Abortion WebCam

abortion CBS/AP

Outside Denver's Planned Parenthood clinic, Ken Scott means to be intimidating by warning patients, "You will regret this for the rest of your life, don't do it."

But to women arriving here to have an abortion, as CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, nothing Scott yells is as unnerving as his camera.

Ken Scott, an anti-abortion protestor, explains, "We're trying to expose the sin, and shame the people."

He takes their pictures for the most public photo album of all: the Internet.

Jill Scott, pro-abortion rights protest organizer says, "For the women that find themselves on the Internet, it's a shameful thing."

From his Georgia home, Neal Horsley posts these snapshots on his anti-abortion Web sites.

Photos taken by anti-abortion activists of women outside clinics in 26 states are sent to him.

Neal Horsley, a pro-life Web site author says, "They literally put themselves in a place to be judged by me and all the people who support me."

All this appalls abortion rights activists. They want it stopped.

Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood, says, "It's virtual stalking. It's harassment. It's shameful. It's abusive."

Abortion-rights supporters believe this is also potentially life threatening. They say having these women's pictures posted on the Internet could stir violent anti-abortion radicals to action."

A federal appeals court recently ruled this Web site -- called the "Nuremburg Files" -- was an illegal threat. The site compares abortion doctors to Nazi war criminals.

In 1998, when Dr. Barnett Slepian, an abortion provider, was murdered in his kitchen, the "Nuremburg Files" simply crossed through his name, like an updated hit list.

But camera-shy patients may have a tougher time getting help from the courts.

Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard Law School explains, "It may well be difficult to show that a Web site with text, even if it has animated dripping blood icons, is an imminent clear and present danger call to violence."

So for now -- in the click of a camera -- a private medical moment can become a cyberspace spectacle.
  • Sue Chan

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