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Abortion clinic violence : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, April 1 and June 10, 1993 online

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ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE



HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX
CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



APRIL 1 AND JUNE 10, 1993



Serial No. 39

OWT




Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary
HN

U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1994

For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
9 9 4 tendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-044673-2



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ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE



HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE OX
CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION



APRIL 1 AND JUNE 10, 1993



Serial No. 39




Mnted for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
^5 WASHINGTON : 1994



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
tendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington, DC 20402
ISBN 0-16-044673-2



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CONTENTS



HEARINGS DATES

Page

April 1, 1993 1

June 10, 1993 117

OPENING STATEMENT

Schumer, Hon. Charles E., a Representative in Congress from the State
of New York, and chairman, Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice . 1

WITNESSES

Cole, David, associate professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Wash-
ington, DC 165

Cowles, John E., attorney, McDonald Tinker, Skaer, Quinn & Herrington,

P.A., Wichita, KS 82

Eliason, Victor, vice president, WVCY Channel 30 Christian Broadcasting,

Milwaukee, WI 159

Foreman, Rev. Joseph, president, Missionaries to the Preborn 40

Gunn, David, Jr 15

Helm, Joseph H., Jr., attorney, McLario & Helm, Menomonee Falls, WI 177

Hill, Susan, president, National Women's Health Organization, Raleigh, NC .. 20
Hudson, Katherine A., director, American Women's Association for Rights

and Education [AWARE] 49

Levin, Rabbi Yehuda, executive director, Get Free, Brooklyn, NY 134

Mahoney, Katie, national spokesperson, Operation Rescue, Washington, DC ... 145
Mahoney, Rev. Patrick J., director, the Joshua Project, and national spokes-
person for the Christian Defense Coalition 138

McHugh, Rev. James T., bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Camden, NJ 119

Rasmussen Jeri, executive director, Midwest Health Center for Women, Min-
neapolis, MN 17

Terry, Randall A., founder, Operation Rescue 38

Tompkins, Norman T., M.D., Margot Perot Center, Presbyterian Hospital,

Dallas, TX 16

Weber, Walter M., Esq., litigation counsel, American Center for Law and

Justice, Washington, DC 97

White, Jeff, director, Operation Rescue for California 40

Wood, Stephen, president and executive director, Family Life Center Inter-
national, Inc., Port Charlotte, FL 150

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARINGS

Cole, David, associate professor, Georgetown University Law Center, Wash-
ington, DC: Prepared statement 168

Cowles, John E., attorney, McDonald Tinker, Skaer, Quinn & Herrington,
P.A., Wichita, KS: Prepared statement 84

Helm, Joseph H., Jr., attorney, McLario & Helm, Menomonee Falls, WI:
Prepared statement 180

Hudson, Katherine A., director, American Women's Association for Rights
and Education [AWARE]: Prepared statement 50

Levin, Rabbi Yehuda, executive director, Get Free, Brooklyn, NY: Prepared
statement 137

Mahoney, Katie, national spokesperson, Operation Rescue, Washington, DC:

Prepared statement 148

(III)



IV

Page

Mahoney, Rev. Patrick J., director, the Joshua Project, and national spokes-
person for the Christian Defense Coalition: Prepared statement 141

McHugh, Rev. James T., bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Camden, NJ:

Prepared statement 123

Ramstad, Hon. Jim, a Representative in Congress from the State of Min-
nesota: Prepared statement 34

Schumer, Hon. Charles E., a Representative in Congress from the State
of New York, and chairman, Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice:
Letter from Attorney General Janet Reno dated April 1, 1993 3

Weber, Walter M., Esq., litigation counsel, American Center for Law and
Justice, Washington, DC: Prepared statement 99

White, Jeff, director, Operation Rescue for California: Prepared statement 44

Wood, Stephen, president and executive director, Family Life Center Inter-
national, Inc., Port Charlotte, FL: Prepared statement 154

APPENDIX
Material submitted for the hearing 187



ABORTION CLINIC VIOLENCE



THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1993

Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice,

House of Representatives,
Committee on the Judiciary,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room
2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Charles E. Schumer
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Charles E. Schumer, Don Edwards,
John Conyers, Jr., Dan Glickman, David Mann, F. James Sensen-
brenner, Jr., Steven Schiff, and Jim Ramstad.

Also present: Andrew Fois, counsel; Gabrielle Gallegos, assistant
counsel; Rachel Jacobson, secretary; Lyle Nirenberg, minority coun-
sel; and Mark Curtis, congressional fellow.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SCHUMER

Mr. Schumer. The hearing will coming to order.

First, the Chair has received a request to cover this hearing in
whole or in part by television broadcast, radio broadcast, still pho-
tography or other similar methods. In accordance with rule V, per-
mission will be granted unless there is objection.

Without objection.

Good morning. Today we are having a hearing on "Beyond Block-
ades" and what we should do about those. Why are we having this
hearing? Well, it seems some have gone beyond peaceful means to
try to exercise their rights to protest abortion and have had a dra-
matic change in tactics. Blockades are no longer the only thing
done. Individuals have been targeted. Newly announced targets of
the antichoice movement are individuals who provide or seek abor-
tions rather than the system that makes abortion legal. The advo-
cates of this strategy have intentionally targeted what they see as
the weak link — their words — in the chain of legal abortions with
tactics the originators have proudly given such language to as the
"No Place To Hide Campaign."

What do they do? They trace doctors, staffers, and patients
through their license plate numbers. They videotape and eavesdrop
on them in their homes. They follow and harass them in stores,
restaurants, and theaters. They bother their neighbors, picket their
homes at all hours. They make phone calls to them both threaten-
ing and designed to jam lines.

We will hear testimony that certain doctors are — there are 50
people dialing their number over and over and over again immo-
bilizing their phone lines because they might choose to perform

(l)



abortion. They are putting them on wanted posters, sending hate
mail, following and harassing their children in school. In other
words, a doctor performs an abortion, the people follow the children
to school and tell the children's friends your daddy is a baby killer.

There has also been increased violence. We have seen a general
and possibly related increase in abortion-related violence, death
threats, vandalism, acid arson and now in one case, murder.

In the last few years, there were 28 bombings, 61 arsons, 266
bomb threats, 57 acid attacks in 1992 alone, 395 incidents of van-
dalism, 68 assaults and hundreds of death threats by phone and
by mail.

In 1993 alone, 1 murder, 3 assaults, 3 arsons, with 2, 1 in Mon-
tana and 1 in Texas, burning the clinic to the ground, and 11 acid
attacks.

So clearly the tactics have changed beyond blockades. Today we
are here to examine that and see what should be done about it.

The damages to clinics in 1993 already total nearly $2 million.
These tactics are having a serious and sad effect. The stated goal
of the tactics is to drive doctors and clinics out of the business of
providing abortions and the tactics appear to be working. There are
only 2,100 doctors left that perform abortions; 83 percent of U.S.
counties are without a provider. Only 12.4 percent of medical
schools routinely teach abortion. One-third of medical schools do
not teach abortion at all. Two doctors stopped working at a Florida
clinic where Dr. Gunn was murdered, for instance, the day after
the shooting.

There also seem to be, and we will have to explore this at some
length, insufficient State resources either in terms of law or in
terms of will and ability to prevent these things from happening.
Law enforcement is overwhelmed. Blockades, we know, are enor-
mously expensive. Five million dollars in costs to Atlanta in 1991;
$1 million to Wichita in 1991; and $1.5 million in 1992 in Milwau-
kee. Police cannot provide around-the-clock protection against the
targeted 7-day a week stalking that presently occurs. As Dr. Tomp-
kins will testify, he has had to pay for his own personal body-
guards.

Of the 28 cases of arson at abortion clinics during 1990 through
1992, only 3 resulted in an arrest.

Second, localities may not have adequate laws on the books. The
State laws are inadequate to deal with the problem. Thirty States
have enacted stalking laws; but many of these cover only domestic
stalking and would not cover abortion providers.

Finally, even if State laws exist, the States must be willing to en-
force them. As we will hear today from our first panel of witnesses,
police sometimes are reluctant to arrest, and State judges who
must face reelection are reluctant to sentence.

So the whole panoply of actions against the federally protected
right to choose is at stake. Another reason that we have had this
hearing is the Attorney General herself is interested in examining
whether Federal help is appropriate for individuals targeted by
antichoice harassment. She supports Federal protection both at
and away from the clinic in the letter she sent to the subcommit-
tee. She has stated that she wishes this area explored.

[Ms. Reno's letter follows:]




(Office of % Attorne u <&t m ral

Basljington. B. (£. 20530



April 1, 1993



Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Chairman

Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice
Committee on the Judiciary-
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I have previously expressed my strong support for Federal
protection for women seeking access to medical facilities that
perform abortions. Upon taking office, I asked attorneys in the
Department of Justice to review the possible basis under existing
federal law for providing such protection. That review has
persuaded me that existing Federal law is inadequate and new
legislation is necessary. This will be a top priority for the
Department of Justice.

I have also concluded that it is necessary to extend the
protections afforded by that new legislation to address conduct
that occurs away from, as well as at the site of abortion clinics.
There should be no distinction between an individual who uses force
against a doctor or patient at an abortion clinic and one who does
so away from an abortion clinic, so long as the intent of the
individual is to prevent the doctor from providing, or the patient
from receiving, an abortion at a clinic.

From a policy standpoint, prohibition of such conduct only if
it occurred at a clinic would present an invitation to violators to
move away from the clinic and engage in equally disruptive
behavior. There have, of course, been reports that individuals
intent on preventing abortions already engage in such behavior.

From a legal standpoint, there is no distinction between the
authority of Congress to address such conduct whether it occurs
near a clinic or elsewhere. The basis for Federal legislation in
this area will be the authority of Congress to regulate interstate
commerce. That authority extends easily to interference with
activities at abortion clinics, which receive equipment and
supplies through interstate commerce, and whose patients and staZt
frequently travel interstate. It also extends to activities that
are intended to prevent women from receiving the services of an
abortion clinic, wherever those activities occur. The effect on



interstate commerce is the same whether the interference occurs
outside a woman's home or at the clinic door. Similarly, the
effect on interference with health care providers to prevent the
provision of services at a medical facility is the same regardless
of where the interference occurs.

I endorse your efforts to pass legislation to address this
very serious problem and look forward to working with you to craft
final legislation that will bring protection against improper
conduct to women who choose to terminate a pregnancy and those who
provide these important services, while respecting the right of
expression enshrined in the First Amendment.




Mr. Schumer. We all know last week this subcommittee favor-
ably reported the Schumer-Morella access bill by a vote of 9 to 4.
That is designed to address, in a narrow constitutional way, the
blockades that physically prevent people from seeking reproductive
services. The bill was crafted narrowly, praised by the ACLU and
others for respecting the first amendment.

Today we have to consider whether this bill should be expanded
to cover abortion-related threats, intimidation, and violence that
occur at and beyond the clinic site. I am not at all certain that it
should, given the fact that, first, it is going to be tough passing the
bill alone and there is a very delicate balance that I think actually
was improved at our subcommittee markup; and second, the great
constitutional difficulties in expanding the bill are real. We do not
have tests yet for whether antistalking laws can be made to be con-
stitutional. That is hard to draw.

The antichoice groups feel, of course — and I guess the other thing
I wanted to say is I have an understanding of the concerns that
come from the other side. First of all, this subcommittee, I think,
all of us, believe the right to protest is a sacred one. If I believed
the bill our subcommittee passed last week or any proposed amend-
ment to expanding the bill would impede the legitimate, all-Amer-
ican sacrosanct right to protest, I wouldn't pass the bill; plain and
simple.

I also understand, coming from the perspective that I do, the an-
guish that motivates people on the other side, on the prolife side.
If you truly believe abortion is murder — and some people do — then
how far do you go in pushing the limits of society to get your views
enacted into reality, even if the law doesn't back you up?

These are very, very difficult questions and they are questions
that have occurred throughout many times in American history. I
truly believe that anyone on either side who is on a moral high
horse has not really thought the issue through as thoroughly as he
or she might, because there aren't simple and clear-cut answers.
These are difficult questions. That is why I have invited both sides
to address the questions.

We have people from both sides here to discuss the right to abor-
tion versus the first amendment right. That is what this hearing
is about. The hearing is not about prochoice versus prolife. That is
an issue that has been debated long and hard and will continue to
be debated in this body.

So the question this hearing will address is where is the line?
Where is the line crossed between education and intimidation? Is
that illegal?

Is it trying to educate a doctor by yelling at him 24 hours a day,
7 days a week, you are a murderer, you are a murderer, you are
a murderer; or is that intimidation? I think the latter. But then the
question is, is that kind of intimidation illegal? We all know that
the Constitution protects certain forms of coercive speech. There is
the greatest difficulty we have.

Now I don't think any of us have a right to judge motive, but we
have to protect individuals. To simply say these are difficult ques-
tions, we should not do anything, we shouldn't look at the issue is
as bad as saying — as the other side saying forget the rights of the
people who are protesting and understand their sincere motiva-



tions. We are going to go bull on ahead. People's rights are being
infringed upon. We are going to hear that in the first panel. We
see that in the statistics.

For a government to simply sit on its hands while one of its great
rights is violated, is ignored, is a government that doesn't have
much effect at all.

When dissenters turn dangerous and destructive, we must seek
to protect the targets of dissent. So in closing, no one, least of all
this Member, wants to stifle the free expression of dissent. We
won't. But as Justice Holmes is credited as saying, your right to
protest ends at the tip of my nose. Too many noses have been
bashed in this right to protest. When legal protest and freedom of
expression turn into criminal interference with another's legal
right, it is our duty to intervene and to draw the line.

I would like to recognize the ranking minority member of the
subcommittee, the gentleman from Wisconsin.

Mr. Sensenbrenner. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Today we are having a hearing on a very touchy and emotional
subject. We are going to be hearing testimony from people who
have strongly held views on both sides of the issue. Even though
I consider myself prolife, I respect those people who take the other
side of the issue; and even though I oppose the legislation that was
reported from this committee last week, I respect the arguments of
the people who promote that legislation even though I disagree
with them.

Let me say at the outset that in my opinion, violence has no
place in any protest movement. However, I believe very strongly
there are adequate State and Federal laws on the books to protect
people against violence; laws against murder, laws against arson,
laws against assault, laws against disorderly conduct. It seems to
me also that rather than trying to solve the problems by passing
a new law of questionable constitutionality, we should be enforcing
the existing laws that are on the books and prosecuting those peo-
ple who have been accused of violating those laws.

I would like to express my personal sympathy to Dr. Gunn's son.
What the assailant of his father did set back the prolife movement
a good 10 years. That type of activity has no place in the prolife
movement, and practically everybody within that movement has
condemned the assassination and the murder of Dr. Gunn in Pen-
sacola, FL.

However, there has been violence and threats of violence on both
sides of this issue. The chairman, in his opening statement, talked
about wanted posters of physicians who perform abortions. I have
one here put out by the other side of a wanted poster with the pic-
ture of the archbishop of Los Angeles, Roger Cardinal Maloney:
Wanted, Cardinal Maloney, for crimes against humanity, hate
crimes against women, attempting to deny women legal access to
health care, teaching hatred of women, gay bashing, teaching igno-
rance instead of safe sex, undermining the Constitution by denying
separation of church and State, union busting, and censorship.

So this is going on on both sides. There have been quotations in
the newspaper within the last 2 weeks of people who take the
prochoice saying "I would like a submachine gun on my roof, but
short of that extreme measure, I am not sure what we do."



Now, those types of statements on the prochoice side are just as
reprehensible as threats on the prolife side. It seems to me that ev-
erybody who is involved in this controversy ought to step back and
cool it a bit so that we can debate the issue of whether abortion
should be legal in the United States; and if so, under what cir-
cumstances and what restrictions, if any. Because that is the public
policy question; and yes, indeed, the moral question. The people
who are engaged in this debate, as well as we as elected represent-
atives, are going to have to face and reach our own personal deci-
sions; in the case of the Congress, what we think our constituency
wants.

However, despite how strongly each of us holds our individual
views on this particular issue, the Constitution of the United
States, particularly the first amendment, still applies.

The first amendment was never intended to protect politically
correct speech. We do not need a first amendment if the only thing
it is to do is to protect speech that is politically correct. The right
to protest and to picket and to stage sit-ins in order to bring to the
public's attention what one's viewpoint is something that is in-
grained in American society, for the past 100 years.

It seems to me that whatever we do in terms of responding to
the problems that have arisen over the past few years, we should
keep that in mind because we do not want to have a chilling effect
on free speech. We do not want to prevent people from expressing
that free speech to others.

And what we ought to do is we ought to start respecting other
people's right to hold an opinion contrary to one's own; and if you
disagree with the policy, work through the political system to
change it. But the political system is going to have to be fair as
well. I am afraid this hearing and the way it has been set up is
not fair.

First of all, I think that the majority has got it backwards. Usu-
ally we hold hearings and have public input before we cast a vote
on legislation rather than voting first and then asking the public
what they think later on. We voted out the clinic bill, the clinic
picketing bill last week. Now we are having a public hearing after
the fact. I don't think that that is right.

Furthermore, the majority staff selected all but one of the wit-
nesses at today's hearing. And the chairman specifically rejected a
couple of suggestions that the minority made relative to who would
be a good witness to testify at this hearing. That does not provide
the clash of views that is necessary to get all of the arguments on
both sides of the issue on the table. I think that is wrong.

So as a consequence, Representatives Gekas, Smith of Texas,
Schiff and I are going to invoke a rarely used rule of the House of
Representatives to require the chairman to schedule a minority day
of hearings on this subject where the minority will select the wit-
nesses to be heard, in order to get a balance of viewpoints. I would
like to read the letter that I am going to turn over to the chairman
invoking this rule, which is House rule XI clause (j)(l) in its en-
tirety.

Dear Mr. Chairman: We write this letter regarding today's oversight hearing on
abortion protests. Given the importance of the issues, the lack of witnesses to testify
on other side(s) of the issues and the need for objective fact-finding, we hereby re-



8

quest that an additional hearing or hearings be held. We request that at least one
day of hearings on the issue of abortion blockades and protests and the testimony
at such a hearing of witnesses be selected by the minority. We make this request
pursuant to the Rules of the House, Rule XI, Clause (jKl). Although Ranking Mem-
ber Sensenbrenner and staff repeatedly requested that several witnesses be added
to the list of witnesses, the majority consistently refused and then only agreed on
one minority witness of the ten total witnesses for today's hearing.

Additionally, Representative Schumer, who is prochoice and his staff were given
the role of picking prolife witnesses for panel two, other than the one minority wit-
ness just referred to. Representative Schumer also selected the attorney in panel III
representing the prolife viewpoint.

Moreover, at no time has the Subcommittee had an opportunity to hear objective
testimony on conduct at clinic blockades and protests, violence by prochoice and
prolife groups, cooperation between those groups and law enforcement, typical con-


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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JAbortion clinic violence : hearings before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, first session, April 1 and June 10, 1993 → online text (page 1 of 23)