Feminist Majority Foundation & Institute for Democracy Studies CAlls Attention to Priest for Life's Support of Violent Wing of Anti-Abortion Movement
Washington DC - As Priests for Life launches their anti-abortion electoral media campaign today, Feminist Majority Foundation and Institute for Democracy Studies together call attention to Fr. Frank Pavone's ongoing relationship with militant and extreme elements of the anti-abortion movement.
Just two weeks ago, Pavone addressed the National Right to Life Committee convention and his organization, Priests For Life, distributed a booklet entitled Our Media is the Streets. Highlighted in that booklet is Pavone's support for anti-abortion extremists and their tactics.
Notably, Pavone justifies criminal trespass at abortion clinics: "Rescues are not acts of civil disobedience or protests primarily meant to get a message to the public.…Breaking a law of trespass to prevent killing is perfectly justified in this and other circumstances," Our Media is the Streets, by Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life, n.d. (emphasis added).
In the same booklet, Pavone also praises convicted federal racketeer Joseph Scheidler, noting the "outstanding success of his efforts," efforts which a federal jury, in NOW v. Scheidler, found to constitute a nationwide campaign resulting in 21 acts of extortion, which included threats of physical violence.
Pavone's Our Media is the Streets additionally includes a declaration of anti-abortion leaders across America, a substantial number of whom have been jailed for criminal violations relating to abortion clinic harassment and terrorism. These leaders advocate going beyond harassment at clinics and also call for harassment at the homes and neighborhoods of doctors and clinic staff.
"We highlight Pavone's ties to extremists today - only one week after yet another abortion provider was the victim of violence," said Smeal, referring to the July 11 stabbing of Vancouver abortion provider Dr. Garson Romalis. "We hope that Priests For Life's announcement making choice a priority in voting is a turn of strategy from harassment at clinics. We welcome voters making abortion a top priority in the upcoming presidential election," added Smeal.
Pavone, who has been directly referred to as Pope John Paul II's "Vicar for Life," is also a member of the Vatican's Pontifical Council of the Family. "As our recent research report on Priests for Life shows, all Americans need to be concerned about what is concealed by this organization's carefully coiffed mainstream image," says Alfred Ross, IDS president.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .