Kopp Found Guilty of Intentional Murder, Clinic Violence Up
James Kopp, the confessed assassin of abortion provider Barnett Slepian, MD, was found guilty today of intentional murder. After waiving his right to a jury trial, Kopp was found guilty of intentionally murdering Slepian after a single day in court. The ruling by Erie County Court Judge Michael D’Amico was based on a 35-page document of facts approved by lawyers on both sides. No witnesses were heard, and Kopp, known as “Atomic Dog” within the extremist group Army of God, did not testify.
With the conviction of Kopp for the intentional murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, the Feminist Majority Foundation today released its latest (2002) National Clinic Violence Survey to show the public that violence still plagues our nation’s clinics. The survey, which has been periodically conducted since 1993, is the most comprehensive survey of clinic violence in the US and involves 338 clinics. Nationwide, there are reports of more aggressive interference and intimidation of clinic staff and patients as they enter clinics. In addition, anthrax threats skyrocketed; plus the percentage of clinics experiencing three of more instances of violence doubled and two-thirds of clinics experienced anti-abortion intimidation.
“The Army of God terrorist network must be cracked,” said FMF President Eleanor Smeal. “It is clear that Kopp did not get Slepian’s name from a phone book and that he has worked with others in his some 15 years of harassing clinics.”
“With threats of terrorism plaguing the nation and the recent loss of NOW v. Scheidler in the U.S. Supreme Court, we fear that the extremists may be emboldened to close down clinics,” said Katherine Spillar, executive vice president of FMF. “It is clear that a network around Kopp aided and abetted him in eluding the law.”
Kopp, who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, has also been indicted for the 1995 shooting of Ontario abortion provider Dr. Hugh Short and is the primary suspect in three separate shootings of abortion providers in Canada and New York.
The Clinic Violence Survey will be available online at www.feminist.org within the next few days and is available now via fax. Call 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. . . .