Abortion Clinic Arsons And Bombings Reach Highest Rate Since 1984 Peak
Domestic Terrorism Increases
Washington, DC - Alarmed by a resurgent wave of abortion clinic arsons and bombings across the nation, Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal stated, "Today's arson of the Lovejoy Surgicenter marks the eleventh abortion clinic arson or bombing of 1997 -- the highest rate since 1984. This Portland, Oregon clinic, which sustained massive damage early this morning, was the target of threatening calls this past week which were reported to law enforcement officials. Also, threatening calls were received by the Feminist Women's Health Centers in Portland and Eugene, as well as the Center for Choice in Yakima, Washington. The caller had warned he would strike on Friday, May 23rd. The caller also threatened to kill staff and screamed profanities into the phone."
Smeal continued, "The Lovejoy Surgicenter is a flagship clinic. The clinic has been the target of anti-abortion terrorism since the 1980's. In fact, the Center brought suit against Advocates for Life Ministries, an anti-abortion group promoting justifiable homicide, in 1989. The case, Lovejoy Surgicenter v. Advocates for Life, resulted in the largest punitive damage award against anti-abortion extremists -- $8.1 million dollars."
"We are alarmed at the increasing rate of the use of bombing and arson to close clinics. To date, the eleven arsons and bombings of 1997 have taken place in Tulsa, Oklahoma (two bombings); Atlanta, Georgia (two bombings); Falls Church, Virginia; Bakersfield and North Hollywood, California; Bozeman, Montana; Greensboro, North Carolina; Yakima, Washington; and Portland, Oregon."
"We are fortunate that not all the recent bombings and arsons caused major damage, and we did not lose all nine clinics. However, we have lost clinics in Greensboro, North Carolina and now massive damage to the Lovejoy Surgicenter, and at the Atlanta abortion clinic bombings (January 1997) a second bomb injured several people, including ATF and FBI agents. To date, there has been no arrest in the Greensboro or Atlanta bombings, even though the Army of God extremist group claimed responsibility for the Atlanta bombings.
[Reporters Note: The Feminist Majority Foundation runs the oldest and one of the largest clinic defense projects in the nation. Its National Clinic Defense Project leads efforts to keep women's health clinics open in the face of violence and harassment by anti-abortion extremists. Its 1996 Annual Clinic Violence Survey showed that bombings and arsons were increasing. The Survey, the most comprehensive study of abortion clinic violence to date, is available by calling the offices of the Feminist Majority Foundation at 703-522-2214.]
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. . . .