Abortion Pill


Abortion

Abortion

On the previous blog by my friend, “Blogginfem,” an interesting discussion ensued about the use of graphic images by pro-life and pro-choice advocates.  We are all very familiar with the images of “aborted fetuses” that appear at pro-life rallies and protests.  In response, the pro-choice folks tend to discount the photos, suggesting that they are really “only” miscarriages, that the fetus is too far formed, that’s it’s a fetus that was found in Canada, as if that makes a difference.  At the same time, there are the images of women lying in a pool of their own blood after attempting to self abort.  The pro-lifers then dutifully pooh pooh the images as well.

The discussion made me wonder if these images have any kind of effect on the abortion debate?

Abortion

Abortion

Let’s take the fetus pictures first.  I’ll be honest.  In the years that I represented abortion providers, I never looked very closely at those pictures.  First of all, I get grossed out pretty easily.  I can’t watch horror movies, don’t like the sight of blood, don’t look at pictures of the kids starving in the Sudan.  So, I’ve never really examined those photos for “accuracy.”  But the bottom line is that I have seen in person the results of a late second trimester abortion and some of those pictures displayed by pro-lifers look pretty darn close to what I’ve seen in person.  Let’s face it – abortion is not pretty and pro-choicers would be better off just admitting that at some point in the pregnancy the fetus is rather well-developed and, despite that, the abortion doctor is still going to do what the woman has asked him to do.  Yes, the vast, vast majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester but the pro-lifers are doing what any other interest group in the country does – they focus on the extreme.

Abortion

Abortion

Today, when you go to a pro-life event, there’s always someone holding these graphic pictures (and they are usually the octogenarians in the movement) and it’s possible that someone who is passing by might be disturbed enough to “convert” right on the spot.  But the battle over abortion rights will be fought in the middle and without having conducted some kind of poll, my gut tells me that when someone who hasn’t given the issue much thought sees these pictures, their first reaction is probably to avoid looking at it and their second reaction is total disgust that a group of perhaps well-meaning advocated forced them (and perhaps the children in the car) to be dragged into this very difficult issue.  And that’s where I think the pro-lifers are making a strategic mistake.  Indeed, at the last few protests I’ve attended, I’ve seen fewer signs like these.  Perhaps their movement is getting smarter.

I’ll write about the use of “pro-choice” signs in the future but, for now, I think advocates of abortion rights should just stop wasting time on this particular issue.  First of all, it’s free speech.  The signs may be ugly, they may not represent the “normal” abortion, they may even be inaccurate.  But they are protected by the First Amendment.  Second, their use might be actually working against the pro-life movement.  And, third, we are always quick to argue that abortion is a woman’s choice.  Well, it’s a woman’s choice to look at the picture or not.  I trust women to be able to sort out the truth and to make the right decision.

Abortion Congress

Abortion Congress

No matter what your position on the abortion issue, I think we can all agree that our government is virtually paralyzed.  No one can get anything done and the simple explanation is those “special interests” that focus just on their particular issue.  Indeed, just about every group that does some lobbying rates Members of Congress and come election time everyone runs to see if he or she has that vaunted 100 percent voting record on their issue.  If they don’t, watch out.  Lemme give you a good example.

One of my best friends is a Congressman from Virginia.  He’s been around for many years, I’ve worked on his campaign, donated money, etc.  When he ran for Congress the first time he did something unusual – he actually ran commercials highlighting how he was pro-choice.  He won that race and in the years after that, he earned a 100 percent voting record with the National Abortion Rights Action League.   And every time a new campaign cycle came around, he received the maximum $5,000 contribution from NARAL.

Then one day, while I was at the office of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, he gave me a call.  “Pat, what the hell is this partial birth abortion thing?”   As readers of this blog know, the “partial birth abortion” procedure as dubbed by pro-lifers, entailed pulling the live fetus down the birth canal, removing the contents of the cranium to deflate the skull, then removing the fetus from the canal.  The doctor who developed this technique explained it was designed for women with small birth canals.  Well, the shit hit the fan when the anti-abortion movement discovered this procedure.  And folks like my friend in Congress, who is Catholic, were horrified.

I explained to him as much as I could about this procedure but he was clearly uncomfortable. Then, to his credit, he told me bluntly that he felt he had to vote to ban the procedure and, as much as I was disappointed, I actually admired how he had examined this issue based on the individual merits.

Ultimately, the votes were cast and he voted to ban the procedure.  At that point, it did not become law because President Clinton vetoed the bill.  The ban later became law under President Bush.

And in the next election cycle, the NARAL-PAC gave him NO money.

One vote and his 100% record was gone – and his “friends” felt they had to punish him for daring to vote against them.  As we know, several pro-choice Members of Congress did the same, including Senator Daniel Moynihan and Representative Patrick Kennedy.

This is how Washington, D.C. works folks.  Either you toe the line or watch your back.  And this is why nothing ever gets done.

Salvi Abortion

Salvi Abortion

On December 30, 1994, an anti-abortion zealot named John Salvi walked into two clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts and killed two abortion clinic workers. He wounded five others. There had been other murders, of course, but this one was different because Mr. Salvi went in not necessarily targeting the doctor. It was just a random massacre of people who were there to help women.

As a staff person for the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, I was at the Baltimore Aquarium when I got the call about the murders. On an empty tank of gas, my younger son and I sped back to the office in Alexandria and we started the drill. We gathered as much accurate information as possible (not an easy task) and issued a broadcast fax to several hundred clinics across the country. We got them the information because they needed to be prepared when their local media showed up at their door for comments. I was never presumptuous enough to suggested talking points. These folks were in danger every day of their life – they knew what to say.

I gave a few interviews as well. The one I remember most clearly was when I was flown to New York City to be on Good Morning America. Things were crazy for a while, even though they caught Mr. Salvi rather quickly after he unsuccessfully tried to shoot up one of our clinics in Norfolk, Virginia.

About a week later, an agent from the FBI called and asked to meet with me. He came to the office a few days later and he expressed concern that this latest shooting spree was something different in that it targeted “ancillary personnel.” He added that it might inspire another terrorist to “up the ante” and go after others that were peripherally involved in the abortion issue, like pro-choice advocates. My first reaction was that high profile advocates like Eleanor Smeal with the Feminist Majority Foundation and Kate Michelman with the National Abortion Rights Action League certainly deserved protection. But, although I was a relatively low profile advocated, the fact that I had been on Good Morning America caused the FBI some concern. I started envisioning a federal marshal sitting in my office every day and going with me to the local book store. But, instead, the agent just said that “you need to protect yourself.” I wasn’t sure what he was talking about and when I asked him directly he said “you might think about getting a gun.”

More Guns in AMerica than People

Anti Abortion Christians Love Guns

Now, I am totally anti-gun. If I could I would take every one away from every American, the NRA be damned. So, when he made the suggestion, I just had to laugh. Ultimately, however, they frightened me enough and a few days later I walked literally across the street where there was a small little gun shop. Hey, I live in Virginia, what can I tell ya?

I walked in and told the crust ole guy behind the counter about my situation and he calmly started talking about twenty twos or twenty threes or whatever, how certain guns feel in the palm of your hand, how you intend to use them, firing power, cost. My friggin head was spinning. Then he suggested I try holding a few guns just to “get the feel.” When he handed me the first one – a real live gun – my hand started to shake and I started sweating palpably. It’s one thing to play guns as a kid, using a stick as an imaginary AK 47, wiping out the bad guys. It’s another thing to hold a weapon that, once loaded, can actually kill a person. I imagined how I would actually use it to defend myself, where I would have to keep it on my person. I thought about having to be so aware of my surroundings that if a would-be assassin crept up behind me, I would be able to calmly turn around, whip the gun out of my pants, cock the pistol, aim and shoot before he shot me. In a more likely scenario, I visualized walking down the street at night and having an old school buddy tap me on my back to say hello. Oh yeah, I’m cool enough to tell the difference between a prolife assassin and my ole baseball buddy!

I dropped the whole idea pretty quickly. My family and I, however, did take precautions. When an unidentified box was delivered to our office one day, I called the police, they brought the dogs and after watching it for an hour, they opened the box, only to find a bottle of wine. And when Doctor Bart Slepian was later killed while standing in front of his window in his home, we kept all of our blinds closed for months and remained very aware of who might be outside in our wooded lot. In a way, it was good for me to go through these exercises as it reminded me what our abortion doctors and their staff were going through on a daily basis. They have to be aware of the cowards who might sneak up behind them or who might be stalking in the woods. These pro-life assassins should only have half as much courage as these doctors.

Abortion

Abortion

Last week I opined about the future of the pro-choice movement in response to the announcement that the head of NARRAL, Nancy Keenan, was stepping down to make room for the next generation of pro-choicers. I said I would talk a little more about what the movement could do to energize the young folks who, according to some polls, are more pro-life than pro-choice.

To me, the first issue is where exactly are we?  I mean, who is winning?

I’m not even sure how to answer that question because I don’t know how you judge.   But I’ll give it a try.

Keenan Abortion

Keenan Abortion

To me, the first thing I’d look at is whether abortion is still safe and legal?   After all, that is what we were hoping for when the Supreme Court was considering Roe v Wade, right?   When the decision came down, we were very happy, although a few pro-choicers were apparently miffed that some restrictions were imposed by the court.  Sure, today Roe v Wade is under siege, as it always will be.  There are these “personhood” amendments, most of which have failed.  But one might make it to the Court and if it got there soon, we’d win but only by a slim margin. Meanwhile, for the most part., women still have access to abortions.  Sure, if you live in Montana, it might take a little more effort to get one but specialized medical care of any nature is probably difficult to access in such a rural state.  No, the plain fact is that women can get abortions so in that regard we are “winning.”

Abortion

Abortion

Meanwhile, those fundraising letters that say the sky is falling refer to the incredible amount of activity taking place on the state level.  The vaginal ultrasound bills, clinic regulations that are really let’s close the clinic bills, parental consent, etc.  There’s a lot going on but because some of these things actually pass, does it mean we are losing?  Not necessarily.  Sure, it will only make it harder for some women to obtain abortions and make it more expensive.  And we have to fight them with all the energy we can muster.  But, in determining whether or not we are winning, I would say that a woman who needs an abortion in this country can still get one.

Once we’ve had that discussion, if I were there at the NARAL offices strategizing about how we can garner even more support for our position, particularly amongst the younger generation.  And, as I’ve said in the past, is ditch the old, weathered and nonsensical “choice” mantra.  What?  Do you think most 21 year olds, men or women, know what “choice” even means?  I’ll tell you this – my bank uses the phrase, suggesting that we have a “choice” in banks.  I’ve seen it used elsewhere.  The term has been co-opted and by using it over and over again, we lose sight of our main goal – to preserve safe and legal ABORTION.

Indeed, just recently I read about a fundraiser that NARAL is having on May 24 and it’s called the “Power of Choice” reception.  Putting aside the verbiage for a second, the thing that got me was that the celebrities hosting the event are Sally Kellerman and Amy Madigan, among other octogenarians.  Do you think anyone under 50 knows who Sally Kellerman is?   This is not the way to pass the mantle on to the younger generation.

Meanwhile, the antis use the word abortion all the time and our silence or worse, our “choice” response, is killing us.  It’s getting us nowhere.  I’m sorry, it’s just not sexy enough – and that’s what you need to get people’s attention.

So, I’d ditch “choice.”   Where I would go after that, well, I don’t have the energy at this time nor the space.  I gotta think more about that…

Abortion

Abortion

I want to talk about two pro-choice people who have been in the news lately.

The first is a pro-choice activist named Ted Shulman.  It seems that this turkey recently pled guilty to making death threats against Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Princeton Professor Robert George.  He could face up to 51 months in federal custody and will be sentenced on September 12.  He has called himself the “first pro-choice terrorist.”

Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’ve done some research and am bothered that I have not seen the major pro-choice groups condemning this nut ball.  For many, many years we have been quick to criticize the pro-life movement when they seem to disappear when one of their own engages in acts of violence or, if they do condemn the action, it is always with the caveat that “if the abortionist did not engage in the act of killing himself perhaps this would not have happened” or words to that effect.

Well, this pro-choicer is not going to play games with something as serious as this.  Let me for the record condemn the actions of Mr. Shulman and I hope he does serve his time.  What this guy did was wrong – period.

Abortion

Abortion

The other person I want to talk about is Nancy Keenan, the Executive Director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights League, who recently announced that she will be leaving the organization after the November presidential elections.

Interestingly, Nancy said she is moving on because it’s time to let the “younger folks” take over the reins.  Now, Nancy is only 60 years old which, to me at least, still seems “not very old” but she makes a good point.

Many years ago, I was the Director of Government Affairs for NARAL.  Literally two days after I joined the staff, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a constitutional amendment overturned Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion.  During that time, millions of dollars rolled into the NARAL office and it seemed like every day we were hiring a new staff person.  Meanwhile, there were rallies all across the country, marches on Washington, television commercials.  It was a very exciting time and many younger folks were engaged in the debate.

Ultimately, we won the battle as we defeated the amendment handily.  But, once we turned back the threat to legal abortion, many of those activists left the movement and moved on to other issues.  That is ironic down side when you win something.

Then, in the ensuing years the Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress and the state legislatures started chipping away at Roe but those battles weren’t “sexy” enough to get all the troops revved up again.  There was no prominent “devil” to focus on.  On the other hand, the pro-life movement always had the fetus to keep its attention so they kept the pressure up.  Later the clinic protest movement grew bigger as some decided to take the battle to the streets, right at the spot where “babies were being killed.”

Polls can always be deceiving but generally it does appear that there are more young folks involved in the pro-life movement than the pro-choice movement.  One possible reason is that they now have their “devil” in Barack Obama, who they like to call the “most pro-abortion President in our history.”

Frankly, if I were back at NARAL, I’m not sure what I would do to try to get the younger generation more energized.  They certainly don’t remember the old days of illegal abortion and campaigns to try to remind them have failed.  Meanwhile, it’s hard to get energized about a right that they have grown up with.

Nancy has the right idea.  But she and NARAL have a tough task ahead.

Misogynist Phil Bryant

Misogynist Phil Bryant

I practically peed in my pants when I heard this one.

Recently, the Governor of the great state of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, was asked about a new law he just signed that would require all doctors who perform abortions to be board-certified OB-GYNs and have admitting privileges at a local hospital. It could ultimate force the only clinic in the state to shut down.
When asked about the law, he started ranting about abortion and, at one point, he actually said the following about people who run or work at abortion clinics: “…their one mission in life is to abort children, is to kill children in the womb.”
I’m not sure where to start with this one. My first reaction was does this guy think that abortion doctors and staff have all gotten together and adopted a mission statement which declares that “our goal is to abort children, to seek out those little fetuses and tie the woman down to the table and get that kid and kill it. We vow that nothing will detract us from our mission!”

Mississippi Dumb

Mississippi Dumb

Does this dork – an actual governor of an actual state in these United States of America – really believe that abortion providers wake up in the morning with this “mission” on their mind? For gosh’s sakes, Gov, get real.

I’ll let you in on a not so very secret. When these doctors and staff are driving to their clinic, they are generally thinking of one thing. They are thinking about how they are going to help a number of women that day – women who have sought out their services, women who if they have to will literally climb over hundreds of abortion protestors who are trying to block them from getting into the abortion clinic. They are thinking of the women who will travel hundreds of miles to find that clinic and who will walk in the front door aware that at any moment, they could be blown up. That’s the real mission of these doctors and their courageous staff. They are not thinking about killing “children in the womb.”

Abortion Mississippi

Abortion Mississippi

Now, if the Governor is insinuating that the doctors are in it for the money, that they want to “kill children” to make the big bucks, well, I’ve written before. The fact is that abortion clinics are also businesses. Many years ago, after abortion was legalized, a number of doctors identified a dramatic need in this country, i.e., hundreds and thousands of women who wanted a legal abortion. So, they set up abortion clinics – and that cost money. Then, lo and behold, they learned that it also took money to operate the clinic! So, they determined that if they wanted to remain available to those women, they had to charge a fee for their service. But, somewhere along the line, some anti-abortion advocates came up with the notion that these services should have been performed for free and it gave them yet another bumper sticker line, that abortion doctors were “making money off of dead babies.”

I could go on and on. But I grow weary of idiots, yes, idiots like this Governor who try to use their position of power and responsibility to stir things up. And, of course, when the next abortion doctor is killed, the Governor will avoid the questions and blame it on someone else.

Shame on you, Governor.

Paul Hill Convicted Anti Abortion Pro Life Christian Murderer

Paul Hill Convicted Anti Abortion Pro Life Christian Murderer

It might have come down to a simple question mark.

On July 29, 1994  anti-abortion advocate Paul Hill killed Doctor John Britton and his body guard, James Barrett, as they pulled into the parking lot of the Ladies Center in Pensacola, Florida. Hill just calmly walked up to the pick-up truck, took out a shotgun and, aware that the Doctor was wearing a bullet proof vest, shot him in the face. Hill was quickly arrested, tried and convicted. He died by lethal injection on Sept 3, 2003.

Several months before the murders, I was at the White House when President Bill Clinton signed into law the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. That law prohibited the “use of physical force, threat of physical force, or physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, interfere with …any person who is obtaining reproductive health services or providing…such services.” That law also included language confirming that anti-abortion protestors could exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of prosecution. Of course, how one defined the right to protest was subject to interpretation.

Bill Clinton Abortion Rights Advocate

Bill Clinton Abortion Rights Advocate

Once the law became effective, pro-choice groups started lobbying the Department of Justice to use it against protestors who were considered particularly dangerous. Paul Hill, because he believed that it was “justifiable homicide” to kill an abortion doctor, was very high on the list.

A long-time presence at the Ladies Center, Hill was known for carrying with him a very large sign that read: “EXECUTE MURDERERS ABORTIONISTS ACCESSORIES?” The sign caught the attention of many in the media, it intimidated patients and it terrified the clinic staff. When the National Coalition of Abortion Providers held a memorial service for Doctor David Gunn at the site of his murder in March, 1994, Paul Hill was quietly walking back and forth with that very sign.

Pro Lifer Murder Threat Today!

Pro Lifer Murder Threat Today!

Pro-choice groups were very concerned about Hill (as were some anti-abortion advocates), but the lawyers at the DOJ were not sure what they could do about him. In June, 1994 I had a conversation with one of their attorneys and he said that he had not crossed the Free Speech line because he was not saying out loud “I am going to kill a doctor.” Instead, he was “merely” expressing his views on the issue, i.e., saying that he thought it was “justified” to kill an abortion doctor. When I raised the issue of the sign, the attorney directed me to the question mark at the end of the sentence. I had never noticed it. Paul Hill was “merely” posing the question.

Department of Justice

Department of Justice

Was Paul Hill really that smart? Did he understand how far he could push the First Amendment? We’ll never know. We do know, however, that Hill was being watched very carefully by the authorities but that sign – and his very ugly speech – was not actionable.

I often wonder what the authorities might have done if there was no question mark on his sign.

I wonder if a case could have been made under the FACE law?

I wonder if the lives of two people could have been saved?

State Mandated Abortion Ultrasound

State Mandated Abortion Ultrasound

If the barrage of fundraising letters I am getting is any indication, there are a number of serious issues facing the pro-choice movement these days.  Battles are raging in just about every state legislature and every solicitation for money (do they ever write to us to just tell us how things are going?) has a common theme, which is access to abortion services are being restricted.

Whether or not requiring a woman to get an ultrasound before an abortion restricts her access to abortion is a question that I cannot answer at this time.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  But it is no secret that the number of abortion providers/abortion clinics has decreased over the years.  Of course, part of the reason why there are fewer abortion clinics is that the number of abortions has declined and an abortion clinic, like any other business, has to have a certain number of patients to pay the rent, buy supplies, pay staff, etc.   If the number of people using the facility decreases, that facility may be forced to close.  Indeed, in the ideal world, there would be no abortion facilities, right?

State Mandated Abortion Ultrasound

State Mandated Abortion Ultrasound

One thing that has always intrigued me when we talk about access to abortion is how our pro-choice friends bemoan the fact that fewer hospitals are performing abortions.  Well, I gotta tell you that if I were counseling a woman right now, I would tell her stay as far away as possible from any hospital if she was looking for an abortion.  Let me explain.

Abortion is a specialized form of medicine.  It’s not like going to your local orthopedic surgeon to get a lipoma removed.   In that case, you have your quick first meeting, the doc tells you it should be removed, you make your co-pay and you schedule the outpatient surgery.  Two weeks later, the lipoma is gone.  Wham bam, thank you ma’am.

GOP war on Birth Control

GOP war on Birth Control

Even though the surgery is just as simple as having a lipoma removed, a woman seeking an abortion has a lot more to deal with – as do the staff at the abortion clinic.  With variations on the theme, the women receive counseling about the abortion procedure, possible post abortion reactions and they may even delve into other more personal issues if the woman is so inclined.  Then they discuss forms of birth control that the woman might use to prevent her from coming back.  Of course, the patient might also have to deal with the possibility of anti-abortion picketers outside the facility and the stress that that might add to an already stressful situation.   If a woman has received the abortion pill, the staff is on call for the woman through that multi-day process.

Legislator's State of Misogyny

Legislator's State of Misogyny

So, abortion clinic staff and their doctors are used to dealing with women not just from the physical side but the emotional side.  There is even an organization – the National Abortion Federation – that hosts annual meetings where abortion doctors discuss the provision of abortion of abortion services and how to make the experience a more comfortable one for the woman.

Now, think about your last visit to a hospital.   Not very warm and fuzzy, wouldn’t you say?

And if you went in there for an abortion – assuming you found a hospital that does them – you would not be entering a comforting environment.  You surely would not receive any counseling about the procedure, no discussions about how to avoid an abortion in the future, no advice on birth control.  Even worse, you might be working with some staff people who are actually anti-abortion.  Yes, there are conscience clauses out there, but you always run the risk of getting a nurse who is pro-life, so you know they are not going to sit there and hold your hand during the procedure.  The only advantage to going to a hospital might be that there would be no protestors and you’d be in a big waiting room with others and no one would know why you are there.

But I would prefer to go to a place where there are experienced staff people who have dealt with the abortion issue from all angles – the medial and the emotional – than going into a sterile hospital where you’re basically on your own.  .

The average price for an abortion at an abortion clinic is about $350.  Believe me, it’s worth it.

Abortion Law

Abortion Law

Many years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that unmarried people were actually allowed to use birth control.  Can you believe it! Yes, on March 22, 1972 the Court confirmed this outlandish notion in Baird v. Eisenstadt – a case that was seen as the precursor to Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion just a year later.

And now it’s fifty years later.  Since that decision men have walked on the moon, the computer was invented, it was discovered that there are homosexuals in our community, we started drinking non-fat milk and the Red Sox finally won a World Series.  And, amidst all of this progress, today the Republican candidates for President are talking about birth control again.  Talk about going Back to the Future.

Abortion

Abortion

Now, to be fair I have yet to find any of the candidates declare outright that they would “ban birth control,” although that is what many Democrats and left-leaning pundits are suggesting.  But where Rick Santorum, et al made a mistake is that they just started talking about birth control in the context of the Obama health care bill – and their opponents jumped all over it.

Santorum has acknowledged that he and his wife do not use birth control, hence his seven kids.  Good little Catholic he.  And ole Mitt Romney has said, well, I haven’t checked today to see what he said last night.  I’ll get back to ya on that one.  But the fact that they are even talking about this issue boggles my mind, especially in light of the fact that 95% of the Catholics in this country use birth control anyway – the Pope be damned.

R v W March

R v W March

But there is a method to their madness.  They are talking about this issue and religion in general because, to get the Republican nomination, they need to go as far right as possible.  I mean, to the right of Genghis Khan.  You’ve heard the speeches:  “I am a true conservative in this race, I’ve always been a true conservative, I wear conservative shoes and use conservative toothpaste.”  And, early on, they learned that if they just mentioned birth control and religion and Obama’s secret plan to deport every Catholic, the right wingers at the rallies sucked it up big time.  Hey, this is a good stuff, I gotta keep this up!

It’s gotten so crazy that a few days ago Ron Paul made headlines in certain media when he announced that, when he was a practicing Ob-Gyn, he actually – I hope you’re sitting down – PRESCRIBED birth control.  OMG!  A Republican running for President actually participated in this pernicious practice (one, by the way, that would reduce the number of abortions).  Lynch him, cried the Tea Partyers!

Of course, the good news is that all of this talk about birth control – in any context – is welcome news to the Obama gang.  They’re just sitting back and having a hell of a good laugh.  And I’ll betcha anything that they got the commercials in the can right now warning women that the nominee is gonna take away their pills.  The good news is that Republicans talking about that nasty little pill may win them the nomination, but it will lose them the election.  Keep it up, boys.

What happens next time?

What happens next time?

The pro-life terrorist boarded the Greyhound bus in Houston in early March, 1994, carrying two duffel bags stuffed with semiautomatic weapons. His destination was Pensacola, Florida where he planned to conduct what the FBI later described as a “Beruit-style” massacre at a meeting of the members of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers.

Just a year earlier, a pro-life assassin murdered Doctor David Gunn as he was entering the office of the Pensacola Medical Services, one of several facilities where he performed abortions. The murder was national news, casting a pall amongst his colleagues in the field and NCAP members were determined to get to the funeral in Tennessee, but a major snow storm dashed those plans. Months later, abortion clinic staff across the country still yearned to get together for that much- needed “group hug.” Ultimately, NCAP announced it would host a one year anniversary event at the actual site where Doctor Gunn was killed. Right across the street from the clinic was an open air amphitheatre – a perfect spot for a series of speeches and rememberences.

Meanwhile, a pro-life activist named Daniel Ware took notice and made his plans.

The “David Gunn Memorial” went off without a hitch and it was a great opportunity for the approximately 80 abortion doctors, staff and clinic owners to finally get together and console each other. The evening before, however, I received a call informing me that a man had been arrested in Houston who apparently was headed for Pensacola to disrupt our event. No other details were offered and the next morning we told the attendees about the incident but no one seemed too concerned. After all, they lived with the threat of terrorism every day. Instead, they were intent on going to the clinic where David Gunn was killed.

Years later, I was at a conference about how local police forces protect (or don’t protect) abortion clinics. At some point, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times casually mentioned how the FBI had successfully thwarted a “guy named Daniel Ware who was in Pensacola intending to wipe out members of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers at a David Gunn Memorial.” I almost fell off my chair. I had never been told that Ware had actually been in Pensacola while we were there.

I later learned that a pro-life activist had tipped off the FBI that a man was in Pensacola with the intention of killing as many abortion providers as possible during the memorial event. The FBI then started casting a wide net, interviewing numerous local pro-life activists. Although all of the facts are not known, it seems that Daniel Ware got wind that the feds were onto his plot and he immediately turned around and went back to Houston. He was arrested when he got off the bus.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing that someone was in the vicinity of an event you were hosting and he was preparing to kill you. As I celebrated Saint Patty’s Day this weekend, I couldn’t help but thinking about how lucky we all were back in March, 1994.

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