Women’s clinics under physical attack across US
June 2, 2012
Women’s health clinics have been under a siege of anti-choice attacks recently throughout the United States. Cases of arson and burglary of essential sex education and medical materials have victimized not only pro-women organizations, but the recipients of their services.
Attacks have become increasingly common throughout the years as anti-choice legislation has threatened women’s access to healthcare. Fear-mongering tactics among conservative groups has disseminated anti-abortion propaganda, set clinics ablaze, assassinated practitioners and detonated bombs in clinics. However, abortion providers aren’t the only places being threatened; women’s advocacy and sex education groups have also become prey of right-wing anti-choice terrorism.
The pattern of violence comes in wake of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller earlier this week. The late-term abortion provider was gunned down at his church and had previously survived several murder attempts.
The most recent cases of attacks on women’s health clinics include:
Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics in Atlanta: The healthcare facility was lit on fire in the early morning of May 20. Suspects also broke into the building stealing classified medical information of its patients.
Alpha OB/GYN in Marietta, Georga: On May 23, a suspect burned down the third floor and areas of the second floor of the local clinic. Nobody was hurt, but the clinic is unable to continue its health services at this time.
Women with a Vision in New Orleans: Women with a Vision, a non-profit clinic that provides health and life services for women of color, transgender women, women with addiction and poor women, was a victim to an arson and burglary attack on May 28. The offenders targeted rooms with sex education literature, self-examination breast models, condoms and HIV and STD materials.
Planned Parenthood in Austin: Anti-choice group Live Action set up a failed sting operation to falsely accuse Planned Parenthood of conducting sex-selective abortions with undercover actors and cameras.
- G. Razo
ThinkProgress reports: “An Oklahoma emergency room doctor refused to provide emergency contraception to a 24-year-old female rape victim because the medication violated the health provider’s personal beliefs… ‘I will not give you emergency contraceptives because it goes against my believes,’ the doctor allegedly told the rape victim and her mother, Rhonda. ‘She knew my daughter had just been raped. Her attitude was so judgmental and I felt that she was just judging my daughter.’
Oklahoma law shields providers from offering the perfectly legal medication under a ‘conscience clause’ which could significantly hinder women’s access to contraception services.”
This is sick. You might have to carry your rapist’s child because MY beliefs say so? In what universe is that OK? Whatever happened to “first, do no harm” – and I mean the living, breathing patient in front of you, not a maybe baby conceived by a rape. The religious right whines about secularism intruding into their beliefs, but what is more intrusive than forced pregnancy?
This woman was luckily able to get EC at another hospital. Other people might not be so lucky.
The Freedom Federation – an anti-Obama amalgam of Religious Right groups, “apostolic” ministries, and the corporate-funded astroturf Americans for Prosperity – is holding its third annual Awakening conference in Orlando, Florida this weekend. Here’s how it describes the event:
Uniting our Voices Around Shared Values: Turning Voices into Votes
A war is raging against our shared values. Our faith and freedom are under attack. Silence in the face of this war is not an option. Decisive action is needed. Join with others who share the core values that make America a great nation. Take a stand for righteousness and justice and be part of a new revolution to take back America. The time has come to turn our voices into votes and to change the course of history.
Outreach to the Hispanic community is a major goal of this year’s Awakening and the theme of Friday’s opening night session. That marks a continuation of the Freedom Federation’s efforts to re-brand the Religious Right as a multiracial and multigenerational movement, and to re-brand the culture war as a “social justice” movement. Last year’s gathering included a major effort to claim a religious grounding for the anti-tax, anti-government agenda of Grover Norquist and the Tea Party.This year’s conference features Samuel Rodriguez, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, who tries to sell the Religious Right’s culture war to Latinos while trying to get Religious Right leaders to make themselves more palatable to Latinos. Rodriguez recently said that Latinos are here to “bring panic to the kingdom of darkness” and “make the gospel of Jesus Christ, the church, the most influential institution in America.” He said God has sent illegal immigrants here to “redeem Christianity” in America.
Marco Rubio will also be around to entertain the crowds and there will be attention given to making sure the kids have fun while learning about how the US of A was founded on Christianity.
It’s not the ‘religion’ the left dislikes and/or is afraid of - who in their right mind could possibly be afraid of something so “Harry Potter-ish”? What ‘we’ dislike and are fearful of are the powerful Corporate Owners who use and twist and promote the delusional interests of the christian fundamentalists in order to further the agenda of the uber-wealthy 1%.
Greenwell Springs Baptist Church pastor Dennis Terry introduced presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins tonight with a rousing speech railing against liberals and non-Christians and condemning abortion rights, “sexual perversion,” same-sex marriage and secular government. Terry said that America “was founded as a Christian nation” and those that disagree with him should “get out! We don’t worship Buddha, we don’t worship Mohammad, we don’t worship Allah!” Terry, who has a long history of attacks against the gay community, went on to criticize marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and said that the economy can only recover when we “put God back” in government.
h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW
The people who brought you “Jesus Camp” are moving into your neighborhood school. And there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
Pat Robertson says something stupid again.
With bonus stupid.
Pat Robertson, who earlier called tornadoes a sign of the End Times, was asked today on the 700 Club about the tornadoes that have ravaged parts the country and killed at least twelve people. He said that the storms weren’t a malicious act of God and instead turned it around on the victims, asking, “why did you build houses where tornadoes were apt to happen?”
Probably because the midwest is America’s breadbasket and people have to eat. Besides, if Pat wants to share his knowledge of a disaster-proof area of the country, I’d be glad to hear it. If it’s not tornadoes, it’s earthquakes or floods or blizzards or hurricanes or landslides, etc. This is an argument the right often likes to make and it’s ridiculous.
But there’s more:
Robertson continued that the tornadoes may not have happened if people had prayed for divine intervention, “If enough people were praying He would’ve intervened, you could pray, Jesus stilled the storm, you can still storms.” He also told people who live in areas prone to natural disasters that it’s “their fault, not God’s.”
There’s just so much wrong here. First off, even if you believe in this sort of wizardry, the tornadoes actually have to happen before you pray for intervention — unless Pat’s saying midwesterners should constantly be praying against tornadoes.
Secondly, when those twisters were tossing around cars like toys outside, I’m guessing there was plenty of praying going on. In fact, I think you could say with certainty that a pray-o-meter would’ve spiked right about then.
Thirdly, all that praying didn’t work. At all.
It may well be the latter. A study released last fall suggests that the theology embraced by American religious conservatives may render them immune to evidence and reason when it comes to economic management. The study found that a sizable minority share a uniquely faith-based view of how the economy functions, believing that both good and bad outcomes are an expression of God’s will, and are therefore beyond the reach of mere mortals.
This may help explain the disconnect between the gravity of our economic crisis and lawmakers’ – especially conservative lawmakers’ — decided lack of a sense of urgency in addressing it
The left is in disarray while libertarianism is on the ascent. A new generation of evangelicals — well-versed in organizing but lacking moderating influences — is lining up behind hard-right anti-statists. While few of the faithful truly think that the president is the Antichrist, millions of voters, like their Depression-era predecessors, fear that the time is short. The sentiment that Mr. Obama is preparing the United States, as Roosevelt did, for the Antichrist’s global coalition is likely to grow.
Barring the rapture, Mrs. Bachmann or Mr. Perry could well ride the apocalyptic anti-statism of conservative Christians into the Oval Office. Indeed, the tribulation may be upon us.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the conservative Christian lawyers who are supporting Prop 8 in federal court, are beginning a push to force the IRS to end its regulations that prohibit churches and other religious institutions from campaigning. Currently, to retain a tax-exempt status, churches and religious leaders are not allowed in their official capacity to campaign for or against a specific candidate.
Unfortunately, this regulation is observed more and more infrequently, as exhibited recently in today’s NY-9 special election to fill the seat of former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner. A group of 40 orthodox rabbis issued a letter stating it was a violation of Jewish law to vote for the Democratic candidate, David Weprin, who had voted in favor of same-sex marriage earlier this year.
“Pastors and churches shouldn’t live in fear of being punished or penalized by the government,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley, according to an article in The Church Report. “Keeping the gospel central to what is preached is not in conflict with addressing the subject of political candidates when warranted. These results show that the desire to keep the gospel central does not mean that pastors want the IRS to regulate their sermons under the threat of revoking their church’s tax-exempt status.”
And if you don’t currently have an opinion on this, remember:
Every dollar not paid by churches or other religious organizations must be made up from some other source. When all tax exemptions are taken into account, it is estimated that the average family may pay up to $1,000 in extra taxes every year to make up for the lost revenue not received from churches and religious groups.
ADF recently teamed with LifeWay Research and just released the results of a survey conducted last month that unsurprisingly finds that 86% of pastors surveyed disagreed with this statement:
“The government should regulate sermons by revoking a church’s tax exemption if its pastor approves of or criticizes candidates based on the church’s moral beliefs or theology.”
The survey also finds that 79% of pastors strongly disagreed with the statement.
The 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks is fast approaching, giving the Religious Right just a few more days to rant and rave about the lack of official prayers at the commemoration sponsored by New York City.
As I noted recently, several Religious Right organizations have joined forces to promote a phony controversy over New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to put the focus of the day on the families of those who lost their lives during the attacks. Family members will read remembrances, some of which will undoubtedly be spiritual in nature, but there will be no official prayers during the ceremony.
The Religious Right’s outrage machine in working overtime, pumping out various petitions, letters and emails blasting Bloomberg for his alleged hostility toward religion. These groups are shamelessly exploiting the memory of this tragic event to raise money and keep the media spotlight on themselves. It’s appalling.
One outfit has decided to take things even further. The Christian Defense Coalition has issued a press release fulminating that it plans to sponsor a private prayer service Sept. 10 at the Ground Zero site and vowing to file a federal lawsuit if anyone tries to stop them.
The Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said in a press release, “During our prayer time at Ground Zero, we will seek God for His continued protection, pray for those who lost loved ones, pray for our leaders and elected officials and turn to God in repentance recognizing only He can bring healing and restoration to our nation.”
Mahoney sent information about his event to the New York City Police Department. My guess is that he’s hoping (praying, actually) that some misguided cop will try to interfere, or, alternatively, he and his supporters will engage in some sort of questionable activity at the site to draw the attention of the authorities. Once the police show up, Mahoney and crew can manufacture yet another Religious Right urban legend about how the government tried to shut down their prayer service.
Don’t think I’m being paranoid. Mahoney and his associates have long been active in the extreme fringe of the anti-abortion movement and love to engineer media stunts. In July of 1992, Mahoney pal the Rev. Rob Schenck (who is taking part in the Ground Zero prayer event) and two others thrust a dead fetus at Bill Clinton in New York City. Four years later, Schenck yelled at Clinton, “God will hold you to account, Mr. President,” as Clinton was walking to receive communion at Washington National Cathedral.
To Mahoney, Schenck and their cronies I can only say: Grow up. This isn’t about you. The 9/11 commemoration is an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on that tragic event in whatever way is meaningful for them. Undoubtedly, millions will pray that day. They will do it even if there’s no official prayer during the ceremony.
Americans are quite capable of engaging in religious activity without government direction. As Don Byrd of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty put it recently, “While a non-sectarian prayer delivered at the event would surely be constitutionally acceptable and appropriate for the event, it is by no means required. Conservative activists who suddenly this year are excited by this decision are mistaken in suggesting it represents some betrayal of duty. Staying away from official prayer – I’m sure there will still be a moment of silence for reflection and prayer by anyone who wishes to pray – avoids all the problems such prayer brings: who will speak? which religious perspectives will be represented? if a distinctly denominational prayer is offered, why wouldn’t followers of other faiths be offended? After all, adherents of many, many faiths were killed on September 11. Is the proper national response necessarily Christian? Why would that be?”
The various commemorations that are taking place this weekend are a time for national unity. Religious Right groups insist on using them to divide us – and as vehicles to get their names in the media.
They are beneath contempt. I hope their pathetic stunts fall flat.
|—||10 Great Things About America That Drive Conservatives and the Religious Right Insane > AlterNet|
In the upside-down world of the religious right where zygotes are human beings and evolution is a dirty word, Planned Parenthood is being cynically re-branded as an abortion mill. As usual no Advancedattention is being paid to facts
Picture a calculating group — a posse, if you will — of extremist Conservative Christians descending upon your mainstream or progressive-minded church congregation with the intent to topple the pastor and take over the place. That’s “steeplejacking,” a term coined by Sheldon Culver and John Dorhauer in their book, Steeplejacking: How the Christian Right is Hijacking Mainstream Religion, and it is a very real problem in the American faith landscape.