STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
April 25, 2001
Manhattan lawmaker decries Island priest as 'extremist'
State Sen. Eric Schneiderman urges pro-choice groups to protest appearance by
Rev. Frank Pavone
ADVANCE WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON - A state senator from Manhattan has labeled the Rev. Frank
Pavone, head of the Dongan Hills-based Priests for Life, an "extremist" and
urged abortion rights groups to protest his appearance tonight at a National
Right to Life Committee dinner in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
In a letter this week to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL),
Democratic state Sen. Eric Schneiderman grouped Father Pavone with such other
"enemies of choice" as James Kopp, the recently arrested prime suspect in the
1998 killing of Dr. Barnett Slepian, the Buffalo obstetrician and abortion
Schneiderman charged that Father Pavone "openly advocates criminal activity
to harass abortion providers."
The letter was denounced yesterday as "incendiary" and "outrageous" by
Catholic League President William Donohue. "Schneiderman has crossed the line
and should apologize," Donohue said.
"I have long said that there are irresponsible people in the pro-life
movement, some of whom are downright crazy," Donohue said, noting that the
senator had provided no evidence for his allegation. "But most are good,
decent people who just want to stop the killing."
Abortion-rights supporters have accused Father Pavone and his group of
endorsing different kinds of blockades against abortion clinics. He has said
that he views these kind of tactics as "morally acceptable" but has no plans to
Father Pavone says he has condemned the use of violence against abortion
clinics and doctors. After Kopp's arrest last month, the Staten Island priest
said his group was offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who provides information
leading to the capture of fugitives wanted for abortion clinic shootings.