Anti-Choice Harassment FoiledNYC 24 Sep 2007 21:08 GMT
As part of a planned month-long assault on Choice, Chris Slattery, former leader of the terrorist group Operation Rescue, and Bronx Roman Catholic Bishop Josu Iriondo, accompanied by friars, nuns, and congregants from St. Roch's Church, marched to Dr. Emily's Clinic and tried -- often with the tacit assistance of police officers ostensibly sent to protect the rights of clinic patients -- to frighten away patients and block access to the clinic. However, a diverse group of pro-choice clinic defenders fizzled those plans and even managed to out-sing their shockingly off-key singing and mournful chanting. Passers-by also occasionally indicated their support for a woman's right to choose.
Slattery, director of a chain of phony "crisis pregnancy centers", known as Expectant Mother Care/EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers NYC, remained aloof from the rosary and crucifix-waving mass, sticking close to his getaway van, admiring the scene with a smug and condescending frozen smile.
The antiabortion centers, funded by church groups and staffed by Roman Catholic and evangelical Christian volunteers, have been cautioned many times for their deceptive methods and false advertising. In early 2002, then New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer issued subpoenas alleging that the crisis pregnancy centers "may have violated one or more ... statutes by misrepresenting the services they provide, diagnosing pregnancy and advising persons on medical options without being licensed to do so and/or providing deceptive and inaccurate medical information."
The deception continued today when a literature table was set up opposite the clinic featuring grisly super-saturated videos of alleged abortions and highly-enlarged and late-term foam rubber fetal models, meant to mislead and scare prospective patients and neighborhood residents. However, no one was observed showing any interest in their materials. This lack of interest did not stop the two regular clinic harassers from shoving their literature in front of every person who passed by, including clinic staff.
Cops who had been dispatched to the scene prior to the march repeatedly tried to prevent pro-choice volunteers from protecting patients; however, they did nothing to stop anyone in a church uniform from blocking the sidewalks or milling about in the street where patients were being dropped off. It was only through the diligence of clinic defenders that the harassment ultimately failed. Despite the antis greater numbers, the pro-choice team sang louder (and more on-key!) and more joyfully than the mumbled hail marys and our fathers being endlessly intoned.
Dr. Emily's is a top-notch clinic serving a largely poor area of the South Bronx, that is besieged with homelessness, drugs, and AIDS. Questions put to the praying group, such as why the church is spending its time and money trying to deny services to Bronx residents instead of providing meals, shelter, jobs training, and helping HIV+ individuals went unanswered. Even with the tens of millions of dollars the Church has had to pay out to their thousands of victims of child sexual abuse, they can still afford to support expensive operations like jet-setting Slattery's fake clinics and speaking engagements.
Slattery & Iriondo's next planned event is Monday, Sep 24, 2007 at Nuevo Aires Colombianos Restaurant (37-64 90th St. Jackson Heights, Queens), 6:30 PM - 8:45 PM, where they will have a "Kick Off" Dinner Rally & Planning (90th St. station on 7 Train, Just west of Roosevelt Ave., for anyone who is interested in attending or observing).
St. Emily's graciously appreciates all the volunteers and invites others to come out and help support a woman's right to safe and legal abortion.
Aint gonna let nobody
turn me 'roun
turn me 'roun
Aint gonna let nobody
turn me roun
I'm gonna keep on walkin'
keep on talkin
workin towards a world for Choice