Roundup: There’s a Whole Lot of Protesting Going On

Robin Marty

Everyone's mad about something: a roundup of protests, and some reviews of 12th and Delaware, which premieres tonight.

Protests, protests, protests.  It feels like someone is protesting something non-stop these days, when it comes to reproductive rights.  Here are just a few of the protests from last week.

In Omaha, anti-choice activists are already protesting at the future site of a new Planned Parenthood, even though the building won’t be ready for months.  From the Omaha World Herald:

A Planned Parenthood facility won’t open in Omaha until later this year. Outside its empty office Saturday stood more than 200 people praying that it never does.

Omaha Archbishop George Lucas attended a vigil at the future Planned Parenthood site, saying he hoped prayer would prevent the clinic from opening.

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“It’s important for us to repeat that this is bad, and bad for the women in our community,” Lucas said. “There are other life-giving alternatives for women.”

The clinic, which will offer abortions, will be at 3105 N. 93rd St.

Lucas dismissed an advertisement in Saturday’s World-Herald by Catholics for Choice, a Washington, D.C., based group, in support of the clinic. He said the organization is not truly Catholic.

“They’re obviously not in concert with the teachings of the Catholic faith,” Lucas said.

Mark Bonkiewicz, 59, stood near a group of people holding “You Can’t Be Catholic & Pro-Abortion” signs.

The Omahan said he hopes acts like Saturday’s vigil pressure Planned Parenthood into abandoning the clinic.

Of course, the clinic will do many other things than just provide abortions, but that doesn’t stop the protesters.

In Louisiana, the Secretary of Health and Human Services was sent on his way to a brand new job with a nice round of protesting from state anti-choicers who think he wasn’t tough enough on abortion providers while he was in his state role.  2TheAdvocate reports:

and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine’s last day on the job Friday with a protest saying Louisiana’s health chief did too little to shut down abortion clinics during his 31-month tenure.

Standing with about 15 protesters, who were praying and reciting the rosary outside the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge Inc. on Colonial Drive, protest leader Richard Mahoney said Levine’s DHH had found violations during an investigation but has taken no action.

“He’s had months to make sure these people are prosecuted for violating the regulations,” Mahoney said. “Why is this clinic still open?”

Mahoney said DHH under Levine has failed to follow up on a number of violations he says the abortion clinic has committed, including improper staffing, dangerous procedures and mishandling of prescription drugs.

“Alan Levine is leaving today and says he has done the job. I’d just like to know what job he has done?” asked protester Newman Roblin, a retired chemical worker.

Levine officially steps down Sunday as head of the state’s health-care agency with $7.7 billion in spending — about 30 percent of the state’s total budget — and 9,398 employees. But his last day in the office was Friday, and Levine said he plans to head to Florida this morning. A top aide to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush before coming to Louisiana, Levine said he plans to join Health Management Associates in Naples, Fla., which operates acute-care hospitals, as a vice president for government relations.

“They feel like I didn’t come down hard enough on Delta when those allegations were brought to me,” Levine said in an interview.

DHH conducted an investigation in December, based partially on Mahoney’s complaints. The investigators determined that some of the allegations raised by Mahoney were incorrect, while others were based on information taken out of context, Levine said.

But some of the information provided by Mahoney proved accurate. That data, along with other evidence developed by DHH investigators, led to a report that found a number of faults, such as facility workers failing to follow proper techniques when pre-filling syringes by storing them in non-sterile zip lock bags. This failure put patients at risk of bacterial and septic infection, the report claimed. Investigators also found the clinic failed to properly document and monitor vital signs when a patient is sedated.

DHH fined Delta $3,000, which the company paid on Jan. 25.

The agency gave Delta’s management a chance to address the faults found. DHH investigators, making a surprise inspection in March, determined that Delta had taken care of the issues.

“They are legal. It’s the law, and as long as they are complying with the law all I can do is hold their feet to the fire and make sure they follow the law,” said Levine, who describes himself as adamantly anti-abortion.

The Milwaukee press takes a moment to profile just a few of their favorite anti-abortion protesters, including one who has alienated his entire family over his beliefs.  From Milwaukee News Buzz:

In his 22 years devoted to protesting, Hudson has worked at various jobs, doing handyman work and other odd jobs. Because of his protesting, his relationship with his family is now very estranged. He still talks with his 95-year-old father daily but won’t be attending a family reunion coming up in October. “They say if I promise ahead of time not to talk about it, I’m invited, but I can’t promise that so I won’t go,” Hudson says.

When asked about his feelings regarding Hudson’s protesting, his brother responded, “My brother is an idiot. My advice is to not engage him.”

Today, Hudson is retired. Abortion protests are his only occupation.  He was 25 years old when the Supreme Court, in the 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, made abortion legal.  Every day he starts the morning at Planned Parenthood, praying for the women who enter the clinics and hoping that one day abortion will be illegal again.

But protesting isn’t just for those who oppose abortion.  In New Mexico, pro-choice demonstrators are being asked to show support for a local doctor in the face of anti-choice protesters coming to town.  Via the Alibi:

Today, at about 4:30 p.m., Planned Parenthood of New Mexico is calling abortion rights supporters to gather at the clinic on 719 San Mateo NE. The rally is intended to express opposition to anti-choice groups that harass and intimidate abortion providers.

Project Defending Life set up shop down the street from Planned Parenthood a few years ago. Since then, it’s moved directly across the street.

During last year’s Good Friday protests, there was talk of Operation Rescue coming to town. That anti-abortion group led the protests at Dr. George Tiller’s offices in Wichita, Kan. Tiller performed third-trimester abortions, and he was shot and killed in May 2009 as he left church.

Few doctors nationwide perform late-term abortions, so Dr. Curtis Boyd of Albuquerque stepped in to fill his shoes.

Mini Roundup: Speaking of protesting, the documentary “12th and Delaware” will be running tonight on HBO, so here are a few reviews to tide you over until it starts.

July 30, 2010

Congressmen to propose government-wide ban on taxpayer-funded abortion – Catholic News Agency

Stupak’s Abortion Amendment Still Draws Jeers – U.S. News & World Report

The endless protest – Milwaukee News Buzz

Health care reform and executive order did not prohibit federal funding for … – Washington Post

Democrats Plan Vote on Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Next Week, May Limit Debate –

Abortion Rights Groups Disappointed With Obama, But Reproductive Health Care … – Campus Progress

Pro-Life News: Abortion, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Missouri, Illinois  –

No More Taxpayer Funding for Abortion – Christian News Wire

Boehner Praises Rep. Chris Smith’s (R-NJ) Legislation to Codify Pro-Life Hyde … – Standard Newswire

Florida Poll Has Pro-Abortion Crist Leading Pro-Life Rubio in Key Senate Race –

High-risk health insurance pool will not cover elective abortions – FierceHealthcare

READER OPINION: A call for a return to the old ways of thinking about sex, by … – The Keene Sentinel

Abortion Leaders Complain: HHS Abortion Ban ‘Not What We Expected’ – Lifesite

Week In Review: High-Risk Insurance Pools Rules Stoke Abortion Politics … – Kaiser Health News

Abortion rights supporters to rally today – Weekly Alibi

Why Did the Obama Administration Ban Most Abortion Coverage in High-Risk … – Newsweek

TV review: Debate rages at ’12th and Delaware’ – San Francisco Chronicle

Abortion activists send DHH chief off with protest – 2TheAdvocate

The pill equally effective in obese, thin women – Reuters

Latin America: Prevention Is Weakest Link in AIDS Fight –

July 31, 2010

Implementing Health Reform: Pre-Existing Condition Coverage – Health Affairs

CO pro-lifers want to finish what state started – OneNewsNow

Beyond the Christianization of Abortion – Huffington Post

Parents are not an ‘intrusive mandate’ – Homer Tribune

Authority urged to regulate prices of abortion pills – The Hindu

’12th & Delaware’, Abortion Documentary Premieres August 2nd – allvoices

Another Pill That Could Cause a Revolution – New York Times

Abortion opponents hold vigil – Omaha World-Herald

Abortion rights advocate Keenan back in Montana to engage millennials – The Missoulian

Doctor to launch DIY abortion guide online –

Easy access to drugs trivializes abortion, says Vatican official – The Catholic Review

Vatican preparing new document on effects of abortion on women – Catholic News Agency

First-ever gay condom in India – Hindustan Times

Advance on AIDS raises questions as well as joy – The Swazi Observer

August 1, 2010

Editorial: Focus on jobs, not abortion in governor race – The Detroit News

How abortion upstaged jobs in governor’s race – Detroit Free Press

Nation’s abortion standoff plays out in HBO’s ’12th and Delaware’ – Palm Beach Post

Chief justice to inherit reforms – and thorns – Sacramento Bee

Australian doctor to unveil online do-it-yourself home abortion guide – Daily News & Analysis

The family matters – Juneau Empire

Voters’ hopes high for governor, poll finds – Detroit Free Press

Few satisfied by administration’s limits on abortion coverage – The Hill

One thousand girls on Pill at 11: Huge rise in contraceptive prescription for … – Daily Mail

Family planning services are vital – HeraldNet

Him or her? Permanent sterilization options get better – Indianapolis Star

Male ‘cut’ boosts drive against Aids: report – Daily Nation

‘Malawi youth delaying sex’ – Nation Online

AIDS Will Be Conquered – Huffington Post

AIDS conference ends with optimism – Philadelphia Inquirer

August 2, 2010

Kenyans to Vote on Controversial Constitution – Wall Street Journal

Abortion is not empowering – Washington Post

Contraceptive co. responds to claims – Global Times


‘HIV prevention takes a feminine outlook’ – The Zimbabwe Standard

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