Randall Terry’s dumb stunt
Would someone explain to me how blocking traffic saves human lives?
We’re not talking about a protest sit-in at a lunch counter where blacks are being refused service; we’re not even talking about a rescue sit-in at the doors of an abortion clinic, which sort of non-violent direct action, for as long as it continues, keeps actual babies away from the suction machines. Those kinds of sit-ins I can make a case for; indeed, I have made a case for them.*
What Randall Terry is doing here, however, is quite different: he’s blocking legal access to a public thoroughfare. But folks, there simply is no connection between some guy’s decision to drive along a given street and another guy’s decision to vacuum the brains out of babies. No connection whatsoever. Consequently, Terry’s blocking legal access to public thoroughfares does not save lives or even “raise public conscientiousness”; it just makes pro-lifers look like dopes who, being unable to distinguish between social goods (like freedom of travel and respect for public order) on the one hand, and social evils (like abortion) on the other, attack the former as if it were the latter.
Here’s hoping Terry goes back quickly to projects that made sense, and might have even made a difference.
* Edward Peters, “The ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ as a Defense for Pro-Life Abortion Clinic Sit-Ins”, Senior Synthesis (Political Science), St. Louis University, May 1979.