Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Safeguarding Abortion and Civil Rights

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Safeguarding Abortion and Civil Rights

Article excerpt

Violence at abortion clinics is hardly new; it has been an ongoing, albeit ignored, problem for more than a decade. But only now has the Justice Department recognized the severity of the problem and seen fit to press the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine if a conspiracy or organized effort exists to use violence to shut down clinics.

Two factors account for this interest: the escalation of the violence to include murder and an administration sympathetic to abortion rights. The commitment to protect clinics - workers and their patients - is welcome, though long overdue.

Yet a word of caution is in order.

An FBI investigation of any political movement, including the anti-abortion movement, is rife with peril; the FBI and any other federal investigators must take special care not to tread on individuals' constitutional rights.

Ironically, the anti-abortion Reagan administration issued overly broad rules governing investigations of political groups. Of concern, particularly in this case, is whether the verbal espousal of violence - say, defending killing doctors as justifiable homicide - is sufficient to trigger an FBI investigation. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.