Anti-abortionists invade doctors’ meeting
By Peggy Peck
United Press International
Published 5/5/2004 8:58 AM
PHILADELPHIA, May 4 (UPI) — A small contingent of anti-abortion protestors invaded a meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Tuesday, an action the organization’s leader called an act of domestic terrorism.
The protestors had been camped outside Philadelphia’s convention center since the college opened its meeting Sunday. About a half-dozen protestors walked into a meeting session, titled “Innovations in Contraception and Abortion.” They somehow penetrated the meeting’s private security personnel and forced their way into the gathering.
Witnesses said the protestors pushed aside a doctor to enter the room and then began videotaping attendees, including each doctor’s name badge, which identified where the doctor lives or practices.

Dr. Harry Jonas, a former president of the obstetrician’s group and a board member of Physician’s for Reproductive Choice and Health, told United Press International, “I think we need to take the advice of our president (George Bush) and refuse to bow to domestic terrorism, which is what this is.”
Dr. Vivian M. Dickerson, an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine, and incoming ACOG president, called the incident frightening and appalling and decried the breach of security. She said some anti-abortion groups circulate physician identities on Web sites, raising concerns about personal safety.
Within a few minutes, the security guards arrived in force and escorted the protestors out of the convention center, where they immediately resumed their positions across the street.
One protestor who had entered the meeting, Nate Enyart of Denver, told UPI his group intended to disrupt the session but denied they took video images of physicians or attempted to identify them.
Jonathan O’Toole, of Kansas City, Mo., another member of the anti-abortion group — which is called Survivors — told UPI the group did attempt to videotape physicians. Although he carried a video camera in a tote bag at his side, he said he had not used it in this instance.
Another protestor, who identified himself as Robert Fitzgerald and claimed to be a member of ACOG — and was wearing a badge designating him as a “Life Fellow” of the organization — said he did not participate in the inside protest, “but I do support the action.”
Fitzgerald, who said he currently practices in Great Neck, N.Y., on Long Island, said he had been an obstetrician/gynecologist for 46 years and opposed abortion.
The anti-abortion incident occurred as ACOG and the Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health is discussing urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve an emergency contraception pill, called Plan B, for sale as an over-the-counter medication. An FDA advisory committee recommended OTC status for the drug late last year and the agency originally said it would rule in February, but then extended the deadline until May 21.