For Week ending July 30, 1994
CHOICE-NET REPORT is a weekly update on reproductive rights issues
distributed through email, Women's Wire, gopher.WELL.com, Usenet
groups alt.activism, talk.abortion, soc.women, and other Internet
channels. Please reprint, distribute and TAKE ACTION.
TRAGIC MURDERS IN PENSACOLA
On Friday July 29 Dr. John Britton, 69, and volunteer clinic escort
James Herman, 74, were killed as they sat in a pickup truck outside
the Ladies Center in Pensacola Florida. June Herman, 68, who was also
in the truck was wounded. Rev. Paul Hill was arrested near the scene
and charged with the murders. Police said they recovered a shotgun,
along with more than a dozen unspent shotgun shells stashed in black
nylon holders strapped to Hill's legs and in his pockets.
Paul Hill is Executive Director of Defensive Action, a radical group
that encourages the use of "force" to defend the "pre-born." After
Dr. David Gunn was killed in Pensacola last year, Hill called Gunn's
murder justifiable and called for the release of the accused killer
Michael Griffin. At the time, Hill was the pastor of the Trinity
Presbyterian Church in Pensacola. He has since been relieved of that
pastorship. Griffin has since been convicted of that murder and
sentenced to life in prison. Hill spread his message of violence via
a media tour that included the Donahue show and Nightline. Hill is
certainly not alone in his belief that the murder of abortion
providers is justifiable and called for in the bible. A number of
people around the country have signed onto Hill's Defensive Action
Manifesto. Only time will tell whether they too decide to put their
beliefs into action.
On Friday night a clinic in Falls Church, Virginia was firebombed
resulting in approximately $10,000 in damages. A $100,000 reward is
being offered for information about the bombing. Witnesses saw 6 men
on the property right before the bombing.
On Saturday the Justice Department announced it would provide
protection for any abortion clinic requesting it.
Excerpts from: "Should We Defend Born and Unborn Children With
Force?", 1993, by Rev. Paul Hill:
"The Biblical evidence used to support nonviolent civil disobedience
also logically supports violent civil disobedience. "
"Christians are urged to take up arms in a defensive war...Considering
the pressing urgency of our cause and the lack of any other
justifiable course of action, our duty is to pursue a defensive war if
"There is an initial shock and horror that comes from considering that
the death of Dr. Gunn may have been justified. Once this shock has
passed, the truth and duties involved will have an abiding effect.
These truths will grip men's minds and not release them from their
duties. Men will be forced to admit their horrendous neglect and will
respond with zealous repentant hearts...Our zeal will be from God
"Should we not therefore with zeal fired to a steady white glow, go
forth and show God's righteous indignation upon those who defile with
gruesome death children made in His image and likeness? ...As
hundreds are being rushed into eternity, other questions shrink in
comparison to the weighty question, 'Should we defend born and unborn
children with force?' Take defensive action!"
From a Defensive Action "Declaration" signed by at least 20 people
including Rev. Paul Hill:
"We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a
born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. We
assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of
lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the
purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore he ought
to be acquitted of the charges against him."
(other signers include Mike Bray, Bowie, MD; C. Roy McMillan, Jackson,
MS; Andrew Burnett, Portland, OR; Cathy Ramey, Portland OR; Matt
Trewhella, Milwaukee, WI; Michael Dodds, Wichita, KS; Tony Piso,
Forest Hill, NY; David Crane, Norfolk, VA; Dave Leach, Des Moines, IA;
Valeria Zyskowski Pittsburgh, PA.; many others)
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Call on President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno to bring
the full weight of their offices to bear on anti-choice terrorists.
2. Get out to your local clinics and volunteer as an escort.
3. Write letters of support to the clinics in your area. They could
really use your support right now.
4. Write letters to the editor in support of the inclusion of the
full range of reproductive health care, including abortion *as basic
services* in any health care reform bill passed by Congress. Write
your Congressmembers with the same message.
5. Join your local pro-choice groups. Offer volunteer hours or
financial or technical help.
Information Sources: California Abortion and Reproductive Rights
Action League-North, Alan Guttmacher Institute, Reproductive Freedom
News, Culture Watch, Political Woman, various Congresspersons, various
newspapers, C-Span, CNN, Reuters, AP, and UPI. Editor: Kathy Watkins,
Administrative Director, CARAL-North
~*~ It's no more harmful to know there are gays living together than
for an Orthodox Jew to know people eat pork. - Karen Davis
* Origin: Stop the Special Rights for Christians! (1:102/890.666)