Abortion Mifeprex


texasBy now, any person who reads this blog is aware that the State of Texas has ruled that their very unnecessary anti-abortion law, designed to make it impossible for current abortion providers to comply, can be immediately enforced.  The Facebook page of Abortion.com just posted the link to an essay by Damon Linker in The Week (10-3-14) that raises critical questions that all pro-choice voters must hold their anti-choice elected officials accountable to answering:

If you believe abortion is murder, what specific punishment should be meted out against women who seek abortions, those who assist in the procurement and practice of abortion, and those who provide abortions?

In your view, Ms./Mr. Elected Official, since you think abortion is murder, will you be sponsoring legislation asking for the death penalty if your state has laws restricting abortion?

Damon Linker wrote: “If abortion really is murder, then everyone involved deserves to be punished, and punished severely…If, on the other hand, such punishment sounds wildly, almost absurdly disproportionate, then maybe it’s a sign that abortion really isn’t murder after all.” His point is excellent and one that has been raised here as well as the Abortion.com Facebook page. Politicians have never really been forced to reveal the actual penalties they believe should be imposed on those who participate in an abortion, should it become illegal or severely restricted and prompt women to resort to whatever is feasible and providers to resort to underground practices. At the moment, it is arguable that Texas ought to start expanding their correctional facilities. We know that women have already been obtaining drugs from Mexico and international mail for medical abortions or to cause a miscarriage. Yep, Texas better get their death row lodging in good order, not to mention make sure that all lethal injection protocol training is thorough and an ample inventory of execution drugs.Lethal injection

This ruling will undoubtedly energize the most whacko, zealous of the anti-abortion groups to pattern the Texas laws into initiatives in other states. Therefore, it is sensible and important for pro-choice voters to get their pols to answer the questions raised here.

The organizations that have fervently advocated reproductive rights over the years, specifically Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and National Organization for Women, opposed grassroots efforts to propose legislation to support reproductive justice in states like Arkansas in 1989. Their reasoning was that it was somehow better to work with legislatures to oppose restrictive laws, which, at the time, were focused primarily on parental notification or consent. Creating law is easier than trying to undo law. I sure hope those organizations – that raised a lot of money on the issue – kept the contact information on the many that supported the pro-choice legislation efforts. They will need it now for more than donations.

The one silver lining in this outrageous ruling in Texas is that it may well motivate voters to show up in the upcoming mid-term elections. Texas indeed does things big – that does not mean any other state is interested in Texas sharing any of their “big.” There is not one excuse for a pro-choice person to not vote this November.

Stop Bullying Women

For many years, anti-abortion activists have lobbied their state legislatures to pass laws that require abortion clinics to share certain information with their patients.  These so-called “Right to Know” laws take many forms:  giving the patient a brochure that shows the stages of fetal development, taking an ultrasound and showing it to the woman, reciting a script to the patient that is a litany of things that can go wrong with an abortion, etc., etc.

Although the pro-choice movement regularly opposes these laws, I have written in the past about how the affect of these laws on the woman is rather minimal.  For example, most women casually look at the brochures, if at all, then toss them into

the garbage.  I’ve been in the rooms with woman as they observed their ultrasound, asked questions about the fetus then proceeded to have the abortion.  It’s all a rather big waste of time if you ask me, but if the anti-abortion movement wants to spend their time on this kind of stuff, go for it.  And, after all, it’s all well-intentioned, isn’t it?  Sure, they would prefer to make that woman’s act totally illegal, but since they can’t do that they want to make sure that a woman is making an informed choice.  How compassionate of them, huh?

Meanwhile, up in New York City, the City Council has taken a great interest in the activities of a number of “crisis pregnancy centers” that, according to testimony provided in a hearing, are engaging in “deceptive” practices designed to convince the woman that they are actually medical facilities.  It seems that the staff in some of these cpcs a

Ultrasound Before Abortion Procedure

re doing some interesting things.  For some reason, they are collecting personal and insurance information in the waiting room, the consultations are taking place on examination tables with the woman in the stirrups and “scrub suited consultants” are giving free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.   On its face, it sounds a little deceptive to me but I’m sure these reports are not accurate because we’ve been told so many times that cpcs do not engage in this kind of behavior.

Still, this crazy ole City Council is concerned about this alleged behavior so they passed a law requiring the cpcs to post signs saying they have no doctors on site and don’t’ give advice about abortions or birth control.  Sounds kind of like the “Right to Know” laws that are being imposed on abortion clinics.

But, lo and behold, here comes the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian advocacy group, and they challenge the law, saying it would have violated the center’s right to free speech.  And, recently, a local judge agreed with them and slapped an injunction on the new law.

Putting aside all the legal mumbo-jumbo and the current status of the law, what I cannot sort out is why anti-abortion advocates want abortion clinics to inform women of everything but the kitchen sink, but when the NY City Council wants to ask them to give out just a little information about their centers, they balk at the idea?

Somebody help me here, please!

Abortion

I first want to apologize for being incommunicado for the last five days.  My spouse and I slipped out of town to spend some “quality time” together.  We actually had a wonderful time not talking about the kids or about our mortgage payment.  Geez, I don’t even recall having one serious argument!

And now I’m back in the Washington, D.C. area and all anyone is talking about here is the upcoming election.  You just can’t avoid all of the debates, the talking heads on the cable shows, the campaign commercials and the political predictions.   Of course, the group that is probably getting the most attention is the now-famous “Tea Party.”   I’ve written about these folks before.  I’ve talked about how I really have no idea what they want and what they would do if they got elected.  All I can gather is that they are angry at everyone and they think it’s time to “clean house.”    Well, that sounds all well and good and it is a very simple phrase that appeals to a lot of folks in this country who are too lazy to think about the real issues that confront our nation.   Still, there are enough yahoos in the good ole USA that some of these Tea Party candidates actually have a chance of winning.

So, let’s take a minute to think about what would happen if a “Tea Partyer” is sent to Congress in January.

The first thing that he will be asked to do is to vote for the Speaker of the House (the position currently held by Nancy Pelosi).  There will be two people running for that position, one nominated by the Democratic Party and one by the Republican Party.  There will not be a nominee from the Tea Party, so from the very beginning this new person will have to cast their lot with one of the established parties.  And, of course, they’re going to vote with the Republican Party.

Abortion

Then they have to try to get on a committee that will be of great relevance to their district.  If the Republican Party takes over the House of Representatives, as is predicted, the chairman of every committee will be a Republican.  So, that young, brash Tea Party person, who may have spent some time during the election bashing both parties, will then have to make an appointment with the chairman of the committee they want to be on and perhaps have to explain to him why they spent the election season bashing his party.  Now, won’t that be interesting?

Then the Tea Partyer will start voting.  One of the most important matters they vote on first is the budget.  Generally speaking, Members of Congress get to vote on two versions of a budget – one offered by the Democrats and one by the Republicans.  So, the new Tea Party person will have only two options.   Oh, sure, he or she can put together their own budget on behalf of himself and the maybe 3 other Tea Partyers in the House.  That budget might have suggestions like cutting all federal support for public education, eliminating the Medicare program and reducing the minimum wage.  The final tally on that proposal would be in the neighborhood of 4 in favor and 431 against.  Now, that is really shaking up Washington!

So, what it will come down to ultimately is that these Tea Party folks will

Abortion

wind up voting with the Republican Party 95 percent of the time.  Oh, sure, they’ll go to the floor of the House and give a fiery speech about the “special interests” and the old ways of Washington that need to be changed.  They will then make thousands of copies of that speech and mail it to their constituents to show how they are “fighting” for the common man.  Their constituents won’t know that when they gave the speech there was no one else on the floor or in the galleries except for an intern or two.

They will accomplish nothing.  They will vote with the Republican Party.  But their constituents will have no idea.  They will just be thrilled that they sent a “fighter” to Washington, D.C. to shake things up!

Is this a great country or what?

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Okay, boys and girls.  It’s time for a lesson in civics.

The fate of legalized abortion rests with you – the voters.  Yeah, that might sound kind of corny but it’s true.

Let’s talk about whether or not abortion will remain legal in this country.  It drives me nuts when I hear someone say that Roe v Wade is “settled law.”  That’s total bull crap.  No, it’s double bull crap.

That issue of whether or not abortion will remain legal in this country ultimately rests with the U.S. Supreme Court.  Sure, the Congress could theoretically pass a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v Wade, but they tried that in the early 1980’s and got crushed.  They ain’t gonna try it again for a very, very long time.

So, the anti-abortion crowd has to look to the Supreme Court for assistance.  At this point, there are 6 members of the Court (out of 9) that appear to support legal abortion.  That includes Justices Sotomayer and Kagan, who have not voted on the issue publicly but who we assume are pro-choice.  I say it “appears” that we have six votes because most people count Justice Anthony Kennedy as pro-choice.  The problem is he is a wild card and has supported abortion restrictions.  Then there are three solid votes against legal abortion.  So far, so good.  The home team is up 6-3.

But let’s say that Kennedy suddenly starts having reservations about legal abortion for some reason.  If he switched, that brings the score to 5-4 in favor of Roe v Wade.  Then, jump to the year 2012 and suppose that President Obama is defeated for re–election, which is a distinct possibility at this point.  So, all of a sudden we have a President Palin or Gingrich (hand me the barf bag, please) to deal with come January, 2013.  Then, let’s say that one of our solid votes dies or resigns from the Court.  Justice Ginsburg, who is old and ill, comes to mind.  That means that the new right wing President suddenly has an opportunity to appoint a conservative judge who would be in favor of reversing Roe.  That makes if 5-4 for the bad guys.

Now, please don’t tell me that the Supreme Court relies very heavily on “precedent.”   That’s garbage.  The Supreme Court, as we saw in the Gore-Bush election case, is now a very partisan institution.  These are not sage, respected jurists who sit back with an open mind, then research the issue and hand down their opinion.  No, they already know how they feel about the basic issues and when a case comes before them they just pretend to listen to the oral arguments, then they go back to their chambers, tell their clerks what their decision is and instruct them to figure out the reasoning.

So, the bottom line is whether or not we have a pro-choice President or not.

And that’s entirely up to you.

Abortion

Abortion

Yesterday, to escape this blasted heat, I went into Washington, D.C. to catch an exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings that had been donated by Stephen Speilberg and George Lucas.  It was nice just taking my time walking around, examining every amazing detail in Rockwell’s works.

At one point I came across a piece entitled “Free Speech.”  The piece focuses on one man, standing in the middle of a crowd.  The caption next to the painting said this was a man who disagreed with the crowd on some issue, but his opponents were listening to him intently, respecting his right to say what was on his mind even though they ultimately would not support him.   I was almost brought to tears.

Today, of course, that person would have been shouted down, totally discounted as some nut ball by his opponents.  That’s just where we are as a society these days.  We just don’t listen anymore.  Worse, when someone tries to suggest something contrary to our beliefs, we try to silence him with harsh words, with guffaws, with rolling eyes, as if this person could never say anything that was remotely of some benefit.

Of course, we see this kind of behavior all the time in the abortion debate.  Indeed, the harsh back and forth is probably more pronounced when discussing the abortion issue than any other issue.  We are so locked into our beliefs, the battle lines are drawn oh-so-clearly and you cannot cross them lest you be accused of ceding some valuable territory to the opposition.  Just watch an abortion debate on television.  You know exactly what I mean.  It’s a constant screaming match.    “Abortion is murder!”   “A woman has the right to control her body!”   And on and on and on.

No one is communicating.  They’re just yelling over each other.  Actually, years ago I stopped watching these “debates.”

I’m pro-choice, I’ve worked for pro-choice organizations for years.  But, much to the chagrin of many of my colleagues, years ago I started reaching out to pro-life people in an attempt to try to get inside their head, to learn more about them and, hopefully, to allow them to learn more about me .  I actually started engaging the other side after I learned that a number of the abortion clinics that I represented engaged in the same discussions with their local anti-abortion activists.

At the same time, I challenged my pro-choice colleagues to address the tougher questions about abortion.  When I visited the clinics, I talked to the women and it became clear to me that they were not there to make a statement about their constitutional rights or to promote some feminist ideology.  They were there because they were in a difficult situation and they needed help.  They also had to deal with something that pro-choice organizations would rather not address – they were carrying a baby that they didn’t want.   I soon discovered that the bottom line was that abortion is all so complicated.

So, amidst the screaming and yelling, the women continue to seek abortion services.  I think that anti-abortion folks owe these women more respect and the pro-choice activists should not try to reduce this issue to a simple bumper sticker.  Both sides should listen more to the other side with the goal of having a civil debate about abortion – kinda like that group in the Normal Rockwell painting.

 

Abortion Pill

Abortion

I’ve been told that one of the tricks to making a blog more visible is to mention the keyword that you are dealing with as often as you can.  In this case, of course, the word is ABORTION.   If you mention a word like ABORTION as often as possible, it gets indexed better, or it gets picked by the Googles or something happens that is good.   I don’t get it.  ABORTION.

 

So, I try to come up with an ABORTION topic every few days but I gotta tell you that this has been an incredibly sucky week for me and I don’t have the energy to write about ABORTION or the anti-ABORTION people or late term ABORTION.  I just want this ABORTION of a week to end.

It started late Saturday night when my 20 year old son, who I did not ABORT, complained of severe stomach pains.  Ultimately, we took him to our local hospital, which does not do ABORTIONS, and he sat there for four hours.  Fortunately, I talked over the phone to my good friend, Doctor Scott, and he made us feel a little better about his situation.  My son ultimately survived, unlike the fetus during an ABORTION.

Then the next day, I got hit with the same stomach cramps.  They felt much like the cramps you get when you have a non-surgical ABORTION.  I got feverish, had the runs like you wouldn’t believe.  I spent hours and hours in the bathroom.  Probably the most annoying thing was every time I made my trek to the porcelain God, my stupid dog followed me in and just stared at me.  Do they perform ABORTIONS on dogs?  All she wanted to do was play with her damned rubber toy.  Hey, dog, get outta my face!  Can’t you see I’m peeing through my butt here?

The next few days were a blur, like the days following an ABORTION.  One day I just took Nyquil and slept for 24 straight hours.  I mean, I missed everything.  We could have been hit with a nuclear bomb and I wouldn’t have known it.  It was surreal.

Then, of course, to add insult to injury there was the heat.  It got as hot around here as a saline ABORTION (which they don’t do anymore, by the way).  Here in Virginia, it climbed over 100 degrees, there was no rain, the air did not move, everything turned brown in three days.  We broke records.   And some folks are still telling me there’s no global warming issue.  Those folks should be ABORTED.

By Wednesday night, I was able to eat some unbuttered toast and hot tea.  Hurray!  Finally, something solid in my stomach.  Five minutes later, I threw it up.

Have I mentioned ABORTION lately?

This morning, however, I feel like I’m turning the corner.  I feel like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, that a new day is dawning.  The temperature has dropped to a lovely 98 degrees and we actually had a 27 second cloudburst this morning.  The birds are chirping again.  I feel like my life is back on track.   Kinda like after you’ve had an ABORTION.

Jeferson Abortion

Abortion Pills

I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe Fourth of July.  Of course, when we think of Independence Day we no doubt think about our basic freedoms that were articulated so elegantly in the Declaration of Independence.   We think wistfully of our Founding Fathers, debating back and forth for months upon end in the steaming heat of that Philadelphia summer.

Or, I could be wrong.

Maybe most folks just think about tossing firecrackers at passing automobiles from the parkway overhang or pigging out on beer and hot dogs.  Or maybe Independence Day is that Will Smith movie where the aliens blew up the White House.  You decide.  As for me, thinking me-self a scholar of sorts, I will take the high road.

We all know by now that the word “abortion” is not in the Declaration of Independence or in the U.S. Constitution.  Indeed, I am no expert but I’ll venture to guess that the word never even came up during the deliberations over those two historic documents.    Now, the pro-lifers will say: “Wake up, Pat, the framers were thinking about abortion when they wrote that we are guaranteed “LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”    So, there’s the proof that Jefferson, Franklin, et al were opposed to abortion.   That’s a bunch of horse dung and everyone knows it.   Chances are that when Jefferson read that line aloud to the delegates, they all looked at him and said “good line, Tommy, let’s get on with it” and there was no discussion after that.  They had more important things to discuss, like the question of slavery.

Ultimately, as we all know, on January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the landmark Roe v Wade decision.  Ironically, the decision was not the headline of the day because on that same day President Lyndon Baines Johnson died.  In the Roe decision, the Court said basically said that the constitutional right to privacy extended to the right of a woman to obtain an abortion.  Yes, the word “privacy” cannot be found anywhere in the original Constitution but that document is a living document, our interpretation of it evolves (if it didn’t, blacks would still be using separate bathrooms) and in previous decisions the Court had determined that married couples had a right to privacy when it came to birth control.  So, this decision took that right one step further.

In so many words, Blackmun and the 6 other justices who joined him, said that a woman could have an abortion through the second trimester with basically no questions asked.  After the fetus became viable, the states could impose restrictions (which most of them have).  Thus started the abortion wars.  The pro-life movement was born, the battle lines were drawn and the public was subjected to decades of dueling bumper stickers.

Interestingly, the ONLY time the pro-life movement was able to force a vote reversing the Roe v Wade decision was in 1983, when the Senate overwhelming defeated the Hatch Constitutional Amendment.  It was not even close.  While pro-life forces needed 67 votes to pass the Amendment, they didn’t even get a majority.  The final vote was 49 in favor and 51 against.  Since then, despite the fact that pro-life Congressmen have chaired important committees (e.g., Cong. Henry Hyde chaired the House Judiciary Committee), no similar measure has ever been considered by the Congress.    The bottom line is that the pro-life movement just does not have the votes to outlaw abortion.    So, we’re in good shape there.

But watch out for the Supreme Court, folks.  That’s another story.

Abortion Manson

Manson should have Been Aborted

Okay, right up front – a confession.   Had a great day today, beautiful outside, just opened up a nice bottle of Southern Comfort and have imbibed generously.  So, if you catch some typos in this slightly unusual blog, too bad…

Anti-abortion folks like to argue that when we abort a fetus, we could be aborting the next Mozart or Einstein or Britney Spears.   They say the next abortion could have been the person who found the cure for cancer or who assassinated the founder of Fox News.   Of course, they fail to mention that we also could be aborting the next Hitler or Sarah Palin, but that’s beside the fact, right?

But this got me to thinking about aborting real people.  What if I could go back in time, like in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and convince the mother of some person to abort them?   Who would I pick?  Go back, go back, go……..

So, to begin with, and in the interests of being politically correct, I’d pick Charles Manson, the 9-11 terrorists and their buddy Bin Laden, Lee Harvey Oswald, Ted Bundy, the guy who started the plague and Mark David Chapman.   Sure, there are probably hundreds of others and I welcome your input, but that’s my first team off the top of my head.  Okay, now let’s get really personal.

Mrs. Bell, my third grade teacher.   You’re outta here!   She made that year at Captree Elementary School a living hell for me.   She screamed and yelled and generally terrorized me and my classmates for the whole year.  She made me stand in the corner of the room for 4 straight hours because she thought I was talking too much.  She would regularly come up behind me and – WHAM – slap me on the head with her ruler.  I woke up every morning with a stomach ache because of her.    Abort Mrs. Bell.

Then let’s abort that Board of Directors that fired me years ago from a wonderful job where I thought I was doing wonderful work.   Totally out of the blue, no warning, nothing.   Just a mysterious morning email that said “Pat, we need to talk to day.  It’s serious.”   The Board had decided it was time for a change.  I was making good money, had been there forever, was really making a difference and – WHAM – you’re outta there!  Had to go home that night and tell the family that I was out.  Horrible, horrible, stuff.  Abort them all.  Well, not all of them cause since then I’ve made up with a few of them.  But there are a few….

While we’re at it, abort Sandy Koufax.   For years and years, my beloved New York Yankees won World Series after World Series, giving me neighborhood bragging rights.  But in the first game of the 1963 World Series, we faced Koufax, who was pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  And in that first game he beat us handily, breaking the record for most strikeouts in a World Series game.  He totally embarrassed my team and, by extension, me.   We never recovered and lost the Series in four straights friggin games.   The Yanks didn’t recover for years.    Sure, he’s a nice guy but – Abort Koufax.

Abort anyone who smokes.   Growing up in New York, my house was a virtual smokehouse.  Everyone smoked, including the dog.  They smoked at the dinner table, they smoked in bed, they smoked in the hospital while they were visiting a relative dying of lung cancer.  Smoke, smoke, smoke.  I was the only one who didn’t smoke.  But I know the secondhand smoke is gonna get me one day, I just know it.  The Big C.  Adios, amigos.

Anyone who goes slow in the left lane – abort those turkeys!  I mean, who the hell was their driving instructor?  There they are, going 50 miles an hour in the “passing lane,” in a virtual coma, with me and twenty other cars ready to put it into fifth gear.  But they are oblivious.   I honk my horn till I’m blue in the face and they are in la – la land.  Abort them, abort those suckers while they’re driving.

I could go on and on:  the creator of reality shows, anyone who likes cats, people who read their blackberries while they’re talking to you, the inventor of the Pet Rock, the entire cast of “Mamma Mia,” and, yes, Rush Limbaugh.

Oh, there are so many others.  Maybe I’ll copy Neal Horsley and start my own hit list.

Dunkle a Killer Lives Here - Arrow pointing at himself

Dunkle a Killer Lives Here - Arrow pointing at himself

Every time I write a new blog, it engenders a lot of conversation.   Indeed, it seems that lately there are more and more people responding to my stuff and, honestly, my head starts spinning as I try to keep up with the threads and the incessant questioning.  You see, for the most part we have one anti-abortion person who is gutsy enough to put himself out there and to respond as well as he can to the numerous questions posed by those who support abortion rights.  But over the last week or so, a question has been posed that I want to highlight today.

It seems that this anti-abortion activist spends a lot of time protesting at various clinics in the Allentown/Reading area of Pennsylvania.   He also, however, spends every third Sunday of the month standing in front of the house of a young woman who is the Director of the Allentown Women’s Center.  I don’t know exactly what this guy does outside the house, but I picture him holding some kind of sign designed to bring attention to her neighbors that she works in an abortion clinic.  Now, let’s think about this…

First, there is a very good chance that her neighbors already know that she works at a clinic. Indeed, in my experience most abortion clinic workers, owners and doctors usually tell their neighbors about their work, especially if they are expecting some kind of protest.  Generally, the neighbors react very well, no matter what their position on abortion.  While they may not support abortion rights, they also do not want their neighborhood disrupted, especially if someone is holding up an ugly or graphic sign.

Second, and perhaps most important to me, is the question of what does this anti-abortion activist expect to accomplish?   His ultimate goal, his lifelong dream, is to stop “the American Holocaust,” to “save babies.”  Fair enough.  That’s his right and, indeed, I defend his right to be outside someone’s house in protest.

But let’s take this scenario a step further.  Let’s say that this person succeeds and one morning the young woman announces that she cannot take it anymore and that she is leaving the clinic.  Praise Jesus!   The protestor has succeeded!

Upon hearing the news, the owner of the clinic gets very upset.  After all, the young woman has been at the Allentown Women’s Center for many years, has done a lot of good work, has helped thousands of women in need.  She has been a voice not just for the clinic but for national abortion rights groups as well.  She will be sorely missed.   The going away party will be a sad occasion.

And minutes after the clinic owner gets the word, he or she will put the word out that the Allentown Women’s Center is looking for a new Director.   Within a month or so (perhaps shorter in this economic climate), the owner will find a new person to run the clinic. During this time, however, the assistant director will take up much of the load or the owner might even come in and help out.  Meanwhile, the patients will have no idea that the young woman has left.  They really don’t care, to tell you the truth.  And the number of patients that use the clinic in a regular basis will not be affected at all.  In other words, NO BABIES WILL BE SAVED.  The protestor will not be one step closer to his goal.

So, exactly why is this person standing outside of this young woman’s house?

Let’s talk about the “Nuremberg Files.”

Just go to www.christiangallery.com and you’ll see this graphic and wacky website.  It was created years ago by some yahoo named Neal Horsley and for years it struck fear in the heart of many a pro-choicer.    Then, there were some of us who actually found it quite amusing.  More about that later.

I recall we first got wind of this site right after Doctor David Gunn was murdered in Pensacola in 1993.    The site is a list of abortion doctors, clinic staff, clinic owners, pro-choice legislators and leaders of pro-choice groups.  The list was supposedly a list of people who would be “brought to trial when abortion became illegal.”    You know, like the Nuremberg trials.  To add flavor, the site is adorned with lots of red, dripping blood.

What got everyone’s attention was that soon after David Gunn was killed his name, which had been on the list of doctors, had a mysterious line drawn through it.  The pro-choice community went nuts.  Look, they cried in horror, it’s a hit list!  They’re gonna get us all!   The feds jumped all over it but couldn’t do much about it.  Then, the next year, Doctor Baird Britton was murdered by Paul Hill and, oh my God, his name suddenly had a line through it!  The pro-choice community couldn’t believe what was happening, they begged the federal government to shut down this website which they alleged was encouraging, if not commanding, less than normal people to go out and kill those who were on the list.

Mass hysteria paralyzed the pro-choice community.

But then there were those of us who were privately laughing about the whole thing.  Those who had been regularly harassed, terrorized and stalked for years just looked at this list and chuckled.  Then we started comparing notes and found it amusing that some of the folks on the list had retired years earlier or had died years before from natural causes.  We also laughed that anti-choice legislators like Senator Bob Dole were on the list for some bizarre reason.

Still, the media had something sexy.  They had a legal “hit list” and, as a result, Neal Horsley became an overnight talk show sensation.  Or course, he denied that it was a hit list, but he was smart enough to sound like it was one without risking an indictment.  And he knew the pro-choice community was scared shitless.

As for me, I was at the National Coalition of Abortion Providers at the time and I was ticked off that my name was not on the list.   After all, all my colleagues were on it:  Susan Hill, George Tiller, Eleanor Smeal and others.  How come I wasn’t important enough to be on the list?  Others in the field who were not on the list had the same reaction.

So, I picked up the phone and called Neal Horsley, who lived in Georgia at the time.  He didn’t answer but I left a message asking him to please put me on his list.  A few days later, I was on it!

I was back home with my friends.

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