"As people who call yourselves ‘pro-life,' you have a moral obligation to call upon your members and supporters to turn-in those among you who have committed or are planning violence . . . I also call on you to show real leadership by putting an end to the Nuremberg Files Web site and other hate-language and hit lists that litter the Internet, radio and TV airwaves and anti-abortion literature," Ireland said in an open letter to "pro-life" leaders. (Please see attached letter.)
The letter will be distributed on January 22 to anti-abortion leaders both in and out of Congress, including: Nellie Gray, organizer of the annual "Right to Life March;" Wanda Franz, president of the National Right to Life Committee; William Cardinal Keeler, chair of the Pro-Life Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; Representative Henry Hyde, chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Dennis Hastert, Speaker of House; and Trent Lott, Senate Majority Leader.
"In recent years, anti-abortion terrorists have targeted women's clinics and abortion providers on the Roe anniversary. This year, we are asking anti-abortion leaders to join us in the campaign to end the violence," Ireland said.
NOW is also using the Roe anniversary to kick-off a campaign to lobby Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. NOW activists are distributing 100,000 post cards to abortion rights supporters across the country. The post cards are addressed to the Speaker of the House and ask him to drop the Abortion Procedures Ban and other attacks on women's reproductive freedom.
"We expect unprecedented attacks against abortion rights and reproductive freedom in 1999. We will organize the grassroots response necessary to keep abortion safe and legal, and to make it accessible to all women," Ireland promised.
An Open Letter to Pro-Life Leaders:
I appeal to you to take immediate action to end the campaign of anti-abortion terrorism that is ripping through the nation. As people who call yourselves "pro-life," you have a moral obligation to call upon your members and supporters to turn-in those among you who have committed or are planning violence.
I also call on you to show real leadership by putting an end to the Nuremberg Files Web site and other hate-language and hit lists that litter the Internet, radio and TV airwaves and anti-abortion literature. Those who have printed wanted posters with the names and addresses of doctors and clinic staff are inciting violence -- including murder. You must boycott and publicly condemn events, like last night's White Rose Banquet organized by Michael Bray (who himself served time in prison for anti-abortion terrorism), that honor those who have murdered, or attempted to murder, doctors and even a NOW activist.
By dehumanizing and vilifying abortion providers, the movement which purports to respect life is putting at risk the lives of doctors, clinic staff and patients. Instead of loving their neighbors, some of your followers have threatened and hunted them down like prey.
You can help put a stop to this reign of violence and extortion. I implore you to demand that your followers work within the law and with law enforcement to stop the bombs and the bullets and to arrest those responsible. I respectfully ask that you immediately make every effort to stop the attacks -- both rhetorical and physical -- which target abortion providers and women's health clinics.
If you truly believe in the sanctity of human life, then your conscience will not allow you to do anything less.
Yours for peace and justice,