Friday, August 12, 2011

Violation of Constitutional Rights - AB 123

It has recently come to my attention that a new bill (AB123) has been signed into state law by Governor Jerry Brown last week. This Bill AB123 by Democratic Assemblyman Tony Mendoza is to protect preschool, elementary, and middle school students from harassment while entering and leaving school grounds. The consequences of these actions is a misdemeanor. This law may sound reasonable and once again another great thing our government has done to protect it’s children, but our rights are being violated.

This bill was written after a 2003 pro-life picket on the public sidewalk outside of Dodson Middle School in Rancho Palos Verdes. This was a peaceful pro-life picket where pro-life activists reached out to middle school students about abortion, and students were faced with the gruesome reality of abortion in the graphic images that were displayed. According to the LA Times article some students cried and others became angry after seeing these graphic images (Jerry Brown signs school safety law prompted by abortion protest). Do you blame these pre-teens for crying or being angry? When I look at the image below, I feel the same exact way.

Before I even get into the violation of First Amendment Rights . . . Here is my question to you: Is it wrong for these pre-teens to see images of children who have been aborted? The question isn’t whether or not you think it is or is not wrong. It also isn’t about how it makes you feel. I believe that these kids need to see the truth, and they shouldn’t be protected from knowing it.

These kids are aware of what abortion is along with many other horrible things that take place in this world. Believe it or not, these pre-teens are having abortions already. Some abortion clinics are intentionally located next to middle schools; so that they can provide these kids with sex education, birth control, and offer abortions. If you think these kids aren’t aware of abortion at this age, you would be heart broken to know how impacted these kids are by it. Why then are we protecting them from seeing the truth and the horrible reality if they’re already living it?

I am not going to address that this new law prevents the exposure of graphic abortion images outside of preschools and elementary schools children; but truly, I’ve never heard of pro-life activists ever standing outside either types of schools because they really believe that educating this age with aborted baby signs isn’t age appropriate. So I find it to be a non-issue, other than the fact that it violates First Amendment rights.

Lastly, as citizens of the United States of America our rights are being violated here. Whether you’re for or against activists educating about abortion on the streets, you should be against any violation of our right to free speech in the public arena. It is our right to discuss whatever, to whomever, whenever we like, and it’s a slippery slope when we’re not allowed to do so.

Do you find this new law to be constitutional?

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." - - - First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,

Timmerie Millington

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Anonymous said...

As a mother, I do think it's my place to tell my children this, not to have strangers scare them with it on the street.


Jameson Graber said...

Mixed feelings. I try to err on the side of too much freedom of expression, but I think there is a difference between free *speech* and free use of images. After all, we generally don't allow pornographic billboards, do we? Now if signs with just words on them are not allowed, that is a pretty clear violation of the 1st amendment.

Don't get me wrong. I think we should generally have the right to use images in public, but maybe there are some limitations which are not in direct violation of our rights.

Kelsey said...

We worry that middle school students can't handle abortion images, but the incredbily gruesome history of the Holocaust-- images and all-- is a typical part of the curriculum.

Sean Cannan said...

Let's remember that middle school is where Planned Parenthood is getting to youngsters now. A friend who works as a Pregnancy Center volunteer in Charlottesville told me recently of a couple who came in and were considering an abortion. She was 13, and he was 12. A walk past Abercrombie and Fitch in the mall will demonstrate for anyone how aggressively sex and sexuality is being marketed to middle schoolers also.

Jameson Graber said...

"but the incredbily gruesome history of the Holocaust-- images and all-- is a typical part of the curriculum" This is a good point. But it does seem to matter what age the students are. For instance, if it were elementary school students...

Anyway, I still think it's tricky.

Jameson Graber said...

But let me quickly add that I think I'd have to oppose this law.