Pro-Choice Event Hit by Hoaxes

Article excerpt

A pro-choice luncheon yesterday marking the 24th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion adopted a siege mentality after two bomb threats - both hoaxes - disrupted the event.

Police required guests and reporters to submit to the rigors of airport-style security checks, explosives-sniffing dogs prowled the foyer and dining room of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, and speakers made much of "terrorism" targeting the pro-choice movement.

"It's wrong, unacceptable and has no place in a civilized society," said Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), balancing a glass of white wine as she talked to reporters and TV cameras.

Participants compared the bomb threats to abortion clinic bombings on Jan. 16 in Atlanta and Jan. 19 in Tulsa, Okla.

"Terrorists" responsible for those events will be caught, Mr. Gore promised, so they would no longer "terrorize American women."

"America's women have the right to choose, and no one will ever steal that right away," he said. "The anti-choice cause did not win in the nation's courts, they did not win in the court of public opinion, they did not win in the nation's elections, and its advocates will not prevail by trampling our traditions or trafficking in terror."

Mr. Gore, who was accompanied by his wife, Tipper, praised some of the 15 members of Congress among the approximately 500 people present and noted that "an anti-choice Congress has threatened some important freedoms. …