Can you call yourself "pro-life" if you kill breakfast burritos? A deli in Portland, Maine is closing because the owner is sick of fighting against the aggressive anti-choice protestors who try their darndest to chase away patients at the neighboring Planned Parenthood on Friday and Saturday mornings.
Mike's Restaurant owner Mike Fink has fought local protestors for months, but he recently told the Bangor Daily News that he can't take it anymore. “I decided kids holding signs of dead babies isn’t good for business,” he said. “It’s not just the business, it’s me. I gave up yelling.”
If a deli owner couldn't take the abuse, how do you think Planned Parenthood doctors, volunteers, and patients feel? From Think Progress:
Fink’s decision to shutter his restaurant is just one example of the far-reaching consequences of the anti-abortion harassment that threatens access to reproductive health care around the country. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the states with particularly harsh anti-abortion laws on the books tend to have the highest levels of harassment leveled against abortion providers and patients. Abortion doctors are often the subject of serious threats and intimidation, and some states can’t find any medical professionals willing to practice there because doctors aren’t willing to risk their lives. Women are often too nervous to enter clinics because they’re confronted with emotional attacks — or, in some cases, physical violence — from protesters outside. If people in Portland, ME, began avoiding Mike’s Restaurant so they wouldn’t have to encounter the protesters, some people may have actually skipped out on the health care they needed because they didn’t feel safe enough to walk into the Planned Parenthood clinic.
Portland's City Council is currently deciding whether to instate a 35-foot patient safety buffer zone — given that 150 out of 161 Planned Parenthood clients said the anti-abortion protests made them "uncomfortable," that sounds like a pretty excellent idea that needed to happen yesterday.
[h/t Think Progress]
Image via Mike's Rock Deli.