Guest writer Clinic Escort is a feminist activist from New York. She’s an uppity woman who’s been standing up and speaking out for women since 1989. She started escorting patients on their way into the women’s clinic past clumps of unhinged shouters in June. You may have seen her loud-mouthed tweets. If not, you should be following her, ‘cuz she’s hilariously pro-choice.
Over the weekend, RH Reality Check reported that Dr. Leroy Carhart, the Nebraska abortion provider who is now in Operation Rescue’s crosshairs, has recently been abandoned by the U.S. federal marshals who had been sent to protect him following the murder of Dr. Tiller in Kansas and the attendant upswing in anti-choice crime. The Kansas chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW) responded with a call for activists to phone the Department of Justice and urge them to reinstate crucial protection for Dr. Carhart at this dangerous time.
I did call DOJ today. It took me about two minutes, and I want to urge everyone else to do the same. Their “comment line” (202-353-1555) actually goes to voice mail, so you don’t even have to be nervous about talking to a real person. It also meant I had the chance to prepare a text before calling to make sure my message was clear. Here is what I said:
“My name is _____. I am an American citizen and taxpayer from _____. I am calling about recent news reports that the protection of federal marshals has been withdrawn from Dr. Leroy Carhart, a Nebraska physician who provides safe and legal abortion services.
“I am very alarmed by this withdrawal, and I would like to urge the Department of Justice to reinstate protection for Dr. Carhart immediately. He has recently been announced as the next major target of militant anti-choice extremists, who are planning to swarm his clinic beginning at the end of this month. The potential for violence from these people is very high, as we have seen from the murder of Dr. Tiller in Kansas and numerous other acts of anti-choice terrorism over the years.
“Dr. Carhart served his country as an Air Force officer for over twenty years. It is unconscionable that, rather than returning the favor, his country should turn its back on him just as he needs us the most. I urge you to please, please reinstate federal marshals to protect Dr. Carhart, his staff, and his patients. Thank you.”
Please consider taking two minutes to call DOJ yourself at 202-353-1555 and tell them why you think it’s important for Dr. Carhart to be protected right now. If talking to voice mail is still too scary, send a letter (Office of the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530). There are online contacts listed on the DOJ website. And if you’re as horrified as I am that Dr. Carhart has been told to go this one alone—do all three. Dr. Carhart needs us now, more than he ever has.