Three years after Dr. George Tiller’s assassination, anti-abortion extremists are as brazen as ever. Should we be surprised? The far right is dreaming up new, more harrowing ways to restrict a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy every day. Last week, the targets were distant cities and reasons that are rare, if not imaginary. The best that can be said about these efforts is that they are legal. The same can’t be said for three attacks against reproductive health care facilities last week.
On May 24, Women With a Vision (WWAV), a New Orleans advocacy organization that provides health care and other support for poor women of color, was the victim of arson. Earlier the same day, a fire broke out at a Cobb County obstetrics and gynecology office near Marietta, Georgia, the second fire of questionable origin at a Georgia clinic that week.
The FBI is investigating these cases, and at the moment, it hasn’t determined whether they are related. Georgia officials haven’t yet identified arson as the cause of the two fires. While I am grateful that law enforcement is held to a higher standard of proof than me, I have no doubt that these events are not only related to each other, but to the current political climate, where the preponderence of anti-abortion legislation has effectively made very restrictive views about abortion into a new normal.
So where is the outrage? I scour the headlines every day (with the help of an alert or two), and I would not have heard about these clinic attacks if not for Democracy Now!‘s piece on the anniversary of Dr. Tiller’s assassination. (I know we’re supposed to be jaded up here in New York City, but the Times is writing its own embarrassing obituary when not one of these incidents has warranted a mention in its pages.) [Read more...]