Scott Roeder shot Dr. George Tiller in cold blood outside the Kansas practitioner’s church. Angel Dillard claims sending letters telling Dr. Mila Means to “check under her car” wasn’t meant to be a “real threat.” Bobby Joe Rogers just “really disliked abortion” when he burned down a clinic in Pensacola, Florida on New Year’s Eve.
Most people who oppose abortion also oppose violence, vandalism, and intimidation. But not all of them, and the number of crimes against clinics and clinicians continues to grow. As more opportunities arise for these fringe anti-choice zealots to practice their own brand of “justice,” more feel somehow encouraged to do so, and groups that help fan the flames simply point their fingers in other directions and say “we don’t condone that.”
It’s this sort of action that makes the new “Abortiondocs” website, promoted in part by Operation Rescue, so frankly terrifying. It’s a database of every abortion clinic and provider in the country. Addresses, phone numbers, google street maps, lists of any sort of issues the clinic may have had in the past, all put in one handy database to be accessed by those who want to stop abortion by any means necessary. The site allows searches for late term providers, past licensing issues, and pleas for “pro-life” activists to seek out their own proof of “crimes” committed and videos and photos to add and share.
The “mission” of the database, and encouraging what is essentially the investigating, stalking and citizen vigilantism against providers and clinics? “This site is a clearing house for information gathered by activists from all over the nation. We encourage anyone with documentation, such as photos, court records, videos, affidavits, or any other documentation on abortion abuses and/or background to post the evidence to AbortionDocs.net….This is a project that is meant to be used as a useful tool to educate the pro-life movement about abortion cartel members in their communities, educate the public and fulfill the Biblical mandate found in Ephesians 5:25, ‘Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.’”
And “expose” they do, providing pages of info with any documents they feel are pertinent, clinic locations for each doctor and phone numbers they can be reached at,
But even more disturbing, as you begin to scroll through the database, is the request for pictures of the providers themselves. Why, exactly, do anti-choice advocates need to be able to recognize these practitioners by sight? Especially when it comes to what they refer to as “type 3 abortionists” — those who don’t even provide abortions but are “licensed physicians who may or may not actually do abortions but without their involvement, abortions could not happen in their communities. They may be medical directors, board members, or physicians who sign on to provide emergency services for abortion clinics. Their actions allow abortion clinics to remain open and make it possible for the killing to continue.”
Of course, the group knows exactly how the info could be misused, which is why they have posted a handy disclaimer: “This site is meant for informational purposes to aid in the end of abortion through peaceful, legal means. It is in no way meant to encourage or incite violence of any kind against abortion clinics, abortionists, or their staff. We denounce acts of violence against abortion clinics and providers in the strongest terms.”
There, now their hands are all clean!
Photo by Olek Remesz via Wikimedia Commons