October 15, 2013

Another View: Protest buffer zone makes civil protest harder

Activists would rather talk than yell, but distance may give them no choice.

By David T. Melley of Kennebunkport

Re: “Our View: Portland should have buffer zone for clinic protests” (Oct. 8):

about the author

David T. Melley is a resident of Kennebunkport.

First, let me say that as a pro-life advocate for many years, I disagree with the tactic of “yell(ing) Bible verses and shout(ing) insults ... .” I think that is counterproductive and wrong.

I much prefer a sidewalk counselor to approach the woman and offer to help her make an informed choice and offer an alternative.

But when your editorial recommends that pro-life advocates be moved to the perimeter of a 39-foot “buffer zone,” it means that any protester would be obliged to yell to be heard. Lost in all this is the voice of the unborn child who is entirely left out of the discussion because of the privacy issue.

Given the long-acknowledged human instinct for self-preservation, I think we know that if the child had a voice, it would cry out for life.

To paraphrase the Lord’s Prayer, it might well cry, “deliver me ... from evil.”

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