Nurse Condemns Clinic Violence in Commercial Registered Nurse Emily Lyons was walking into the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic last January when a bomb exploded in her face. The bomb, believed to be set by fugitive Eric Robert Rudolph, severely injured Lyons and killed security officer Robert Sanderson.
In an effort to protect clinic workers across the country and to educate the public about extremist anti-abortion clinic violence, Lyons will appear in a television ad sponsored by the National Abortion and Reproductive Action League (NARAL). In the commercial, Lyons criticizes Senator Alfonse D'Amato for voting against a bill designed to protect doctors, clinic workers and their patients from anti-abortion violence.
The bill was passed and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, making the act of attacking or blockading abortion clinics a federal crime. Senator D'Amato's current opponent in New York, Rep. Charles Schumer, sponsored the bill.
NARAL President Kate Michelman said, "It took several deaths to finally have Congress take a serious look at the fact that in some communities across the country, law enforcement officials either were not able to address the problem or they, frankly, were not willing to take action because some of them agreed with the protesters."
The Feminist Majority's annual clinic violence survey, which measures violence at abortion clinics throughout the country, found that nearly 25 percent of abortion clinics were targets of violence or threats of violence in 1997. Clinics suffered the effects and dangers of "blockades, invasions, bomb threats and bombings, arson threats and arsons, chemical attacks, death threats and stalking."
Lions says in her ad, "When a bomb ripped through my clinic I almost lost my life, and it will never be the same. When Al D'Amato had a chance, he voted against protecting women's health clinics from anti-abortion terrorists. I am determined to stop this violence against women, so I'm speaking out."
Media Resources: New York Times - October 25, 1998
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .