For years, the pond witnessed wickedness and evil in action.
Odd language perhaps, for an atheist, but then how else to describe the harassment of women by protestors, when these women were already tortured and suffering the traumatic event of an abortion?
It was full blown harassment too, by way of cameras, invective and abuse, and pictures on the sidewalk, not much different in nature, spitefulness or attitude from the sort of harassment that the hate group the Westboro Baptist Church routinely offers in the United States.
The pond routinely made its displeasure known, but the protestors thrived on the abuse, and responded with jeers and intimidation. Hate unfortunately only fuels haters, and so it went in Camperdown for years, until the abortion clinic was closed down and turned into apartments, and the tearful women and the abusive protestors went elsewhere.
If anyone wondered why the protestors were allowed to behave this way, there was always the cry of freedom of speech and the pavements belonged to everyone, and never mind the suffering of the women.
As anyone who's been involved in an abortion knows, it isn't a carefree act of indifference, but a decision weighed and agonised over, and usually arrived at as the least difficult alternative. It isn't a frivolous matter, and it deserves gravitas, respect and decency, but none of this mattered to the protestors, who offered none, and instead were intent on calumny and vile abuse.
Eventually protestors came to protest against the fanatics and the fundamentalists, but this only made for an ugly scene for the women seeking an abortion, and in some forward-thinking states, concerned about women exercising their legal rights and their right to control what happens to their bodies, law-makers sensibly decided that enough was enough.
But bigotry repressed is never enough for a Shanahan, and so we cop this today in the lizard Oz:
Only a loon of the first water could see the abuse and the heckling of distressed women as a form of "public discourse", as opposed to ugly harassment of the most offensive kind, but that's a Shanahan for you. And the same goes for "freedom for abortion speech", which is code for freedom to go on verbally assaulting, photographing and attacking women going about their lawful, and personally extremely painful, business.
This is a matter of some personal pain for the pond, so it has no time to be kind to that smirking fundamentalist bigot featured in the reptile splash, but let's see what she has to say in her pandering to bigotry of the most base kind ...
Yes, there you have it. "Most people wanting abortion went in the side door."
As for that vile malarkey, that talk of joining in prayer, and sort of becoming a Canberra institution, "the people outside the abortion clinic", how carefree Shanahan is with the women about to make a decision of great personal moment. "The people going inside the abortion clinic .... made to enter by the side door."
Send them in the side door, brand them as the harlots and wanton hussies that they are, let the fundamentalists control the front door with their righteousness and bigotry ...
Just contemplating it got the pond angry all over again ...
Only a Shanahan. Preventing harassment is a dangerous development.
Well good on the ACT, and good on Tasmania and Victoria and long may the exclusion zones continue. We could have used one in Camperdown and stopped a lot of suffering and persecution of innocent women who had committed no crime ... except in the eyes of zealots and fundamentalists and religious nutters ...
Of course in the United States things are a little more extreme. There they celebrate the shooting of doctors ... no doubt we can expect a piece from Shanahan expressing concern that suppressing the right to celebrate murder is a dangerous development. After all, all those wanton women are committing murder and should be locked away in a secular prison before spending an eternity in hell, right?
It never ends, this harassment, this persecution by bigoted fundamentalists, and when it comes to abortion, fundamentalist Catholics are up there with the worst of them ...