Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keeping Violence Away from Clinics

We have a sex offender registry that limits where offenders can live and work in order to prevent further violence and protect those who may be in potentially harmed by the offender. Jacob Appel, on the Huffington Post, argues that a similar system should be applied to those who have conspired to or have commited abortion clinic violence.

Appel argues this not out of personal politics, but out of common sense. He says, "Much as we do not permit convicted pedophiles to teach kindergarten or convicted hijackers to board airplanes, common sense dictates that individuals who have been imprisoned for plotting violence against abortion clinics should never again be permitted anywhere near such facilities."

This registry, Appel believes, would hopefully decrease clinic violence since a lot of violence is by multiple offenders, like Scott Roeder. Appel also believes that an abortion violence registry would facilitate a calmer, more rational discussion about abortion in our country.


Bonnie said...

what a great idea - and I absolutely agree that it makes sense. thanks for posting this!

WendyM said...

A few questions come immediately to mind:

1 - Do we already have a law like that and/or what will it take to get one if we don't?

2 - How do we get law enforcement to ENFORCE the law once it's on the books?

Great post.

Laura Ponchick said...

Yes!! I've been researching buffer zones (between clinics and where protesters can stand) oddly enough, and the limit is set at 35 feet. I think this number should be at least tripled, and increased even more so for those arrested for crimes relating to violence at abortion clinics.

gspotmagazine said...

This is a great idea in theory. But I have to agree with Wendy - what would the enforcement mechanism be? Also, what would the criteria for logging someone into one of these databases be? For example, most sex offender registries have varying degrees of criminals included in the database. Someone who was charged with statutory rape when they were 18 for dating a 14 year old would be on the list. So does the level of violence have to get to the Scott Roeder level before a person is included in the clinic violence registry? Or would a simple trespass citation warrant inclusion? If the level of violence has to get to the Roeder level, then the registry seems pretty pointless.