EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

October 23, 2012

Letter: Clinic buffer zones needed in wake of violence

To the editor:

A heated debate has been sparked by Jim Lyons’ support for eliminating the buffer zone around reproductive health clinics, where it is illegal to protest or loiter. Earlier this month, The Eagle-Tribune published a letter defending Lyons’ bill and advocating for elimination the buffer zone — specifically stating the writer has “never seen or heard of pro-lifer attacks.” We are all entitled to our own point of view, but not our own facts. The statement quoted above “does not stand the test of time and evidence” which we are asked to apply. Let’s review:

In 1993, Dr. David Gunn was murdered outside a Pensacola clinic. That same year, Dr. George Tiller was shot multiple times outside a Kansas clinic. In 1996, Dr. Calvin Jackson was assaulted and savagely stabbed outside a clinic.

In 1994, Massachusetts experienced one of the worst attacks when John Salvi opened fire on two clinics in Brookline, killing two young ladies and wounding many others. Following the savagery in Brookline, Salvi was arrested in Virginia after attacking a third Planned Parenthood clinic.

All of us, pro-choice, pro-life alike, should want to see patients and employees of medical facilities kept safe. Defending state Rep. Lyons by denying past instances of violence is not the best way to support pro-life principles. A vote for Lyons is a vote to condone and encourage harassment of women seeking to obtain routine women’s health care and counseling.

Chas Bicking

Andover

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