The domestic terror attacks at women’s health clinics appear to have done the trick as the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Atlanta doctors who participated in debate over a series of controversial new abortion restrictions believe they were specifically targeted for reprisals and having second thoughts about speaking out in the future.
Of course that’s a problem since abortion restrictions are all but certain to come up at the Capitol again next year and an absence of dissent from the medical community in the face of violence and intimidation only emboldens the right to take bolder, more violent action in the future. Doctors who headed to the Capitol to testify said they do not perform abortions, but they were greatly concerned with the impact the bill would have on women with troubled pregnancies. The doctors said some conditions fatal to a fetus cannot even be diagnosed until after 20 weeks.
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Dr. Jeffrey Korotkin says anti-abortion activists are behind a campaign of intimidation. Korotkin was set to testify at the same public hearing that Zane attended. Korotkin, who specializes in treating women with high-risk pregnancies, changed his mind about returning to the Capitol this year after his office received a deluge of threatening phone calls in the days leading up to the hearing. The calls stopped, he said, after he decided against testifying.
“I cannot believe anyone other than them [anti-abortion activists] has targeted the offices of people who did come down there, and targeted our [Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological] Society’s main office,” Korotkin said. “Who else would do it, and why?”
Another break in, this one at the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society occurred the weekend before a Senate committee was to discuss amending the bill to continue to keep private the names of physicians who have to report abortions to the state. The society’s executive director, Pat Cota, had lobbied openly at the Capitol for the physicians’ privacy to remain protected. The intruders bypassed three laptop computers, but stole two laptops in the executive director’s office that stored the names and addresses of doctors.
Republican lawmakers and anti-choice activists condemn the action and swear they did nothing to incite it. And I suppose this is true if we consider they did nothing that except force through a controversial anti-abortion bill designed to inflame passion and bring out the hard right base, equate the practice of medicine with intentional homicide.
Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives via flickr.