- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A pro-life group has launched a new website offering what it calls detailed “derogatory information” about the nation’s abortion clinics and abortion providers.

“We get calls every day, ‘Oh, this happened at this clinic,’ and ‘This happened at this clinic.’ Now the whole world can see how horrible abortion is,” said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, based in Wichita, Kan., which has set up the site at AbortionDocs.org.

The site, which went live this week, lists names, addresses, photographs and documents about individual abortion providers and clinics throughout the nation. The Freedom of Information Act will be used to get some records, such as medical-license applications, and relevant autopsy reports will be posted as well.

“Any documentation we get, it’s going to go up - good, bad, indifferent,” said Mr. Newman, adding that the organization has attorneys go over materials to prevent defamation, and there will be a vetting process for information.

“We know the abortionists that are killing women, botching abortions, going to jail, under investigation, losing their medical licenses, etc.,” Mr. Newman said. “I want the people to know that there’s an ugly side to abortion. It’s not just the lesser of two evils. It is evil.”

This new website “really is the same old tactic, but with a jazzy new website and a new name,” said Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation and co-founder of the National Clinic Access Project, created in 1989 to prevent violence against abortion providers.

“What causes us real concern is fear of where this could be headed,” said Ms. Spillar, citing Operation Rescue’s previous campaigns to publicize information about abortion providers.

“It opens the possibility that some so-called ‘grass-roots activist,’ who does believe in the use of violence, will be able to use this as a tool for stalking doctors, which has happened,” said Ms. Spillar, referring to the 2009 murder of abortion provider George Tiller, who was gunned down at a Wichita church by Scott Roeder.

Roeder, who was familiar with Operation Rescue activities, had followed Tiller’s court appearances and knew where he attended church. Roeder is now serving a 51-year prison sentence for first-degree murder.

Medical professionals, pro-choice groups and law-enforcement officials are likely to monitor the new Operation Rescue website for content that could be construed as a threat, said Ms. Spillar. In 2002, she added, a federal appeals court agreed that “wanted” posters and Internet “hit lists” of abortion providers are threats under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Multimillion-dollar fines were assessed against the coalition of pro-life activists using such tactics.

That 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision still stands, said Ms. Spillar, “So we have some precedent” that when “something is seen as a true threat, you can challenge it.”

• Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at cwetzstein@washingtontimes.com.

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