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Release of names puts people at risk

In an editorial on April 27, the Albuquerque Journal voiced its support for the investigation by the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and its subpoena of records, including names, pertaining to the acquisition of fetal tissue from the Southwestern Women’s Options Center and research performed at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Both organizations have refused to supply names to the committee.

The editorial board justifies the House investigation by citing the videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress. If that is the best evidence, then the board has no case. As to releasing names, the board has chosen to give aid and comfort to domestic terrorists and puts the lives of innocent people in jeopardy. This may seem a harsh conclusion, but it is completely justified.

As to the evidence, it is clear that those videos are fraudulent. They were in fact acquired through fraudulent means and deceptive editing was employed to create a false impression. This is precisely the conclusion reached by a Texas grand jury impaneled to pursue charges against the abortion provider Planned Parenthood based on the impression created by the videos. It is telling that instead of indicting Planned Parenthood, the jury indicted David Daleiden and CMP, the shell company he set up.

Over the past 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, anti-abortion extremists have compiled an appalling record of violence against abortion providers and women accessing abortion services.

Over the past 40 years violence directed toward abortion patients and providers “… has included 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 185” incidences of arson.

Since CMP’s videos were released incidences of picketing have increased from 5,402 in 2014 to 21,715 in 2015.

Another terror tactic used by extremist anti-abortion activists is to list the home addresses of abortion providers.

If this act should appear to some as an innocent exercise of free speech, consider the overall history of violence by pro-life activists, and in particular, that the home and church addresses of the physician George Tiller were posted by Operation Rescue prior to his assassination.

These tactics have one purpose: to instill fear into those providing abortion services and their patients. That is, by definition, domestic terrorism.

Lacking evidence of wrongdoing, one is left to conclude that the House panel is on a fishing expedition with the primary goal of producing names. Congressional power to investigate can be abused, and the editorial notes the example of the House Un-American Activities Committee led by Joe McCarthy.

In the 1950s, McCarthy claimed that communist sympathizers infiltrated government and the movie industry. The hearings he held served no other purpose than to try to force people to name names under threat of finding them in contempt of Congress, and subjecting them to loss of employment and social stigma if they refused.

The anti-abortion movement is now targeting the Albuquerque clinic that provides late-term abortions. Today the issue is different but the goal is the same: naming names.

The anti-abortion movement has no evidence of wrong-doing by either the Southwestern Women’s Options Center or the UNM Health Sciences Center. That matters little if it can deploy its arsenal of fear tactics against doctors, nurses and researchers in our community simply because either they work at an abortion clinic, transferred fetal tissue according to the law or used said tissue in medical research for the benefit of humankind. It is ironic that the pro-life movement has a domestic terrorist element willing to resort to violence.

The Albuquerque Journal editorial board’s inability to see beyond the ideology of anti-abortion activists, or see through the hoax of the CMP videos, is distressing but not surprising. Its willingness to put citizens of this city in harm’s way is appalling.

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