APAC News and Views

APAC provides escorts on a regular basis for metro Atlanta area clinics. The function of clinic escorts is to help patients and friends enter and leave the clinic without being harassed by anti-choice protesters. Although the number of protesters has decreased considerably since 1988, when Operation Rescue invaded Atlanta to take advantage of the media attention Atlanta was receiving during the Democratic convention, small numbers of protesters are present at clinics at least several days a week.

Atlanta Pro-Choice Action Committee meets the second & fourth Monday of every month at 7:00 pm. For more information, e-mail APAC at taylorls@mindpsring.com or snail mail at:

APAC
P.O. Box 57104
Atlanta, GA 30343

June 1998 - Anti-Choice Lunatics Report

This year, Operation Rescue's yearly summer national event took place in Orlando, Florida. Prior to Operation Rescue's visit, clinics in Florida were vandalized with a foul-smelling chemical. Butyric acid, a chemical with an overwhelming, vomit-like smell was used in five attacks on Miami-area abortion clinics. A chemical was poured through holes drilled in the doors of National Women's Health Services in Clearwater and Women's Health Center in St. Petersburg. A Pinellas County hazardous-material crew said a very small amount of an unidentified, smelly chemical had been injected through the door at the Clearwater clinic. Clinics in Daytona Beach, Orlando and unincorporated Volusia County also were vandalized with the acid. FBI agents investigating the attacks said the incidents appear connected.

Operation Rescue's activities were basically a fizzle. The protests targeted not only area abortion clinics, but also a Barnes and Noble book store (for allegedly selling child pornography, i.e. art books containing photographs of nude children). For their big finale, they protested at Disney World on June 6. Disney World was targeted for being "pro-gay." Although OR originally planned to protest inside Disney World, only a handful of OR members actually went into the theme park, while a small group lined the highway to the entrance holding signs. One such sign posed the existential quandary: "You have to choose - Jesus or Mickey."

According to a report in an Orlando newspaper, "Operation Rescue, a militant anti-abortion, anti-homosexual group that promised to disrupt Walt Disney World during a Gay Days celebration Saturday, left Orlando little noticed by the 120,000 gay and lesbian tourists in town. During a week of protests at abortion clinics, bookstores and Disney's Magic Kingdom, the Dallas-based fundamentalist group never drew more than 200 protesters. The numbers were a mere fraction of the 1,400 who showed up in Dayton, Ohio, for protests in 1997 and the 2,000 to 5,000 Operation Rescue activists who have laid siege to U.S. abortion clinics in the past. In Orlando no church congregations joined forces with them, said Rev. Philip Benham, Operation Rescue's national director...Thirteen protesters were arrested at various venues since the rally began ... and were held on bail ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. Security was beefed up for Saturday and no disturbances were reported, Bill Warran, a spokesman for Disney, said. The city of Orlando had won a highly restrictive court order against Operation Rescue even before its members arrived. Many gay and lesbian tourists in Orlando seemed oblivious to the group's protests. 'I'm so sorry they couldn't make it, but it's OK. I didn't need rescuing anyway,' one said."

Flip Benham was among those arrested. According to another news report, "Five people were arrested for blocking the street next to the clinic by lying down on the ground. They were charged with obstructing a roadway and resisting arrest...Later in the afternoon, the anti-abortion protesters attended a city council meeting to object to a plan to fly rainbow-colored flags around the city to commemorate Gay Pride month in June. Protesters carried signs that said 'America Remember Sodom' outside City Hall and inside told commissioners they shouldn't promote homosexuality." Pat Robertson later predicted that Orlando will be hit by hurricanes and possibly even a meteor due to its "pro-gay" stance.

The good news is, the numbers are down. The bad news is: what's left of OR is a small group of hard-core fanatics. Even one fanatic with a small following can wreck havoc, as we have learned over the past year and a half in Atlanta. We have been plagued by the anti from hell, Michelle Wolven, "white trash with a bad perm."


Notable quotables from Michelle:


Michelle Wolven and crew have been known to yell out to women entering a clinic: "Make sure you see your sonogram. The clinics perform abortions on women who aren't even pregnant."


Michelle's reaction to the bombing in Birmingham: "Clinic staff burn down their own buildings to collect the insurance money."


A little background info on Michelle & crew: During the early months of 1997, while the Georgia State Legislature was in session, there was a brief resurgence of protests at Atlanta clinics. Anti-choice legislators had introduced a bill to ban a certain procedure used in late term abortions, which they erroneously refer to as "partial birth abortion." A small handful of the protesters who started coming out to the clinics in early 1997 decided to make a regular habit of it, including Michelle. Formerly from New Jersey, Michelle and family now live in Powder Springs. Michelle and her husband, often with some of their four children in tow, drive all the way to Atlanta to harass patients and their companions. Michelle's normal tone of voice seems to be screaming at the top of her lungs. She is undaunted by the fact that patients either find her scary or funny; Michelle persists in her belief that she is there to "offer help to women" and that the patients "appreciate her being there." Michelle often accuses the escorts of hitting and shoving her. She also accused one escort, who does not smoke, of burning her with cigarettes. One morning, when I informed another escort that I was going to the car to get my sunglasses, Michelle looked at me and said, "It is the demons inside you that can't stand the sun." Not only does Michelle believe that I and other escorts are possessed by demons, she also claims to have photographs of yours truly in robes, performing pagan sacrifices.


If you would like some information on DEMONS and other related topics, go here.

We were recently treated to a brief respite when Michelle and family went to Orlando. (They also attended the OR gathering in Dalton, Ohio in 1997). But now, the Bitch is Back - and up to her usual tricks.

Us escorts must be doing something right, as Michelle wants to get rid of us in the worst way. She started off by calling the police every time an escort looked at her the wrong way. She believes that anyone who stands between her and a client should be arrested.The police would write up their reports, tell everyone to behave, and be on their way. Michelle later escalated to filing out applications for warrants and dragging us into court. The results are as follows:


APPLICATION FOR WARRANTDISPOSITION
August 16, 1997COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN
Ms. Wolven tells police officer that a clinic November 6, 1997
escort "poked" her. Later files application for warrant.

September 12, 1997COMPLAINT DISMISSED
Ms. Wolven tells Atlanta police officer that aNovember 6, 1997
clinic escort "hit" her. Later files application for warrant.(Ms. Wolven admits on stand that no one hit her.)

October 11, 1997COMPLAINT DISMISSED
Ms. Wolven tells Atlanta police officer that aNovember 6, 1997
clinic escort "pushed and shoved" her sister-in-law, Debra Wolven, (Michelle Wolven & her sister-in-law both admit
who later files application for warrant.on stand that clinic escort did not touch Debra Wolven.)

February 24, 1998COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN
Ms. Wolven files application for warrantMay 6, 1998
claiming a clinic escort "backed into her."

February 24, 1998COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN
Ms. Wolven files application for warrantMay 6, 1998
claiming another clinic escort(After Fulton County investigator views Ms. Wolven's
"spilled coffee" on her. videotaped "evidence," the Judge tells Ms. Wolven to
withdraw complaints or he will deny them.)

Michelle Wolven has also filed false complaints against two Fulton County sheriff's deputies; one of the deputies had arrested Ms. Wolven for trespass and disturbing the peace at Midtown Hospital (case pending).

On May 9, 1998, Michelle accidentally bumped into an escort. Michelle said to the escort, "Get out of my way or I'll drag you into court, too."


So the fun continues, and you may see us back in court yet again.



updated June 15, 1998

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