Nurse Condemns Clinic Violence in Commercial Registered Nurse Emily Lyons was walking into the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic last January when a bomb exploded in her face. The bomb, believed to be set by fugitive Eric Robert Rudolph, severely injured Lyons and killed security officer Robert Sanderson.
In an effort to protect clinic workers across the country and to educate the public about extremist anti-abortion clinic violence, Lyons will appear in a television ad sponsored by the National Abortion and Reproductive Action League (NARAL). In the commercial, Lyons criticizes Senator Alfonse D’Amato for voting against a bill designed to protect doctors, clinic workers and their patients from anti-abortion violence.
The bill was passed and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, making the act of attacking or blockading abortion clinics a federal crime. Senator D’Amato’s current opponent in New York, Rep. Charles Schumer, sponsored the bill.
NARAL President Kate Michelman said, “It took several deaths to finally have Congress take a serious look at the fact that in some communities across the country, law enforcement officials either were not able to address the problem or they, frankly, were not willing to take action because some of them agreed with the protesters.”
The Feminist Majority’s annual clinic violence survey, which measures violence at abortion clinics throughout the country, found that nearly 25 percent of abortion clinics were targets of violence or threats of violence in 1997. Clinics suffered the effects and dangers of “blockades, invasions, bomb threats and bombings, arson threats and arsons, chemical attacks, death threats and stalking.”
Lions says in her ad, “When a bomb ripped through my clinic I almost lost my life, and it will never be the same. When Al D’Amato had a chance, he voted against protecting women’s health clinics from anti-abortion terrorists. I am determined to stop this violence against women, so I’m speaking out.”