Operation Rescue Wants to Turn Tiller Clinic Into a Memorial for “Dead Babies”

Just when I thought the Madonna incident was the worst story of the day . . .

As reported here earlier, slain late term abortion doctor George Tiller’s family decided to close his clinic over concerns about the ongoing safety of workers and clinicians associated with the clinic and the need to mourn his memory in private.

According to the New York Times, Operation Rescue is now making a bid for the property.

jeff(image from Operation Rescue 2006)

The leader of Operation Rescue, Troy Newman actually compared the site to Auschwitz:

“That is hallowed ground. It’s iconic of the abortion movement, of abortion itself. It holds memories, sorrowful memories for countless women and for the babies that have died there. You can’t turn it into a coffee shop. You wouldn’t pave over Auschwitz or Dachau.”

Earlier, Newman distanced himself and his movement from the shooting of Tiller and claimed that he would never condone such violence. It’s hard to understand how he sees no connection between running an anti-Tiller website, 1000s of protests and discussions against the clinic, and this newest comparison to holocaust do not contribute to a climate in which abortion clinic workers lives are less safe.

While some may believe there is no way that Operation Rescue could purchase the building, they have done it before. According to their own website, they purchased the building then housing Central Women’s Services in 2006 after being alerted to the clinic’s back rent issue. They cloaked the organization through a third party so that no one was able to identify them as the actual buyers. Then they turned the clinic into a headquarters for anti-abortion organizing. (I won’t link to this article but you can cut and paste the URL from here, please leave my blog and clear out cookies before going there: http://www.operationrescue.org/archives/operation-rescue-buys-abortion-mill-closed-clinic-will-become-or-headquarters-and-memorial-to-pre-born/)

Not everyone in the pro-choice movement is pro-abortion and not all of us agree on issues relating to race, class, and ability. However, our differences could and should lead to an expansion of discussion around reproductive justice and women’s equality. I cannot fathom how the opinions expressed by the spokespersons for the pro-life movement, which seems to be more anti-abortion than pro-life, leads to any of these things. And I would like to hear from those of you who identify as pro-life feminists about the face of the pro-life movement and the assertions made by Newman, b/c I cannot read comments or plans like these and adequately represent your views here or elsewhere. And when we lose the ability to communicate, we lose the ability to learn and to change and ultimately to support women’s rights.

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