The Feminist Majority Foundation (publisher of Ms.) launched an ad campaign today that exposes the threats facing abortion providers across the country and asks the question, “When did the right to life become the right to terrorize abortion providers?”
The ads (pictured left and below) feature Troy Newman, president of anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and a key official at the so-called Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which falsely accused Planned Parenthood of illegal activities in a series of now-debunked videos released earlier this year. Newman played a lead role in producing the CMP’s anti-Planned Parenthood videos.
The ads are currently running on the front page of Politico, and will appear Thursday on The Hill and Roll Call. They’ll also appear in some subscribers’ Wednesday copies of The Washington Post. The FMF’s goal is to get the House Select Investigative Panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which was formed to investigate Planned Parenthood and other reproductive healthcare providers, to either redirect its focus to look into violence against abortion providers, or disband.
“How can House members investigate abortion providers and ignore the activities of key CMP official and Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, or the routine harassment and intimidation of abortion providers?” asked Eleanor Smeal, FMF president, in a statement.
Readers who click on the FMF ads will be directed to information about the extent of anti-abortion violence in the United States, for example, the fact that more than half of the abortion providers surveyed for the 2014 National Clinic Violence Survey report being the target of threats and intimidation.
Abortion providers were also the targets of more than 300 acts of extreme violence from 1973 to 2003, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. And from 1977 to 2014, the National Abortion Federation documented some 6,948 incidences of violence against abortion providers.
“The climate of violence is built by following clinic staff around town, putting them on WANTED-style posters with lurid language like ‘The Killers Among Us,’” said Katherine Spillar, FMF executive director. “It’s about harassing their neighbors and their kids at school; posting their personal information online; running ‘No Place to Hide’ campaigns. These activities act as a magnet for extremists or disturbed individuals who are willing to kill abortion providers, law enforcement, clinic staff or even bystanders.”
Ms. has reported in the past on the connections between anti-abortion extremists, demonstrating that those who kill abortion providers aren’t “lone wolves.”
“Anti-abortion violence isn’t just about lone wolves,” says Smeal. “It is also about the wolf packs that harass and terrorize abortion providers.”
If you want to take action on this issue, sign a petition urging the House to disband its committee investigating Planned Parenthood, or focus instead on probing the threats and violence facing abortion providers.