It is no longer what it was when John O'Keefe, a Catholic pacifist, adopted the leftist tactic of the sit-in the 1970s and turned into the civil disobedience action now known as a "rescue."
It is no longer what it was when Randall Terry specifically went after pastors in fundamentalist churches understanding that if he convinced the pastors to join him he would also convince the entire congregation to join him in actions outside abortion clinics.
Now, what movement Troy Newman has is a mishmash of loud, obnoxious, egomaniacs, and boisterous individuals who yell and shout at clinics and, at the end of the day, have the nerve to claim they are somehow helping women. (As if hearing a man who looks every womanizing Disney villain shout "cockroaches", "rats", and "snakes" at her as she enters the clinic somehow makes her warm up to the worldview anti-choice protesters advocate.)
Without grassroots support, people like Troy Newman, Cheryl Sullenger, Jennifer McCoy, and others who organize with Operation Rescue are willing to resort to endorsing or tacitly supporting violence against clinics and abortion doctors. They know they can successfully convince state governments to pass restriction after restriction but believe as long as a doctor is performing abortions in a clinic the work of Satan continues.
According to the National Abortion Federation, 140,000 incidents of violence have occurred in the past 25 years. Those incidents include at least 8 murders, 17 attempted murders 41 bombings, 172 arsons, 373 invasions, 3 kidnappings, 1,141 vandalisms, 100 butric-acid attacks, 655 anthrax threats, 139 assaults, 365 death threats, 474 stalkings, 605 bomb threats, and 10,666 hate mails/harassing calls.
There is a connection between the current backlash against health care reform among proponents of the Religious Right and campaigns against abortion providers in this country. Both use inflammatory rhetoric powerful enough to compel frustrated individuals to commit acts of violence to halt operations that they believe are intrinsically evil.
The more organizations like Operation Rescue lose power, the more likely it is that they resort to acts of desperation. And, the more likely it is that an already existent vacuum grows and indirectly leads to more violence against abortion providers in America.
Watch this video from August 29th outside of Carhart's clinic.
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