August 5, 2004
Sneaky anti-abortion activism
Interesting federal lawsuit against a man named William Graham in Louisiana who has operated Causeway Center for Women, supposedly an abortion referral service, for the last 10 years. However, when women called the Center to make an appointment, their appointments were cancelled again and again until they were too far into their pregnancies for a legal abortion. Many of these women had called his organization thinking they were calling an actual provider of abortions in Louisiana, Causeway Medical Clinic.
It turns out that Mr. Graham is an anti-abortion activist who has picketed doctors' offices, and used to run a clinic with his wife called A Woman's Day Clinic, a pro-life center for pregnant women. The article also reports, "In 2002, Mr. Graham enrolled in the state's anti-AIDS condom distribution program, picked up 30,000 free condoms and discarded them. He pleaded guilty to theft and is on probation."
One of the women suing him is a 19 year-old high school dropout with a boyfriend in jail and a terminally ill mother. She says that when Mr. Graham cancelled her appointment, he would give legitimate-sounding excuses: "The doctors worked on their own time so no one would know they performed abortions. He could not reveal the name of the doctor or hospital in advance for security reasons. When he failed to call, he would explain later that the doctor had had an emergency, or had been too busy that day." Demonstrating his concern for the welfare of his clients, Mr. Graham also told her to drink milk and stop smoking. Now she's eight months pregnant.
Whatever your stance on abortion may be, this is the most underhanded anti-abortion action I've heard of. More details about the lawsuit, filed in June, on AlterNet. The judge for the case ordered Mr. Graham to disconnect the phone line of Causeway Center for Women, and said he had done "irreparable harm" to his clients. Even the founder of Louisana Right to Life said of him, "I think he's known for his very pronounced anti-abortion stand, and I can say this for sure: he's never worked with what you might describe as mainstream right-to-life groups."