Today, BuzzFeed brought it to everyone’s attention that Brad Fischetti, of the boy band LFO (you know that song “Summer Girls”? About having a summer fling? That was them) spends his days lingering creepily outside of a women’s health clinic in Orlando, trying to talk women out of abortions…and Tweeting about it. Not cool, guy. Not cool.
The Tweets, which you can see on his Twitter account or on BuzzFeed, not only feature pictures of the outside of the clinic (which is how I figured out where the place is–it’s called Orlando Women’s Center) and some of the patients coming and going, but also the names of both patients and doctors. He also seems to make it a practice to try to convince men whose partners are inside for abortion services to talk the women out of their decision. I wonder if he also convinces the men to start using condoms and/or to stick around and be stand-up dads once the unwanted child is born?
Unfortunately, HIPAA laws don’t apply to the outsides of clinics–but it’s still a pretty huge violation of privacy. Oh, and he also seems unclear about what services the clinic provides.
Fischetti makes a mistake that a lot of non-uterus-having anti-abortion individuals make: he assumes that every woman going into the clinic is there for an abortion. When, in fact, the clinic he’s wandering about outside of also offers services like life-saving breast exams and pap smears, as well as annual exams, and birth control, which the vast majority of Americans (even Catholics!) think is morally acceptable, according to a Gallup poll from last week. Birth control to, you know, prevent unwanted pregnancy and, as a result, abortion. Which means he’s basically just offering very unsolicited and unwarranted advice to women in need of low-cost care and possibly preventing women from getting care that would prevent them from having to come back for an abortion. Classy, right?
And even if every single women going into the clinic was there to get an abortion–which, sorry Brad, is their legal right as citizens and as women–the last thing they need is to be confronted by a former boy band member trying to talk them out of what is a private, personal (and, reminder, entirely legal) decision. What a vulnerable, horrible place to be picked on by some pious person who has absolutely no ability to empathize, because he will never be in that situation.
Women have already been conditioned to feel ashamed of their choices regarding reproductive health–consider the slut-ifying of Sandra Fluke, who spoke up about domestic violence victim’s need to have access to birth control–despite the fact that, you know, it’s the smart, responsible thing to do. A health care clinic should be a safe place, where women can find the resources they need when they need them. It should not be a place where we have to shuffle past men who are judging us and praying for us and telling us what to do with our bodies…and then Tweeting about it.
Images: Brad Fischetti’s Twitter account