Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement



feminist wire | daily newsbriefs


Anti-Abortion Protestors Leave Birmingham

Anti-abortion protestors left Birmingham yesterday after a week-long protest targeting the city's two women's health centers. The pro-choice community, led by Alabama NOW and the Alabama Reproductive Freedom Coalition, countered the message of Operation Save America by demonstrating strong support for reproductive rights, providing supportive messages outside clinics, and countering the anti-abortion's public protests. A victory rally was organized by pro-choice volunteers on Saturday with over 100 people in attendance. funny pictures funny images funny photos funny animal pictures funny dog pictures funny cat pictures funny gifs

Over the course of the week, the Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Access Project stationed Field Director Nancy Kohsin-Kintigh in Birmingham to provide support to the targeted clinics. She reports that Birmingham's clinics remained open and all patients were seen without major disruptions over the course of the week. "I have been doing this -- tracking anti-abortion extremists and protecting clinics targeted by protestors and harassers -- for 16 years now," Kohsin-Kintigh said at Saturday's pro-choice victory rally. "It is a tragedy that this kind of activity persists, but time and time again, I see anti-abortion protestors leave in their wake a revitalized and strengthened pro-choice community. As long as we face opposition, we will continue to join together to show everyone that we will not go back!"

Among the more major occurrences over the weekend was the arrest of Flip Benham, the leader of the anti-abortion group, on Friday for disorderly conduct after using amplification while reading passages from the Bible. His sound system, which was permitted to be used as long as the noise was inaudible from inside the clinics and nobody complained, was confiscated as well. Benham posted bail immediately and returned to the protests.

On Saturday, a man, who identified himself as a Marine, entered the New Women All Women clinic in Birmingham and made serious and specific threats to clinic workers and the clinic owners. No arrests were made.

In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where clinic worker Gloria Gray was arrested when a group of anti-abortion protestors trespassed on her property, a trial date has been set for the week of August 21. To the charge of disorderly conduct, Gray will plead not guilty, maintaining that she was trying to ensure that police would take proper action against the trespassers. Scott Morro, Gray's attorney, made the following statement, "Disorderly conduct requires specific intent to harass, annoy, or alarm. In Gloria's efforts to aid the police and to let them know that the extremists were trespassing on her property, she was arrested for asserting her rights. On this case, we will stay the course, and the rights of women will not be denied."

Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation

© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.



Send to a Friend

More Feminist News

10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost. The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot. SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy." "We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event. SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .