48 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Erick, for someone as conservative as I am, I am tougher on the anti-abortion side as anyone, but they clearly have a legal right to protest in this fashion.

    The first amendment is supposed to protect UNPOPULAR speech.

    The speech was clearly political (calling for the banning of abortion) so the speech was infringed solely based on it’s content.

    I would feel the same way if it was a PETA protestor showing pictures of slaughtered cows calling for the prohibitions against beef.

    If he was actually IN the mall of Georgia, then fine, arrest him. But driving on public streets? What

  2. Romegaguy says:

    I am guessing he was driving on the streets around the mall which are actually the property of the mall. Which means the mall had the right to ask him to stop or be arrested. He was told he could continue driving around the mall if he replaced the offensive photos with ones he had that werent offensive. He chose not to and was arrested.

  3. Donkey Kong says:

    Agree or disagree with these tactics, but this should be constitutionally protected free speech. A good argument can be made that he is turning more people off than bringing to his side, but I don’t see any reason why this man should be arrested.

  4. Jmac says:

    Agree or disagree with these tactics, but this should be constitutionally protected free speech. A good argument can be made that he is turning more people off than bringing to his side, but I don

  5. debbie0040 says:

    My understanding is that he was on the public road.

    I disagree with driving around with the photos but think it was a free speech violation.

    This is the press release put out by Operation Rescue:
    Georgia Cops Impound Anti-Abortion Billboard Truck, Jail Driver
    November 26th, 2007

    Police action an egregious abuse of power

    Atlanta, Georgia – Bob Roethlisberger was arrested and jailed over Thanksgiving weekend in a northern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, on the charge of “Disorderly Conduct” for driving Operation Rescue’s Truth Truck bearing signs with photos of aborted babies. The Truth Truck was impounded.

    Gwinnett County Police Department officers arrested Roethlisberger Saturday after telling him that signage on the Truth Truck was “vulgar and obscene.” Officers ransacked the back of the Truth Truck without a warrant and ordered Roethlisberger to change or remove the signs. When he refused, he was arrested and incarcerated for three days before being released on $1,000 bond.

    The Truth Truck was released from impound late Monday, however the both the signs and the mounting hardware on the truck were damaged when police forcibly ripped the signs off the sides of the truck. Monetary damage to the property is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.

    “It is obvious that these police officers, under the direction of Major Thomas Bardugon, engaged in a serious incident of unconstitutional content-based discrimination and illegal distruction of property,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Bob fully cooperated with officers, but refused to compromise on his message, which is unequivocally protected by the First Amendment. The officers misused their authority to punish Bob for expressing a viewpoint that ran counter to theirs. The arrest was nothing less than an egregious abuse of power.”

    Newman discussed the matter with Major Bardugon who refused to drop the charges and threatened to arrest Newman if he drove the Truth Truck through Bardugon’s jurisdiction.

    The Truth Truck was in Georgia because a recently introduced Human Life Amendment that is scheduled to be considered by the State Legislature in January. The Truth Truck’s mission was to help draw the attention of Georgians to the reality that abortion brutally takes an innocent human life, and emphasize the need to ban the grisly procedure.

    Operation Rescue manages a fleet of Truth Trucks that have traveled tens of thousands of miles from coast to coast over the past seven years. The right to display those images has been upheld in courts across the nation, which have also ruled that obscenity laws do not apply to aborted baby images.
    “We intend to vigorously fight these unjust charges and will seek a remedy for our property loss,” said Newman. “We cannot allow the illegal use of police authority to bully us into silence, when such silence could cost innocent human lives.”

    Please contact the Gwinnett County Police Chief and ask for:
    The immediate dismissal of charges against Roethlisberger
    The immediate reimbursement for damages to the Truth Truck
    An apology

    Chief of Police Charles M. Walters
    770-513-5000
    [email protected]

  6. Romegaguy says:

    The AJC (which I usually dont trust but I find more credible than a press release – or anything else- from Operation Rescue) said the following.

    After someone called police to report “gory” images, officers jailed the driver on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. They cited a provision that refers to “the display of obscene and vulgar images visible to persons under age 14.”

    I would also think that the reason he was there for 3 days is that it was a holiday weekend and he had to wait 3 days to appear before a judge.

  7. debbie0040 says:

    I am pro life but disagree with driving around with photos of aborted babies around shopping malls. That is extreme.

    He should not have been arrested, though . I have seen gory photos of dead babies and children killed by bombs at anti war rallies and those carrying those signs were not arrested.

    Some may aruge that photos of Hillary in a dress is vulgar and obscene…

    For those who have to buy for loved ones that have everything, here is an unique gift idea 🙂

    http://www.stupid.com/stat/HNCK.html

  8. Doug Deal says:

    If you ask me, the mayor and police officers should be jailed for federal civil rights violations. Every citizen is entitled to free speech, particularly unpopular speech.

    Like the rest of you, this would turn me off, but if you want to be sheltered, stay at home.

  9. Romegaguy says:

    What if somebody was to drive around the mall with pictures of married people having intercourse? Should that be protected speech? I mean they are married so what they are doing is legal

  10. Rick Day says:

    Sidebar: Romegaguy -what is it with this oath fetish? Have you seen a doctor about it? Broun didn’t beat your guy, did he? Oh he did? (nods in understanding)

    SAH: We all just went through this last year with a bumper sticker.

    Personally, I am anti-illegal abortion. However, I would be a hypocrite if I did not acquiesce to the superior concepts clearly laid out in the 1st Amendment of the US and GA Constitution.

    I am still glad his non-uterus carrying ass went to jail for a while. Freedom to do distasteful things is not fully appreciated until its painful.

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Rome,

    Is the speech political? Is there an attempt to influence the government or voters to take action? If it is, then it should be allowed. If it has no purpose other than purient interest, then it propbably should be illegal.

    Of course parents love to expose their kids to all sorts of dismemberment, disembowlments and other horrid acts of violence in movies and video games, but suddenly are shocked at sexual content.

    A politician can pretty much display anything he wants in his add to get elected, including these very same images, so why should it be illegal for a private citizen?

  12. Doug Deal says:

    Rick,

    I think everyone should follow him home and protest him for subjecting children to that trash, and also would love for his boss to fire him, but thugs in police uniform should not be trampling on the the first amendment.

  13. debbie0040 says:

    Romegaguy, I have a question for you. What would you think if someone burning an American flag were arrested? How about a peace activist carring a sign with photos of mutilated bodies killed by bombs, would that upset you?

    According to the press release, “The right to display those images has been upheld in courts across the nation, which have also ruled that obscenity laws do not apply to aborted baby images.” I would imagine we will soon find out if this is true or not.

    What is the legal definition of obscenity in Georgia?

  14. Doug Deal says:

    debbie,

    What is the legal definition of obscenity in Georgia?

    It would appear to be whatever the mayor, governor, sherrif, DA or police chief think it is. This is a situation everyone should be repelled by.

    A couple of my favorite quotes about freedom of speech.

    Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.

    No one needs a First Amendment to write about how cute newborn babies are or to publish a recipe for strawberry shortcake. Nobody needs a First Amendment for innocuous or popular points of view.

  15. Romegaguy says:

    Actually to the best of my knowledge the courts have not ruled that this kind of speech is protected. They have said that you can put it on a flyer and people have the right to choose to take the flyer or not. If somebody is driving with a billboard like happened here and pulls up next to you do you choose to look the other way and plow into someone?

    Maybe instead of pics of sex which is judged obscene by some courts I should have said pictures of topless women which has been judged to not be obscene and protected by first amendment.

    Rugby do you want to explain to Rick about the non swearing in of Paul or do you want me to?

  16. rugby_fan says:

    Romegaguy:

    If Rick actually believes that Broun was sworn in, well, he is beyond all hope. I will gladly let you explain the situation to him.

    Now, I have my theories about why the congressman-elect was not sworn in, and interestingly, neither the Freemasons nor Bush are involved. Kind of makes the whole thing a little creepier if you ask me…

  17. Still Looking says:

    It is an exercise in free speech, and just as distatseful as burning the flag, but it is within the bounds of the First Amendment.

  18. Romegaguy says:

    So if the truck had photos of topless women and was advertising for some nudie bar, all of you who are claiming that the ripped apart baby pictures are protected by the 1st Amendment would be wanting to protect the pics of topless women?

  19. debbie0040 says:

    Romegaguy, is there something youj are not telling us? Why are you fixated on photos of topless women? 🙂

  20. Romegaguy says:

    I am just using something else that is protected as free speech by the courts that I think would offend some of you sudden supporters of the First Amendment. So would you want your kids to look at pics of topless women debbie?

    Oh, and on a slightly related subject, I am so glad the voters made sure not to elect Ralph Reed in Georgia and Randall Terry in Florida last year. Debbie I am still waiting for that steak dinner.

  21. Jason Pye says:

    The first amendment is supposed to protect UNPOPULAR speech.

    The speech was clearly political (calling for the banning of abortion) so the speech was infringed solely based on it

  22. Bill Simon says:

    Can we have some photos of breast enlargements too?

    How about gall bladder operations?

    OR, better yet, how about an a billboard showing 10 lbs. of raw pork right outside the Legislative Office Building to show what happens when the legislature is in session? That is, the legisalators gain an average of 10 pounds from gorging on the lobbyist trough, and then spend a whole lot of pork-barrel in the budget.

    THAT would be a hard-hitting political statement.

  23. juliobarrios says:

    The irony is that an anti-abortion person would find the pictures more grotesque and offensive than a pro-abortion person.

    An anti-abortion person views the baby as a human life and seeing pictures of an aborted baby would be similar to seeing Jeffery Dahmers apartment during the police investigation.

    Someone who is pro-abortion and believes it’s a bunch of meaningless cells and not a baby / human life would look at the picture and have the same reaction as walking by the meat counter at the local grocery store. Perhaps, if that person were a member of PETA, he might find it more difficult to walk past the meat counter at the grocery store then to look at an aborted fetus.

  24. debbie0040 says:

    rome, my son is 24 years old and I would be rather disappointed if he didn’t at photos of topless women.

  25. debbie0040 says:

    If he didn’t look at photos of topless women.

    I am much more offended by some commercials that come in in prime time. I would hate to have young children and try to explain to them what erectile dysfunction is…

  26. debbie0040 says:

    What is also funny is when the commercials for medicine come on they start listing the possible side effects…

  27. BubbaRich says:

    I’m curious about whether the anti-abortion folks hate pregnant women, or if they know someplace where lots of women are getting late-term abortions like those depicted in those pictures just for fun. Are there really that many women who like to carry a fetus for 8 months just to abort it? That sounds like a lot of work.

  28. BubbaRich says:

    Late-term abortion is almost always because of a medical necessity, if you’re going to try to miss the point, Doug. And then it is a difficult but necessary procedure. You (and Operation Rescue) want to display the images of horror caused by the procedure, but I wonder if you are as interested in the problems caused for the women if the procedure were not performed.

    Here’s an example of why such a procedure would be performed:
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/magazine/articles/2004/01/25/my_late_term_abortion/

    And the dishonest use of these pictures to symbolize “abortion” in this country is ridiculous. 88% of abortions are performed in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. One would assume that Operation Rescue didn’t care about all of those, since it shows pictures of late-term abortions.

    But it’s time to let yet another blog entry end on this particular subject.

  29. Doug Deal says:

    Bubba,

    Unlike you, I do not just support the rights of people I agree with. I think these people are insane, and I thought I have made that clear. However, you would silence people you disagree with because you personally think it is “rediculous”. How wonderfully magnamimous of you.

    You abortion evangelists are the main reason the political parties have gone so far down the drain. Why not try to vote on something other than abortion once in a while.

    Anyway, as little as I think about this issue as a motivating factor in who I vote for (like 80% of normal Americans), here is a stat to set you whistling like a teapot.

    In 1987, the Alan Guttmacher Institute collected questionnaires from 1,900 women in the United States who came to clinics to have abortions. Of the 1,900, 420 had been pregnant for 16 or more weeks. These 420 women were asked to choose among a list of reasons why they had not obtained the abortions earlier in their pregnancies. The results were as follows:[3]

    71% Woman didn’t recognize she was pregnant or misjudged gestation
    48% Woman found it hard to make arrangements for abortion
    33% Woman was afraid to tell her partner or parents
    24% Woman took time to decide to have an abortion
    8% Woman waited for her relationship to change
    8% Someone pressured woman not to have abortion
    6% Something changed after woman became pregnant
    6% Woman didn’t know timing is important
    5% Woman didn’t know she could get an abortion
    2% A fetal problem was diagnosed late in pregnancy
    11% Other

    Certainly this is somewhat dated, but notice the interesting figure, only 2% were terminated after the 16th week due to problems with the fetus, and less than that were due to issue with the life of the mother.

    If the extemists on your side want to beat the extremists on the other side, you better come up with better arguments than you posted today.

  30. debbie0040 says:

    John you are either seeing things or telling an outright lie. That video was the first I heard of that rally and I was not in attendance.

    If you are referrring to the blonde in the video, that was Taffy Rice not me. Get glasses or start telling the truth!

    I do agree 100 % with what the minster said .

  31. BubbaRich says:

    Doug, you’re changing the subject. And you completely made up some crazy idea that I would “silence” stupid people.

    Do you have any more recent statistics? One assumes that better technology in the last 20 years would reduce the vast majority of those 16-week abortions which were done because of ignorance of pregnancy.

    Who are the “extremists on my side?” I’m in favor of rational, scientifically informed decisions. Maybe that makes me an “evangelist.”

  32. Doug Deal says:

    Bubba,

    So, there are no extremists on the pro-abortion side? They are only on the anti-abortion side? That’s pretty funny.

    The fact that any of you vote on this one single issue to the absolute exclusion of the 100’s of others that are far more important makes you an extremist.

    Also, when you want to make someone else’s speech illegal, you are in favor of silencing them. First amendment protections are not for those we agree with.

    I am not a researcher, so I am not going to spend more time looking up someting I care so little about to give EVEN MORE proof that your assumptions are incorrect.

    However, if you want to look up stats and not commentary that can refute what I posted, feel free. I doubt you will find any.

  33. BubbaRich says:

    Doug:

    You keep making up words for me and telling me they’re stupid. If you’re going to criticize me and my “assumptions,” you should probably come close to something I’ve said.

    Why would I refute what you posted? I certainly agree that some women murder their children (which I’m against), and that 20 years ago a lot of women waited on getting an abortion because they didn’t know they were pregnant or had difficulty arranging it.

    And I’m decidedly in favor of Operation Rescue doing obnoxious things like these huge posters. It just shows them to be stupid and bloodthirsty, and it’s much less anti-social than murdering a doctor and dancing at his funeral, like Operation Rescue has done in the recent past.

    I’d like to ask you where I said I want to make someone else’s speech illegal, but that would only be one thing you made up.

  34. Doug Deal says:

    Then you are against what happened to the driver of that truck? If that is the case, then we agree on that, and I would withdraw my statement that you want to make someone else

  35. BubbaRich says:

    JAMA tried to decide on a definition of “late-term” for abortions. They had 3 articles on the subject in 1998. Two of the articles chose 20 weeks, the other chose the 3rd trimester, or 27 weeks. 2003 data showed that only 1.4% of US abortions occurred at 20 weeks or later. You have posted no statistics that refuted anything. I would be interested to see them if you could find any, but women, like any human being, generally want some pay-off after the investment of 5-6 months as a prisoner of the fetus. That’s even true despite your attempt to show that women kill real children for fun sometimes.

    I suggest you hang out with different women, by the way, if you think women are having late-term abortions for anything but a serious reason.

    Now, go find some real statistics if you want to address what I said, especially now that I’ve defined some of the terms better for you.

  36. Doug Deal says:

    Bubba,

    I will let stand your last post without comment. I could not destroy your credibility any better than you did yourself, and my arguments stand enough on their own to not require anything further.

    Thanks for trying though.

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