Dark Christianity
.::: .::..:.::.:.

May 2008
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

dogemperor [userpic]
Is this possible dominionism in action?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]amethyst_hunter)

I’m keeping an eye on this story both because I am somewhat close to the region in question and because I have a vested interest (i.e., future BC-use) at stake. While doing some looking-around online the other night, I ran across some information that made me wonder if my ‘dommie-dar’ (as some folks here like to refer to it) was being pinged. I’m hoping those of you in the know can correct my assumptions if they’re wrong.

The story: A Planned Parenthood is scheduled to open in Aurora Illinois this mid-September. But nobody knew about it until about one month beforehand – for reasons which, as you’ll see, I can understand. To say that the clinic’s soon-to-be presence has ignited a shitstorm in northern Illinois is putting it mildly. Anti-choice protestors are crawling out from under every rock for miles and have announced their intentions as no less than the total exile of the clinic – even going so far as to look into the possibility of picketing PP employees’ HOMES. (WTF. PLEASE tell me this cannot be legal...isn’t this STALKING/HARASSMENT!?)

Meanwhile, low-income people (like yours truly) are pleased to see something being done about affordable healthcare options, and while the counter-protesting doesn’t seem to have been nearly as vivid or as vocal (though keep in mind, the media likes to show off the anti-choicers more, plus I’ve a feeling that the local media here is on the more conservative side), it is making itself known.

What grabbed my notice was the head of the anti-choice operation involved in this controversy, which is one Pro-Life Action League. More specifically, its founder Joseph Scheidler and current head of Chicago-based communications, Eric Scheidler. I may be wrong, but those names tripped something in my brain and I thought I had seen at least one of them mentioned here at some point in the past. Some looking online turned up the following troubling tidbits:

Joseph Scheidler likens contraception to abortion. (Text follows for the linkophobic)

"Contraception is more the root cause of abortion than anything else," Joseph Scheidler, an anti-abortion veteran whose Pro-Life Action League sponsored the conference, said in an interview.

...Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International, opened Saturday's session with a clear tactical agenda for the budding movement: "It's time to get serious about denying Planned Parenthood funding for birth control or sex education and abortion. We need to hold them accountable for this contraceptive welfare. We have to work very carefully to keep that sword away from Planned Parenthood."

Euteneuer believes a single argument holds the greatest potential for changing how the anti-abortion community thinks about birth control. "Chemical contraception doesn't prevent abortions, it causes abortion," he said in an interview. "If we believe life begins at the moment of conception, we have to defend it against [this] chemical attack." Euteneuer was referring to the possibility that hormonal birth control, including the pill, the patch, injections and some IUDs, might prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a womb.
Scientific evidence suggests that this occurs infrequently, if at all, and that birth control works primarily by preventing a woman from ovulating.

Also from the same link are these nuggets of non-joy:

According to the National Organization for Women, Joseph Scheidler once likened his militant Pro-Life Action Network to a “pro-life mafia.” Now, Scheidler is celebrating the final dismissal of a lawsuit that sought to hold his group’s (sometimes violent) intimidation activism accountable to an anti-mob racketeering law. “I’ve waited 21 years for this news!” said Scheidler. The ruling following a Supreme Court decision last year that federal racketeering laws don’t apply to organized crime without extortion or robbery.

Troy Newman, president of the current incarnation of Operation Rescue, praised Scheidler as a “true American hero.” The original Operation Rescue, run by Randall Terry, was also part of the NOW v. Scheidler lawsuit, but Terry agreed to a permanent injunction against his brand of clinic blockades and a monetary settlement back in 1998. (Terry, who declared bankruptcy to evade the settlement, found himself in the news again two years ago as the spokesman for Terri Schiavo’s parents.)

Throughout the period of militant anti-abortion protesting, when clinic bombings and murders of doctors spotted the headlines, Scheidler was unapologetic about his group’s tactics. “I’m doing what I have to do. So what? I’ve got some misdemeanors ... I don’t consider myself a criminal,” he said (AP, 12/5/93). He bragged about his unusual actions, such as absconding with fetal remains (Wash. Post, 12/6/93) or picketing the homes of doctors (“Home Pickets Work,” USA Today, 10/19/95).

I found a video where an interviewer asks Scheidler about his arrest record, and he happily boasts that while it “isn’t as often as is proclaimed”, he flat-out says that he doesn't consider himself to have done anything wrong and wishes he had a medal or some other wide recognition for his so-called ‘work.’ (Attention whore, much?)

NOW’s timeline of the lawsuit offers a reminder of what brought on the case:

After resounding defeats in Congress, the courts and public opinion, the anti-abortion movement changes tactics, aiming to put abortion providers and clinics out of business through intimidation and violence. Joe Scheidler, Andrew Scholberg and a handful of other self-described "radical" anti-abortion leaders form a nationwide coalition named PLAN—the Pro-Life Action Network. Scheidler vows to stop abortion "by any means necessary" and calls PLAN the "pro-life mafia." In the midst of a rash of clinic arsons and bombings, PLAN proclaims "a year of pain and fear" for anyone seeking or providing abortion.

NOW urges President Reagan, the U.S. Justice Department, Congress and local law enforcement agencies to vigorously investigate clinic terrorism and bring anti-abortion criminals to justice. Government and authorities either ignore NOW's pleas or claim they are powerless to do anything.

Mar. 26, 1986

Members of PLAN invade a clinic in Pensacola, Fla., throwing the clinic administrator down the stairs, injuring a NOW chapter president and wrecking medical equipment, forcing the clinic out of business for several days. Joe Scheidler stands outside during the invasion, praising those who went in and taking credit for the mayhem.

More from NOW counsel Fay Clayton’s testimony before Congress, following a jury verdict against Scheidler and the others:

Let me turn to the reasons that RICO was needed to stem the campaign of violence that was organized against my clients by the Pro-Life Action Network. By 1984, Joseph Scheidler, Andrew Scholberg and a handful of other self-described "radical" anti-abortion leaders formed a nationwide coalition that they named PLAN -- the Pro-Life Action Network. (They didn't invite peaceful anti-abortion groups, like Jack Willke's National Right-to-Life Committee, to join.) Scheidler vowed to stop abortion by "any means necessary." He publicly praised convicted arsonists for their effectiveness and their zeal. Appropriately, Scheidler called PLAN the "pro-life mafia." In 1985, in the midst of a rash of clinic arsons and bombings, PLAN proclaimed "a year of pain and fear" for anyone seeking or providing an abortion. Scheidler and others claimed that their tactics were "non-violent," but Scheidler also claimed that arson is "non-violent" -- which gives you an idea of the word games he and his cohorts play. ...

It's important to dispel the myth that PLAN engaged in nothing but peaceful, First Amendment-protected activity. It did not. PLAN's blockades, invasions and the other RICO violations that the jury found PLAN committed are acts of force and violence. The jury heard testimony from patients and clinic workers who were attacked during PLAN's blockades, including blockades at which Joseph Scheidler and Randall Terry were personally on the scene. One doctor, Dr. Susan Wicklund, was grabbed and slammed against a car as she tried to get through the blockade and into her office. Patients were tripped and pushed to the ground. One clinic administrator was grabbed by her hair and thrown to the ground by an Operation Rescue leader. Another was viciously choked by Operation Rescue protesters, leaving serious bruises on her neck. One patient, who was trying to enter the clinic -- not for an abortion but for post-operative care following cancer surgery -- was beaten with an Operation Rescue protester's sign. The protesters clawed at her and attacked her, causing her sutures to rupture, and she passed out. This is not speech or advocacy.

A charity review lists PLAN’s basics as follows. (text for the non-linking)

Contact Information
Pro-Life Action League
6160 North Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646
tel: (773) 777-2900
fax: (773) 777-3061

Leadership (FYE 05/2006)
Name Title Compensation
% of Expenses

Joe Scheidler National Director $59,400 7.13%

Eric Scheidler Communications Director $61,250 7.35%
Ann Scheidler Executive Director $58,800 7.06%

Mission -

The Pro-Life Action League was founded by Joseph M. Scheidler in 1980 with the aim of saving unborn children through non-violent direct action. Some of the Pro-Life Action League's key activities include: abortion clinic presence, public protest, confronting the abortionists, promoting and defending activism, broadcasting the pro-life message, and youth outreach. The Pro-Life Action League seeks to influence public opinion on the issue of abortion and related life issues. Additional activities to support this goal include a private phone hotline message, articles published in various publications available to the public, as well as their own newspaper, Pro-Life Action News.

For an organization that claims to engage in NON-violent protesting, they don’t look so peaceful from where I’m sitting...

And, they – or others similar to them – are gearing up to gang up on a PP Express in Orland Park – which does NOT offer abortions but DOES offer *contraception* - the first of September.

WHEN Saturday, September 1, 2007, 10am - 12pm
NOTE Planned Parenthood Express is NOT welcome in Orland Park, Illinois
Witness and Prayer Vigil
Saturday, September 1, 2007
10am to Noon
(then Oct 6, 2007 10am to Noon)
Teenagers must be protected from Planned Parenthood
Please join us if you can, even if only for part of the time. This prayer vigil will be held along the public sidewalk extending from 14470 LaGrange Road, Orland Park, IL
For more information, call Bill Beckman at 312-422-9300

Now tonight, I get online and see this insanity.

Aurora reviewing clinic approval
City hires law firm to check Planned Parenthood application process
August 28, 2007
By ANDRE SALLES Staff Writer

AURORA -- Responding to the controversy surrounding a new Planned Parenthood clinic, the city of Aurora has hired a law firm to review its approval process for the far East Side business to make sure there was no wrongdoing.

Mayor Tom Weisner's chief of staff, Bill Wiet, said in a memo Monday that the city has hired Chicago attorney Richard Martens to examine the city's development process, which culminated in approval in November 2006. Martens is past chairman of the Chicago Bar Association Local Government Committee and serves on a committee for the Illinois Municipal League.

"This is definitely a rare occurrence," said city spokesman Carie Anne Ergo. "I don't know of another instance in which the city has done this."

Why this time? Ergo said there have been questions raised in recent weeks about whether Planned Parenthood might have taken an inappropriate tack by bringing the development in under the Gemini Development Corp. moniker. Though the development was approved in November, its specific use was only revealed last month, sparking outrage from anti-abortion groups.

The city granted Planned Parenthood a 30-day temporary occupancy permit, which expires Sept. 17, prior to the center opening. Ergo said the goal is to have Martens' review completed by the following day, when the city will be asked to issue a permanent occupancy permit.

"If the review indicates that our laws have been followed, the city will be obligated to issue a final occupancy permit for the facility opening on Sept. 18, 2007," Wiet wrote in his memo.

Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area representatives could not be reached for comment Monday night.

News of the independent review pleased Eric Scheidler, communications director for the Chicago-based Pro-Life Action League. Scheidler's group has been picketing and protesting the new clinic since hearing about it, and he said he thinks Planned Parenthood deceived the city.

"I don't have the disadvantage of being a lawyer," he said. "I'm just a guy who thinks that if you lie to government officials, you ought to be held accountable."

Scheidler said he is glad to see the city "stepping up," and sees this move as a potential first step toward refusing to issue an occupancy permit, and opening the door to future litigation.

The Pro-Life Action League last week filed suit against the city, alleging that Aurora police compromised their free speech by giving conflicting information about where protesters could stand, or how they could display signs.

But Bonnie Grabenhofer, president of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for Women, said she is outraged that the anti-abortion groups are "trying to intimidate the city." She said Aurora has been fair throughout the process, and she understands the city's desire to prove they did nothing wrong.

"Planned Parenthood did everything they were required to do," she said. "The city of Aurora did everything they were required to do. Hiring a lawyer to investigate that seems like a waste of taxpayer money."

Both sides of the debate plan to speak at tonight's 6 p.m. City Council meeting. According to City Clerk Cheryl Vonhoff, more than 60 people have signed up to address the council on this issue.

Ergo said Martens has been placed on retainer, and the city has no estimate of how much his services will cost. But the savings in allaying future litigation could make it all worth it.

"We believe we have followed the letter of the law, and we're just taking additional steps to make sure that's the case," she said. "It's just a case of us crossing the Ts and dotting the Is."

I hope for PP’s sake that they did adhere to the law. But this just makes me think that the anti-choicers are trying to throw as many stumbling blocks in the way as they can for sheer spite (because, after all, that is what they do).

Also, somewhat related, Oberweis dairy magnate and Illinois GOP House candidate (just officially announced his candidacy yesterday) Jim Oberweis says he will help run PP out of town himself. (Great, just what we need, another rich asshole trying to help screw things up.)

AURORA -- GOP candidate Jim Oberweis made one of his first campaign commitments immediately after announcing his bid to represent the 14th CD, even as supporters were departing from Oberweis Dairy's main plant in Aurora.

"I'm prolife, and I absolutely will work to defund Planned Parenthood if I'm elected to Congress," Oberweis said.

Oberweis did not mention the abortion issue in his announcement speech, but referred to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's values as "out of touch with mainstream America." Pelosi is backed by abortion advocates.

Oberweis, who has been questioned about his pro-life views in previous campaigns, wanted no doubt concerning his views on abortion this time around. Five years ago, when running for U.S. Senate, on an impromptu radio talk show, he compared staunch prolife activists to the Taliban. Since then, his position on abortion has been questioned periodically by prolife advocates.

"He's always held a strong prolife position," Bill Pascoe, spokeman for the Oberweis campaign said. "He will work to stop abortion . . . is there another position a Republican could hold in a Republican primary?"

Oberweis, an Aurora area resident, said he too was concerned about Planned Parenthood building one of the nation's largest abortion clinics in his own 14th CD. He said he was pleased to see such a large number of pro-life activists over the weekend, protesting the opening of a clinic located Eola Road and New York Street, a main business intersection on the city's east side.

"It was amazing how many people were out there on a Saturday morning," he said about the protestors, estimated at 1200. "I was out there giving out lemonade and ice cream. It was encouraging to see so many."

Fellow GOP 14th CD candidate State Senator Chris Lauzen also participated in the protest.

Planned Parenthood receives funding from three different sources: one-third from private donations, one-third from PP clinics throughout the nation, and another third from government grants. While the clinics offer cervical and breast cancer screening as well as contraceptives, the Aurora clinic also has seven beds and a recovery area, expected to be used for abortions.

"Tax dollars should not be going to pay for abortions," Oberweis said.

The $7.5 million building is scheduled to open for business September 18.

And just because this is extra fuel on the fire for anti-choicers looking my state’s way, Illinois also now officially endorses embryonic stem-cell research.

Illinois is now officially endorsing embryonic stem cell research.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday signed into law a measure supporting the research, which offers hope of medical breakthroughs but is saddled with ethical questions.

The plan passed the Legislature this year after falling short in previous years.

It sets up an institute to award grants to scientists and allows "therapeutic cloning" for cell research.

The governor has used his executive authority to provide $15 million in grants over the last two years without legislative approval. The new law makes those grants a part of state law.

Critics object to the research because embryos are destroyed to collect stem cells. Supporters say it could lead to cures for devastating ailments like diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
(And as someone who personally knows people who have suffered/suffer from BOTH of these ailments, and who may be at risk for them myself...yeah. It goes without saying that I’d like to see research that has benefits.)

So. Your thoughts? Am I on to something here, or is it (I would prefer) just my paranoia talking?

Edit: Fixed links and other assorted junk. My bad. :/