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Ice Cream Shop Hit With ‘Scary’ Anti-Abortion Harassment

Ice Cream Shop Hit With ‘Scary’ Anti-Abortion Harassment

Written by Tara Culp-Ressler

Jodie Ostrovsky, who runs an ice cream shop called “What’s The Scoop?” in Portland, Ore., didn’t expect to wade into the culture wars. But that’s exactly what happened when she agreed to do a fundraiser with Planned Parenthood. After right-wing groups caught wind of the fact that What’s The Scoop? dedicated an ice cream flavor to the women’s health organization, the nasty comments started pouring in.

“Some of them have been scary,” Ostrovsky told the Willamette Week. “We’ve gotten quite a number of phone calls, a lot of Facebook stuff—we’ve gotten comments through the form on our web page. Some of them are bizarre and odd. We don’t know why they’re telling us that we have problems when they’re saying terrible, threatening things.”

Ostrovsky has worked with Planned Parenthood before without much incident, so she was surprised to spark so much controversy this month. The difference appears to be that this partnership — which involved creating a new flavor called “Rose City Revolution” for a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, which was sold at Ostrovsky’s shop for a three-hour window last week, with 10 percent of the proceeds going to the women’s health group — was covered on LifeNews.com.

“Abortion giant Planned Parenthood has announced that a local ice cream parlor has created an ice cream just for them. No it will not be called Blood and Scream!” the anti-abortion site reported at the end of last week.

Soon, the ice cream parlor’s Facebook page was inundated with criticism. “Mmmm…murdered baby flavor,” one individual wrote. “Thank you for supporting underage girls to be raped by their stepfather then go to planned Parenthood and get a no questions asked abortion,” another posted.

“Good grief! It’s an ice cream flavor, people!” a Planned Parenthood affiliate responded on its own Facebook page.

Ostrovsky told the Portland Eater that her staff is “still wrapping our minds around the reactions,” but she didn’t back down from her support for the reproductive health organization. “Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization that does so much to help women have access to affordable healthcare,” she said. “The fact that some people only focus on what is such an infinitesimal part of the service they provide is confusing to me.”

This isn’t the only example of persistent anti-abortion activism impacting the food industry. In a different city named Portland — the one located in Maine — a popular sandwich shop actually closed its doors because the surrounding area was too swarmed with protesters picketing the nearby Planned Parenthood clinic. The owner said he was exhausted from battling the protesters, and was even losing business because their graphic signs and persistent chants dissuaded potential customers from visiting his shop.

And across the country, anti-abortion harassment affects much more than ice cream and deli sandwiches. Protesters outside of clinics can actually intimidate patients who are going there to access medical services. Women are sometimes too nervous to enter clinics because they’re confronted with emotional attacks — or, in some cases, physical violence — from the protesters outside, which is why many reproductive health facilities enlist volunteer clinic escorts to help accompany patients to their destination. Although a fixed buffer zone around clinics represents one proactive policy that can help women avoid this type of harassment, the Supreme Court recently ruled they go too far to impede protesters’ free speech rights.

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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173 comments

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9:04AM PDT on Aug 4, 2014

Anti-abortionists don't care about babies, they care about controlling women. If they did care about babies they would be FOR Planned Parenthood which is really a reproductive health-care clinic. Healthy women = healthy babies.

2:13PM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Well, first we have to define LIFE. Are sperm alive???

11:27AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

What does it matter when "life begins"? No individual had a right to invade/occupy/use another person's body without their consent.

6:02AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Scott G.
I agree with Simon T. that you don’t ‘murder’ animals. You murder humans and you kill or butcher animals. You can’t just go around making up new meanings for words. Well, you can in your own mind, but they will still have little meaning to anyone else. And if you are allowed to do that, then he is allowed to call you a plant murdering vegan. Both are ridiculous but he was using sarcasm. Unfortunately, you were not.

You go on to call him an anti-animal, right wing carnist, bigoted, moron. Seriously? How are you any better than these wackos at this ice cream shop when you go off on him saying such hateful things? In my opinion, you are just as every bit crazy as these self-righteous pricks.

When I saw your comment I thought to myself, why do vegans have to make EVERYTHING about not eating animals? I am pretty sure that is why he came at you and I don’t blame him. Same old ridiculous and tiring drivel no matter what the articles subject is about. Sigh.

3:26AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

ty

2:08AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Everyone has there own opinion on abortion,as i seen 6 week featus,had little heart beat,but i have my own opinion and would never abuse any,one that differs from me,what happened to freedom of speach

9:58PM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

These people are useless, pain in the ass jerks. \imagine if they used their power for good, instead of harassing innocent people.

10:58AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

btw we are overflowing as a species. We do not need any more humans. In fact there is an obscene over abundance of humans so much that we are literally killing the planet.

10:51AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

Why isn't this same rage and passion directed towards our "do-nothing but waste tax money and give Barak Obama hell" congress? SOME citizens really need to pull their heads out of their a#$%^

10:29AM PDT on Jul 30, 2014

Wow

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