News Abortion

Kentucky News Outlet Glorifies Clinic Bomber

Robin Marty

As disturbing as the fact that the KYPost thought this story would be the most interesting way to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the obvious glee with which Brockhoeft explains to the reporter that not only does he not regret his actions, but that he thinks it was one of the best things that he had ever done with his life.

It seemed at first to be a sort of odd article to run on a day to celebrate a woman’s right to choose. A northern Kentucky media outlet decided that the 40th anniversary of Roe would be the perfect time to run an interview not with women who have sought out abortions, or providers reminiscing about no longer fearing jail for terminating pregnancies, or even an anti-choice advocate mourning the four decades of “lost babies.”

They interviewed a convicted clinic bomber.

John Brockhoeft, a member of the infamous and violent anti-abortion terrorist group known as the Army of God, has been out of jail for number of years after serving a seven-year sentence for bombing clinics that provide abortions. As disturbing as the fact that the KYPost thought his story would be the most interesting way to commemorate the anniversary is the obvious glee with which Brockhoeft explains to the reporter that not only does he not regret his actions, but that he thinks it was one of the best things that he had ever done with his life. Being in jail allowed him to meet his current wife and start a family, and he served time for what he believed was a righteous cause. “For me, personally, was it worth it? Incredibly so,” he told WCPO Digital.

Just as shocking as his complete lack of remorse is his admission that he is still in regular contact with his other violent compatriots.

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Brockhoeft stays in contact with his fellow activists in the Army of God, and envisions stopping all abortions by “people taking to the streets and demanding an end to it.”

“I foresee victory – complete victory – but I don’t know how long it will take,” he said. “If you had asked me 30 years ago if this slaughter would go on for 40 years, I would’ve said no. God would bring judgment down before that. But here we are, 40 years later. I am still positive the Lord will give us victory someday. When? I don’t know.”

Brockhoeft was released from a detention facility in Burlington, Ky. in February 1995. As a condition of probation he was prohibited from associating with his former colleagues or being active in anti-abortion causes for several years.

Those conditions have long since lapsed, and Brockhoeft has reconnected with his Army of God comrades.

“The Army of God organization? What Army of God organization,” he replied at first, cracking a smile, when asked about the group.

“There’s a bunch of us old fogeys that have taken action and a couple of ladies, also. But anybody can say they’re a member of the Army of God,” Brockhoeft said. “There’s no real organization where somebody orders anybody else around and gives commands. Some of us convicts gather from time to time, we have picnics or we go to national events. We get together and reminisce.”

Both those who track violence against abortion clinics and those who track homegrown terrorism groups say that there isn’t really much going on with the Army of God anymore, and that Brockhoeft’s statement is more self-aggrandizing than anything else. Yet a new article from the Associated Press that examines the relationship between Angel Dillard and Scott Roeder, the man who murdered Dr. George Tiller, might not leave everyone quite so reassured.

According to reporter Roxana Hegeman, the Army of God is still quite active in its own pursuit of at the very least spreading the gospel of “justifiable homicide”—the belief that murder of abortion providers is called for if it will stop abortions from being performed—even if a large part of the recruiting is going on behind bars.

When Roeder opened fire on Tiller, he propelled himself to icon status among abortion opponent extremists – a status that hasn’t wavered since he was sentenced to life in prison. A leader in the Army of God, which supports violence against abortion doctors, notes Roeder gets more correspondence than other imprisoned anti-abortion activists.

Hailed by militant anti-abortion forces as a “prisoner of Christ,” Roeder has been spreading his radical views from a Kansas prison. Other extremists have gravitated to Roeder, visiting him in prison, sending him money and offering legal advice, court documents show.

The Rev. Don Spitz of Virginia, who runs the Army of God website, which supports violence against abortion providers and clinics, is helping Roeder with correspondence.

Roeder likes to “debate” with people who write and often asks Spitz to mail them a militant anti-abortion book written by Paul Hill, a Florida man who was executed for murdering an abortion provider in 1994, Spitz said. Roeder also asks him to send them the book written by the Rev. Michael Bray, an Ohio activist and author of “A Time to Kill,” which defends using lethal force to protect the unborn.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/27/4033885/suit-reveals-ties-among-radical.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/27/4033885/suit-reveals-ties-among-radical.html#storylink=cpy

How effective can an organization be when a group of them are operating from their own jail cells? To answer that question, you just need to return to John Brockhoeft. When he was in prison, he wrote a newsletter called “The Brockhoeft Report.” Editor of that report, according to WCPO? Shelley Shannon.

Originally, the newsletter was edited by Shelley Shannon, an Oregon woman who was later convicted for shooting and injuring Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas physician, in 1993.

Shannon is serving a total of 30 years for attacking Tiller and setting fire to abortion clinics. Later, another anti-abortion activist assassinated Tiller in his church in 2009.

It’s clear that an underground group of those who believe in violence against both clinics and providers still exist, and that they still plot. Many are in jail, but others, especially those who signed the decree by Paul Hill advocating justifiable homicide, are not, and are still at clinics. Roy McMillan is a daily presence down at Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Matt Trewhella runs his church and hosts his own television show, and, as we saw in 2009, everyone is willing to get back together for a good cause, such as when they ran an eBay auction to raise money for Roeder’s defense.

“Picnics” and “reminiscing?” Let’s hope that’s all that is going on.

News Politics

Trump Adviser and Possible Vice President Pick: ‘Women Have To Be Able to Choose’

Ally Boguhn

During an interview Sunday, Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said when asked about his stance on abortion that women "are the ones that have to make the decision because they’re the ones that are going to decide to bring up that child or not.”

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, an adviser to Donald Trump who is also rumored to be a contender to join the presumptive Republican nominee’s ticket as vice president, said that women should “be able to choose” abortion during an interview on Sunday before backpedaling the next day.

“I think women have to be able to choose,” Flynn—a registered Democrat who is being vetted as a vice presidential contender, according to NBC News—said during an interview on ABC’s This Week when asked about his stance on abortion by Martha Raddatz. “They are the ones that have to make the decision because they’re the ones that are going to decide to bring up that child or not.”

In the same interview, Flynn also suggested that marriage equality was something “people [do] in their private lives.”

“These are not big issues that our country is dealing with that will cause our country to collapse,” Flynn went on, adding that he is “more concerned that our country could collapse because we are not dealing with education issues, immigration issues.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, swiftly condemned the retired general, claiming Flynn’s comments had “disqualified himself from consideration as Vice President” in a Sunday statement, according to USA Today. “His pro-abortion position is unacceptable and would undermine the pro-life policy commitments that Mr. Trump has made throughout the campaign.”

The next day, Flynn walked back his seeming support for abortion rights, telling Fox News that he is in fact a “pro-life Democrat.”

“This pro-choice issue is a legal issue that should be decided by the courts. I believe in law. If people want to change the law, they should vote so that we can appoint pro-life judges. I believe the law should be changed,” Flynn told the network on Monday, referring to Roe v. Wade.

Flynn’s comments on ABC had given the retired general sizable distance from the Republican Party’s stance on abortion. The party’s platform in 2012 was stringently anti-choice, calling for a “human life amendment to the Constitution,” or a so-called personhood amendment, which could criminalize abortion and ban many forms of contraception. Though Trump has previously claimed he would change the party’s platform to include exceptions on abortion bans, CNN’s Tal Kopan reported Monday that the 2016 platform draft shared with the outlet “does not include language about such exceptions” and “does not diverge strongly … from the 2012 position on abortion, saying that unborn children are protected by the Constitution and decrying abortion.”

Trump is expected to announce his pick for vice president ahead of next week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

News Politics

Colorado Republicans Pick Anti-Choice County Commissioner for U.S. Senate Race

Jason Salzman

Darryl Glenn, an anti-choice Colorado Springs County Commissioner, defeated a pro-choice GOP rival and three other anti-choice Republicans in the race to take on pro-choice Sen. Michael Bennet in November.

In Colorado’s Republican senatorial primary Tuesday, Darryl Glenn, a conservative county commissioner from Colorado Springs, scored a decisive victory over Jack Graham, a former Colorado State University official, who stood out from the GOP field of five candidates for his atypical pro-choice stance.

Glenn received about 38 percent of the primary vote versus nearly 25 percent for Graham, who finished second.

Glenn made no secret of his anti-choice stance during the primary election, describing himself in interviews as an “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative” and supporting “personhood” rights for fertilized human eggs (zygotes), a stance that could outlaw abortion and many forms of contraception.

Consistent with this, Glenn is also opposed to the Roe v. Wade decision.

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Glenn frequently brought up his faith in interviews. For example, Glenn broke out from his Republican rivals at the GOP state convention in April, where he gave an impassioned speech during which he discussed Planned Parenthood and opposing abortion ​before delegates voted him on to the GOP primary ballot.

Asked about the speech by conservative radio host Richard Randall, Glenn said, “Well, that wasn’t me. That was the Holy Spirit coming through, just speaking the truth.”

Seriously?” replied the KVOR radio host.

Absolutely,” Glenn replied on air. “This campaign has always been about honoring and serving God and stepping up and doing the right thing.”

Political observers say Glenn’s position on abortion, coupled with his other conservative stances and his promise never to compromise, spell trouble for him in November’s general election against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

“Glenn’s stance on abortion isn’t necessarily disqualifying,” Jennifer Duffy, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, which offers non-partisan election analysis, in Washington D.C., told Rewire via email. “Colorado has sent pro-life Republicans to the Senate. But, the cumulative effect of all Glenn’s conservative positions on social, economic, and foreign policy, as well as his association with Tea Party-affiliated groups and his lack of funding make it very, very difficult to see a path to victory for him.”

In the final weeks of the primary, Glenn was supported by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Glenn’s ties to the right wing of the Republican Party drew criticism during the campaign from GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He criticized Glenn for accepting the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund, which gave Glenn $500,000.

Duffy doesn’t expect the race to be “very competitive,” an observation that aligns with the “Democrat favored” assessment of the race by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report. Last year, Bennet was widely considered one of only two vulnerable U.S. Senate Democrats.

“Darryl Glenn’s support for ‘personhood’ puts him on the wrong side of Colorado voters’ values, including many pro-choice Republicans and unaffiliated voters,” said Karen Middleton, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, in an email to Rewire. “Support for reproductive freedom crosses party lines in Colorado, as demonstrated by the landslide losses by three ‘personhood’ ballot measures. Glenn’s chances of beating pro-choice champion Michael Bennet were already slim. This puts it closer to none.”

Glenn did not immediately return a call for comment.

In 2014, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), who is anti-choice, defeated pro-choice Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, who hammered Gardner on his abortion stance throughout the campaign. 

Gardner threw his support behind Glenn Wednesday, reportedly saying to Roll Call that Glenn has fundraising challenges ahead of him but that he’s “winning when nobody expected him to.” And that, Gardner was quoted as saying, “bodes well for November.”