You Tell Us: Should Anti-Abortion Group Have Hampdenfest Table?

Patch gives readers a chance to share their views and opinions on a controversial topic each week.

The St. Thomas Aquinas Respect for Life Committee, an anti-abortion group, will get a table at this year’s Hampdenfest after being barred the year before, according to the Baltimore Messenger

The group was because the festival organizers said they had received complaints about the group’s material being offensive the year before.

But last September the group sent a letter to the Hampden Community Council and expressed their disappointment at being left out of the festival.

They also objected to their material being listed as offensive.

"Our experience at the booth over the years has been that many people are interested in our models and literature, and many people express approval of our point of view and the services we provide for women and their families,” committee member Martha Taylor read from the group's letter at that time.

During a May Hampden Community Council meeting, members of the committee were told they would have to like any other group.

Hampdenfest will take pace on Saturday on West 36th Street, aka "The Avenue."

What do you think about an anti-abortion group at Hampdenfest distributing material? Tell us in comments.    

ralahinn1 September 05, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Yes, they should. Abortion is not 100% safe and women need all the information they can get in order to make an informed decision on if they should have an abortion, or not. They should also be taught that abortion is not the only choice when it comes to birth control.
HampdenHon September 05, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Just what kids need to see on a Saturday AM! Hot dog? Soda? Art? Ooh, dead fetus! What a perfect combo! Idiots...
Spockhammer September 05, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Since anti-choice extremists have perpetrated acts of domestic terrorism i would not feel safe having any organization associated with them there.
Baltimore Matt September 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM
I am pro-choice but I believe that any legitimate group has the right to set up a table at a public event as long as they follow the rules of the event and that other opinioned groups are not barred from having representation at the event as well. Therefore, the crazy pro-lifers can have their table at the Hampdenfest
Heavywilliams September 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Pro-choice Consevative here. Legally, they can't refuse them a seat. Just because they have a different belief than you, you can't deny them their "GOD" given right to express that belief. Even if you disagree. HAMPDENHON-I've seen things in this neighborhood (30yrs working here) that make dead fetuses look tame compared to some stuff around here. Junkies shooting up and having sex out in the open. sad yes, hookers under the bridge, yes. Photo of fetus= tame. Spockhammer-stay home.
Sharon Shoemaker September 05, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Hampdenfest is not considered a "public" event as it is run by a private merchant's group. Nobody can tell them who they have to sell a booth to. The city does not kick in any money for this.
Sharon Shoemaker September 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Since they were already granted a booth, though, it's a moot point. Maybe Planned Parenthood should also have a booth right next to them.
Steve September 05, 2012 at 06:44 PM
is this the same group that was at Artscape? If it is then I say unequivocally " No!"
Bart September 05, 2012 at 07:00 PM
I guess they have the same right as anybody else to set up their booth, but no shock photos, please. All adults know what an abortion is, and kids don't need to see this. Keep it calm, please. I have the right to ignore them, which I shall. I hope the organizers keep a close watch on them.
Adam Bednar (Editor) September 05, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Steve, I looked up an article about the group at Artscape. Although that group was not identified I think they're different groups. The group at Hampdenfest is affiliated with St. Thomas Aquinas in the Hampden neighborhood.
Carol Berman September 06, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Hopefully Planned Parenthood will be there and represent the " more balanced side". No shock photos allowed....don't the organizers have some type of guidelines regarding visual displays? If not, they should.
baltochick September 06, 2012 at 12:07 PM
As reluctant as I am to say it yes I suppose they should be allowed to have a booth. I would be a hypocrite if I said they shouldn't. On a personal level I loathe the idea of them being there. If they keep things non-offensive without their dead fetus photos etc it would be much more palatable.
Dennis The Cynic September 06, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Sure. And if pro-choice people (and I consider myself a part of that population) have an issue with it, they should put a booth right next to them.
TLaRicci September 06, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I say Yes! And as far as the Photo's....... I and JMO only.... feel that young girls and women should be educated on exactly What they are doing.... Sorry, but the Truth does hurt... There are too many options out there NOT to get pregnant.... There's no reason for unwanted pregnancies. Being someone who ALWAYS wanted Children and was told I couldn't conceive, and wouldn't ever experience the joys of Motherhood, which includes carrying and feeling my own baby kick, hiccup, etc..... Just tore me up to say the least..... At 35 I moved to Myrtle Beach, And my motto is " I apparently got fertile in Myrtle" All joking aside, I went through a major roller coaster that destroyed my 1st marriage.... I now have 3 Beautiful,Smart, and talented Gifts from God..... People should know what the doctors are doing....And the Doctors take an oath to "SAVE LIVES" excuse me?? Ahhhhh the loop holes!! This is 2012..... Unless you are Raped....There should be no excuse. Parents are also to blame as they need to stress on ways to prevent if their child is going to be sexually active... They sure know enough about drugs! Again JMO. So please, no bashing....
Dave September 06, 2012 at 04:37 PM
All forms of birth control are 100% full proof right? Nope.
zep September 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Certainly not! They obviously aren't looking at the residents.
Sharon Shoemaker September 06, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Why don't you ask the people at St. Thomas Aquinas about birth control? They are against that as well, as is the Catholic Church. Women should have the right so say what happens to their bodies, not a church, and especially not the government. Every woman should have this choice. If it's not for you, fine, but you have no right to judge others and their choices.
biomedical67 September 06, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Although it is important for people to hear multiple points of view in order to make an educated decision, lets not confuse opinions with fact. It is true that abortion is not 100% safe but in most cases the information distributed at these types of events is highly prejudice and not very accurate. I think that this organization should be allowed to have a booth at Hampdenfest as long as the information they intend to distribute is verified by the Hampdenfest committee.
Lily September 06, 2012 at 07:46 PM
The first thing I object to is this article labeling this group as "anti abortion". The group defines themselves as pro life. They do a lot more than just oppose abortion to support women and offer holistic approaches to reproductive care. It shows the biased nature of the articles author that they would choose to define the group in a way they do not define themselves. It's no more fair to define "pro life" groups as "anti abortion" than it is to redefine "pro choice" groups as "pro abortion". I hate to see media participate is partisanship. Label a group in the same manner they label themselves. That's the only fair and unbiased way to report. I have no problem what so ever with thier presence. They are entitled to thier opinions. I don't agree with all the things they say but they have a right to exist and say what they want. No one has to agree, but you don't have the right to interfere with thier free speach. As long as they are not being obscene in their approach I don't have a problem with them and welcome the variety of perspectives our new enlightened and tollerant classical liberal society so eagarly embraces.
Lily September 06, 2012 at 07:49 PM
biomedical67 - that's censorship. It's up to the individual to research for themselves. Next you'll be suggesting that the Internet be "verified"
Adam Bednar (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Lily, Associated Press style dictates that news organizations refer to groups on both sides of the issue as "anti-abortion" and "pro-abortion."
Steve September 06, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Maybe they can put them next to the Westboro people.
Lily September 06, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Who said they are associated with ani-choice extreamists? Who else would you like to profile?
Lily September 06, 2012 at 08:47 PM
Would you have written an article asking people how they feel if "Planned Parenthood, a pro-abortion group" where getting a booth? Why is it news that this group is getting a booth if not to try to stir up enough uproar to get them thrown out.
Adam Bednar (Editor) September 06, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Because it was a controversy that this group was left out last year. An issue which the group raised and made the news media aware of.


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