Rescind Certificates of Recognition presented to Operation Save America
  • Petitioning Mayor Mitch Landrieu

This petition will be delivered to:

Mayor of New Orleans
Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Rescind Certificates of Recognition presented to Operation Save America

    1. Petition by

      UniteWomen.org Louisiana

UPDATE: We have e-mailed the mayor's office directly to inquire as to whether they plan to request the return of the certificates. We will update the petition when we receive a reply. Thanks again to everyone!

UPDATE: In an e-mail, a city spokesman said:

"To be clear, the City does not endorse extreme or violent tactics, and this proclamation was issued in error. Any group can exercise their constitutional rights, but all of us have a responsibility to do so in a respectful manner. During these events, the NOPD is executing a robust security plan to keep the peace."

While we respect that errors can and do happen, it is incumbent on the mayor and his office to formally request the return of said certificates. If they were issued in error, they have no validity, and can be used by Operation Rescue/Operation Save America to claim a legitimacy that they do not deserve.

For those supporters here in New Orleans, please join us at a vigil on Thursday, July 24th, at 6pm in Duncan Plaza (the location right in front of City Hall was chosen before this petition came to light, but now it will have an even greater impact). (https://www.facebook.com/events/491970450947095/)

And if you can’t make it Thursday, or are out of town, you can pledge a protestor with the New Orleans Abortion Fund (http://neworleansabortionfund.org/). They have been at the forefront of this issue, and discovered the issuance of said certificates!


https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SYZCeamQbZMStwQ9WPxUzg2xLVMw9AtcIJA15n_8O_c/viewform


News coverage of petition:

Uptown Messenger

 

Gambit

 

Wonkette

 

Nola.com

 

ThinkProgress

 

Right Wing Watch

MSNBC


ORIGINAL PETITION:

We, the undersigned, request that you formally rescind the Certificates of Recognition presented to Philip “Flip” L. Benham and Rusty Lee Thomas, leaders of the extreme anti-choice organizations Operation Rescue/Operation Save America (OR/OSA).

OR/OSA are fringe organizations, comprised of those who feel it appropriate to engage in aggressive, threatening, and violent behavior, in the name of denying women their constitutionally-protected right to reproductive health care.

Flip Benham has been arrested over 50 times, and has targeted a variety of abortion-providers, including Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered in 2009 in his church by a OR/OSA adherent, Scott Roeder. He has targeted doctors and their families at their private homes, business, and schools. He has also been convicted of stalking a Charlotte physician, with intent to cause emotional distress.

Rusty Lee Thomas has distributed “Wanted” posters featuring the personal information of abortion-providers, lead stalking activities, has been convicted of criminal trespassing and has been arrested across the country for obstructing clinics.

These individuals, and their supporters, have descended upon New Orleans to threaten, harass, and target the women of this city, and the doctors that believe in freedom of choice and health care for all. They have disrupted neighborhoods, intimidated clinic patients, and harassed innocent residents of this city. Their message is one of violence and hatred.

Regardless of personal ideologies, most Americans agree that harassing women and threatening doctors is extreme behavior that should not be welcomed by the mayor's office. The certificates signed by you gives them a legitimacy that they do not deserve.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. No response from the mayor's office, but we still need your help!

      Mayor Landrieu's office has not responded to our request for the Mayor to formally request a return of the certificates, which they admitted were issued in error. Unfortunately, we do not expect any further action from his office regarding this issue.

      Nevertheless, we still need your support to continue to fight for reproductive justice for all Louisiana women! Not content with disrupting the lives of doctors, clinic staff, and patients during the recent onslaught of extremists from Operation Rescue/Operation Save America, the Louisiana Right to Life Federation and New Orleans Right to Life are back with "40 Days for Life," from September 24 to November 2, 2014.

      During this time, there is the expectation of protesters at local clinics that provide reproductive services to women. From the New Orleans Abortion Fund:

      "NOAF is looking for clinic escorts at Women's Health Care Center on weekdays during the anti-choice clinic harassment campaign '40 Days for Life,' beginning on 9/24/14.

      Clinic escorts are not counter-protestors; we agree to not engage with anti-choice zealots so that our focus can stay on the patients who are seeking care."

      If you would like to support local reproductive justice advocates or volunteer to serve as a clinic escort, please contact the New Orleans Abortion Fund (http://neworleansabortionfund.org/).

      Thank you!

      Home - New Orleans Abortion Fund

      The New Orleans Abortion Fund was established in 2012 as a community-based 501(c)(3) organization rooted in social justice, with the purpose of challenging socioeconomic inequalities by providing financial help to women who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion.

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures
    3. Certificates issued "in error"!

      Thank you for signing and sharing this petition! We have reached almost 1,000 signatures in just a little over 24 hours. And our e-mails have worked...to a degree.

      In an e-mail, a city spokesman said:

      "To be clear, the City does not endorse extreme or violent tactics, and this proclamation was issued in error. Any group can exercise their constitutional rights, but all of us have a responsibility to do so in a respectful manner. During these events, the NOPD is executing a robust security plan to keep the peace."

      While we respect that errors can and do happen, it is incumbent on the mayor and his office to formally request the return of said certificates. If they were issued in error, they have no validity, and can be used by Operation Rescue/Operation Save America to claim a legitimacy that they do not deserve. So the petition stands!

      For those supporters here in New Orleans, please join us at a vigil on Thursday, July 24th, at 6pm in Duncan Plaza (the location right in front of City Hall was chosen before this petition came to light, but now it will have an even greater impact).

      And if you can’t make it Thursday, or are out of town, you can pledge a protester with the New Orleans Abortion Fund (http://neworleansabortionfund.org/). They have been at the forefront of this issue, and discovered the issuance of certificates!

      https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SYZCeamQbZMStwQ9WPxUzg2xLVMw9AtcIJA15n_8O_c/viewform

      New coverage of petition:

      Uptown Messenger: http://uptownmessenger.com/2014/07/mayors-office-issues-certificate-recognizing-abortion-protest-group-for-service-to-city/#more-41174

      Gambit: http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/07/22/city-proclamation-welcoming-operation-save-america-issued-in-error-says-landrieu-spokesman#.U87Vdz9ht-w.facebook

      Wonkette: http://wonkette.com/554846/fun-loving-anti-abortion-pals-making-new-friends-invading-unitarian-church-calling-them-satan#more-554846

      Thank you again!

      Home - New Orleans Abortion Fund

      The New Orleans Abortion Fund was established in 2012 as a community-based 501(c)(3) organization rooted in social justice, with the purpose of challenging socioeconomic inequalities by providing financial help to women who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion.

    4. Reached 750 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Ben van Leeuwen NEW ORLEANS, LA
      • about 1 month ago

      Recognizing hate is unacceptable

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Angelina Carpenter KNOXVILLE, TN
      • 2 months ago

      It saddens me that so much polarity and hatred is being perpetuated over an issue about "life." Not to allow a couple the freedom of choice about an unwanted pregnancy is a form of violence. Couples who find themselves in this undesired position, need our support in how to work through it. They do not need moral judgement. I wish people on both sides of the issue could put aside their "moral" compasses and come together to dialogue about REAL solutions to the issues of unwanted pregnancies. Planned Parenthood is an agency that tries to do that. PP is more than an "abortion" clinic. It is also about educating people about planning for their family and making the resources available to do so. I think if both sides would truely dialogue they would realize they have a mutual purpose of wanting to save the lives of unwanted children. As a mother of a child adopted out of foster care the suffering these "unwanted" children endure is another form of violence that could be prevented.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jessica York BIRMINGHAM, AL
      • 2 months ago

      As an ex-resident of New Orleans and a Unitarian Universalist, I am saddened that the mayor chose to welcome into one of the most loving and tolerant cities in our country a group of extremists who routinely break the law, ignore the rights of the living, scare the innocent, terrorize women's health care providers, and create chaos to promote their political agenda of using religion to oppress women.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paul Konkoly CHICAGO, IL
      • 2 months ago

      Not rescinding the certificate encourages inappropriate protests.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nan Woodruff STATE COLLEGE, PA
      • 2 months ago

      It is a violation of freedom of religion and nor should protestors be able to take over a neighborhood in front of someone's home. And where Is the Mayor on this--he claims to support reconciliation efforts in the South?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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