By Erin Matson, NOW Action Vice President
There are some people with such deep hatred for women’s fundamental right to choose whether, when and how to have children that all standards of decency go out the window: Screaming at strangers on the way to the grocery store? Sure. Issuing gleeful public statements after the murder of doctors who provide abortion care? Yes. Stalking doctors, clinic staff and the women they serve? They do that, too.
With a long history of standing up for women’s rights in the face of anti-abortion rights extremists, it’s no surprise NOW passed a very good resolution at our 2011 National Conference in support of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, his excellent staff and the women they serve. Since that resolution passed in June we have been working around the clock to bring our members and supporters to stand with pro-choice allies in a peaceful presence outside Dr. Carhart’s clinic in Germantown, Md., while Operation Rescue terrorizes the entire metropolitan area with what they are calling a “Summer of Mercy 2.0.” (The original “Summer of Mercy” shut down access to Dr. Tiller’s clinic for several weeks in 1991 and was a major contributing factor in the passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act in 1994.)
What is indeed surprising, given the relative lack of coverage of the mainstream news media, is the extent to which two prominent leaders of the Republican party have been openly collaborating with former leaders of Operation Rescue. Prior to the beginning of this 112th Congress, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had his chief of staff meet with Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, and just weeks ago Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) appointed a former attorney for Operation Rescue, Rick Macias, to a state board that has authority to regulate abortion providers. The phrase “palling around with terrorists” does come to mind.