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the Body Politic
Vol. 08, No. 06 - Nov/Dec 1998, Page 01
Copyright © 1998 by the Body Politic Inc.
Editor's Desk

And the List Grows

By Anne Bower

On October 23rd, Dr. Barnett Slepian was added to the list of those who have given their life while working to preserve abortion rights in America. The only doctor in Buffalo who would serve medicaid patients was shot down in his home after returning from Temple on Friday evening. The sniper who ended his life was apparently hiding on the grounds of the doctor's house and, following the modus operandi of the Canadian shootings, fired into the window of the house destroying the life of the doctor who left a wife, four sons, a community and a nation to mourn.

As this is being written, law enforcement is searching for one James Charles Kopp, who is wanted for questioning about the murder. Mr. Kopp, who amassed a long arrest record with Operation Rescue and the Lambs of Christ, has disappeared into the ether. There is a possibility he may have fled into Mexico with a female companion but the truth is no one knows where is he is, and the $600,000 worth of rewards has yielded no takers.

The search mounted for Kopp is international, with American law enforcement working with their Canadian counterparts who are investigating the similar shooting of abortion providers in that nation. A new federal task force has been formed to investigate clinic violence and law enforcement seems to be taking this attack seriously. But the bottom line is that a doctor is dead and no one knows who did it -- and Eric Robert Rudolph, charged with the murder of a clinic guard in January, is still at large.

Memorial services for the doctor have been planned in Buffalo and around the nation. Meanwhile, Buffalo GYNwomanservices, where the doctor was working at the time of his death, has managed to stay open, but they are looking for a doctor to replace Dr. Slepian. For his family, there is no replacement.

Where the hell is my magazine, or how not to have an attack of appendicitis

Dear readers

You might be wondering where is your Nov/Dec issue? Well, here it is and thereby hangs a tale.

As of October 27th, I am no longer in danger of having an attack of appendicitis because I don't have an appendix any more -- nor a uterus or ovaries. This rather unexpected series of events began when I started having "woman problems" in September which lead to doctor's visits, tests and a diagnosis of endometrial cancer. From there is was a just a few easy steps (and a few weeks) to a complete hysterectomy.

You can imagine this is not how I planned on spending my Fall months but it was better than the alternative. My husband, mother, and friends have been completely supportive, getting me through this difficult, painful time. And for those of you who knew about my surgery and sent cards, letters, and phone calls of support, it worked! The surgery appears to have completely taken care of the problem and the OB/GYN has dismissed me for three months. There is five years of follow up to get through, but I am confident at the end of that time, I will remain cancer free.

Anyway, that's my reason (I hope you find it an excuse) for sending a News Briefs instead of a full issue. We plan on being back in full production with the Jan/Feb issue you should receive before the 22nd.

I wish your family the happiest of holiday seasons and look forward to "visiting" with you in the new year.

Happy 1999

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