“I have no problem with you protesting people having abortions and your opinion about religion and all that stuff. It’s wonderful. I’m a Christian; I have my belief as well. But you are putting my son’s life and the life of his classmates in danger by distracting these drivers.”
So says the woman in the above video, which was taken this week in front of the AAA (Academy for Academics and Arts) magnet school in Huntsville, Alabama.
As BU has reported for more than a year, the school has become a target of anti-abortion protesters because it is located across the street from a clinic. James Henderson, local clergyman and former executive director of the Alabama Christian Coalition, has led a group of forced-birth activists in efforts to shut down the clinic by using the school as a proxy.
During the 2015 legislative session, Henderson’s group visited Montgomery and lobbied for their bill to insert a 2,000-foot buffer zone between schools and facilities that provide abortions — a distance they borrowed from the state’s sex offender laws.
Ironically, during a series of demonstrations against abortion providers across the state this summer, Henderson’s group brought an actual sex offender to the AAA school grounds to take part in their protest.
Nor have they been shy about using the school grounds whenever they please. While the building was being upgraded, efforts to keep Henderson and his friends off the property with orange nets, and even metal gates, failed to deter them from using the parking lot.
Henderson and his gang are now “directly targeting the morning and afternoon school traffic with signs that obscure the vision of people trying to pull out into traffic and by yelling at schoolchildren through the closed car windows,” writes Larisa Thomas as ‘countrycat.’
Seen in the video above, Joyce and Major Fecteau are known for grabbing eyeballs with outrageous costumes and for surreptitiously following clinic volunteers home, a form of ‘sidewalk counseling’ that reproductive rights activists privately deride as ‘creeping for Jesus.’
Henderson, the Fecteaus, and their friends may have thought that protesting during school drop-off and pick-up times would create a groundswell of support for removing the clinic, but they have only made parents angry with them instead.
One woman who complained to the principal later aired her views on Facebook. Calling Henderson’s gang “a hate group,” Gina Haynesworth declares that she wants them removed from school property:
It is not demanded, stated, commanded, or required in any of the HCS curriculum to force daily political, moral, sexual, and conflict management lessons to be taught in our school parking lot.
I will no longer give this group power to exploit a captive audience and to force a rushed conversation to explain, answer, and discuss the American Constitution, myriad lessons in tolerance, or aggressive reproductive politics every single school morning.
Other parents are voicing angry opinions, but I speak only for myself now, as I personally feel extremely violated and will not continue to be harassed on school property.
Indeed, the “aggressive…forced…rushed conversation” speaks to the bullying techniques employed by forced-birth activists under the ‘sidewalk counseling’ banner, a topic that BU has covered in some depth this year.
When WHNT News 19 picked up the story this week, they noted that city officials are well-aware of the situation that Henderson’s thugs are deliberately creating.
Police have met with the protesters in recent weeks to discuss concerns raised by parents and nearby residents.
The city has said their hands are tied in these circumstances, until it is apparent that traffic is directly impacted, or someone is in danger.
Once again proving that their ‘right to life’ ends at birth, the Huntsville anti-abortion community will not stop until death or injury forces the hand of government, whereupon they will stop erecting crosses on the school grounds and start climbing onto them instead, blaming the clinic all the while for what they have wrought.