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Monday, July 7, 2014

Amending Courtesy

We've all heard the debate on abortion.

Pro-life, pro-choice, every political leader is essentially required to have a take on it when they plan to run for something.

According to this article from the New York Times, the state of Massachusetts has now disintegrated a law that mandated a 35-foot "buffer zone" in front of all abortion clinics, stating that the First Amendment allows them to protest whatever issue they may like (*the First Amendment is the one that grants religious, speech, and protesting freedom).

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Now, if we're talking strictly legal here, the state of Massachusetts had to take down the buffer zone. The people are free to protest. You can't get around that.

However, I can't help but feel that taking down the buffer zone was quite right. I would think that making the choice to have an abortion would be a nearly impossible one - that it would be strenuous, difficult, and the one you wonder "what if?" about for years to come. Assuming that every woman who walks into an abortion clinic feels this way, wouldn't it be that much more of a horrible situation to have someone screaming in your face and telling you that you're going to hell?

I want to be clear - this is not an attack on those who are pro-life. Nor is it one on those who are pro-choice. Your opinions and feelings towards abortion are yours and yours alone, and should be respected. Just as yours should be treated fairly, so should those who have made that terribly tough call.

Yet, this issue isn't really about abortion. It isn't about abortion at all. It's a boxing match between the First Amendment and the right to privacy.

From a government standpoint, rather, from a constitutional standpoint, if we are speaking in terms of strict construction, the buffer zone shouldn't exist. But if we are looking at it from a more humanitarian perspective, if we take a walk in those women's shoes, or rather look at this law from the right to privacy standpoint, the buffer zone needs to be there. They need 35 feet of solace from the protestors.

What do you think? Should the First Amendment right to protest be honored over the right to privacy?

xx, Victoria
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*Strict construction is a form of interpreting the Constitution that means that if a right/ability is not literally stated in the Constitution itself, it is not legal.

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Thoughts? I want to read them!
xx, Victoria