Senate Majority Whip Calls Anti Abortion Extremists Terrorists
The Feminist Majority joins Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in his condemnation of a group of extreme anti abortion activists and their acts of domestic terrorism. In a statement on the Senate floor last Thursday, Reid boldly called for the Senate, law enforcement and the American people to identify as terrorists “an organized network of violent extremists, including a group that calls itself the Army of God.“The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds Sen. Reid for calling these violent extremists by the name they deserve – domestic terrorists,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which operates the oldest and largest clinic defense project in the nation that alerts law enforcement and the media to the network of anti abortion extremists. “These terrorists belong in the same category as those who committed the heinous acts of September 11 and the Taliban militants who have terrorized the women of Afghanistan.”
Reid told the Senate about Dr. Barnett Slepian, a Buffalo, NY gynecologist and obstetrician, who was shot to death in cold blood in his own home in 1998 – James Kopp, a notoriously violent anti abortion extremist, is currently on trial for his murder. Kopp has also been indicted for the shooting of a doctor in Canada and is a suspect in three other shootings of doctors who provided abortions. “We must remain vigilant and continue to take appropriate action to prevent extremist groups from terrorizing victims. Their intention is to intimidate and threaten, and sometimes they succeed as some doctors have given up their practice due to the emotional stress and constant fear they faced,” Reid said. “Dr. Slepian courageously endured threats for over a decade before he was murdered.”
Reid pointed out that Kopp and others have been supported by a network of extremists in their acts of harassment, intimidation and violence. Their crimes include kidnapping, bombing, arson, assault and murder – they have targeted health clinic employees, judges, doctors and even doctors’ children. In addition, these groups are allegedly tied to Websites that post “hit lists” with the names, addresses, license plate numbers of doctors and others targeted. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last month that these Websites pose an illegal threat and are in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. “Those who kill and commit other heinous acts to express their opposition to abortion do so with the support of many others – people who fund their crimes, aid and abet them, harbor fugitives. Others help create a climate that encourages this violence through their hateful speech – or by remaining silent. We cannot remain silent. We must say loudly and unequivocally that murder is wrong,” Reid said.
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. . . .