Reno Sets Up National Task Force to Probe Anti-Abortion Violence

<i> From Reuters</i>

Atty. Gen. Janet Reno set up a task force Monday to investigate anti-abortion violence after a spate of attacks, including last month’s killing of a New York doctor who performed abortions.

“These attacks and others seek to undermine a woman’s basic constitutional right, the right to reproductive health care,” Reno said. “While some people may oppose that right, no one should ever use violence.”

The National Task Force on Violence against Health Care Providers will help with local investigations and try to establish links between attacks. It will also help train law enforcers, identify at-risk clinics and develop security for them, Reno said at a news conference.

“We will be looking at the national picture, we will be looking at trying to coordinate enforcement of many local incidents,” said Bill Lann Lee, acting assistant attorney general for civil rights who is heading the task force.


Reno also announced a $500,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Dr. Barnett Slepian, who was shot by a sniper in his kitchen on Oct. 23 in Amherst, N.Y.

The attack on Slepian, an obstetrician-gynecologist who delivered babies and performed abortions, was similar to four others on abortion providers in western New York and Canada since 1994. Those assaults were not fatal.