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Radical Anti-Choice Group Puts Out “All Points Bulletin” to “Track” Pregnant Woman

11:07 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

All Points Bulletin )Photo: pacozorro, flickr)

All Points Bulletin )Photo: pacozorro, flickr)

Written by Andy Kopsa for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

“Have you seen the pregnant mom? The young pregnant woman, probably in her 20′s, had a darker complexion with dyed red hair and tattoos on her neck and right shoulder. She also had some facial piercings. The woman looked obviously pregnant….please let us know immediately if you have seen a woman with this description.”

After reading this plea you may grow worried – what could have happened to this woman?  Certainly this must be a call for help from the pregnant woman’s family, desperate to locate her.  You can’t be blamed for thinking that – but you would be dead wrong.

This is an All Points Bulletin – an APB! – issued by radical Wisconsin anti-choice group Vigil for Life to track down a pregnant woman seeking services at Planned Parenthood.  Yes, you read that correctly.

The young woman came to Madison but by the time she arrived Planned Parenthood was closed.  Unfortunately, Vigil for Life is setting up a crisis pregnancy center right across the street from the Planned Parenthood Clinic and was there to feed this young woman anti-choice propaganda.  However, the young woman slipped away before the Vigil For Life volunteers got her name.

If you are unfamiliar with Vigil for Life, these are the hardcore protesters outside Planned Parenthood clinics with their “sidewalk counselors” accosting women as they enter.  Remember Ralph Lang, the man arrested in Madison who was planning an attack on Planned Parenthood to, “lay out abortionists because they are killing babies?”  Mr. Lang is associated with Vigil for Life and has attended several of its “vigils.” Read the rest of this entry →

Justice Served: Kansas Panel Recommends DA Phill Kline’s License to Practice Be Suspended Indefinitely

11:47 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Kari Ann Rinker for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

This article was updated at 12:29 pm on Friday, October 14th, 2011 to correct the facts: a Kansas disciplinary panel has recommended Kline’s license for suspension. The Kansas Supreme Court makes the final decision on this matter.

Phill Kline’s license to practice law within the state of Kansas has been recommended for indefinite suspension by a Kansas disciplinary panel.  They found Kline’s behavior to be “dishonest and selfish”.  I call it downright despicable. 

Speaking on behalf of Kansas pro-choice women, I say THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS!  I have high hopes for the Kansas Supreme Court.     

Phill Kline has been the large, annoying, festering thorn in the side of Kansas women since 2003, when he was elected as Kansas Attorney General.  He made his political career cheered on and funded by, his anti-abortion cronies.  Even today, he remains their hero.  I’m not just referring to the far right wingy-wing nut fringes.  I’m referring to politicians that are still in the statehouse today and jump at any opportunity to defend and in fact, exalt the praises of their “pro-life” poster boy.

March 10, 2011 Topeka Capitol Journal- Three dozen House and Senate Republicans stood shoulder-to-shoulder Thursday to lambaste the “unholy alliance” subverting justice in the ethics case against former Attorney General Phill Kline.  In a show of force outside the House floor, Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Bel Aire, and colleagues denounced the pending Kline case, the tolerance of child sexual abuse by some Kansas politicians and bias by the Kansas Supreme Court in favor of abortion providers. 

They still pine for the good ol’ days when women’s medical records were poured over by Kline, with the culminating moment being when they were discussed on the Bill O’Reilly show.  (Here Bill O., runs to Kline’s defense on this February edition of The Factor). Bill and Phill had this friendship, they commiserated together about “Tiller the Killer” (their deadly pet name for Dr. George Tiller) and discussed the private medical records of women who had sought abortion care at the medical clinic of the now murdered abortion Dr. George Tiller.

Phill Kline used his office to propel and enable his personal rabid hatred for the physician that was ultimately murdered by someone so upset by Kline’s inability to put Dr. Tiller out of business for good, that he took matters into his own hands.  Phill Kline was a hero not only to his pals in the Kansas legislature, but to the murderer Scott Roeder.

The board found that Kline “repeatedly violated many of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct, including the most serious of the rules, the rules that prohibit engaging in false or dishonest conduct…Further, (Kline) caused potential injury to the public.” But Phill attempts to set the record straight for us in his personally released statement to the public…

“I upheld my duty, upheld my oath of office and the integrity of my profession. 

The panel did what they were instructed to do.  This is the latest chapter of a Sebelius appointed court covering up for a Sebelius political benefactor in order to protect the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars.  The Sebelius court joined Planned Parenthood to file this complaint, appointed the prosecutor, appointed the panel and will make the final decision. Our Constitution was created to end such conduct. The ethics process is being used to punish political opponents.”

While Kline laments the ruling, the women of Kansas rejoice!  This chapter of the seemingly never-ending saga of Phil Kline will shortly be put to rest.  Mr. Kline can stay put at his job teaching all of  the far right wingy-wing nuts that inhabit the Liberty University School of Law, founded by Jerry Falwell where he teaches some version of higher learning hatred for women and hopefully, never grace the state of Kansas again.  We have enough to deal with these days as it is without his black cloud adding to our anti-woman storm that already exists under Governor Brownback’s regime.  Don’t let the door hit you in the kiester on the way out Mr. Kline, cause you won’t be able to seek damages in a Kansas court anytime soon.

Working with Dr. Tiller: His Staff Recalls a Tradition of Compassionate Care at Women’s Health Care Services of Wichita

12:54 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

"Compassion."

"Compassion." by matrianklw on flickr

Written by Carole Joffe for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

This article is cross-posted with permission from the forthcoming issue (September 2011) of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.  We are grateful to the Guttmacher Institute for facilitating this exchange.

While attending Sunday church services in May 2009, Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Wichita, Kansas, was assassinated by an antiabortion extremist. The doctor’s murder led shortly to the closing of his clinic, Women’s Health Care Services (WHCS), which had been the best known of the handful of U.S. facilities to openly provide abortions at 24 weeks of gestation or later for women with serious health conditions and those carrying fetuses with severe or lethal anomalies. One of the most polarizing symbols of the U.S. abortion conflict, Dr. Tiller was reviled by abortion opponents. Among abortion rights supporters, and especially among his colleagues in the close-knit abortion provider community, Dr. Tiller was a beloved hero, legendary for the kindness and compassion he extended to desperate women who came to him from all over the United States and abroad.

Dr. Tiller’s murder and the closing of his clinic brought renewed national attention to the problems facing women who need abortions late in pregnancy. Fewer than 2 percent of the 1.2 million abortions performed each year in the United States occur after 20 weeks of gestation.[1] An unknown number occur after 24 weeks; in most states, such procedures are permitted only under highly restricted circumstances. At the time of Dr. Tiller’s death, only two or three other clinics were known to openly provide third-trimester procedures for qualifying women. Some hospitals provide these services on a case-by-case basis for patients of attending physicians, but the fact that WHCS served women from all over the country indicates that many women had difficulty finding the care they needed close to home. Read the rest of this entry →

Ignore That Self-Affixed Halo: Anti-Choicers Know Just What They Are Doing to Incite Violence

11:46 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Immediately after the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in the vestibule of his church in Wichita, Kansas just over two years ago, anti-choice leaders who had long used stridently violent language to describe Dr. Tiller specifically and abortion care generally, fell all over themselves proclaiming innocence of any connection to the murder.  Among these was Troy Newman, current president of Operation Rescue, who stated:

“We are shocked at this morning’s disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down… Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning.”

But the fact is that Newman and his cohorts regularly used imagery and language that depicted Dr. Tiller himself as a monster and in many ways indirectly if not directly suggested him as a target for someone willing to commit a violent act. That someone turned out to be Scott Roeder, who had, it turns out, several links to Operation Rescue.

And, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Any doubt of Newman’s own gruesome feelings of glee about Dr. Tiller’s murder can be summed up in a photo showing Newman standing at the site of Dr. Tiller’s assassination giving a thumbs up.

Operation Rescue and other anti-choicers have now turned their sights on Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who is providing late abortion care to women in need several times a month in Germantown, Maryland.  During the several hours I spent on three days in Germantown, to help with clinic defense, I saw suggestions of violent action everywhere, courtesy of the anti-choicers marshaled by Operation Rescue and its colleague organizations.

First, for example, there was the truck plastered with photos of what the anti-choicers claim are mangled fetuses.  These photos, whether real or not, are obviously distasteful, and meant to be so. But they are also misleading if not outright fake.  If, for example, a woman is carrying a fetus that has died in utero, and it is removed for her own mental and physical health, it may well look grisly. So would, for example, heart surgery. But the implication without context is that someone is killing near-born babies without reason. Using photos-and science for that matter–that is either created entirely for shock value or so grossly misrepresents reality as to have no relation is a primary strategy of the anti-choice movement.

But also plastered across this truck, amidst the “dead baby” photos were photos of Dr. Tiller and those of Dr. Carhart. Those of Dr. Tiller pronounced him “dead,” and tho

se of Dr. Carhart had large yellow arrows fixed around the perimeter with the word “Abortionist” in large black block letters, pointing to Dr. Carhart.  The message, if not explicit, is nonetheless clear: “One of these men is dead, the other is still working. Whaddya gonna do about it?”

Then there were the sidewalk chalk drawings, pictured here.

These drawings, which were one version of other drawings that appeared on a different day as well, were drawn out by teenagers “called in” by OR to help out with th protest.

Among these on Sunday were the sayings:

  • Would it bother us more if they used guns?
  • What would Jesus do? (with a gun)
  • Would it bother us if they used guns?

A drawing of an exploding gun as at the bottom of this row of chalk drawings.

Again, these images have two purposes. One is to suggest violence is an answer to something that anti-choicers don’t like, namely, women exercising self-determination in their lives by determining whether and when to have children, taking control over their own reproduction and sexual health, and safeguarding their own and their family’s health when a wanted pregnancy goes horribly awry.

The other is to intimidate those who are protecting women seeking care, and doctors who serve them. What would come to your mind if you walked the street toward your doctor’s office and there were exploding guns sketched on the sidewalk leading up to the office door?

Operation Rescue and other anti-choice groups such as those in Germantown use religion and piety to advance a patriarchal agenda cloaked in religious fervor.

But it is violence by any other name.

American Life League’s Questions on Facebook: They’re Not Asking “What Would Jesus Do”

11:27 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Andrea Grimes for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

I can’t remember when or why I initially friended the American Life League on Facebook, but here they are, popping up in my newsfeed periodically to tell me about the many and varied ways the premarital sex-having-sluts of America are murdering their young en masse, guided predominantly by the heathen-begloved hand of Planned Parenthood, which gleefully holds secret abortion parties behind closed doors.

Perhaps it’s rude or callous of me to admit that part of the reason I haven’t un-friended the American Life League is because I find their posts somewhat funny. Or quaint? Even comforting? I can’t put my finger on it–all I know is that I used to be a pro-life Republican, myself, and there’s something about the ALL Facebook page that’s a little bit like going back and reading your diary from junior high, even the pages with the awful angsty poetry.

But mainly the reason I can’t un-friend the American Life League is because I don’t want to miss another opportunity to comment on their periodic What Would You Do?-style posts that ask followers what they might do, personally, if horrific things happened to them–horrific things like a doctor who performs abortions living in their neighborhood, or Planned Parenthood having a booth at the county fair. Truly, nightmares abound:

Read the rest of this entry →

Man Arrested, Charged with Intent to Murder Abortion Providers in Wisconsin

4:34 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Brady Swenson for RHRealityCheck.org - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

A man who drove to Madison, Wisconsin to kill an abortion doctor faces federal charges for intending to attack a Planned Parenthood office in Madison, Wisconsin and murder abortion providers. Ralph Lang, 63, was arrested Wednesday night when his gun went off in his motel room not far from the Planned Parenthood clinic that he planned to attack Thursday. According to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court Lang said he had a gun “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies.”

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Can John Boehner Placate Randall Terry?

6:57 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Amanda Marcotte for RHRealityCheck.org – News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

Randall Terry isn’t just your everyday anti-choice nut.  It takes someone with a special level of nuttiness to get shunned by most of the anti-choice community, a community generally known for having a high tolerance for hysterics, attention-seeking, blatant lying, and quiet encouragement of violence against abortion providers.  If you’re such a nasty piece of work that even Jill Stanek and Troy Newman can’t stand you, you must be something else.

So why on earth did soon-to-be Speaker of the House John Boehner actually conduct a meeting with Randall Terry and his cadre of extremists?  It’s understandable, if disappointing, that such a prominent politician would meet with anti-choice activists.  We still don’t live in an era where women’s human rights are above debate, and so it’s to be expected that some politicians will hold meetings based around the concept that women should be forced to bear children against their will.  But there are many dozens of anti-choice leaders Boehner could have held meetings with to establish his misogynist bona fides, and cozy up to the Christian right.  Why choose the worst of the worst, a man whose primary reputation on the right now is that of a self-aggrandizing blowhard who just screws everything up?

A few possibilities come to mind.  First, Boehner might just be ignorant of the battles within the anti-choice movement, and selected Terry for this anti-choice photo op because Terry is just so visible in D.C.  After all, Terry is forever making a spectacle of himself.  He’s hard to ignore.  To someone who only paid minimal attention to the anti-choice movement, it might seem like Terry is more of a leader than he really is.  But while incompetence can never completely be taken off the table as a reason that a politician makes a baffling mistake, it’s hard for me to imagine that Boehner and his people could be so ignorant of Terry’s place in the anti-choice world.  And if they were ignorant before, the fact that Terry did wacky stuff like put fetus dolls on the table during the discussion should have clued Boehner into the facts.

It’s also possible that Boehner is trying to signal that he’s hardcore when it comes to disrespecting women’s rights.  If you want to send that signal, you’re in good shape picking the worst of the worst of the anti-choice community.  But again, there are many people that are just as mean-spirited as Terry without being so hated within the larger anti-choice community.  Troy Newman, for instance, has just as much distaste for women’s rights and health as Terry, but he has a better reputation in the anti-choice world.  So that doesn’t really make sense. 

There is another possibility, and that is … Read more

NBC McCain-Palin Interview: Is an Abortion Clinic Bomber a Terrorist?

7:01 pm in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Watch the video here.

NBC’s Brian Williams asked Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin about their attacks on Sen. Barack Obama and his association with Bill Ayers, and if they would define abortion clinic bombers as domestic terrorists.

Palin said she wouldn’t condone such actions and ultimately worked her way to saying that "terrorist" would be defined as anyone who seeks to destroy innocent Americans, meaning that she seems to agree that abortion clinic bombers are terrorists. McCain felt the need to to clean up the answer later in the interview saying that anyone who breaks the law, including bombing an abortion clinic, should be punished to the full extent of the law.

Here’s an idea — how about just de-politicizing private, personal health care decisions that individuals should make for themselves, and repudiating the extremist rhetoric of the anti-choice protesters that create a culture where clinic violence is celebrated. Better yet, how about repudiating the lies being told right now in mailers, robo-calls, and in TV ads about the so-called "Born Alive" bill that contribute to the culture of anti-choice extremism and violence.

McCain has previously said he was "proud of everyone attending our rallies" which includes Paul Schenck who has been linked to Read the rest of this entry →