Letter: Intimidating is not same as counseling

Posted

To the editor of THE EAGLE:

Yvonne Abraham’s July 2 editorial page column "Buffer gone, crazies return" effectively points out some troublesome aspects of the Supreme Court’s recent decision about free speech and counseling.

Surely, woman of all ages need to be thoughtful about proceeding with the decision to abort a pregnancy and counseling -- wise and supportive -- s often helpful.

However, as a counselor with years of experience helping adolescents through this important and oft-times painful decision, I am taken aback and shocked at the Court’s lack of understanding and referring to these protesters as "sidewalk counselors."

Counseling, whether individual or group, is taken seriously and in a climate where ideas are listened to and heard in helping to come to a well-thought-out decision which is right for that particular individual. Yelling, screaming and cajoling by waving photos of unborn fetuses in the face of a woman walking the last few steps to a momentous decision is not counseling in any sense of the word. Rather is it sheer intimidation, which causes stress and fear clouding any ability to think. Free speech, yes, but not trampling on the rights of others.

Interesting that Abraham’s reaction to such self-appointed counselors is to self-immolate, making me question whatever happened to yelling "fire" in a crowded theater?

MICHAEL SYMONS

Otis


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