Saturday, 5 December 2009

WANTED posters. Again.

They don't learn. From Ms.Magazine, 'Wanted' posters appear in Charlotte, NC.
The posters have the word “WANTED” in large black letters at the top and contain the following language: “We would like to introduce you to Drs. X and Y [names withheld here]. Their specialties are Obstetrics, Gynecology and Murder. Not only do these two men assist women and deliver babies, but they also harm women and kill babies…. You may contact them at their office or the clinic in which they perform the abortions.”

Using the real names of the doctors, and the addresses of their private practices, these posters have recently shown up in Charlotte, N.C. They are terrifying, and that is precisely their intention, as they invoke comparison to the notorious Old West-style wanted posters of abortion doctors that were circulated by two militant anti-abortion groups in the early 1990s. Three abortion-providing doctors—whose faces appeared on WANTED or unWANTED posters were, in fact, murdered by anti-abortion zealots.

In a celebrated case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that these posters constituted a “threat of force” designed to intimidate abortion providers (in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE Act), and were thus not protected by the First Amendment on free speech grounds. The Court also noted that extremists had listed the doctors’ information, including home addresses, on a “Nuremberg Files” website. The names of doctors who were killed were lined through in black, and wounded doctors’ names were lined through in grey.

So one can imagine the fears engendered by this latest round of postering. But they’re just the latest straw in what the beleaguered staff of the Family Reproductive Health clinic in Charlotte has had to put up with. In 2002, the high-profile antiabortion extremist Philip “Flip” Benham, formerly head of Operation Rescue and now heading Operation Save America, moved to the Charlotte area and vowed to close down Family Reproductive Health.

The Ms. piece includes a link to a video of the harassment at the clinic. I'm not embedding it, because it's horrible. The appropriately named Flip Benham bellows lies and death threats including 'Satan will drink the blood of your child'.

Why do we call these anti-abortion harassers misogynists? Dig this from the Wiki link:
In a 2006 interview with Al Gross of KJSL-AM in suburban St. Louis, during the morning drive-time program "Mornings with Tim and Al", Benham stated he would let a daughter die rather than abort an ectopic pregnancy. When pressed on the question by Gross and an on-air telephone caller, Benham backed down and grudgingly admitted he would allow an abortion under such a circumstance.


Pseudz said...

These FF people seem keen on martyrdom - sadly, sometimes, the actual martyrdom of others - I'm having trouble imagining a punishment for the 'Threat of Force' crimes that wouldn't just excite 'em - - a li'l Big House cred for the cause . . . or just a $$$fine type of martyr-for-the-baybees.

Bina said...

"Satan will drink the blood of your child!"

No, Flip, you CAN'T have any. Now fuck off.

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