FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feminist Majority Foundation Calls on House Select Investigative Panel to
Re-Direct Its Focus to Anti-Abortion Violence or Disband
Launches Ad Campaign Exposing Anti-Abortion Violence
DECEMBER 16, 2015 – Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) President, Eleanor Smeal, today called on the House Select Investigative Panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee to either redirect its focus to violence against abortion providers, or to disband. This select panel, which has subpoena powers, was set up to investigate “big abortion providers” in response to the now debunked videos produced by the so-called Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which falsely accused Planned Parenthood of illegal activities. But the real threat is anti-abortion extremism.
“How can House members investigate abortion providers and ignore the activities of key CMP official and Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, or the routine harassment and intimidation of abortion providers?” asked Smeal.
“The House Select Investigative Panel must call on Newman and other CMP officials to answer questions under oath about how their activities may have contributed to anti-abortion harassment, intimidation, and terrorizing of abortion providers,” Smeal continued. “Anti-abortion violence isn’t just about lone wolves. It is also about the wolf packs that harass and terrorize abortion providers.”
The call on the House Select Panel comes as FMF launches a major, multi-day digital advertising campaign in top D.C.-based media asking the question: “When Did the Right to Life Become the Right to Harass, Intimidate, and Terrorize Abortion Providers?” To view a sample of the campaign on POLITICO.com, click here and for more information from the FMF website, click here. The question is even more pressing after last month’s attack against a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs killing three people.
“A climate of violence is built by following clinic staff around town, putting them on WANTED-style posters with lurid language like ‘The Killers Among Us,” added Katherine Spillar, FMF executive director. “It’s about harassing their neighbors and their kids at school; posting their personal information online; running ‘No Place to Hide’ campaigns. These activities act as a magnet for extremists or disturbed individuals who are willing to kill abortion providers, law enforcement, clinic staff, or even bystanders,” continued Spillar.
The pattern of terrorizing abortion providers is frighteningly common. The percentage of clinics impacted by targeted threats and intimidation has nearly doubled over four years, from 26.6% of clinics in 2010 to 51.9% in 2014 according to FMF’s 2014 National Clinic Violence Survey. The National Bureau of Economic Research reported that abortion providers have been the targets of more than 300 acts of extreme violence from 1973-2003. The National Abortion Federation has documented some 6,948 incidences of violence against abortion providers between 1977 and 2014.
Contact: Meghan Pianta
The Glover Park Group