Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down Massachusetts’ law creating safety/buffer zones around abortion clinics and women’s health centers. This law was intended to protect women choosing to use the legal services that these facilities offered from harassment and intimidation by protestors and other anti-choice activists – usually religious zealots.
Thankfully, they did not completely strike down the whole concept of safety zones as the anti-choice zealots wanted, but they did enough damage that it ensures that millions of women can be psychologically tortured with the Court’s blessing. It seems that what the Court has said is that as long as you are pretending to be civil and are not shouting, you can torment and psychologically abuse women who have made the agonizing decision to terminate their unwanted pregnancy. Because, of course, as everyone knows, any woman/girl who finds herself pregnant (when she did not intend to be) is a slut – because the patriarchs of a primitive tribe of ancient goat-herders said so. And slut shaming is good for society – just ask Rush Limbaugh and the abstinence-only crowd.
Personally, I think allowing the so-called “counselors” full access may be even more insidious than the protestors screaming at their victims. Since they approach their victims pretending that they want to help them, and then betray that trust by abusing them psychologically, it is even more damaging than having to deal with the shouts and slurs of the known enemy – the loud-mouthed protestors. Just ask any child victim of sexual abuse – it is the betrayal of trust that does as much or more damage than anything else.
So yesterday was another bad day for women’s rights and generally rational attitudes toward human sexuality. The unfortunate thing is that we’ve had way too many of these bad days recently.