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[From 1999]

[Note: this page is left unupdated as an archival reference]

Birmimgham Clinic Page 

Clinic Bombings:

If you have any information, call law enforcement authorities immediately

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Vatican Asked to Vacate: "See Change" Campaign Underway

Posted 06/06/1999

Francis Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice is asking for support to remove the Vatican as a member of the United Nations.

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Planned Parenthood Sending Email Alerts: Asks for Participants

Posted 06/06/1999

Mindful of the power of the religious right wing to influence legislation (particularly in the area of reproductive rights and health care) Planned Parenthood is looking for participants in a new program of grassroots lobbying called Responsible Choices.

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Buffalo Clinics Get TRO

Posted 04/15/1999

Details are sketchy but the clinics in Buffalo have received a Temporary Restraining Order which limits protest activity. Demonstrators must stay outside a 60-foot buffer zone and keep audio equipment outside a 1,000-foot perimeter. Protest activity is expected to begin on Monday the 19th with action planned for clinics, schools and bookstores in Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester.

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Randall Terry's Church Loses Tax Exempt Status

Posted 03/31/1999

The Church at Pierce Creek, attended by Randall Terry and his family, lost their tax exempt status on March 30th with a ruling in federal tax court.

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National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers - March 10th

Posted 03/07/1999

Activists gear up to say "Thank You" to the nation's abortion providers this week.

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Harry Blackmun, Champion of Separation of Church and State is Dead

Posted 03/07/1999

Supporters of the principle of the Separation of Church and State are mourning the passing of former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun

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Hampshire Conference - April 9 - 11, 1999

Posted 03/07/1999

The Fight for Abortion Rights and Reproductive Freedom:
A conference for student and community activists

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Princeton Pro-Choice Presents Videos

Posted 02/28/1999

Activist and filmmaker Sunny Chapman speaks about abortion before Roe v. Wade

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Portland Trial Verdict a Success for the Abortion Rights Community

Posted 02/07/1999

On Tuesday, February 2, a federal jury returned a verdict against anti-abortion activists sued by Planned Parenthood, Feminist Women's Health Center, and four doctors under FACE and RICO statutes.

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Anthrax scare at abortion clinics

Posted 11/05/1998

Seven clinics received letters on Friday claiming "You have just been exposed to anthrax"

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Dr. Slepian assassinated in Buffalo

Posted 10/25/1998

Dr. Barnett Slepian, a target of Operation Rescue protests in 1992, was shot to death in his home Friday evening (more info.).

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National Organization for Women Action Center Calls for Action Alert on VAWA 1998

Posted 10/04/1998

Time is running out to support this measure. Unless action is taken before the mid-October Congressional adjournment many effective programs will expire.

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Alert On Internet Censorship Bill

Posted 10/04/1998

Yet another dangerous attempt to censor your right to know--the Oxley/Coates Harmful to Minors bill

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Experts Say Church Distribution Of Biased Voter Guides Could Cause Loss of Tax Exemption

Posted 09/27/1998

Press Release from Americans United

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Randall Terry Defeated - Cost $100 per Vote

Posted 09/17/1998

Randall Terry has been defeated in his bid to be the Republican candidate in the NY Congressional race against Democrat Maurice Hinchey.

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National Abortion Federation Calls for Calls

Posted 09/13/1998

In the next two weeks two dangerous anti-abortion bills will be voted on in the Senate. Press Release

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Incidents in El Monte

Posted 09/03/1998

A reader from California has sent this report to the Body Politic Net News detailing disturbing events that are occurring outside a clinic in El Monte.

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Operation Rescue Pushed Back in Florida

Posted 07/19/1998

Operation Rescue sure ain't what it used to be, but a hard-core group is continuing to try and make life difficult for abortion providers each summer.Read Nicole Youngman's full report here.

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Child Custody Protection Act Out of Committee

Posted 06/12/1998

On June 6 the House Sub-Committee on the Constitution voted on the Child Custody Protection Act. By 7-2 the committee released the bill to the full committee and it could be voted on as early as Tuesday the 16th. The National Abortion Federation has released a position paper on what NAF refers to as "The Teen Endangerment Act."

Full story.

Push pinOperation Rescue Heading for Orlando:
Florida Clinics, Barnes & Nobel Stores and Disney on Alert

Posted 06/01/1998

In the wake of last week's sudden butyric acid attacks on Florida clinics, the abortion rights community in the state is organizing and preparing for the promised arrival of Operation Rescue. OR has proclaimed the first week in June as Operation Push Back, and promised disruption at Disney World during Central Florida Gay Days. Local clinics are also preparing for possible blockades and Barnes & Noble bookstores, recent brunt of OR's protests about child pornography, are on alert.   Full story.

Push pinTeens Endangered by New Child Custody Protective Act

Posted 06/01/1998

The abortion rights community is waging a campaign against the latest attack on the rights of young women to get safe legal abortions.  Full story.

Push pin Wisconsin Abortion Law Threatens Doctors With Life in Prison

Posted 06/01/1998

In late April, Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson signed into law a bill banning the D&X abortion procedure called by abortion opponents "partial-birth" abortion. Performing the procedure is a Class A felony carrying a mandatory life prison sentence.

Statistics show this procedure is almost never used in Wisconsin but the wording of the law is so vague as to cause all abortion providers in the state to briefly cease providing abortions starting May 14th.  Full story.

Push pin Planned Parenthood Saddened By Death Of Barry Goldwater

Posted 06/01/1998

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Republicans for Choice are deeply saddened by the death of former Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Arizona and the nation have lost an important voice.  Full statement.
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Posted 05/07/1998

I have recently joined Women Leaders Online and they have released the following statement. Their information is usually reliable so I would take their admonition seriously.
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Verdict in at RICO Trial

Posted 04/20/1998

A six member jury today rendered a verdict in the Now vs. Scheidler trial charging Joseph Scheidler, the Pro-Life Action Network and others with racketeering in their efforts to close the nation's abortion clinics.

To the relief and jubilation of NOW and the pro-choice community, the jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded damages to the petitioning clinics. Judge Coar will now decide the final monetary award with the possibility damages will be tripled. Mr. Scheidler has promised to appeal, claiming he was unable to present his case thoroughly.

Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and now a candidate for Congress, was one of the original named defendants but settled with NOW a few weeks ago.

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RICO Trial Goes to Jury

Posted 04/16/1998

Late Wednesday the 15th, NOW vs. Scheidler was finally sent to the jury after seven weeks of testimony. The lawsuit, initiated in 1986, attempts to permanently enjoin organizations from blockading women's health clinics. Full report
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Harvard Conference to Train Medical Students on Abortion

Posted 04/08/1998

New England Regional Conference of Medical Students for Choice and Nursing Students for Choice

Join pro-choice student activists in the health professions
Saturday, April 18, 9:00 - 4:00
Harvard Medical School, Boston MA
What They Don't Teach You About Abortion In School (But Should!)

Conference is free of charge to all students in health profession programs. Pre-registration is required by April 10.

For more information, contact the Abortion Access Project of Massachusetts (617) 661-1161

e-mail: info@repro-activist.org
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Dr. Steir Arraigned in California

Posted 04/08/1998

Dr. Bruce Steir was arraigned April 1, at the Riverside Hall of Justice in Riverside, California. Dr. Steir pled not-guilty to charges of second degree murder in the death of Sharon Hamptlon. Ms. Hamptlon's death was due to undetected complications from a second trimester abortion performed by Dr. Steir in December of 1996.

Representatives from the Dr. Steir Defense Committee, the Feminist Women's Health Center, and Community Access to Reproductive Services (CARES) were joined today by four members of the Southwest Riverside County National Organization for Women and three members of the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse and Resist. Collectively we attended Dr. Steir's arraignment to show support for Dr. Steir.

Letters of support for Dr. Steir have been received from California NOW, statewide Refuse and Resist chapters, Access/Coalition for the Medical Rights of Women, BACORR, Women's Choice Health Clinic, Oakland/East Bay NOW, People for Choice (Modesto), Feminist Women's Health Center (Yakima, WA), Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts, Wisconsin NOW, Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health, Inc., Everywoman's Health Center (Vancouver, BC) and numerous supportive doctors and community members throughout the United States and Canada.

On April 22, court assignments will be made. On July, 10, court arguments will begin to be heard at Riverside County Hall of Justice.

What You Can Do:

Anyone wishing to attend the July 10 court date should call Megan at 916-451-0621.

A legal fund has been started to help the doctor pay his expenses. Send tax deductible contributions to:

Dr. Bruce Steir Constitutional Litigation Fund
c/o Feminist Women's Health Center
1469 Humboldt Road Suite 200
Chico, Ca 95928
530 891-1911, Fax: 530 893-9347
Defense Committee: Katrina Cantrell, Carol Downer, Esquire, Dido Hasper, Shauna Heckert, Eileen Schnitger, Megan Seely
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Texas Freedom Network to Host Conference

Posted 04/08/1998

The date of our conference on Putting Faith Into Action is quickly approaching. Get your registration in now, so you won't miss this exciting and informative day. More information is available
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Bella Abzug - Rest In Peace

Posted 03/31/1998

It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bella Abzug, former Congressmember, reproductive rights activist, feminist and indomitable spirit.

The woman renown for her gravelly voice and extravagant hats, died today of complications following open heart surgery. Ms. Abzug had been in failing health for some time.

History waits for you.

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Dr. Steir to be Arraigned

Posted 03/30/1998

The California doctor accused of murder in the death of his patient after a second term abortion will be arraigned Wednesday April 1, 1998 according to a communication from our West Coast reporter.

The arraignment is scheduled to take place at 11:00AM at the Riverside County Hall of Justice, 4100 Main Street, Riverside, California with Judge Dennis McConaghy presiding.

Supporters are asked to show up and lend support to the doctor. For those coming from out of town the closest airport is Ontario and the nearest hotel the Holiday Inn in Riverside.

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IRS Forces Pat Robertson to Stop Using Religious Ministry for Political Purposes

Posted 03/21/1998

The Internal Revenue Service crackdown on TV preacher Pat Robertson sends a strong warning to other tax-exempt religious groups that do politicking, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Press Release
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Global "Gag Rule" Threatens International Family Planning

Posted 03/21/1998

Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, one of the proponents of the so-called "Partial Birth Abortion Ban," has attached a "global gag rule" in the State Department Reauthorization bill (HR 1757). The global gag rule would disqualify foreign nongovernmental organizations from receiving U.S. family planning assistance if they -- even with non-U.S. funds -- perform legal abortions or lobby on the issue of abortion. Check here for more Information, and what you can do.
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US Airways Freezes Miles of Anti-Abortion Leader
Court Action by NOW LDEF a Success

Posted 03/10/1998

On February 27th, US Airways Inc. transferred 25,265 frequent flyer miles held by Randall Terry, former leader of Operation Rescue, the national anti-abortion organization and his cohort, Michael McMonagle, to NOW LDEF. This unprecedented action marks the first time an airline has transferred miles in order to help satisfy legal judgments for an anti-choice harassment. Read the NOW LDF Press Release
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California Doctor's Arraignment Postponed

Posted 03/09/98

At a time when the nation is honoring its abortion providers, a doctor in California is under indictment for murder as a result of the death of a patient after a second trimester abortion.

Our California reporter posts this latest message to Net News

Here's the latest on Dr. Bruce Steir:

On February 28th, a preliminary arraignment was held, Riverside Superior Court, Judge Dennis McConnaghy presiding, commencing three days of testimony. After reviewing the evidence from the California Board of Medical Examiners the only comment from Judge McConnaghy was: "I believe a crime's been committed here, and I'm holding this matter over for trial."

Supporters of Dr. Steir believe the evidence presented did a fine job of refuting charges from the Medical Examiners but it appeared at that time the doctor would be arraigned on March 11th. On March 9th, word came down the arraignment has been postponed. No reason why and no date set for another arraignment. Stay tuned for the latest updates.

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A Day of Remembrance and Renewal:
Drawing the Line Against Clinic Violence and Other Hate Crimes

Posted 02/16/1998

When: Saturday afternoon, March 7
Where: Birmingham Alabama

Tell me more!

We plan to remember victims of anti-abortion terrorism, illegal abortions, and other hate crimes-whether they target women's clinics, places of worship, or gay clubs.

We plan to renew our commitments to stopping the agenda of hate; our support of reproductive freedom and the women's clinics which continue despite harassment and violent attack; and our ties to others who fight for freedom.

Why March 7?

In Birmingham, on January 29, 1998 Officer Robert Sanderson was killed and Emily Lyons was maimed by a bomb at an abortion clinic.

Tuesday March 10, the 5th anniversary of Dr. David Gunn's murder at a Pensacola women's clinic, is National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers.

Your organization can assist by endorsing the event, notifying your members; and sending representatives to participate.

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A Campaign For Commitment To Ratify The Women's Convention

Posted 02/12/98

Read and act by February 16, 1998
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California Clinic Arsonist Sentenced

Posted 02/09/98

Peter Howard, 44, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for his attempted arson of the Family Planning Associates Medical Group in Bakersfield last March 17.

Mr. Howard plead guilty last fall to attempting to set the clinic on fire by driving his truck with propane and gasoline into the clinic. He was wearing a crash helmet and ear plugs at the time. A small fire was started with little damage to the clinic.

Mr. Howard could have received up to 20 years in jail and a fine of $250,000. At the sentencing, Mr. Howard's attorney, Cyrus Zal (who spent 7 months in jail for anti-abortion protests} claimed that the real cause of the bombing was the Roe v. Wade decision.

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"Hillary is Right", says Jerry Sloan of Project Tocsin

Posted 02/08/98

Hillary Clinton says there Is a "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" out to get her Husband While "vast" may be slightly exaggerated, Project Tocsin thinks she is right and a number of Californians are involved.
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Alabama Bombing: Police Hunt Vehicle

Posted 01/30/98

Investigators searching for clues in the attack yesterday on a Birmingham clinic are seeking information on the whereabouts of a man seen leaving the clinic area. He was described as removing a wig, putting it in a bag, and leaving in a 1989 grey Nissan pickup truck registered in North Carolina with plates [edited: deletion].

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Bomb Explodes at Birmingham Clinic
One Dead and One Seriously Injured

Posted 01/29/98

A bomb exploded today at the New Woman All Women's Health Care as a nurse, accompanied by an off duty policeman working security, opened the clinic at 7:30AM. Officer Robert Sanderson died from his injuries and the nurse was taken to a local hospital and operated on for injuries to her legs and abdomen. She is currently in critical condition. This is the first time anyone has died as a result of a clinic bombing although five people have been shot to death.

Today's attack is the latest in a series of violence aimed at abortion clinics which has escalated in the last year. It comes only a few months after a doctor in Canada was shot and seriously wounded. Canada has seen three doctors shot in the last three years. Last week a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio experienced a small fire deliberately set with lighter fluid.

Because of the proximity to Atlanta, the FBI task force investigating the Olympic bombing has sent investigators to the scene. An Operation Rescue protestor across the street from the site of the bombing was questioned but released. At this time police are releasing few details about the nature of the bomb.

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Canadian Doctor Shot

Posted 11/12/97

On November 11th, Canadian Remembrance Day, Dr. Jack Fainman, a 66-year old Ob/Gyn, was shot while at home by an assailant lurking outside his house in a Winnipeg suburb. Dr. Fainman, wounded in the shoulder, is in stable condition under guard in the hospital.

Pro-choice activists are deeply concerned about the pattern of violence that has emerged over the last four years around Remembrance Day, the Canadian equivalent of Veterans Day. Anti-abortion activists have claimed Remembrance Day as a time to mourn all the unborn killed by abortion.

This is the third Canadian doctor in four years to be shot around this November holiday. As of this report, police have no suspects.

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We're Baaack!

Posted 12/21/97

We've been unreachable for over a week

The Net.News website has been unreachable for over a week due to some unplanned glitches (nobody plans glitches, do they?) during the relocation of our site.

We apologize for the outage and hope that our service is now better and more reliable than ever.

Happy Holidays to all!

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Canadian Doctor Shot

Posted 11/12/97

On November 11th, Canadian Remembrance Day, Dr. Jack Fainman, a 66-year old Ob/Gyn, was shot while at home by an assailant lurking outside his house in a Winnipeg suburb. Dr. Fainman, wounded in the shoulder, is in stable condition under guard in the hospital.

Pro-choice activists are deeply concerned about the pattern of violence that has emerged over the last four years around Remembrance Day, the Canadian equivalent of Veterans Day. Anti-abortion activists have claimed Remembrance Day as a time to mourn all the unborn killed by abortion.

This is the third Canadian doctor in four years to be shot around this November holiday. As of this report, police have no suspects.

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ITVS presents Jane: An Abortion Service

Documentary Reveals Story of Secret, Women-Run Collective That Took Matters Into their Own Hands when Abortion was Illegal

Posted 11/08/97

In honor of the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) presents Jane: An Abortion Service, a fascinating documentary about a secret, women-run abortion service that flourished in the midwest in the late '60s and early '70s during a time of illegal, and often deadly abortions.

(Follow this link for the full story and a special appeal)

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NOW Celebrates Another Victory in Landmark NOW v. Scheidler RICO Lawsuit

Posted 09/27/97

CONTACT: DIANE MINOR 202-331-0066 Ext. 773; MIRA WEINSTEIN Ext. 705
In Chicago, U.S. District Judge David Coar ruled in favor of NOW on several motions in the class action lawsuit NOW v. Scheidler, brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Said NOW President Patricia Ireland,

"In this decision, the court has said that Randall Terry and his co-conspirators will be held responsible for all the acts of terrorism and violence Pro-Life Action Network has orchestrated in their war to deny women our constitutional right to abortion.After a decade of their legal manipulations and procrastination, we look forward to a jury trial."
Judge Coar's ruling affects several key areas of the lawsuit; his opinion:
Finds that plaintiffs' evidence of racketeering activity against Randall Terry and Operation Rescue is more than sufficient to proceed to trial. This ruling confirms that the plaintiffs have provided a "plethora of evidence" that defendants forced the "closing of clinics through the use of fear."

Finds overwhelming evidence that Terry and co-defendant Operation Rescue played an active role in the Pro-Life Action Network. As members of PLAN, both Terry and Operation Rescue are subject to the lawsuit and could be assessed triple damages if found liable under RICO.

Dismisses most of defendants Randall Terry and Joseph Scheidler's affirmative defenses. Terry and Scheidler challenged the constitutionality of the RICO statute and claimed the necessity defense -- i.e. that they had to violate the law to stop abortion.

"We are heartened that the court unequivocally rejected the defendants' argument that their so-called 'moral imperative' to stop abortion justifies terrorism," said Fay Clayton, the lead attorney for NOW, the clinics and the class members they represent.

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Another Blockade in Chicago

Posted 09/15/97

The Aid to Women Clinic in Lincolnwood, Illinois was blockaded on Saturday September 13th by some attending the Pro-Life action Network meeting held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin this past weekend. It was reported that 11 were arrested including Joan Andrews Bell, Don Treshman and Monica Miller. There were protests at other clinics in the area, but no blockades. All arrested have been released.

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Driver's Privacy Protection Act Ruled Unconstitutional

Posted 09/12/97

The 1994 Driver's Privacy Protection Act, passed to protect people from stalking and ensure the privacy of patients at abortion clinics was ruled unconstitutional Thursday by U.S. District Judge Dennis Shedd. The state Attorney General of South Carolina, Charles Condon, had challenged the law claiming it was an infringement of states' rights and not covered under a constitutional right of privacy.

According to a report from the AP, the law was challenged by a group including the press association of South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland-Delaware; the Newspaper Association of American and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Judge Shedd's ruling can be contested within 60 days. The law was sponsored by California Senator Barbara Boxer.

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Virginia Arsonist Sentenced

Posted 09/12/97

James Anthony Mitchell, who pled guilty to setting fire to the Commonwealth Women's Clinic in Falls Church Virginia in February this year, was sentenced Monday the 8th to 10 years in prison. Mr. Mitchell was apprehended after police responded to reports a brick had been thrown through the clinic window. He has been in jail since February.

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Poor Woman's Access to Birth Control Threatened

Posted 09/02/97

Thousands of poor women in New York may be unwittingly enrolled in a health insurance plan that provides no coverage for contraceptives and other reproductive health care services, FPA Executive Director JoAnn Smith warned, following announcement of a state-approved takeover of a Medicaid managed care plan by a Catholic-sponsored H.M.O.

Press Release: Family Planning Advocates of NYS

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