Catholic Murder

Every Thanksgiving I’m reminded of the fairy tales taught in school about pilgrims and Native Americans. All the little hands who make quaint pilgrim hats and “Indian” headbands made of construction paper in November celebrations belie the tragedies foisted upon Native Americans. It’s our shameful heritage that never makes the elementary history books. Contemporary celebrations have long forgotten the Native American genocide in favor of a gluttonous affair that’s packed into one day. It’s the consumerist approach to all things American.  And speaking of consumerism, despite the underhanded attempts to buy the 2012 election, the GOP, drunk on a weird brew of American virtue and Christian Armageddon, refuse to understand the American majority. So, they got a whopping spanking. And I’m thankful for that.
To those in the GOP who blamed the decline of America on homosexuals, abortion, gay marriage, non-believers, separation of church and state, evolution, science, you should know that you are what is wrong with this country. I’m thankful that your draconian ideology didn’t work. I’m very thankful that President Obama won a second term, despite his many foibles.

On a more regional note, I’m thankful to all those who have donated time and money to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Especially, to all the thousands of utility workers from across the nation who left the comfort of their homes, thanks for working such long hours and laboring so diligently to restore power to those without.

And for all things reproductive, to those clinics that endured difficulties to ensure access to women seeking abortions during and following the hurricane, you are heroes to those of us who respect and trust women. Similarly, I’m thankful to technology that can diagnose pregnancy and fetal anomalies earlier than ever. It’s making the battle against later abortions a shrinking target for protesters. I’m also thankful for the contraceptive revolution causing a steep drop in abortion rates through better prevention. And along those lines, I’m thankful for the open conversations about contraception costs and economic justice. All too often economic and class issues are smothered to death by the onslaught of GOP debris.

And speaking of debris, let’s talk about the rubbish over abortion laws. Let us pause for a moment to remember 31 year old Savita Halappanavar, a 17 week pregnant woman/dentist/daughter/neighbor/wife/citizen/friend, who tragically lost her life because she had the unfortunate circumstance to land in an Irish Catholic hospital. The University Hospital Galway demonstrated utter disregard for this young woman’s life by refusing to provide an abortion, a refusal of treatment that is typical of the global culture war on women. Despite the shameful and horrendous circumstances of her death, women and men from around the world have spoken out and stood up against institutions that allow a woman to die because of their bad faith. It’s ironic that for all their propaganda about prolife, the sanctity of life, it’s the Catholic Church that essentially killed Savita. For their solidarity on behalf of Savita and other women here in America and beyond, I am thankful.

I’m thankful, as well, for the women who are using social media to tell their abortion stories. They poignantly reveal the emotional and physical as well as the pragmatic elements of an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. Their stories reject other people’s limited perceptions of them and, thus, counter ignorance as a point of view.

And, last, on a local level, I’m thankful to Harrisburg PA city council for recognizing how the seams of respect have been ripped loose by antiabortion activists and for creating a buffer zone for women entering and leaving abortion clinics. While it is well documented that escorts provide a buffer against the protesters’ shameful departure from civilized norms of society, it’s often not enough to facilitate women’s perceptions of a safe passage.  I can only hope that the rest of the state will follow.

And to all those progressive, philanthropic individuals contributing to abortion funds, reproductive health care associations such as the Abortion Care Network and to the building of a new abortion clinic in the Lehigh Valley, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Emotional Terrorists

It seems that every once in a while, we get a new, energized abortion rights advocate who starts screaming about how every pro-lifer is a “terrorist.”  They usually also add how the Catholic Church has murdered more people than any other religion in the world, but I don’t have the time or energy to research what the Catholic Church has done over the centuries so I don’t opine on those comments.  However, I do have some experience in the world of abortion, so I would like to chat a little about whether or not all pro-lifers are “terrorists.”

I guess the first thing one needs to do is define “terrorist.”  In my head, the true terrorists are, of course, the folks who fly crowded airplanes into buildings, who blow themselves up in crowded market squares and who plot the death of innocent civilians or government workers.  You know who I am talking about:  Bin Laden, Timothy McVeigh, and that nut ball up in Norway who recently killed all of those kids.   Then there are the Micheal Griffins, James Kopps and Paul Hills of the world.  True terrorists, they.

But then, way on the other end of the spectrum, are those pro-lifers who just sit in their house, avoiding all demonstrations and who rarely opine about their position on the abortion issue.  They might pray at home or in church for an end in abortion and send some money to their local pro-life organization, but I have a very tough time calling them “terrorists” and I suspect that most pro-choicers would also be reluctant to affix that label to them.

Where I get stuck is when I think of those folks who go to their local abortion clinic on a regular basis and publicly demonstrate.  Are they “terrorists?”  Let’s talk about their motivations and their actions.

I guess your average protestorgoes to the  clinic in the hopes of stopping an abortion, whether it is by engaging in prayer (don’t even ask me how that would work) or, if they chance, talking one on one with the women as they approach the

Angry Protestors = Terrorism?

abortion facility.  Once they identify the woman, they might start screaming at them.  Some even resort to the use of a bullhorn.  Now, a woman who has made an appointment for an abortion usually is warned by clinic staff that there may be protestors outside so when she sees the anti-abortion folks out front, she knows they smell blood.  Then scream at her that she is “killing your baby!”  They may make a crying baby sound and shriek “Mommy, don’t let them pull my legs off!”  Sometimes it is just a simple “Murderer!”  The woman may have been warned, she may have seen demonstrations on television, but she is rarely prepared for this scene.  And, to top it off, she doesn’t want to be at the clinic in the first place.

Over the years, I have seen this scenario played out in the front of many clinics.  The unique perspective that I have, however, is that on a number of occasions, I have walked with the women passed the protestors into the actual clinic.  Some gave me permission to accompany them through the entire abortion process.  I have seen (and the protestors haven’t) how upset the women are when they sign in, whose blood pressure has risen because they are so angry at these strangers outside the clinic who don’t know her or anything about her personal situation.  I’ve seen women who have already shed a few tears as she contemplated her decision shed even more tears in the waiting room.  And then, after all of the theatrics outside, I’ve then seen them have their abortion.

Not all pro-lifers are terrorists.  That’s a silly statement.  But I would conclude that to the women who walked the anti-abortion gauntlet, who could feel the hatred, who heard the screaming, who would prefer to be just with alone with their loved ones – I would say that those particular women were indeed “terrorized.”

Abortion Terrorist Alleged

Abortion Terrorist Alleged

FBI agents have arrested and charged Justin Carl Moose with describing how to make explosives in his effort to bomb an abortion clinic. The agents found the instructions on Moose’s Facebook page. Moose describes himself as an “extremist, radical” and the “Christian counterpart of Osama bin Laden” according to the FBI. They arrested him in the northwest Concord neighborhood on Tuesday.

Extremism has been on the rise of late with advocates of violence referring to the possibility of “Second Amendment” remedies if the Tea Party does not win Congress this year, and at least one Tea Party member threatening to put a bullet in the head of the leader of Delaware’s GOP. The FBI was alerted about Moose’s plans by Planned Parenthood and the FBI began an investigation into that Facebook page which advocated the use of extreme violence against abortion providers. Last week, he began collaborating with a confidential informant in crafting a plan to bomb an abortion clinic in North Carolina. Moose was, apparently, also in communication with others who advocate violence against abortion clinics.



Among the targets of Moose’s anger were abortion doctors, President Barack Obama’s health care plan, and the plans to build the so-called Ground Zero Mosque in New York City. He also expressed his support for anyone killing abortion providers. According to the affidavit, he stated on his page “Whatever you may thing about me, you’re probably right. . .Extremist, Radical, Fundamentalist…? Yep! Terrorist…? Well, I prefer the term ‘freedom Fighter.’

According to the affidavit he also wrote “The Death Care Bill passed last night. Keep your phone and rifle close and wait. . .There are few problems in life that can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives :) . . If a mosque is built on ground zero, it will be removed. Oklahoma City style. Tim’s not the only man out there that knows how to do it.” The last, of course, refers to the actions of Timothy McVeigh who murdered several hundred people when he detonated explosives in front of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Despite claims of links to external sources from others, McVeigh has been proven to be the originator of the plot.

Moose was an unemployed father of three who now faces a very long stay in prison without much chance of finding gainful employment as he faces twenty years in prison for distributing bomb making instructions.

Abortion NC State Seal

Abortion NC State Seal

The sting operation began on 3 September when the FBI informant phoned Moose and told him a story about his best friend’s wife’s plan to have an abortion. Moose offered to help, and on 4 September, Moose and the informant met in the Concord Mills TGIFridays. There, Moose described several bombs that the source could make to destroy the clinic, and Moose gave the source instructions on how to do surveillance on the clinic including drinking a few beers and staggering around drunk. After being confronted, the source was suppose to ask for the bathroom.

On 5 September, the source contacted Moose and Moose walked him through making the explosives.

To date, no one involved with Moose has been willing to offer a comment.

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Abortion by AmericanWomensServices Dr. Brigham

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, July 23, 2010  – A Pennsylvania abortionist whose repeated violations of state law prompted the health department to close down his facilities has managed to keep two of them in operation by transferring ownership to another entity; but the other two sites will cease performing abortions for good, reports Operation Rescue.

The pro-life watchdog group says the Pennsylvania Health Department’s order for Dr. Steven Chase Brigham’s clinics represents a “partial victory for life” as Brigham’s facilities in Erie and State College are barred now from performing abortions. They are, however, permitted to remain open for other services.

At the same time, Brigham successfully transferred ownership of his Pittsburgh and Allentown abortion clinics to Rose Health Services, an entity in which he has no controlling interest, in order to stave off their closure. Deputy Secretary of Health Robert Torres has banned Brigham, 53, and any corporation he controls from operating abortion clinics in Pennsylvania, because of his persistent infractions against state medical regulations.

“This is a partial victory for life,” said Troy Newman. “We are thankful that babies are not being killed at the Erie and State College clinics.”

“At the same time we are very disappointed a shady business transfer has kept the other two clinics open. After all the trouble that Brigham has had and continues to face, he is not fit to operate in Pennsylvania or any other state.”

Brigham owns a chain of 15 abortion facilities with locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. However the abortionist is licensed only to practice medicine in New Jersey. Brigham let his medical license lapse in Georgia, California, and was suspended permanently in Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York.

Brigham was run out of New York after he performed two botched abortions in which state officials found him guilty in 1994 of “gross negligence” and “inexcusably bad judgment” that threatened the lives of his clients. New York also found him guilty of tax evasion in 1995.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Brigham’s offenses have been so egregious that even the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has disavowed him and applauded the PDH decision to shut him down.

Brigham’s latest offense in Pennsylvania happened because he again was employing unlicensed medical staff to work in his abortion clinics.

The Inquirer also reports that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is knocking on Brigham’s door, and has filed a tax lien against all his clinics for payment of $234,536 in unpaid payroll taxes for the years between 2002-2006.