Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Round of Applause for Courageous Female News Anchors

In case you hadn't noticed, this has been a big week for coverage of the tactics of anti-abortion extremists, and the ways in which they terrorize abortion providers and clinic staff.

The recent buzz began 2 weeks ago when Rachel Maddow announced that she would be airing a documentary on Mon Oct 26, "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller." In the same week she announced this, it came to light that a grand jury was questioning associates of Scott Roeder, who is serving life in prison for Tiller's murder. The grand jury is investigating whether or not Roeder acted as part of a conspiracy, a subject which has been explored previously in the Ms. Magazine piece from the Spring 2010 issue, "Not a Lone Wolf," by Amanda Robb.

Following the airing of Maddow's documentary this past Monday, Katie Couric pointed her focus towards the ongoing harassment of abortion providers during the CBS Evening News (video). Highlighted in both the Maddow and the Couric videos is the fact that WANTED posters have preceded the murder and violent attacks of dozens of clinics, including the 1993 shooting of Dr. Tiller.

Common in the early 1990's, posters have begun to resurface in Charlotte, NC, where earlier this year, Feminist Majority Foundation's National Clinic Access Project helped defend clinics from Operation Save America's annual clinic siege.

While we ultimately wish that women could receive care peacefully from doctors who did not fear for their safety on a daily basis, we are grateful for Maddow and Couric's national coverage of this issue, exposing what is happening every day at clinics across the country.

What you can do to keep clinics in your area safe and open:
  • Adopt-a-Clinic! Contact us to see what clinics in your area are in need of volunteers, escorts, and defenders.
  • Thank a provider! Send your local clinic a thank you card to remind them that there are people who appreciate their work and their bravery.
  • Keep an eye out for warning signs of clinic violence. If you see WANTED posters and protests in your area, report this to your local law enforcement agencies and/or Feminist Majority Foundation. This kind of activity too often has preceded violent attacks of clinics.

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