Out of concerns for security

The New York Times:

A doctor who performs abortions at a hospital in Washington [DC] filed a federal civil rights complaint on Monday, charging that the hospital had violated the law by forbidding her, out of concerns for security, to speak publicly in defense of abortion and its role in health care.

The doctor, Diane J. Horvath-Cosper, 37, an obstetrician and gynecologist, has in recent years emerged as a public advocate, urging abortion providers not to shrink before threats. Last December, her complaint says, officials of the MedStar Washington Hospital Center imposed what she described as a “gag order,” but what the officials termed a sensible precaution against anti-abortion violence.

You can see why they would want to do that, but you can see even more clearly (at least I can) why it’s important to urge abortion providers not to shrink before threats. There’s an all-out war on women’s right to end pregnancies in this country, and surrender would be a disaster.

Dr. Horvath-Cosper is part of a national movement of physicians and other medical staff members who argue that silence about their work only feeds the drive to stigmatize and restrict abortion. Similar sentiments among some patients have led to a “Shout Your Abortion” campaign on social media.

“The dialogue is dominated by those who have demonized this totally normal part of health care,” Dr. Horvath-Cosper said in an interview.

The way to do something about that is to do something about it. There isn’t any other way.

According to the legal complaint, hospital officials told Dr. Horvath-Cosper that they were worried about security after a self-described anti-abortion “warrior” attacked a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs in November, killing three people and wounding nine.

In ordering Dr. Horvath-Cosper to end her advocacy, the medical director of the hospital, Dr. Gregory J. Argyros, said he did “not want to put a Kmart blue-light special on the fact that we provide abortions at MedStar,” according to the complaint.

Ah well that’s a problem. It’s no good providing abortions if you keep the fact that you provide abortions a secret, is it. Women needing abortions need to know where they can get them, and that they can get them. The Kmart blue-light special is what’s needed.

Dr. Horvath-Cosper created a buzz last November when she wrote an article in The Washington Post that described what it was like to live in fear because of her profession.

The Colorado shootings occurred on Nov. 27. On Dec. 4, she was called to meet with Dr. Argyros and other hospital officials who said she should stop her public advocacy and clear any media requests with the public affairs office.

Since then, Dr. Horvath-Cosper said, she has forwarded several requests to be interviewed or write articles and in each case has been turned down.

Her lawyer, Debra S. Katz, of the Washington firm Katz, Marshall & Banks, who is also co-counsel in the complaint, said she tried to negotiate an agreement with the hospital that would allow Dr. Horvath-Cosper to write about abortion without mentioning where she worked.

Hospital officials responded that if she wished to speak about abortion, she should relinquish her fellowship and leave.

Dr. Horvath-Cosper said that the MedStar center in Washington, while seeking to silence her, had not carried out many of the physical security measures at the clinic that are recommended by professional groups like the National Abortion Federation.

It’s cheaper, faster and easier to just tell women to shut up.

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