Operation Rescue/Operation Save America (OR/OSA), the infamous pro-life group, is at it again. The organization descended on Orlando, Florida, last weekend for a “siege” of seven area abortion clinics. Although the event didn’t draw the “hundreds” of anti-abortion protesters that organizers had hoped for, their presence nevertheless managed to be disruptive and invasive. Among other tactics, the protesters went so far as stalking clinic physicians in their private homes.
The Ms. blog reports: “A close associate of one of the targeted physicians says that a mob of protesters showed up at her house. She says they entered her gated driveway, knocked on her front door, climbed over a fence into her backyard and snapped photos of her family’s vehicles.”
The organization’s leader, the Rev. Flip Benham, has been arrested in the past for this kind of behavior, but he still made an appearance at the event, along with James Patrick Johnston, a well-known advocate for violence against abortion doctors and clinics.
Members of OR/OSA apparently knocked on other physicians’ doors, asking if they could talk to the “abortionist.”
These practices are offensive and invasive in and of themselves, but the stalking is particularly disturbing because of extremist anti-abortion groups’ propensity for violence. If they’re willing to harass doctors in their homes, it seems like a short step to threatening violence, both at the clinic but also after the doctors leave work. Such intimidation is illegal and completely unethical.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is reportedly working with Orlando law enforcement to make sure that these threats do not become a reality. But it seems as if OR/OSA has already crossed too many lines in their attempts to show their anger with the pro-choice community in Orlando. It just takes a reminder of the tragic death of Dr. George Tiller, and the countless threats against other abortion providers, to realize just how high the stakes are.
Photo from infomatique via flickr.