I read with interest an article Feb. 14 on Page C1 (“Anti-abortion protesters sue to overturn buffer zone outside Portland clinic”).

Daniel and Marguerite Fitzgerald of Shapleigh and their children are suing to overturn a ban on gathering within 39 feet of the entrances of Planned Parenthood’s Portland clinic. That Planned Parenthood would do anything within its power to remove this particular family from the immediate view of women entering the clinic to have an abortion does not surprise me.

A family of seven clearly adopted teens of various ethnicities, quietly holding large images of the products of abortion, is a graphic visual of choice without a word being exchanged. I would not call this intimidation or harassment.

Some might call it cruel, adding stress to women who are already in a difficult situation. But some might call it a kindness to make the choice being made obvious. Regrets are, after all, lifelong.

To be clear, upon seeing this family, there are probably women who are made more determined to go through with their abortions. They would rather the life they carry never take a breath than to possibly be raised in such a family. Still, a real picture of an alternative is enlightening, not harmful.

However, I am not at all surprised that Planned Parenthood would not want this option so clearly displayed before its clinic doors. They perform abortions, not adoptions.


What surprises me is that the city of Portland has created such a buffer zone, making it seem that the people of Portland would rather pay the cost of enforcing it than allow the legitimate right of this family to stand in the relevant location, on the public street, and make their point.

Public discourse is not always pleasant or without hassle. I still believe that most in our country would support the cost of protecting our right to it, instead of the cost of stifling it.

Lynda Murphy



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