January 11, 2001 02:25pm
Concern Voiced Over Ashcroft
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Planned Parenthood of West Texas, Inc.
The potential seating of John Ashcroft as our nation's next Attorney General will not only be a setback for American women, it might very well place our lives in jeopardy, as well as the lives of professionals who we depend on for health care services. By failing to enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), Ashcroft could subject American women seeking health care services to blockades, bomb threats, death threats, assaults, vandalism and even more serious violence. Women seeking all kinds of health care at these facilities will be in danger -- not just those seeking abortion services.
Given Ashcroft's record on choice, we are not encouraged about his resolve to enforce the laws of our land that protect women and health professionals from harassment and violence at clinics. He was one of the fiercest opponents of reproductive rights during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. He was one of the few elected public officials to defend and accept an award from the American Life League, a radical right-wing group opposed not just to all abortions for any reason but also contraception.
We cannot expect John Ashcroft to vigorously enforce the laws that protect women and doctors from clinic violence, given his philosophical and moral objections to choice. Clinic violence is like a cancer - it extends the acrimony over the abortion debate far beyond those seeking or providing abortion services to women who visit these facilities for other health care needs. As a result, the women of Texas and the women of America simply cannot afford John Ashcroft as our next Attorney General.
As health care advocates and professionals who have been caught in the crossfire before and served as witnesses to tragedy, we will be the first in line to vocally and vigorously oppose this nomination. It is imperative that all women who value their fundamental rights, and all the men that support them, to stand alongside us and do the same.
Karen Pieper Hildebrand
Planned Parenthood of West Texas, Inc.
915-580-9855 ext. 109