Political hot-button issues come and go, but there is one battle that has remained constant since 1973: abortion.
In June, the pro-life movement won a huge victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, which struck down a decades-old "bubble zone," which was a designated number of feet between pro-life protesters and abortion clinics.
According to the United States Supreme Court Blog, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that pro-life protesters were “not protestors,” but rather "sidewalk counselors" who “seek only to inform women of various alternatives and to provide help in pursuing them. [They] believe that they can accomplish this objective only through personal, caring, consensual conversations.”
While some pro-life advocates are peaceful and polite, there have been numerous reports of pro-life advocates carrying graphic signs and yelling at patients and abortion doctors.
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Salon.com notes that NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Texas Progress recently released secretly recorded audio (below) from an Aug. 4 meeting of Texas Alliance for Life that featured pro-life speakers training others how to protest abortion clinics.
The meeting reportedly occurred at the State Capitol in Austin, Texas.
According to Progress Texas, "The disturbing tactics outlined by the four speakers in the video include: identifying and monitoring patients, providers and clinic staff, lining sidewalks outside clinics to dissuade patients from entering clinics, tracking and cataloging the physical descriptions and car license plates of patients, and searching tax records to find locations of new abortion providers."
Karen Garnett, of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of North Texas, admitted on the recording that abortion protests prevent some women from getting abortions.
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“They don’t want to drive in because they see our presence there,” said Garnett, who added that the tracking is "totally legal."
Abby Johnson, formerly of Planned Parenthood, but now working for the pro-life group Live Action, explained how she monitors which doctor may be opening an abortion clinic or moving to a new location in Texas based on public records.
“We are on top of it, we know where he will be moving,” stated Johnson. “We want to keep pressure high, letting them know that they can move wherever they want. We’re still going to be there outside their clinics.”