Monday, June 1, 2009

Peaceful, legal means

Hilzoy has an eye-opening post on what exactly Operation Rescue got up to through "appropriate channels." Why nobody has ever sued them for stalking and harassment is beyond me.

Newman and his small staff of zealous pro-lifers are buzzing with the news that the clinic's office manager has quit -- a result, they believe, of their name-and-shame campaign. The manager had been accosted by a neighbor in a grocery store who recognized her from an Operation Rescue flier that featured her photo. "You're that baby killer!" the neighbor screamed at her. Then Newman, through investigative methods he'd rather not reveal, discovered where the woman's husband works. "We think that's what clinched it," he says. "He probably realized we were going to picket his workplace. I imagine he's the major breadwinner in the family, and he didn't want to risk his job."

It gets worse. We're talking cruising people's houses at night, stealing and going through their trash, paying others to spy on them. Tiller drove an armored car.

Furthermore, the disregard for the lives--yes, lives--of the patients involved is staggering. From the Rolling Stone article Hilzoy quoted:

Newman and his staff have spent months compiling a list of more than 200 "abortion collaborators" -- companies that do business with Women's Health Care Services and its employees. They plan to approach every firm on the list -- from the guy who mows the clinic's lawn to the cafe that sells Tiller his morning latte -- and lobby them to stop doing business with the facility. At the top of the collaborator list is Wesley Medical Center. Wesley is vital to Tiller's clinic: It's where his patients are taken if there is a medical emergency. Newman has written to Wesley's board of physicians to request that they retract hospital privileges for Tiller's patients. If they refuse, Newman plans to expose them as Tiller's accomplices: "We're thinking of taking out an ad in the local newspaper, naming Wesley's physicians and accusing them of supporting a baby killer."

And then what will happen to those women--and fetuses--who are in the midst of medical emergencies? Not to mention the utter lack of respect for the Hippocratic Oath. Whether abortions of the type performed at Tiller's clinic are freely chosen is debatable, but no medical professional worth the title can turn away a patient in crisis from emergency care. What did they think they were playing at?

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