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Do I have the right to drive to work without seeing dead fetuses?

Apparently not. Corner of First Street and First Avenue East. The fact is, I cannot get to the parking lot for work without driving by, and often getting stopped at a light, near signs of dead fetuses.

The Duluth Police Department secretary informed me that there is nothing that can be done, because of “the whole freedom of speech thing.” However, when I asked if I could hold signs of a naked man on the corner, she said that would be illegal because it is sexual in nature. So, how is it that a blood-covered naked unborn baby is OK, but a naked man is not?

A bit of irony I notice each morning is how all of those fetuses that survived, the ones that ended up at the shelter, saunter in faithful parade to the liquor store across from the dead fetus signs every morning at 8 am to get their fix. There’s often a line at the door, waiting for it to open. Do the protesters help these souls?

In any case, it’s one thing to hold signs to inform the world about your beliefs in the world’s injustices. It just seems like there should be a line drawn with the dead fetus signs … it’s getting out of hand. If I had a kid in the car each morning, I would be even more upset.

Am I out of line? Am I too sensitive? I’m wondering where the community stands on this issue. And, if it is indeed a problem, what are we going to do about it?

62 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

And can't we have a nice little community blog without someone writing posts about dead fetuses, validating the effectiveness of the billboards and inviting a shitstorm of inflammatory comments? Oh well.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Ugh, I fucking hate those people! I used to park in the ramp next door, and whenever I'd see them harassing young women, I'd scream out the window at them until they backed off.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I used to work in the building, so not only did I have to run the gauntlet every time it was clinic day, I had to go out and chew those people out whenever they harassed my interns. The stories I could tell, but won't about those people...

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

A legal backlash that could be done by the city is actually enforce the parking spot they use to park their propaganda van. They park it there all day, but never feed quarters into it (I'm sure they'd just say they were standing right there and probably something about doing gods work or some such crap).

I also heard a clever tactic used by the workers of the Building for Women: adopt a protester. Every time someone showed up to protest, they would donate money to the clinic, then tell the protester "Every day you show up, you are providing funding to support our clinic."

Makoons

about 9 years ago

The only time these protesters made me upset was when I worked at Denfeld High School this past year and found them picketing outside the front of the school. Every bus, every driving-student, every staff member had those pictures waved in their face. Our school police liaison went out there and asked them "Why did you all choose this location?" to which they answered, "Well, this is where they're getting the abortions."

It just made me sad because I'd be willing to bet $5 they've never stood outside of East.

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Denfeld School now does abortions? I wasn't aware that was on the curriculum (rolls eyes at stupid protesters).

They used to protest at the Planned Parenthood on Central Entrance, even though they don't perform abortions at that site. One day they accosted me, I said "You know they don't perform abortions here, right?" They said they did know, but still wanted to protest. "Well I'm here for a pap smear - scaaary, evill! I might get diagnosed with cervical cancer and be able to treat it before it spreads! The horror!

Jake

about 9 years ago

I love that liquor store.

1st amendment fan

about 9 years ago

Yes, I love the First Amendment and this type of protest comes with it. I used to exercise my First Amendment rights too by flipping them off when I drove past on First Street.

I got in this face of a protester two years ago who blocked my access to the public sidewalk in front of my building. During my long tirade I noticed the photos contained fake fetuses and I called the woman on it. No medical lab would use a coin for a photo scale and I could see casting lines on the fake rubber fetus with fake blood. Idiots.

If you do not like abortions, do not have one.

samh

about 9 years ago

Sjixxy takes their photos whenever he gets the chance.  I think this makes them uncomfortable because for some reason they're always wearing masks.

Fan of Ham

about 9 years ago

This post reminds me of the "protesters" at Mile 14 of Grandma's Marathon on Saturday with their "Repent and be Saved" and "Sinners go to Hell" signs.   I'm just trying to run here dude.

Karasu

about 9 years ago

I think we should take a cue from PETA (oh, don't get me started on *them*) and throw buckets of blood/paint/whatever on their signs, to express our free speech.

spy1

about 9 years ago

If it's only things "sexual" in nature, I guess it's time to start filling our billboards with pictures of war deaths, homeless stompings, lynchings, cirrotic livers, domestic abuse, diseased lungs.

Terry G.

about 9 years ago

spy1 - I'll have some good shots of my colonoscopy results soon if you need photo submissions.

girlfromnorthcountry

about 9 years ago

I love to tease morons.  I get a big kick out of it when I flip them the bird and they wave back.  Stupids.

Zeldfelder

about 9 years ago

I've always been confused as to why the protestors feel this is an effective method of communicating their position.  After all these years of debate, I don't think there are too many people over the age of 16 who have completed a middle school biology class who won't have a rudimentary idea of what an aborted fetus might look like.  Personally, I'm against rectal cancer and priests raping children, but I'm quite sure that viewing large, detailed color photos of either on a city street corner, first thing in the morning, will not provide any additional information that will change my perspective ... any more or any less.

Shelly

about 9 years ago

I agree that the best possible action is to show pictures of dead adults.  Or even dead 6-year-olds.  War photos, domestic abuse situations, hate crimes, suicides--any of those would be appropriate.

Codie

about 9 years ago

How about this one?

[img]http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/7/30/1309510//WARSmall.jpg[/img]

m1lima2003

about 9 years ago

This has just gotten out of hand. Protesters in general piss me off. The style of protesting has changed so much. Look at Martin Luther King Jr. He was fighting for his rights and he didn't put pictures of atrocities done to African Americans. I just don't understand why people have to be so offensive with their signs. There was an anti-gay protester up at UMD, and he had some long drawn out sign that essentially said if you're not a Christian you're going to hell. C'mon man, this is 2010, I'm more intelligent then that.

Sam

about 9 years ago

I suppose if I thought abortion was mass murder, I might do some "different" things too.

I also might do some "different" things if I believed that gay lifestyles, premarital sex, blasphemy, or masturbation sent one to hell.

Thank goodness I don't believe such things.  But many do.

@ndy

about 9 years ago

I don't really want to see a lot of the things I see on the way to work. But why are pictures of aborted fetuses (fake or otherwise) so offensive to people? Sure, the protestors are appealing to emotion rather than reason and that, in itself, upsets me. But why is the actual content of the pictures offensive? It seems to me that the attitude and the actions of the protestors is what is objectionable rather than the signs they chose to waive.

Adam

about 9 years ago

The other white meat?

Patricia

about 9 years ago

I am not sure if these people are a religious group or it is just morals that they believe are the right ones. They may think that they are doing right... But as a women you should have a choice.. maybe right .. maybe wrong... as a women you live with that choice the rest of your life.  The God I believe in is the one I must make peace with .. not a ignorant man/woman holding a sign telling me I am evil and that it is a sin...

Samantha

about 9 years ago

"But as a women you should have a choice ... maybe right .. maybe wrong." -Patricia

I'm not entirely sure that "choice" is the right way to put it.  If the protesters are right, and abortion is morally and religiously just like murdering an adult, then saying that it is a choice seems weird.  If it is murder, the choice should be illegal.

My friends and I think that abortion is not anything like murdering an adult.  So we think it should be every woman's choice.  So even if it is sometimes the wrong choice, it is nothing like murder.

Dave Sorensen

about 9 years ago

In a free country women control their own bodies and people are allowed to carry stupid signs.

john derke

about 9 years ago

i just dont like the fact that the subject small children to seeing that shit, have an opinion..sure, but be effective...sure, know your rights.... sure but for fucks sake be aware...
''im against picketing, i just dont know how to show it''
-Mitch Hedberg

conrad

about 9 years ago

An argument I hear for the pictures is "If it pains you to see it, then ultimately you know it is wrong.  We want people to take a look at what they are doing."

If I took pictures of the things that come out of my body and trotted them around downtown, I would get arrested.

John Waters

about 9 years ago

"Sometimes I wish I was a woman, just so I could have an abortion."

-John Waters

@ndy

about 9 years ago

Conrad: I'm pretty sure you wouldn't get arrested. Accosted perhaps, but not arrested. But you bring up a good point. If abortion isn't objectionable, why are pictures of dead fetuses objectionable?

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Pictures of dead fetuses are objectionable because they are like pictures of tumors, or dead animals - things of an icky nature that we do not want to see. It is human nature to not want to see things that repulse us, and anything in the squishy medical category is repulsing when put on a large poster.

Sam

about 9 years ago

When I see a picture of murdered people, I get outraged.  The protester pictures are supposed to make us outraged at the killing of something that looks human.  The problem is that dog fetuses, elephant fetuses, pig fetuses, monkey fetuses, and human fetuses look very similar at many stages.  Most Americans couldn't tell the difference between the fetuses of different species at a number of stages.  Simian fetuses would be especially hard for many to tell apart.

I bet if you replaced their placards with pictures of other mammal fetuses, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  But it is probably hard to get most Americans outraged over simian fetuses.

edgeways

about 9 years ago

Taking a shit isn't objectionable. Taking a picture of it and parading it down Superior Street?

rediguana

about 9 years ago

What bothers me is the anti-Planned Parenthood protesters who stand on the corner of Central Entrance and Pecan on Thursdays as Central High School gets out and the kids are backed up and have no choice but to get propagandized. PP doesn't even do abortions in Duluth, they provide birth control, STD screening and other medical services. These nut jobs are basically saying to the high school population of Duluth, "we want you to not use birth control and get pregnant as teenagers."

Sam

about 9 years ago

Also, the vast majority of large hospitals provide some sort of abortion referral services in one way or another, much as PP does.  In fact, many major hospitals do the procedures themselves (and keep it as quiet as possible, for obvious reasons).

Adam

about 9 years ago

Not so sure with our religiously-affiliated hospitals...

Rougement

about 9 years ago

What's the deal with those awful "pro life across America" billboard all along I-35? Who funds these people?

They don't make a very strong argument, "at 8 weeks I had eyes and a nose!" 

So do rat fetuses, your point?

baci

about 9 years ago

Where else is the next baby jebus gonna come from except mommy tummy? All mommies must have all babies, even if they dont want them ... potential baby of jebus more important than what mommy wants. Satan wants empty mommy tummies.

I tried to craft the above statement in a thought form that the protesters can understand.

krlars

about 9 years ago

I walked to work ONCE that way and was accosted by both protestors and a pro-choice advocacy group offering me an escort.  All was caught on videotape for posterity.  I sheepishly told them I was just walking to work.

Piglet

about 9 years ago

Interesting group, those picketers. And oh, so tiring. The Center for Women does so many good things and yet those are completely overlooked by these protectors of evil. <>

Dan

about 9 years ago

Abortion IS murder...plain & simple.  There are more people waiting to adopt than there are children mainly because of abortion.  A living human being is being killed when someone chooses abortion.  I'm amazed at how flippant some of the comments are in here ... especially from those who have adopted.

Rougement

about 9 years ago

Uh oh. 

This could get brutal.

Dan

about 9 years ago

Rougement:

"Brutal" as in you comparing a rat fetus to a human fetus?

rogerangus

about 9 years ago

No, brutal is in you equating abortion with murder.

Dan

about 9 years ago

Ok, I'll play your game.  If not murder, what do you call the intentional killing of a human being?

Rougement

about 9 years ago

And not even a good troll.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

There are lots and lots of children available for adoption, if you don't insist on a white infant. 

http://www.mnadopt.org/

Hundreds of kids in Minnesota alone who need families.

The Friendly Old Knifey

about 9 years ago

I just want to know if I'll ever see the day where I am not bombarded by the fact that the Electric Fetus resides in my neighborhood. Quit with the onslaught of music.

baci

about 9 years ago

adoption is wonderful - I live it everyday, havering someone else's gory predilections and religious mono-tribe shove in my face is not. Dan, I believe in woman's rights, strongly ... the difference here is that I don't know ANY reproductive rights people who show up at Holy Rosary on Sunday morning and hold up accusatory banners showing the gory details pedophile priests or of children born into situations where they are not loved, wanted or cared for.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Dan, you might be surprised to know that I'm pro-life -- in that abortion would not have been an option for me if I'd ever had an unwanted pregnancy. But I'm also pro-choice -- a woman has the right to decide what she wants to do with her body, b/c whether or not to bear a child forever changes any woman's life. If you are against abortion, then don't have one. And don't tell anyone else what to do.

Those carrying the signs and protesting outside abortion clinics aren't there to educate, they're there to intimidate. But I do support a person's right to free speech, so if they want to alienate people with their obnoxious tactics, fine. I'm just glad the pro-rights people are there to escort women into clinics.

zra

about 9 years ago

"Brutal" is the number of children in the foster care system who have been taken from their homes because of neglect and abuse. Why aren't all the people waiting to adopt looking at children in the foster care system? Is the idea of adopting a kid who probably needs a lot more emotional support and counseling because of the shitty conditions he/she was removed from?

Adoption from birth gives a prospective family the opportunity to start from scratch with a brand new, untainted baby...meanwhile we have thousands of kids in the foster care system who'd give anything for a stable home.

Dan

about 9 years ago

I respect all of your opinions...except the ones calling me a troll.  I was just stating my opinion on the issue.  

Baci, we're friends and I think it's awesome that you are an adoptive parent.

Where I differ from most of you here is that I view abortion as a right to life issue.  Whether that baby is two weeks old or nine months old, it deserves the protection we would offer any child out of the womb.  So my belief is that when an abortion occurs, a human life has been lost.  Any other interpretation of that process doesn't fly with me.

Yes, Priests that molest children are awful and have destroyed many lives.  It should and hopefully someday will be stopped.  I just wish abortion was viewed by some of you as being just as horrible.

Adoption is wonderful and currently something that my wife and I are actively pursuing.

the PartsGuy

about 9 years ago

I wouldn't worry too much about Adam. Anyone who disagrees with him is automatically a troll.

I'm a pretty conservative kind of guy, and I despise those protesters. 

Maybe a counter protest of some kind?

Claire

about 9 years ago

I despise the protesters outside the Building For Women, but I can understand why they do what they do -- misguided and obnoxious though I think them to be. But those "Jesus Freaks" who were showing up at every public event in Duluth for a while there with their signs ... they were not just misguided and obnoxious, but I was just wondering what the hell they thought they were accomplishing? Haven't seen them around this summer. Maybe they gave up, though I did read on this thread I think of a sighting at Grandma's.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

What zra said.

Most kids in foster care are there through no fault of their own. If they aren't adopted, they "age out" when they turn 18. Most American kids depend on their parents for support well into their 20s. Foster kids don't have that option. A lot of kids who age out of foster care wind up homeless.  

From what I've seen, Dan, for the kid, adoption is not wonderful.  It's always second best to having a stable birth family that wants you. But it's way better than having no family at all.

baci

about 9 years ago

dan, thats awesome, anything I can do to help, let me know... also please excuse my flippancy, i get that way sometimes, this is all such a personal issue. I guess thats my take..to be decided by the individuals involved,  ... it is a serious issue, with as many subtleties as there are people involved. Thats why, when I see the protesters I get steamed, is so anyone disrespectfully in their face about their moral choices? I dont know anyone who would take the abortion option lightly. Thankfully the "stigma" of adoption is beginning to fade.

bluenewt, my kiddo is a monkey pants, political refugee and chaos insurgent. The stars brought her to us. just so happened she came down in china. having her is by no means "second best" for anyone involved.

Claire

about 9 years ago

Bluenewt, I know some adopted kids and their lives are pretty wonderful -- one is my own niece, plucked by my BIL and SIL from an orphanage in Jakarta, Indonesia that had sewage running down the street it was on. She now lives in a lovely house in Washington, DC, raised by parents who  love her desperately and can provide everything she could ever want, including a college education wherever she wants to go when she's old enough. I won't go into detail about some of the perks she enjoys, but her life is could not be more wonderful. In fact, it's a fairy tale. I can't imagine what her life would have been like otherwise. Probably nasty, brutish and short.

bluenewt

about 9 years ago

I'm not saying adoption is second best for the parents who adopt. Not at all. I'm saying that for the child the best thing would be to have birth parents able to give her a safe and loving home in a safe, stable country. Obviously that's not the world we live in, and in the world we live in, the right thing to do is take in kids who won't otherwise have a family. I don't mean to denigrate the loving families adoptive parents have created. It just irks me when abortion foes want to make out like adoption is all rainbows and Disneyland. Many adopted children feel a lot of sadness and loss, even if they have terrific adoptive parents. I have even known some who, once they were adults, tried to repatriate to their home countries and found they could not feel at home there, either. If we want to take good care of these kids, we have to acknowledge that with adoption comes loss.

Insensitite

about 9 years ago

Speaking of offensive pictures, I just rode the shuttle from the cities.  After that ride, for one, do not believe for one second that "Every Baby is a Blessing."  On another note, a study was published recently, debunking the widely-held myth that fetuses feel pain before 24 weeks.  Think they'll change the literature?

TeeDee

about 9 years ago

Those fundamentalist whack jobs on that street corner are not "picketers" or a "religious group." They are part of a worldwide violent terrorist conspiracy. Even that silly old man who marches around with his abortion flag conspires with, provides material support to, the anti-life, anti-woman fanatics who think their highest purpose is to kill innocent workers at medical clinics in pursuit of their purely political terrorist agenda.

B-man

about 9 years ago

I am adopted, and pro choice. Chew on that for a while.

zra

about 9 years ago

Word to B-man. Right with you.

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