[Earlier this year, a United States District Court found that Dr. Carhart's termination from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) was motivated by his participation in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging Nebraska’s abortion ban. Judge Urbom did not reinstate Dr. Carhart to his faculty position, but he indicated that Carhart was likely to succeed in the claim that his First Amendment right to free speech had been violated by the UNMC. See this online article about his case for more info.]
October 17, 2001
An open letter to:
George W. Bush, President of the United States of America
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Dear Mr. President:
I wish to both applaud and thank you for your response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Virginia.
But I now must ask a question. Can you help the nation's abortion providers and their staffs who have been the victims of repeated acts of fringe, radical religious terrorists during the past twenty-five years? They have burnt and bombed our homes and businesses. They have kidnapped and held hostage our members, and, without regard to age or sex they have murdered our unarmed men and women.
In the last quarter of a century, over twenty percent of our buildings have been destroyed by arson and bombs. Terrorists have murdered our policemen and guards, as they tried to come to the aid of the innocent victims of their attacks. They have murdered nearly 0.2% of our community, in their homes, in front of their children and friends and at their places of work.
Like the terrorists that struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon, some mainstream religious groups support our domestic terrorists. While their religious leaders preach salvation, they fund terrorists to commit arson and murder. Like the September 11th terrorists, domestic terrorists live and work amongst us, as "sleepers," in our communities. They send their children to our schools, they work out in our gyms and they live a "normal" life while awaiting their assignments.
For over twenty-five years, abortion providers have gone to work each day fearing intimidation, property damage, personal injury and even death at the hands of those wishing to force their personal beliefs upon all of us. Despite this terror, many leaders of our state governments continue to grant these assailants asylum and immunity from prosecution. In the face of all this, our members have done as you asked all Americans to do: "try to continue our normal lives and not to let the terrorists win by causing us to stop our normal activities."
The terrorists that pursue us do not respect the laws of our country. They also blaspheme the doctrines of the very religions they claim to represent, while they carry out their atrocities protected by a blind eye of their religious leaders. Our Constitution, and the laws of our land, have defined their actions as both unconstitutional and illegal, yet the terror continues. Too often, law enforcement and judicial officials treat them only as a nuisance and do too little to prevent, stop or prosecute their atrocities.
In your speech to Congress and the nation on September 20th, you stated, "We are not deceived by their (the terrorists) pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies."
The Federal and State Courts of the United States and most religious leaders consider the right of a woman to choose abortion to be both moral and legal. Yet some politicians and law enforcement officials have decided to allow these rights and freedoms to be taken away from our society by these terrorists who wish only to achieve their own personal religious agenda.
Just as the 6,000 deaths at the hands of terrorists are wrong, I ask you, "Are not the murders of our leaders and workers equally wrong?" I assure you that the mothers, wives, children, relatives and friends of Dr. Slepian, Dr. Gunn and Dr. Britton have grieved no less at their deaths at the hands of terrorists than have the mothers, wives, children, relatives and friends of those who were murdered on September 11th.
The family and friends of the police officer slain in cold blood in Birmingham, Alabama miss him no less nor suffer no less of a loss than do the families that lost their loved ones as they came to the rescue of the innocents in New York. The horror, shock and fear experienced by the co-workers of each of the two women shot dead at work in the Planned Parenthood Clinics in Boston was no different from the horror, shock and fear that each of us felt as we watched planes crash into the World Trade Center.
Let me review with you the losses suffered by abortion providers and their staffs at the hands of American terrorists over the past 24 years. Since 1977, we have suffered as a group of only 4,500 Americans the following:
Yesterday, we heard US Attorney General John Ashcroft say, "Any time someone sends anthrax through the mail, it's an act of terror. It's terrorism, and we treat it as an act of terror and terrorism.'' He then stated that he intended to prosecute all anthrax threats. I only hope this will also include the 130 threats received at abortion clinics this week, as well as all those received in the past.
Terrorism is terrorism. Terrorists are terrorists. It should not matter whether they are supported and granted asylum in Afghanistan or that they are supported and granted asylum within the United States. All terrorism must be stopped.
Please take a stand against domestic terrorism directed against America's Abortion providers.
LeRoy H. Carhart, M.D.
Lt. Col., USAF, MC, (Ret)
1002 West Mission Avenue
Bellevue, Nebraska 68005