to pursue an abortion.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        From what I understand, that drug is not available over the counter in the US; one must get it through a doctor, or outside the US. But as this info states https://plancpills.org/faq#get-in-trouble, it’s still dicey “The federal government and the U.S. states and territories have a wide variety of laws that prosecutors may try to use to punish someone who uses abortion pills outside of an approved medical context.”

        Sad to say, I fear that with these draconian anti-abortion laws gaining traction despite the increasing alarm and push-back by pro-choice folks, this drug will be even more stringently regulated, perhaps classified as schedule 8 re classifying drugs as to their danger, actual or perceived, or even a 9 or 10 Hope I’m wrong. And given what is already happening to women who want/need abortions, again, despite growing push-back by those who favor choice, women are being punished and imprisoned https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/anti-abortion-laws-will-put-women-in-jail-86ab8951cdcc.

        I’m sure I’m being melodramatic, but in this age of through-the-looking-glass politics, I could see Trump, in an attempt to favor the anti-abortion extremists, set up check-points like the ones at the border, at the borderlines of states that outlawed abortion to interrogate (and test) any woman of child-bearing age and if she were pregnant she’d be prohibited from traveling out of state (and xloawly surveilled) until she had her baby.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          After seeing that video of Lina Medina, I realize they’ll have to test every female five years old or older.

          And what about fetus in fetu?

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Matryoshka-dolls-style testing, I spoze.

            • Jenny Haniver
              Posted May 14, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

              Ha ha. I hadn’t thought of that.

              • Jenny Haniver
                Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

                I would have used exclamation points then recalled that Fowler recommends using them sparingly; but that’s the old British restraint!!!!!!!!!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          It was draconian in the late 60s and early 70s in Canada as well and, as I said, people went to jail many times. It didn’t change over night but it was the only way the state listened. All the protests and marches weren’t as effective as civil disobedience. Until the late 60s, you could face life in prison. It was first decriminalized then legalized over time. http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/postionpapers/60-History-Abortion-Canada.pdf

        • rickflick
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          As I see it, as the laws become more draconian they run up against two opposing forces. 1) human decency and rational thought. 2) The USian passion for individual rights. At some point, the absurdity of the attempts to stop the march of history will turn the tide.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 4:12 am | Permalink

          Sadly, just as Ireland and the Isle of Man are struggling into the 20th century, large chunks of the US are sliding back into the Middle Ages, or in danger of doing so. Depressing to watch.

          cr

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          I could see Trump, in an attempt to favor the anti-abortion extremists, set up check-points like the ones at the border, at the borderlines of states that outlawed abortion to interrogate (and test) any woman of child-bearing age and if she were pregnant she’d be prohibited from traveling out of state (and xloawly surveilled) until she had her baby.

          “Welcome to Gilead” as Margaret Atwood might put it. See my comment a few moments ago about the Ulster Bigotry Party having tried that sort of thing in Britain previously (I think. There are so many religious maniacs to keep track of these days.)
          By Ceiling Cat, she must be getting depressed. Or, hopefully, dipping her typewriter in high-grade vitriol.

          After seeing that video of Lina Medina, I realize they’ll have to test every female five years old or older.

          And the problem, from the point of view of the authoritarians, is … ?

          And what about fetus in fetu?

          An ad homunculus attack?

      • Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        The problem with the Alabama law is that doctors face up to 99 years in jail for performing an abortion. Which doctor would take that chance if Roe v. Wade is overturned?

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Yes and that is what Morgentaler risked in Canada when he performed illegal abortions. In this time in Canadian history abortion laws had been reformed but you could still go to jail for life if a panel of doctors hadn’t decided you could get an abortion for health reasons. Like the laws in GA it required women to travel far distances unless they were already in an urban centre and they often had to wait weeks which meant they couldn’t get an abortion in the end. Morgentaler risked going to jail for years or for his whole life when he started doing those abortions. He was jailed several times but not convicted. You need a hero like Morgentaler.

          • Jenny Haniver
            Posted May 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            We had one — George Tiller but he was assassinated.

          • Posted May 15, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

            It has not been plain sailing in Canada either. Only within the last year has it been possible for a woman to get access to abortion services in P.E.I. This solely because of the interference of the RC Bishop In the province. Many women had and some still do have to travel to N.S. Or New Brunswick and abortion in these provinces is not as easy to access as it should be. There is still ongoing discussion in NS about this problem.
            I don’t understand this particularly when one of the acute problems facing the planet is over production of the human species.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

              Yes. I also think people should get incentives for having fewer children or none. There are children already here that we need to look after and there are already too many people in the world.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted May 15, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

                and there are already too many people in the world.

                And the flame throwers start in 3 … 2 … 1
                You’ve said the unthinkable. Committed thoughtcrime. And I’m sure Atwood had a word for it in Gilead too.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

                Yes. I’m safer saying it here. If I said it out there, I’d be firebombed into ash.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

                Is that a Game of Thowns reference? I still can’t bring myself to dive into the second book, a metre above my head at this very moment.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                No but having watched the latest episode, I’m sure it influenced my metaphors.

              • Posted May 15, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

                No need to. TFR of Canada is well below 2.

              • aljones909
                Posted May 15, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

                Not a problem for white Europeans, Chinese or Japanese. All reproducing at below replacement rate. The real problem is Africa. The population there (UN projections) is expected to quadruple this century.

    • Mark R.
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      SCOTUS’ recent ruling that states don’t have sovereign immunity from private lawsuits from other states pretty much throws stare decisis out the window; that was a 40 year precedent. Many have opined that this decision signals RvW is not safe from stare decisis in this court. We’ll see if Roberts wants to become the most hated justice in recent history since he will surely be the swing vote in any abortion case.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        There’s a time and place for overruling precedent, Mark — otherwise, “separate but equal” would still be the law. But it’s not a question to be undertaken lightly, or merely because five new justices prefer a different outcome.

        • Posted May 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

          And that, for a *sensible* notion of “conservative”, is a conservative principle I could find plausible. Funny how that works.

  8. Posted May 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    It is despicable what is done to women in the US, especially in Georgia. That law is not only immoral but also utterly harebrained, for the unborn will be seen as persons, which introduces bizarre consequences, as widely reported. Abortion becomes murder. Is miscarriage manslaughter then? The unborn would require a lawyer if its mother is currently in custody, and a trial to be held in jail and so on. It is so intensely stupid that only Republicans could come up with it.

    While I agree with your opinion on civil obedience, I disagree with using such examples. There are certainly other cases that don’t add to the gauntlet.

    • rickflick
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      That’s not the half of it:

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted May 15, 2019 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        It’s such a catchy tune that it’s become an ear worm for me.

        Who did the choreography? It’s great.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          That is my absolute favourite musical song-and-dance number. Not that I’m a fan of the genre, but that’s far the best one I’ve seen. Musically and choreographically. And the lyrics are suitably Pythonesque – ‘God will make them pay for Each sperm that can’t be found’.

          (Quite aside from its sarcastic take on the Catholic morality, which is agreeable to me).

          cr

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s already happening https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/anti-abortion-laws-will-put-women-in-jail-86ab8951cdcc. I cited this article in a previous comment but it provides info on actual cases of women being charged and convicted after having miscarriages. As the author clearly states: “These all happened in spite of Roe v. Wade, because of state anti-choice laws, and policies that prioritize fetal rights over women’s.” Funny (not) that I’ve heard news reports of women in other countries who’ve been convicted of manslaughter and murder and these reports are broadcast in the context of emphasizing the primitive barbarity of certain other countries in the way they regard and treat women.

  9. Filippo
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    sub

  10. Mark R.
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I take umbrage from the term “pro-abortion”. Only anti-abortion zealots use that term. No one I know is pro-abortion; we are pro-choice, pro-contraceptives, pro-don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my body. Abortion is a difficult and personal decision to be made by the woman who is pregnant and her doctor; nothing is happy about it, which the statement “pro-abortion” connotes.

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      Okay, whatever. Your umbrange is noted and rejected.

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      I take your point.

      I am definitely not pro-abortion. But being a man I will never have one. So it is not my place to be against or for abortion.

      But I will support women who have to make this very difficult choice.

      • Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s what I meant by “pro abortion”.

        • Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Interestingly, you did not use the phrase pro-abortion in your post Jerry.It was used in the videos.

          In fact you used the pro-choice phrase.

          • Posted May 14, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

            I forgot. But I am “pro abortion” in the sense that I think all women should be able to get an abortion when they want one, not that I somehow think that abortion should be more common.

            • Mark R.
              Posted May 14, 2019 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

              And no comment on what I was talking about? I also noticed you didn’t use the term. Yes, I’m pro-abortion too… this thread has gone into the weeds afaik…or care.

    • Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      I’m pro abortion.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Me too. But I’m also a misanthrope so it fits.

    • Filippo
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Would you agree that, regardless of the prefix appended to the word, “abortion” clearly identifies the subject (object?) of contention? Shall the word not be used at all? “WWOS”? (“What Would Orwell Say?)

      • Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Orwell would understand that words matter in the battle for our minds.

        • Mark R.
          Posted May 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          That’s pretty much what I said below…I was responding to Filippo, but created a new comment. argh.

  11. Mark R.
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m not for censorship in any way. Orwell would say words matter and can be used to distort. Labeling someone “pro-abortion” is a way of trying to turn them into extremists. “They’re pro killing babies!” Sure, it’s a lot more subtle than Trump’s descriptors of late, but it’s still meant to demean.

    To answer your question, how about abortion supporters, or abortion advocates? Either way, I didn’t think my comment would stir the pot so. The two headlines jumped out at me and so I commented.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted May 14, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      “Pro abortion-rights” (and “anti abortion-rights”) seem to be the accepted neutral nomenclature now (replacing the hot-button terms used by both sides to try to claim the moral high-ground of “pro-life” and “pro-choice”).

  12. max blancke
    Posted May 14, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I wrote a whole diatribe about this, but I guess I will just stick to a single point. These sorts of tactics are only effective when you are confident that you will be able to exercise and hold overwhelming power.
    Someone who was an aficionado of Hitler, living in Berlin in 1938 might similarly attack a Jewish person or their property. But only because the there was pretty much nothing the Jews could do about it. Even then, after VE day, that person will have some ‘splaining to do.

    I agree strongly with Dr. Coyne that the issue here is not anti vs pro abortion folks. It is about normal people with diverse viewpoints being attacked by violent extremists. There are a lot more of us, and this sort of thing is only happening because we try to err on the side of non-violence and moderation.
    The Antifa folks, as a similar example, feel that they are at war with large segments of the population. But it is not really war if one side is not really participating.
    I understand that the hard left and the hard right might sometimes get into a tiff. But I am talking about if either one (or both) of those groups irritates the general citizenry enough for normal people to start responding to these sorts of incidents with some sort of violent response.
    One example related to me by a family member was a KKK meeting in our community that was not met with support by the citizenry, but by a bunch of otherwise peaceful people who had run out of patience, and showed up with shotguns and axe handles.
    I have no doubt that several of the klan people achieved a form of enlightenment in the brief moment between when they were struck on the head, and when they lost consciousness in a pool of their own blood. It would have been better for all involved it that epiphany had been reached long before it reached that point.

  13. Posted May 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    I have little sympathy for her or rather, I sympathize with her views but not her actions.

    I cannot help but feel sympathy for her. She could not do otherwise. What are the [effective] actions we have to take to discourage the ‘control’ left from behaving in a way the spoils it for everyone?

  14. Posted May 15, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    “I was prepared to go to jail had I not been given conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War.”

    How did an atheist manage to get CO status?!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      How did an atheist manage to get CO status?

      By having a conscience, and objecting. Neither are things that require a religious belief.
      Even back in World War One there were accepted atheist conscientious objectors. If you were, for an example, a Quaker CO, then there were centuries of precedent, and people who’d fight alongside you for your rights as a CO, whereas the atheists had to fight their battles individually.

      • Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        That would have been interesting if the authorities tried to deny CO status on the basis of atheism. Does anyone remember if they tried that? I was around then but had a high draft lottery number and a bad memory now.

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 15, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Conscription stopped nearly a decade before I was born, so I never had to worry about it. I made my choice between violence and peaceful methods.
          I believe it is now a part of the UN or European basic human rights listings, so I’d expect it to be revoked soon as Britain leaves Europe and America leaves the UN. Has Trump blown that dog-whistle yet?

          • aljones909
            Posted May 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

            In the interest of accuracy – the UK was one of the founder states of the European Court of Human Rights. It was a member before joining the EU and will remain a member if it leaves the EU.

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted May 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

              Oh well, that would just add to the legislative load post Brexit. At some point they’ve got to repeal the laws of mathematics and gravity too.


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