Anti-Choice Group Publicizes Addresses Of Abortion Doctors. What Could Go Wrong?
An anti-choice group calling themselves "Operation Save America" decided it was a real great idea this week to flood two Indianapolis neighborhoods with flyers that included the names and addresses of two abortion providers in the area, both of whom work at Planned Parenthood.
The mailings were apparently their way of advertising an upcoming gathering of anti-abortion wackos in Indianapolis that they are participating in, according to James Farrar, pastor of the Aletheia Church, which is helping to host the event. Because, hey -- what could a more festive way to top off that kind of celebration than the murder or assault of an abortion doctor in their own home? These people sure do love life!
The group claims they didn't mean any harm by it at all, and were just hoping that it would result in their neighbors "being aware" that the doctors lived there, the Indianapolis Star reports:
"This was intended to let the neighborhood know that someone in their neighborhood makes their living by killing children," Farrar said. "We hope that we would generate pressure from neighbors like an awareness campaign, so people realize that these people are living right around you."
Of course, the people who actually lived in those neighborhoods already knew that the doctors worked at Planned Parenthood, and did not care. Unsurprisingly, they were a lot more appalled by the actions of Operation Save America.
The doctor and his family are mainstays of the neighborhood, said Lilia Judson who lives on the Northwestside and received one of the mailers late last week.
The mailer arrived in plain envelopes with no return address, added Judson, who said she looked for one in the hope of responding.
"They did not have the decency to put a return address on either of the envelops, so they don't mind bothering folks in their homes or in their neighborhoods but they don't have the gall to put their own location on the envelopes," she said. "These folks I think have caused a lot of animus to themselves because this is a very nice neighborhood…. "They can go downtown and protest all they want, we don't want them in our neighborhood."
This shit is dangerous as hell. It is not cute. And this group knows exactly what they are doing.
When I was 16 and living in Rochester, NY, abortion provider Dr. David Gandell was shot in his home by a sniper. He survived. A year later, an hour away in Amherst, NY, near Buffalo, right across the street from a friend of mine, Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot in his home by a militant anti-abortion terrorist James Charles Kopp. He did not survive. Though it's never been proven in a court of law, Kopp is also suspected of having committed the shooting in Rochester, as well as similar shootings in doctor's homes in Canada. In 2009, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot dead leaving his church after having been targeted by Bill O'Reilly and various anti-abortion groups.
Since the 1994 murder of Dr. David Gunn, there have been 10 more murders and 26 attempted murders related to anti-abortion terrorism. Between 1977 and 2009, according to the National Abortion Federation, there were 179 incidents of assault and battery, 41 bombings, 175 arsons, 96 attempted bombings or arsons, 390 invasions, 1400 incidents of vandalism, 1993 incidents of trespassing, 100 butyric acid attacks, 659 anthrax threats, 4 kidnappings, 506 death threats, 151 burglaries and 525 incidents of stalking committed by anti-abortion terrorists. Obviously those numbers have gone up in the last 9 years.
This has long been a favored tactic of anti-choice groups. In the 1990s, a group calling themselves the American Coalition of Life Activists kept a website they called the Nuremberg Files that included "Wanted" posters of abortion providers, along with their names and addresses. In 2002, the Supreme Court found that this website constituted a threat and the group was ordered to take it down.
We know what people will do with this information. We know what they have done in the past. While, of course, not all anti-choice activists are going to go around murdering people or trying to bomb clinics or the Olympics or shoot doctors in their homes and churches, there are those who will. Just like the American Coalition for Life, what this group did should constitute a threat, and those responsible should be charged with inciting violence against abortion providers -- which, yes, is against the law.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse