Last week, Esquire published a lengthy feature about Dr. Warren Hern, director of the Boulder Abortion Clinic, who specializes in late abortions. More than two months after Dr. George Tiller’s tragic murder, it is still startling and disturbing to read of the danger that his surviving colleagues face on a daily basis – article author John Richardson writes of the federal marshals that follow Dr. Hern to and from work, and of the numerous death threats Dr. Hern has received.
On Wednesday, Rachel Maddow ran a segment on her MSNBC show about the increasing prevalence of violent jokes, threats, and acts against Democratic politicians involved in health care reform. Asking if the increasingly violent rhetoric surrounding health care reform was likely to blossom into something more active and widespread, she interviewed Dr. Hern. Dr. Hern voiced a belief that the antiabortion violence with which he is already personally acquainted might easily spread to other areas of politics, due to a lack of concern for rule of law among some members of the far right.
Both pieces make it frighteningly clear that there are still plenty of people besides Dr. Tiller’s murderer who would be glad to get rid of other doctors who provide a necessary service to women in horrible predicaments. The men and women who work to make a woman’s right to choose available and accessible deserve our respect and the full protection of our government.