Friday, April 27, 2012

Between Her and Her Body


This Monday, 4/30/12, the Westchester County Board of Legislators will be holding hearings on the Reproductive Health Care Facilities Access Act (also known as the "Clinic Access Act").    Here, reprinted, from a briefing by Planned Parenthood, is a description of the bill:
The bill prohibits the use or threat of force or physical obstruction to intentionally intimidate or interfere with any person obtaining or providing reproductive health services. This includes engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts within 25 feet of the premises of a reproductive health care facility when such behavior places the person in reasonable fear of physical harm. It also prohibits any person from knowingly obstructing or blocking persons from entering or exiting a reproductive health care facility; or striking, shoving, grabbing, kicking or otherwise subjecting another person seeking to enter or exit the facility to unwanted physical contact. It also prohibits obstructing or blocking access to, or physically damaging, any reproductive health care facility, or interfering with its operations.
This bill is less about free speech issues than it is about the concern for privacy and  freedom from intimidation as women and men seek access to reproductive health services.  Hecklers and protesters may make assumptions about what type of services are being accessed but of course the range provided in Planned Parenthood clinics is very broad and what each individual woman, man or couple is looking for is no one else's business.  

Even for some married adults it is hard enough to go to CVS and buy condoms without looking around to see who might be watching, so imagine the invasion of privacy if contraception, pregnancy testing, adoption counselling, or abortion services are being sought by a young, frightened or ambivalent person.

If anyone OF ANY AGE is interested in testifying on Monday (personal experience not required!) please contact Gina M. D'Andrea Weatherup. Her information is below.  You can also contact me at before Monday 4/30:
Gina M. D'Andrea Weatherup
Community Affairs and Advocacy Manager
Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic
70 Maple Avenue, Smithtown, NY 11787 

image from via Google