The 003 Blog (Fall 2006)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Freedom of Speech

Walking across campus on my way to work this morning, I passed by Hornbake Mall, where an anti-abortion display was being mounted. Big orange signs that read
WARNING
PHOTOS OF GENOCIDE AHEAD
were posted on both sides of the display, which featured large gory photographs of dead fetuses on signs that said things like "This moral wrong should never be a constitutional right."

As I walked past the gruesome display, I thought about how lucky Americans are to have the right to free speech written into our Constitution's First Amendment (thanks to Thomas Jefferson, author of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights). In this particular case, I do not agree with the anti-abortionists, but what matters is that they have the right to express their opinion, and I have the right to express mine.

You can see the entire Bill of Rights at the U. S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs site.

4 Comments:

  • I saw that display on my way to have lunch this noon. Some pictures are really cruel and scare me. It’s also a contestable issue in my country. Some people support anti-abortion, some people don’t agree with it. I think abortion could be allowed in some case, such as the teenage can not nourish the infant.

    By Blogger Jenniferho, at 10:50 PM  

  • Hello, Nina! Your post made me think about what the people in developed countries can do to the countries which don't let the people in those countries have the basic rights. We usually take those rights for granted, but we actually are so lucky to have them,right?

    Also, your remarks about abortion also made me think about the situation in Japan which I think is somehow different from the one in the US. Abortion is not a good thing, of course, but sometimes it just can't be helped because having baby can surely change a woman's life especially when a mother is young. So I understand that opponents want to make fetuses voices heard, but voices of mothers should also be heard at the same time.

    By Blogger Hiromi, at 12:12 PM  

  • Hello, Nina! Your post made me think about what the people in developed countries can do to the countries which don't let the people in those countries have the basic rights. We usually take those rights for granted, but we actually are so lucky to have them,right?

    Also, your remarks about abortion also made me think about the situation in Japan which I think is somehow different from the one in the US. Abortion is not a good thing, of course, but sometimes it just can't be helped because having baby can surely change a woman's life especially when a mother is young. So I understand that opponents want to make fetuses voices heard, but voices of mothers should also be heard at the same time.

    By Blogger Hiromi, at 12:12 PM  

  • Nina,

    Thank you for your excellent and concise description of the value of freedom of speech. It's interesting that in Japan, there is a legal level of freedom of speech approaching that of the U.S., but people are reluctant to use it to express political dissent. The "marketplace of ideas" is rarely noisy here.

    John

    By Blogger John, at 5:17 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home