This is horrible. But kudos to this woman and her father for fighting back against a bigot trying to block access to a Planned Parenthood. We need a mass struggle to utterly demolish the anti-woman, anti-abortion movement in this country and send it into the dustbin of history next to the likes of the old Witch-hunters, Prohibitionists, and Anti-Miscegenationists.
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A man was stabbed Tuesday during a violent confrontation with an abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood health center, police said.
Ted Clair was stabbed seven times in the abdomen and neck during a fight with Christopher Tolhurst, who had signs denouncing abortion and Planned Parenthood, officials said.
Witnesses said that earlier in the day, Clair’s 22-year-old daughter, Kailah Clair, argued with Tolhurst and kicked over his protest signs, Lt. Dennis Ward said.
They said Tolhurst pushed the woman, and she returned later with her father, who confronted Tolhurst.
Ward said in a statement that witnesses reported Ted Clair pushed Tolhurst to the ground and punched him “numerous times” in the face, and then Tolhurst stabbed Clair.
Tolhurst’s signs denounced abortion and Planned Parenthood, but Planned Parenthood for Southwestern Oregon spokeswoman Sarah Mosely said that clinic only provides health services and doesn’t perform abortions.
Neighbor Charlotte Cook said the protester accosted people coming and going through the area.
“It was an accident looking for a place to happen,” she said.
Cherie Adams said he would yell obscenities at her when she walked past him, and she changed her route to work.
“He’s been out there for months,” she said. “He’s screaming at people. I had a feeling something like this would happen.”
This is so gross and disturbing because it would have been very simple to stop this from happening if something had been done when the harassment started, at the very beginning. Harassment needs to be illegal and harassment victims deserve legal protections.
There is everything heroic about that decision. She’s not being coerced by anyone save the freakshows screaming at her on the sidewalk, and an escort provides some protection from that.
Very few pro-life people scream from the sidewalk. Because most believer in a higher power, they prayer silently from a distance. Some will offer additional information for parenting and adoption resources, but only the women who are interested will take it. Clinic escorts are only in place to make sure a woman doesn’t try to walk over to the person standing/kneeling on the sidewalk. Clinic escorts THINK they’re doing something beneficial for the woman, but they’re not. They’re only beneficial to the abortion clinic - because they’re typically working for no pay, and they’re directing women straight into the clinic, which means $$$ for the staff.
I had to have an escort when I had my D&C
I was being screamed and cursed at from the protesters, was having pamphlets shoved into my hands and bag (Yes. One woman grabbed at my bag and stuffed crap into it. I was called a baby-killer, had signs waved at me, and was generally harassed.
The D&C was for an incomplete miscarriage.
My escort was amazing. She helped me out when I started crying and sat with me in the waiting room. And by the way, due to my income bracket, the procedure was free. Planned Parenthood works on a sliding scale, in case you didn’t know. So we’re not looking at $$$ for the clinic.
I was not the only woman there that day, and I was not the only woman harassed by protesters.
My experience contradicts your assertions.
advocateforlife, you can lie and cherry-pick all you like, but there’s a reason people, pro-choice or not, have an image of violent, yelling anti-choice protestors with gory, inaccurate signs - because that’s what happens. Those who “offer” other resources are usually the ones crowding the car the minute it pulls up, following the patient to the door, yelling and shoving pamplets into their hands all the way.
Anti-choice protestors THINK they’re doing something beneficial for the patients, but they’re not. They’re only beneficial to their own personal sense of morality, their church, their adoption agency, or their grades. Nearly any account you read of someone who got an abortion after running the gauntlet of protestors will tell you that getting into the clinic was the worst, most traumatizing part of their experience.
I’ll tell you something else, too. Clinic escorts don’t escort patients unless the patient says it’s okay. Clinic escorts give patients the option to talk to the protestors. In fact, they give them a lot of choices, because clinic escorts care about empowering patients. That’s why most of them are volunteers - as in any other volunteer opportunity, they know what they are doing is good.
I don’t see anti-choice protestors giving patients the option not to be harassed.
It doesn’t really matter if oh-snap-pro-lifers sent any harassing messages to prochoicetruth. It doesn’t matter that they say they don’t support harassment, or that they’ve deleted their post saying that finding prochoicetruth’s name and location was awesome.
(Mostly because screenshots are forever)
What does matter is that they are part of a movement that says it’s okay, even laudable, to threaten pro-choice people, physicians, and clinic employees and volunteers. By spreading lies about the effects of abortion and deeming people who get or perform abortions baby-killers, they foster an environment of violent vigilante justice, as seen in the campaign against prochoicetruth, in the dozens of arsons and bombings of clinics, in the harassment and murder of doctors and employees, and in the stalking of children.
We can counter the toxic environment the anti-choice movement has created. We can put pressure on our representatives to stop creating anti-choice bills, and start creating bills that protect pregnant people and physicians, that support reproductive choice, families and children. We can let others know that we are there to help them access safe, legal abortion. We can educate and inform, and never stop learning. We can donate to abortion funds to ensure that no person goes without care because of the cost. We can volunteer at abortion funds and pro-choice counseling hotlines. We can be everyday reproductive justice heroes.
There are so, so many ways to help create a healthy, loving, pro-choice environment. What are you going to do?
Anti-choicers have been running a campaign to force prochoicetruth off Tumblr. They found their name, the school they attend, and the year they’re in. Prochoicetruth has also been receiving horrific rape and death threats, and have decided to take a break from Tumblr.
The harassment and threats are supported by oh-snap-pro-lifers and, I would expect, by a number of other anti-choice bloggers as well.
So next time an anti-choicer whines about getting insults or cursing in their inbox, remember that you don’t even have to work at a clinic to have your life put in danger by anti-choice terrorists.
And the only reason Mississippi’s clinic is still open is because a federal judge has extended their temporary ban on the state’s new TRAP law (Targeted Regulations Against Abortion Providers)
There are actually three clinics in Arkansas, but two of them (both Planned Parenthoods) only offer the abortion pill, which is effective up to 9 weeks after your last period. Little Rock Family Planning Services provides abortions up to 21 weeks.
This is how anti-choicers prevent people from accessing abortion - not through legislation, but through stigma and threat of violence against providers. Two of three doctors at the Mississippi clinic fly in from out of state, because no local doctors/hospitals want to face the certain severe consequences from their colleagues, patients, family, and friends, as well as harassment and violence from anti-choice extremists.
OR we trust the pregnant person to make their own decisions and want any choice they make to be safe and healthy.
Anyone else see the implicit encouragement/acceptance of violence against people who get abortions, abortion providers, clinic workers, activists, etc. in this poster? “They aren’t like us. They don’t love their children like we do. They don’t value human life. They don’t respect pregnant people. They kill babies, and they want to kill ours, too.”
There’s a reason 1 in 3 American women* get abortions (this includes anti-choicers who say these exact same things before and after they get their safe and legal abortion), yet supposedly few of us know anyone who’s had one.
Sorry. That’s what they are. When you threaten people, try to prevent access to clinics, fire-bomb clinics, threaten doctors, release their personal information, and in some cases kill them, that is terrorism.
I’m sorry that society at large in the US doesn’t want to call it what it is because of it’s affiliation with Christianity and its pretty name, but when you support pro-life activists, you are supporting domestic terrorism.
By taking bodily autonomy away from women!
And murdering abortion providers!
And bombing clinics!
And removing federal funding for breast exams and cervical cancer screenings simply because the organization also provides abortions!
Pathetic. You know, the notion of stereotyping a diverse group of people based on unfounded assumptions sounds awfully familiar … oh wait. Racism? Sexism? Newsflash: the vast majority of pro lifers are not terrorists, and do not condone such actions. Neither do we believe that legitimate medical procedures should be affected because of the abortion debate. Please stop misrepresenting pro lifers, and focus on the actual arguments at hand.
Yeah, you know what?
This isn’t unfounded.
The majority of pro-lifers aren’t terrorists but they create the environment that allows for pro-life terrorists to flourish. Pro-lifers that refer to abortion as murder and imply (or straight up say) that it deserves to be punished, or refer to abortion providers as “baby killers”, or feel it’s appropriate to misuse private medical information to send letters to family members of patients announcing that the patient had an abortion…none of that is factual but if creates an environment that allows people to truly see abortion as a form of murder (which it isn’t, as defined by law) and decide to take this issue into their own hands in the form of clinic bombs and guns pointed at abortion providers heads.
Pro-lifers spit out all this vitriol and hate and violent rhetoric about abortion but then stand by and hold up their hands when someone actually takes them at their word. Pro-lifers are responsible for creating pro-life terrorists and there are LOTS of pro-lifers who may not necessarily blow up a clinic or murder a doctor themselves but they’ll be happy about it because the doctor was stopped or the clinic has been shut down. It doesn’t matter what the means of doing it are as long as abortion is taken away.
And even if you don’t want to believe that, pro-lifers DO support legislation that teaches abstinence-only sex ed. They DO support legislation that puts restrictions on birth control to completely ban it. They DO support denying funding to organizations that provide abortions even though those organizations provide life-saving preventative care in the form of cancer screenings and referrals.
It’s not pro-life to remove funding for breast exams when breast exams could save people’s lives. It’s not pro-life to remove funding for pap smears to check for cancerous cells. People die when you remove those programs. If pro-lifers REALLY cared about life in all instances then they wouldn’t want to take away funding that saves lives. If pro-lifers were truly concerned about life in all instances then they would support legislation that increases comprehensive sex ed (since that is one of the biggest factors in lowering the abortion rate) and greater access to contraceptives.
But they don’t because pro-lifers want to punish people who choose to have sex.
Abortion IS a legitimate medical procedure. Do you have a medical degree? Only a physician should decided what are and are not legitimate medical procedures. And if abortion is truly not a legitimate medical procedure, why don’t pro-lifers also protest elective plastic surgery? People certainly die from complications from that much more than an abortion, which is one of the safest surgeries a person can have.
It’s not misrepresentation when it’s true.
Joan Armentrout, the clinic office administrator for Dr. Tiller’s clinic, talking about anti-choicers who use violent and hateful words to inspire violence against clinics and doctors but then claim that they aren’t responsible when physical violence is perpetuated by people who acted on their words.
What is wrong with people. Are you seriously saying that stealing records of patients is a good thing? Who even does that?
Operation Rescue was given these records.
Let that all sink in, please.
OPERATION RESCUE, a pro-life group with known pro-life terrorists in it, was given the names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. of patients who received abortions NOT EVEN A MONTH AGO, these patient records are from April 2012, it is MAY THIRD 2012.
The group is claiming that a man delivered these records to them and said he obtained these records legally.
Medical records, even for people who get abortions, are confidential and it is a serious crime to disclose them to ANYONE who does not have a reason to look at them. A crime was most certainly committed and I feel comfortable in predicting that several more will be committed in the form of harassing letters left at these patients’ homes by anonymous pro-life activists.
Anyone who saw those records should be fined, at the very least. And anyone involved in obtaining them should be put in jail.
This is actually quite telling. There has been legislation passed that requires abortions to be reported to the state. Guess how the individual who gave these records to Operation Rescue obtained them…from legislative offices.
And this isn’t the first time he’s stolen records and given them to outside parties (the first time he gave them to the governor’s office, attorney general’s office, and a medical licensing organization). He claims to have given them to Operation Rescue because the governor, attorney general, and medical licensing organization didn’t do anything with them so he brought the second batch of medical records he stole to Operation Rescue because:
“It’s my position that nothing happens in the state without the public scrutinizing it,” he said. “There are too many back-room deals without our knowledge, then things are swept out the door and ignored unless someone said something.”
Because a vigilante pro-life terrorist organization WILL do something about it.
And also, can we just take a moment to side eye the fact that a person’s MEDICAL HISTORY is, according to this guy, a matter of public scrutiny. Because people who receive abortions already don’t get shamed or harassed enough.
He claims that cash envelopes used to pay for services is proof that the clinic these records were stolen from is proof the clinic is committing tax fraud.
Let’s walk through this:
Things that are legal:
- Getting an abortion
- Maintaining patient confidentiality
- Paying for abortion services in cashThings that are illegal:
- Breaking patient confidentiality and invading patient privacy
- Harassing people
- Sharing confidential medical records with outside parties
- Bombing clinics or murdering abortion doctors, which Operation Rescue has been connected toAnd people are questioning if a crime was committed…The majority of patients are low-income and considered at-risk. What a nightmare for the clinic staff and patients.
I was a bit amazed yesterday at how quickly word spread of the comments on a LifeSiteNews article on the firebomb left at a Wisconsin Planned Parenthood.
Obviously, as word spread in the pro-choice community, the anti-choice folks caught wind. Some of the comments, essentially the most openly criminal, have disappeared from the site. Either lifesite took luke-warm action (many comments still exist, included below) or the worst of the commenters, Isaiah541, decided to to try and cover up his/her attempts to incite violence in the anti-choice community.
Below is various screen shots of remaining comments (not nearly as inflamitory as the deleted comments) as well as screen captures showing the official comment count of the story at “29” and the actual comment count in the comment section at “21” indicating that comments have been removed or deleted.
Keep in mind LifeSite has any pro-choice comments deleted within hours of their appearance on the site. LifeSite heavily moderates their comments and they knowingly let the now deleted comments stay posted on their site, visibile to the several people who viewed the page. The story was shared on facebook over 360 times, imagine if each of those shares had a minimum of 50 friends? Easily over 18000 people could have read comments that encouraged violence against abortion care facilities and providers.
I fear for escorts, volunteers, patients, staff, and physicians at facilities around the country (and now more and more abroad in countries where abortion was previously not contested) if the current culture of violence against abortion care goes unchecked and unnoticed.
To see original post: Disturbing Trend…
Below is image showing the official comment count associated with this article.
Now, look at the actual count of comments that are visible. Comments have been either removed from the site or deleted by the author. The count is 21.
Now, a sample of the remaining posts. While they are in no way as incriminating as the original posts, they still suggest that it might be OK to use violence to prevent women from obtaining abortion care.
This last one upsets me, especially when you read the responses One of the commenters shared a story of a female family member who had an abortion under coercion (an unwanted, forced pregnancy choice is a tragedy. Coercion in any form is a tragedy). How is it I, an evil pro-choicer, can feel more sympathy and empathy for than woman than a “loving” anti-choicer?
AGAIN: If you ever witness any sort of comment or discussion where violence against clinics and clinic staff is being encouraged, please take a screen shot and submit an FBI tip. Print a copy of your screen shot or submit it to our blog for a permanent record.
Seriously, they are soon going to start policing our menstruation.
I guess this is the logical extension of believing that fertilized eggs are the exact equivalent of living, born, breathing people.
Pro-Life Action League is now protesting fertility clinics. No. Really. They are trying to block a new clinic in Naperville, IL, and if they aren’t successful, they promise to protest it “just like a Planned Parenthood.”
Via Medill News:
A major anti-abortion group has expanded its scope beyond abortion clinics to include protests against in vitro fertilization clinics.
“There is no moral difference between those children and the children being killed down the road at Planned Parenthood,” [Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric] Scheidler said at the council meeting, “and justice is due to those children. If that justice is not done by this council today then you must know, that justice will be done through public protest at Dr. Morris’ facility.”
Yes, “pro-life” now means “pro-life-created-exactly-the-way-I-believe-it-should-be-created.”
…at least they’re consistent?
[Content includes descriptions of anti-choice verbal abuse and harassment in #1, as well as domestic/sexual violence in #2]
- Clinic “”protesters”” are not exercising their 1st amendment rights. They’re engaging in emotional terrorism, slander, and harassment. Their goal is to inflict damage. Clinic employees, interns, and volunteers who are harassed sometimes daily should be able to take out restraining orders against them. They should be able to take out restraining orders on whole organizations, ideally, as well as individuals. Massachusetts is lucky enough to have a sort of legally-mandated “buffer zone;” protesters need to stay a certain number of feet away from the clinic’s door, but they get up in your face as you walk down the street and they are more than happy to yell to you right up until you make it inside.
- “Parental notification” or “parental consent” laws are bullshit. Nobody under the age of 18 gets an abortion without telling their parent(s) unless there is a damn fucking good reason. Minors with abusive parents who might withhold medical treatment as “leverage,” minors who were actually knocked-up by their legal guardian in the first place, minors who aren’t in contact with their parents (and who have reason to fear violence or abuse if they DO get back in touch), and minors with anti-choice parents who would medically/reproductively abuse their child by forcing them to carry a pregnancy to term—all of these people are the ones who get hurt by these laws. The white, middle-class, kindly, heterosexual, cis parents with the wayward daughter who runs off and gets an abortion before her parents have a chance to tell her about her options? The ones lawmakers are constantly referencing when they pass these kinds of bills?? The ones who “have the right to know”??? They know. If they have shown themselves to be safe people, their kid will come to them. Few people make this decision lightly. Very few people will actually pass up the chance to be supported in this by the non-abusive people in their lives (especially their fucking parents).
- Many reproductive-health-focused organization contribute directly to trans healthcare disparities. I volunteered at the clinic for a year. I had to sign each patient in individually, and I would talk with them before they got called in my a doctor or nurse. I never saw one person who didn’t at least pass as cis (including “passing” as cis on paper, too). There probably were individual cis-passing trans people who came, who were misgendered, and who did not receive the full scope of treatment/education/respect that their cis counterparts did. But trans people—men, women, and people who are both/neither—are disproportionately under-represented and under-served at the expense of our health as a community.
- Abortion is not our only fight. Abortion access is so, so important. But the vast majority of reproductive health organizations/clinics recognize that prevention, education, and empowerment are vital. Abortion is not its own isolated example of a single privilege/oppression dichotomy. Instead, it’s one crucial piece of an over-arching, multi-focused conversation about sexual and domestic violence, misogyny, sexual health, trans rights, youth and childrens’ rights, white supremacy, ableism, nationalism, and capitalism. Losing this focus obscures the broader picture and pushes aside very goals we should ultimately be working in service of.