Weekly Pulse: Dr. George Tiller’s Assassin Was No Lone Wolf

When Scott Roeder shot Dr. George Tiller in church last year, media accounts described him as a lone wolf. Roeder acted alone on the day of the assassination, but he was part of a community of career anti-choice terrorists, as Amanda Robb reports in Ms. Magazine.

A Community of Radical, Anti-Abortion Activists

Over the course of 6 months, Robb interviewed Roeder over a dozen times. She met with his allies at the court house. She even got permission to sit in on phone calls between Roeder and his friends. Robb’s exhaustive investigation revealed that Roeder had for years been enmeshed in a community of radical, anti-abortion activists, many of whom have committed acts of terrorism ranging from clinic arson to butyric acid attacks to murder.

Roeder was not a card-carrying member of any mainstream anti-abortion organization, but he drove to the scene of the crime with the number of Operation Rescue’s senior policy adviser on his dashboard.

Robb’s intensive reporting was supported by the investigative fund of the Nation Institute.

The Enemy in Your Pants

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are one of the oldest security threats in the history of warfare. During the Second World War, the U.S. military launched a PR offensive to teach recruits how to avoid venereal disease. Syphilis was a special concern because penicillin didn’t become available until after the war. Elizabeth Gettelman and Mark Murrmann of Mother Jones present an entertaining slide show of classic military sex ed posters, including the image you see above.

And Now for Something Completely Different

The board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals (NEA), which represents more than 40 denominations with millions of members, unanimously approved a resolution that listed increased access to contraception as one acceptable strategy for lowering the abortion ration.

Robin Marty of RH Reality Check suggests that contraception might be a wedge issue within the anti-choice community. The NEA is already getting pushback from more conservative forces within the movement and the Catholic Church remains unshakably opposed to contraception.

What About the Workers?

The seemingly unstoppable oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico has captivated national attention. But, as Mike Lillis of the Washington Independent reports, the lives of oil workers are being forgotten in the face of the ongoing ecological disaster. Eleven people died in the blast that set the spill in motion and dozens more were injured. Oil rigs are among the most dangerous places to work, but nobody is listening:

“The worker safety issue has been completely lost in this story,” said Tom O’Connor, executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, an advocacy group. “It’s one of the biggest industrial disasters in recent history, and yet Congress [views it] the same as the public: They’re not seeing it as a worker safety issue.”

The rig workers aren’t the only ones at risk. As I report for Working In These Times, oil spill cleanup workers are complaining that BP isn’t giving them the personal protective equipment they need to work with oil and dispersant. Some say they’re already getting sick.

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La) whose coastal district one of the closest to the rig, is lobbying Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to set up mobile clinics for rescue workers and volunteers. Care2 has more information on the exchanges between Sebelius and BP regarding workers’ health.

In AlterNet, Amanda Terkel reports that cleanup worker John Wunstell, Jr. filed an injunction against BP after his oil-soaked clothes were confiscated when sought treatment at a local clinic. Wuntsell wants BP to stop “altering, testing, or destroying” any evidence from workers who become ill.

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