Anti-Abortion Threats Increase as Remembrance Day Nears
For the past few years, the weeks surrounding Canada's Remembrance Day have been filled with threats against abortion providers in Canada and the United States.
Since 1994, five sniper attacks on abortion providers have taken place near the date of November 11, which is Veteran's Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada. Anti-abortion activists in Canada have deemed the day a time to "remember the unborn children," while extremists have used the holiday as an excuse to terrorize physicians and other clinic workers.
On Monday, abortion clinics in the Vancouver area were alerted to an anti-abortion threat that had been sent to an area newspaper. The Hamilton Spectator received a package containing four pages of messages and a cryptic threat. The newspaper believes that the handwriting on the envelope and on the package contents closely matches the handwriting on parcels delivered earlier by anti-abortion activist James Kopp.
The FBI has named Kopp a material witness to the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, killed by a sniper in his Amherst home on October 23. Kopp has not turned himself in to the police for questioning and is currently at-large.
Clinic workers have tightened security at their places of employment and their homes due to the recent threats. Despite the continual, terrifying threats, the majority of doctors are not backing down.
"There's a great deal of sadness," said Susan Fox, Director of an Edmonton, Alberta clinic that performs abortions. "But there's also a feeling of determination that we won't be deterred or scared by these actions."
Marilyn Wilson, Executive Director of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League, worries that while practicing doctors have endured the violence, the interest and willingness of young doctors to provide women's reproductive services is being affected by ongoing anti-abortion violence.
"There are almost no doctors who have stopped performing these procedures, even under the current reign of terror," Wilson said. "But young doctors with families wouldn't necessarily want to do this."
Media Resources: AP and Feminist Majority- November 10, 1998
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .