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Another Doctor in the Sights of Operation Rescue

29 June, 2009

On May 31st, the warnings of the Department of Homeland Security  regarding the possibility of increased activity by far-right extremist groups, including religious and nativist ones.  Dr. Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country willing to defy the repeated threats and attacks by Christian extremists and provide a necessary  procedure, was murdered by a 51-year-old zealot.  Despite repeated denials by members of Operation Rescue, many links were found between this right-wing terrorist and the Kansas leadership of OR.

Of course, Operation Rescue was not alone.  Coulter, O’Reilly and others tossed dry wood onto the smouldering fire using eliminationist rhetoric.  Of course, the leaders of the anti-woman movement just explain that these were ‘fruits and lunatic’ and the calls to stop the ‘murderer’ did not actually incite anyone at anytime.  (Then why do it?)

Now that Dr. Tiller has been murdered, Operation Lifesaver needs to find another individual to excoriate in order to not inspire anyone to action.  And they have set their sights on Dr. Leroy Carhart, a physician who had worked with Dr. Tiller (from the Kanas City Star via  Midwest Voices):

Operation Rescue, the aggressive anti-abortion group based in Wichita, Kan., made tracks to distance itself from the murder early this month of abortion doctor George Tiller.

But now the group, which hounded Tiller for years, is turning its sights on LeRoy Carhart, the Nebraska-based physician who regularly assisted Tiller.

Operation Rescue has put out the wordthat it wants to hear from women who sought abortions from Carhart in the last five years. It’s doing a “research project” on Carhart, according to its website.

If experience is any guide, this “research project” will result in unverifiable and downright bogus allegations, which the group will make public. It’s the sort of information that just might inflame an unbalanced person like Scott Roeder, the man accused of shooting Tiller in his church — where, by the way, Operation Rescue had protested and disrupted services numerous times.

But when tragedy occurs, Operation Rescue’s leaders are shocked and appalled. Or so they say.

If the repeated instances of public verbal harrassment (referring to the doctors as murderers, asking ‘god’ to stop them, etc.) are not meant to inspire followers to action, then why does Operation Rescue (among others) do this?  If giving out the home address of a physician performing legal procedures, tracking his movements on websites, and publishing his schedule are not meant to make it easier for terrorists to operate, then why are they doing it? 

Of course, when a fringe follower acts out the eliminationist fantasy of the terrorist-supporting groups, the leaders are surprised and shocked that anyone would do such a deed.  And then they (or their followers) piously explain that “God sent the shooter.”

I know that there are lawyers who read my blog.  I know that all of us are rather fierce about defending free speech.  How do we, as a nation, deal with groups inspiring domestic terrorism without damaging the rights of all Americans?

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3 comments

  1. […] See the original post here: Another Doctor in the Sights of Operation Rescue […]


  2. It’s tough because religion is involved. Without religion, sure, some nutter may hear what they’re saying and act violently, but I think religion makes it possible for the not-completely-nutters to act violently, too. If you believe your side is championing what your god wants, and that your god can and would act in some way to make what he wants happen, then you can rationalize that inner desire to see these people dead as some sort of calling from god. How can you turn your back when your god’s calling you to act?


  3. Right Views: Thanks for the link. Do ya’ll even read what you are linking to?

    Philly: When your beliefs include making a hero out of a guy who was willing to kill his son because of a voice in his head, I guess anything goes. You are, of course (as almost always) correct: if you honestly and fervently believe that your god has told you to do something, how could you possibly be sane enough to say no?



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