By Debra Sweet
Dr. LeRoy Carhart, long-time colleague and friend of Dr. George Tiller (assassinated by an anti-abortion activist in May 2008) has remained undeterred in his life’s mission to provide women with safe, caring abortion services when they need them. YOU are needed in Germantown, MD and the DC area this coming weekend to stand up for Dr. Carhart and women’s right to abortion and reproductive control.
Abortion Providers are Heroes!
Anti-abortion groups from around the country will be converging on Washington, DC on January 24 for their annual “March for Life” in opposition to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Along with the larger mobilization, there are plans to directly target Dr. Carhart at the clinic he now works at in Germantown, MD. They must not go unopposed – people who respect the humanity of women and recognize their right to control their own reproduction must stand up to these bullies.
Contact us (email@example.com). Come out for the weekend (schedule below).
Germantown Reproductive Health Services
13233 Executive Park Terrace
Germantown, Maryland 20874
This is the schedule of anti-abortion events we must mobilize against; it is taken from their website (names of events and link provided only for reference, not endorsement http://kickoutcarhart.com):
“Rally Against Late-term Abortions”:
When: Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:00 PM
Where: Neelsville Presbyterian Church, 20701 Frederick Road, Germantown, MD 20876
“March At Carhart’s Late-term Abortion Clinic”:
When: Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 2 PM
Where: Outside Germantown Reproductive Health Services, 13233 Executive Park Terrace, Germantown, MD 20874
“Teen Defenders International Walk for Life”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 10:00 AM
Where: Washington Monument, Washington, DC
“Prayer Vigil at Planned Parenthood”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 10:30 AM
Where: Outside Planned Parenthood, 1108 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036
“March for Life”
When: Monday, January 24, 2011, at 12:00 PM
Where: National Mall at 4th Street NW, Washington, DC
After Dr. Tiller was murdered, Dr. Carhart quickly became “Target #1″ of the anti-abortion movement. He is unapologetic and bold about the service to women he has devoted his life to, and has repeatedly challenged repressive laws restricting women’s rights, including two Supreme Court battles.
Most recently, however, his clinic in Omaha, Nebraska, has been restricted from providing abortions past 20 weeks, after a new law was passed there. In order to continue to meet the needs of women seeking abortions later in pregnancy, Dr. Carhart now works out of a clinic in Germantown, MD. 5% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed after 16 weeks, but Dr. Carhart is one of the only abortion providers who publicly provides later abortions, and often sees patients from around the country who have no place else to turn (see documentary film in progress: Trust Women).
The Center for Reproductive Rights has said that state legislatures this year “considered and enacted some of the most extreme restrictions on abortion in recent memory.” As the laws tighten, with no real opposition from the Democratic Party, which continues to seek “common ground,” virulent misogynists like Troy Newman from Wichita-based Operation Rescue plan to whip up their base of Bible thumping non-thinkers and target Dr. Carhart in Maryland. In December they were already holding protests of several hundred people and now they are advertising this weekend’s protests on local AM radio stations – hoping to “kick out” Dr. Carhart. Thousands of people are expected in the DC area for the anti-abortion march on Monday, and they hope to direct some of their venom against Dr. Carhart directly.
Why mobilize at Dr. Carhart’s clinic in particular?
Displays of visible, public support are crucial when violent and repressive Christian fascist organizations single out and threaten abortion providers. Watch Dr. Susan Wicklund and Sunsara Taylor talk about the importance of clinic defense.
Even if you’ve never been face-to-face with the anti-abortion movement in front of a clinic, don’t hesitate. You are very much needed – there is little time for a lot of organizing momentum and the success of this mobilization depends on you.
And as Sunsara Taylor says, you will learn a lot through the process!
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