Peripheral War on Abortion: Back-Up Hospitals and Providers Are the New Targets

Anti-choice activists have long referred to those who provide abortions as the weak link in the chain when it comes to stopping legal, safe procedures. Safe abortion as a legal right only exists for as long as there is someone to offer a termination and a place where that termination can be done. That was the thinking that led to the 80s and 90s “rescue” movement, a campaign of turning clinics into scenes of blockades and chaos, or trying to harass doctors out of the business by targeting their homes or blocking their cars so they couldn’t leave for work.

Those days are mostly behind us thanks to the FACE Act (The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) as well as blowback from the increased anti-abortion extremist violence that culminated in the murder of providers and clinic workers. However, other means of intimidating and pressuring those associated with abortion still remain, and in some places are increasing.

The change? Although providers are still the primary target for these campaigns, those who are on the periphery of abortion provision are increasingly being drawn into the mix as well. The reason why is simple: while an abortion provider sadly expects the harassment and is prepared to see it as a cruel and unfortunate part of the job but not enough to stop performing abortions, those who aren’t actually providers are far more inclined to see being associated with abortions as not worth the effort.

We’ve already seen this tactic used in states like Mississippi and Ohio, where a desire not to get pulled into the fight over abortions has kept a number of hospitals from offering admitting privileges to the states’ abortion providers. Other states, such as Alabama, have seen examples of hospitals who employ doctors who have offered to provide back up assistance in the rare case of an abortion complication face increased scrutiny and even public protests.

It’s with these cases in mind that Indiana’s SB 292 is such a threat to the right to a safe, legal abortion. Heavily supported by Indiana Right to Life (IRL), which claims the bill is a necessary piece of transparency in the medical profession, the bill would require any person providing an abortion to also give out the name and contact information for the local doctor who has agreed to treat any complications from an abortion. IRL claims it both proves that doctors do have back ups and allows patients to know who may be treating them in case of unforeseen circumstances.

It also, inevitably, would provide the group with a list of doctors that they and other abortion opponents can contact to try to coerce out of providing back up care.

There would definitely be precedent. In Huntsville, Ala., an anti-choice group announced plans to protest a hospital for continuing to employ a doctor who provides follow up care to doctors performing abortions in local clinics. In Mississippi, one physician lost his Medical Board appointment because he provided admitting privileges for the only abortion clinic in the state − this despite the fact that he himself didn’t perform the abortions.

Pressure can be placed just as heavily on those who simply have business relationships with providers. In Maryland, a  landlord saw his sixth grade child protested at her school, as anti-choice activists tried to pressure him out of renting to Dr. Leroy Carhart, a move they thought could stop that clinic from operating. The owner of Dr. Mila Means office in Wichita, Kan., was threatened with protests if he allowed the physician to perform first trimester abortions in her private practice. Means herself later received a letter to her home address saying that anti-choice terrorists knew her car and she should check it for explosives.

The treatment of Means is the clearest example of the lengths that could be taken to pressure doctors involved with abortion. Pressure and harassment can come in a variety of forms, as well. Chicago’s Dr. Cheryl Chastine has been under a variety of harassment and pressure, both emotionally and financially, since she began offering her services in Kansas. She has said that the attacks just make her more resolved to continue her work, but would someone whose only involvement with abortion involves simply being on call to provide back up care feel just as dedicated to that work?

What SB 292 as it was written would do, in real terms, is turn doctors into targets, giving anti-choice activists a clear list of who to apply pressure on if they want to make safe abortion inaccessible. That the state politicians would work with these anti-abortion groups to provide them with that list is abhorrent.

SB 292 appeared to have been scuttled in a committee last week, but has suddenly reappeared for meeting on Tuesday morning. There is hope that the section that will provide back up doctor contact information may be pulled, and hopefully that is the case. Otherwise, whatever harassment, coercion or even potential violence that occurs as a result of the bill should rest on the heads of every state legislator that votes it through.

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons


Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago


Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Dan Nickerson
Dan Nickerson3 years ago

Gee, all that preachin, bible talkin, and outpouring of God's love. I won't have to go to church for a whole month.

Michael T.
Michael T3 years ago

Cheers Rainbow. Looks like we had the same idea.

Rainbow W.
.3 years ago

Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed. (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children. (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood. (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)

Your god is a piece of work. And anyone with any sense will see your posts and run as fast as their little feet can carry them away from you and any church.

Rainbow W.
.3 years ago

“to the mockers and parrots here;”
Still reading from the majik book that has no answers.

Gerald the bible only wants you to love believers [neighbors] and hate nonbelievers [enemies]. Your elf god tells you to kill, adults, fetuses, children. At least it’s democratic in its rabid hatred.

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

You should not let a sorceress live. (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense. (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death. (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

Michael T.
Michael T3 years ago

Onan and Er are brothers. god does not care for Er, and kills him. Standard God operating procedure. Then things gets weird. Onan's dad orders Onan to have sex with Er's wife — not marry, by the way, just have sex with. This is actually pretty awkward for Onan, sleeping with his sister-in-law, and rather than give her any more kids (she had two with Er already) he pulls out. god is so infuriated that Onan did not have sex with his sister-in-law to completion, that he kills him, too. (Genesis 38:1-10)

Helping Samson Murder People to Pay Off a Bet (Judges 14:1-19)
god Trying to Wrestle a Jacob, Cheating (used his magical powers to put Jacob’s hip joint out), and still loses the wrestling match (Genesis 32: 22-31)

god set fire to 250 Israelite princes, and then killed another 14,700 Israelites with a plague. (Numbers 16:1-49)

Everything god did to Job (Job 1)

goa love him for his messages about loving one's neighbor, not hating one's enemies,

Yeah right.

Michael T.
Michael T3 years ago

Here’s some really cool things to be proud of your god for though, have a look

Eleus Sending Bears to Murder Children (4 Kings 2:23-24)

Turning Lot’s Wife into Salt (Genesis 19:26)

god Hates Ugly People (Leviticus 21:17-24)

god gets drunk in a bar and tries to kill Moses (Exodus 4:24-26)

god drowning every single person on the planet. Hell, god once helped some Israelites kill 500,000 other Israelites. God's crazy.

Abraham got off better than Jephthah, who had to follow through with murdering his daughter (burning her alive, specifically) in order to get on god's good side before battling the Ammonites. (Genesis 22:1-12)

Killing Egyptian Babies (Numbers 16:41-49)

Michael T.
Michael T3 years ago


KJV ain’t worth the effort to read it. The actual name of the man the NT was written about by people such as Mathew, never met the man, if such a man existed. If the man existed, his name was actually Yoshushua. Closest relative of that is Joshua and the J wasn’t invented until the 1400’s.

So he wouldn’t even turn toward you if you called out jesus in a crowd.

Mathew wrote his myth about 30 to 70 years after the purported man was around. Never met him. Matthew wrote his poetic version distorted by some epileptic named Saul, who also would have been put into a mental institution today because of his hallucinations and fantasies. Back in the day Ye, thee and thine would not have been in the lexicon of the people of Judea 3 millennia ago.

So it might as well be Cashew 5: 43-47 for all it is worth.

Gerald L.
Gerald L3 years ago

to the mockers and parrots here;

Matthew 5:43-47; King James Version (KJV)
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

Love and blessing's.