CHOICE-NET REPORT is a weekly update on reproductive rights issues distributed through email, Women's Wire, gopher.WELL.com, Usenet groups alt.activism, talk.abortion, soc.women, and other Internet channels. Please reprint, distribute and TAKE ACTION.
On September 27, Newt Gingrich brought 300 House Republicans and challengers together on the Capitol steps to announce the signing of a "Contract With America."
Hidden in among the promises for term limits, line-item veto, balanced-budget amendment and increased military spending is a section on "personal responsibility" which states that "no funds may be used for abortion services or abortion counseling." This language is frighteningly close to the Reagan/Bush era gag rule which forbid doctors, who worked in settings that received Title X family program funds, from providing ANY information about abortion to their clients. The gag rule was overturned by Bill Clinton in his first month in office.
In essence, this Act would gag physicians and other health care professionals by prohibiting them from providing women with vital information regarding their complete range of options for dealing with an unintended pregnancy. This is a blatant violation of the doctor/patient relationship. It would also force service providers to choose between breaching professional ethics by withholding information, or breaking the law and losing desperately needed funds. Mainstream medical organizations such as the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Nurses Association have opposed the Gag Rule.
Republican candidates who signed the Contract for America are now being faced with the decision of retracting their support for the contract or losing the support of pro-choice groups. Stay tuned to see what they do. (source: NARAL, Planned Parenthood, AP)
On October 9 at 3:30 a.m. the Chico Planned Parenthood clinic was the target of an arson attack. Approximately one hour later the Redding Feminist Women's Health Center experienced a similar attack.
The Chico Planned Parenthood clinic has sustained over $100,000 in structural damages, combined with the lot revenues while they rebuild, their total losses are estimated at $250,000. They will reopen Monday, October 17, at an interim location in Chico where they will provide most of their current services. They are still searching for a site to provide abortion services, but in the meantime they are referring clients to other providers in the area.
The Redding Feminist Women's Health Center had an automatic sprinkler system which limited damages. That sprinkler system was the result of local and statewide coalition fundraising efforts, including help from CARAL, and they want everyone to know that it probably saved the clinic from burning down. Initial damage estimate is $4,000. They have a $5,000 deductible and were already in a financial crunch so they need donations to cover this.
The Chico police department called the Redding police department when the Chico fire was discovered in Chico. The Redding police said they were too busy to look into it. This morning they issued a statement saying that was a mistake and they should have gone to the clinic. I they had, they would have almost certainly caught the arsonist.
The FBI, BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) and U.S. Attorney's office have all started investigations and are on the scene. A $100,000 reward has been posted by the BATF, the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, for the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for this act of terrorism. Anyone with information is urged to contact BATF at 1-800-ATF-4867.
Please write and request protection. Write to:
David Orsay Threat Analysis Coordinator 650 Capital Mall,
Room 1020 Sacramento, CA 95814
Request Protection for:
Redding Feminist Women's Health Center 1901 Victor Avenue
Redding, CA 96002
Donations can be sent to:
Chico Planned Parenthood 556 Vallombrosa Chico, CA 95926
Redding Feminist Women's Health Center 1901 Victor Ave.
Redding, CA 96002
On Tuesday, October 10 at 3 o'clock in the morning, an anti- abortion terrorist torched the clinic of Dr. James Armstrong of Kalispell, Montana. Damage estimates are unavailable.
Dr. Armstrong is one of only two abortion providers in this large, mostly rural state. Montana's other abortion provider, Dr. Susan Wicklund, for years has been a target of anti-abortion terrorists and stalkers. Dr. Wicklund's harassment by the Lambs of Christ, was profiled by CBS newsmagazine, "60 Minutes," in 1992. Their threats and harassment, which included stalking her daughter at school, were so extreme that Dr. Wicklund has armed herself and hired bodyguards for protection.
(source: Tom Burghardt, BACORR)
Information Sources: California Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League-North, Alan Guttmacher Institute, Reproductive Freedom News, Voters for Choice, Culture Watch, Political Woman, various Congresspersons, various newspapers, C-Span, CNN, Reuters, AP, and UPI. Editor: Kathy Watkins, Administrative Director, CARAL-North Comments and suggestions: email@example.com