Storm Clouds Rising
Last fall, before the shock of South Dakota's no-quarter "Degüello" of an abortion ban distracted our eyes from ongoing threats to reproductive freedom in other states, PBS Frontline focused our attention
upon Mississippi with The Last Abortion Clinic
) a riveting account of how the Religious Right has come to exert such control over the legislative process there that only one clinic - the Jackson Women's Health Organization - remains open in the entire state. But for Christian nationalist
organizations like Operation Rescue
, Operation Save America
and Oh Saratoga!
, that one clinic is one too many, and this summer they intend to converge in a perfect storm of intolerance to "storm the gates of hell" and close its doors for good.
Even absent the biggest guns of the anti-choice forces, Mississippi's last abortion clinic can feel like a dangerous place to be
The Jackson Women's Health Organisation is an anonymous enough building in the heart of strip mall America. Anonymous save for the permanent protest outside.
Arriving here is an intimidating, even shocking, experience. Anti-abortion campaigners hold up enormous and gruesome pictures of aborted foetuses. They stop every car going into the car park and try to persuade those inside to wind down their windows and take their literature.
The women going into this clinic for an abortion are screamed at. One protester, a man, yells "Don't go to those demons, don't let them take your money, don't let them kill your baby". When I ask him why he is being so aggressive, he tells me it's because America needs to know the truth: "Abortion is murder," he says.
Susan Seale is a regular outside the clinic. She's been campaigning against terminations for 23 years. Her conversation is peppered with unrepeatable and vivid descriptions of what happens during a termination. "It's the only way to make people understand," she says.
Staff and patients inside ... say they feel under siege. The clinics windows are tinted, the blinds firmly shut and a security guard hovers at the door. Despite the harrowing nature of their arrival, the waiting room is full of young women.
During last March's since-failed attempt to pass an abortion ban in Mississippi to rival the South Dakota statute, Operation Rescue sent front man and troubleshooter Keith Mason to Jackson, where he made his presence felt both outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization . . .
. . . and inside the halls of power.
Keith Mason was able to briefly meet Gov. Barbour and presented him with an Operation Rescue "Stop Abortion Now" lapel pin.
Mason joined Terri Herring President of Pro Life Mississippi, as she spoke with different Senators about the abortion ban, asking them to strike the House exception amendment [for rape and incest].
While there still are some people who regard Operation Rescue / Operation Save America and their ilk as fringe groups without true political access or influence, of course nothing could be further from the truth. As I have written before, there are zero degrees of separation between hard-line activist Flip Benham, the Vatican's designated "Vicar for Life" Fr. Frank Pavone, and leading politicians such as God's Senator, Sam Brownback.
Flip Benham's version of Keith Mason is Rusty Thomas of Waco, Texas, who already has made his own journey to Mississippi to spy out the land and seek the blessing of the politically powerful upon the concerted attack planned for this summer.
Robby Wachsmann, my assistant, and I just returned from a fruitful and wonderful time in Jackson, MS. Flip Benham, David Lackey, Jason Troyer, Robby and I converged on Jackson to spy out the land, meet with the local Pro-life brethren, and cast a vision for Mississippi becoming the first state set free from the sin and crime of abortion. Clearly, the Lord is on this event. His hand and favor was made manifest every where we went.
Upon our arrival, our host family took us to a Concerned Women of America meeting where I had the privilege to share with them the historical opportunity set before them. They were gracious and responsive to the call. They committed to prayer and becoming involved in some capacity. The next day we picked up Flip at the airport and headed to Tupelo MS., the birth place of Elvis Presley, to meet with the head of American Family Association, Don Wildmon.
Flip Benham's meeting with Don Wildmon
The Lord gave us great favor with Mr. Wildmon. He granted his blessing and made a commitment to help in any way he could. That evening we met with the local volunteers to review with them what it takes to pull off a national event in their city. There are many areas of responsibility to successfully fulfill the vision and mission. They, with eagerness, accepted the challenges and are currently busy working to start the tasks assigned.
The next morning, we all met at the last remaining abortion mill in the state of Mississippi . It is a gruesome place. Its foundations and pillars are cracking and crumbling. The Lord provided a visual representation of the spiritual reality associated with this altar to Moloch and Baal. It wasn't too long before the principalities and powers recognized there was a new sheriff in town.
This is a strategic time and place in the history of America. What greater crown could the Church in Mississippi cast before the Lord of glory? What greater legacy could they leave their posterity? What better time for the Lord to reclaim His Church to be His instrument of justice and mercy to vanquish this grave evil from their state? I told them Mississippi may be last in a lot of areas in the United States, but they can become the first and claim the highest position when it comes to the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
The third known participant in this summer's siege will be Oh Saratoga!, which is set to enter Jackson upon the heels of OSA to begin its own action from July 30 to August 4. Since its web site proclaims that "In the War of Independence the action shifted to the South after the Battle of Saratoga," the Siege of Jackson seems like a natural attraction for Oh Saratoga!
This call to action from Oh Saratoga! is being passed around so freely that a copy of it even landed in my own inbox.
Jackson Mississippi July 30-Aug 4, 2006.
Information Phone: 315-790-3551
NO BABIES DIED THERE THAT DAY
Mississippi will be in the rescue sidewalk tradition of being the last hope for saving an infant from death at the flashpoint. Many infant lives were saved in these early rescues and more will be saved this summer in Jackson MS.
Pass this flyer along to prepare self and others with prayer and knowledge of the recent past when thousands were arrested and thousands of babies saved and many pagans and semi-pagans were converted to Jesus Christ. Come witness what the Lord is going to do during Oh Saratoga! at the Big Mississippi Oh Six ['06]! -- July 30-Aug 4.
Oh Mississippi! July 30-Aug 4. Veteran Rescuer Skootch Murdox Von Schprringfelt of Ocala will again skootch- model the Mississippi shuffle.
Mother and Child warriors are planning on saving lives and souls BIGTIME at...
HIGH RESCUE MISSISSIPPI -06
Oh Saratoga! is no stranger to joint campaigns with OSA. In 2004, the two groups joined forces in Albany, an event blessed by Judie Brown's American Life League that saw citizens terrorized in their homes - an egregious intrusion that the official Oh Saratoga! account fails to mention. However, Dave of A Perfectly Cromulent Blog was less reticent about detailing the true nature of this particular "Christian" crusade.
August 24, 2004
Thou shalt not be an asshole
I'm pretty sure that's the 11th Commandment. I think I saw it in one of those hotel Bibles.
Parents of a newborn were erroneously targeted Wednesday by about 50 abortion protesters who raised posters of mutilated fetuses and called "Evil dwells here" through a bullhorn.
The problem is they had the wrong house, said Tricia Lehra, who was on the receiving end. The group apparently thought Lehra's Washington Road home belonged to a doctor who performs abortions. Lehra, who has a 2-month-old daughter, is a Shenendehowa Central Schools counselor; her husband, August, is an electrical engineer.
"I feel terrorized," said Lehra, who was not home when the group arrived.
Still, later that evening two teens bicycled past her house and screamed "No
abortion," she said. "They do not have their facts straight," she said of the protesters. "They took pictures. Is my house going to end up on their Web site? I feel victimized in my own home."
This marks the second year in an August campaign called "Oh Saratoga!" organized by The Rev. Francis McCloskey, a Roman Catholic priest from East Durham, Greene County, and Flip Benham, director or Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, a militant group of abortion opponents based in Dallas. Neither Benham nor McCloskey could be reached for comment Thursday.
Lehra said police told her she was overreacting. One officer "stated that we're not in any danger because this is a religious group. I told him I lived in Buffalo when Dr. Slepian was killed. I've got a baby in here. I'm afraid."
Wow. That's one stupid cop. Lehra's answer is a good one, but she could have just as easily countered that al-Qaeda, Aum Shinrikyo, the IRA, Hezbollah, the Sudanese Janjaweed, and the Branch Davidians are all "religious groups" (and that's without even bringing up the major churches).
Dave has a point. After OSA's 2005 assault on Colorado in general -- and upon him in particular -- Dr. Warren Hern of Boulder agrees with him. And today, so do the vastly outnumbered members of NOW-Mississippi and the Southern Abortion Fund, a newly founded member of the National Network of Abortion Funds that has been established to help protect what access to abortion care still remains in Mississippi.
Hello Friends and Allies,
Operation Save America (formerly Operation Rescue) has put out a call for a siege on the last abortion-providing clinic in Jackson, Mississippi this summer. (See http://jackson.operationsaveamerica.org/indexVideo.asp for more information on their plans.) Their message is being spread far and wide and we are planning a massive clinic defense demonstration to keep the clinic open. July 15-22, 2006 is the proposed siege week. In order to sustain a week's worth of clinic defense we are in need of a variety of support and especially people to participate in the counter-action. Currently, members of abortion funds across the south are planning for a caravan to Jackson and we need your help!
If you are interested in participating in the caravan or would like to be a fiscal sponsor of the caravan and clinic defense, please contact us as soon as possible! Also, we are in desperate need of items like water bottles and food for the persons who will be convening in Jackson as well as housing opportunities for the activists. We are also raising money to raise awareness with buttons, stickers, t-shirts, and other items. Any letters to the editor that you send regarding this event would be helpful or any other publicity for that matter. We are hoping for a big turn out to let the rest of the south know that we are in this together. For more information or to find out how to donate contact the Southern Abortion Fund at email@example.com or the Jackson area NOW chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. But now we know.
[Raffaelo's "The Vision of Ezekiel" from the Web Gallery of Art]
Storm Clouds Rising | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
Storm Clouds Rising | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)