"It is unconscionable that with the recent assassination of Dr. Tiller, and the numerous threats against abortion providers and their clinics, that the DOJ would remove Dr. Carhart's protection," said Marla Patrick, State Coordinator for Kansas NOW. "We are calling on the Attorney General to reinstate Dr. Carhart's federal protection immediately."
Women's rights and health advocates are particularly concerned about the withdrawal of federal marshals from the protection of Dr. Carhart as Operation Rescue mounts efforts to close his Nebraska clinic in late August and as extremist groups that openly support violence, such as Army of God, ratchet up the political rhetoric on abortion care.
Is our political memory really that short? How long has it been since Dr. Tiller was assassinated in his church while serving as an usher? And the man who shot him continues to give interviews to anyone who asks.
If you live in the Kansas area, there are direct ways that you can help:
Kansas NOW is urging advocates from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska to assist in the defense of Dr. Carhart's clinic, as well as to pro-choice advocates from throughout the country, asking them to travel to Nebraska for that weekend or to donate funds to assist in defending the clinic.
KSNOW also continues to urge advocates to call on Attorney General Eric Holder to restore federal marshal protection to Carhart. The AG's office can be reached through this number provided by Kansas NOW, 202-353-1555.
Those of us who cannot make the trip to put bodies between the protesters and women who need medical attention can at least call our U.S. Attorney General and ask him why pull security from a man who is in danger?
Dr. Carhart has made no secret of his desire to try to fill the void in women's health care left by the murder of Dr. Tiller.
"Kansas NOW will assemble to protect and defend Dr. Carhart’s clinic in Nebraska," says a press release from the group. "Kansas NOW also strongly supports his intention to open a clinic in Kansas, as the assassination of Dr. George Tiller has left a noticeable void in meeting women’s healthcare needs in the state."
Dr. Tiller's death still passeth all understanding for me. I hold this as a firm tenet: you don't kill people with whom you disagree. If the anti-choice movement wants to be mad at anyone, it should be mad that the Republican party sold them a bill of goods all those years they were in power. They had the votes to ban abortion; they just never exercised them. It's just so much easier for Republicans to keep certain people riled up about issues than it is to "solve" the issue and lose the potential votes.
Given the ferocity with which the Rethuglicans have been stirring up trouble at health care town halls, or with their birther bullshit, and now, having had Sotomayor confirmed to the Supreme Court, this seems like the absolute wrong time to pull Dr. Carhart's protection.
Please call AG Holder's office. If you're close to the clinic, please show up to make your presence present.
We need to make sure that another one of their lunatics does not get access to one of our heroes.