Video: anti-abortion activist Carol Henderson pesters women trying to have babies, because logic.
When Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion that overturned Alabama’s TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law one week ago, his description of the struggles of abortion providers in Alabama’s hostile climate seemed like a rebuttal to the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down sidewalk “buffer zones.” For example, the opinion relates one doctor’s experience with the “non-violent” tactics of anti-choice activists:
Although she was not performing abortions herself, protestors came to her private practice and began to confront her pregnant patients, just as they had Dr. Palmer’s. Again, they held signs depicting third-trimester abortions. The local leader of the pro-life movement told Johnson that he would protest Dr. H1’s practice for as long as Dr. H1 continued to serve as covering physician for the clinic. Dr. H1 removed her children from their Catholic school due to the publicity surrounding her affiliation with the abortion clinic. She “had a mass exodus of patients from his practice.”
[...] Although she had initially refused to perform abortions herself, the loss of her private obstetric practice pushed her into becoming a full-time abortion provider so that she could continue to support her family as a gynecologist in Huntsville.
The “local leader of the pro-life movement” mentioned there is James Henderson, a Charismatic Episcopal street preacher who has been president of the Alabama Christian Coalition since 2011. That’s his wife Carol in the video above, confronting pregnant women outside Dr. Yashica Robinson’s OB-GYN clinic this May in an effort to hurt the doctor’s business.
After it closed down to find a new location that could meet the part of the state’s TRAP law which requires ambulatory care arrangements that no similar inpatient facility is required to meet, Mr. Henderson brought lawyers from California to try and keep the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives shuttered. It was just the latest example of his “leadership,” which largely consists of telling lies about his perceived opponents.
James has always been extremely thin-skinned and easily angered: when he tried to hold an anti-abortion rally on the front steps of the Madison County courthouse without a permit in 2004, the mere touch of a deputy’s hand on his shoulder was enough to start him screaming about police brutality and religious oppression (because he’d had a bible in his hand at the time). His complaints to the county commission about this incident are now legendary for overwrought and ridiculous claims; afterwards, Henderson said that the US Army made him an honorary chaplain as a result, but this too is nonsense.
Indeed, many of the Hendersons’ claims just don’t make any sense. Carol says that she spent two years managing a Morgan County home for pregnant and “troubled” young women called Rose of Sharon, and James has also told at least one other person that Rose of Sharon became Lexi House. But there is scant evidence that a Rose of Sharon ever existed, and the Lexi House was actually started by someone else. Could they just be making this up?
We do know that Henderson was a colonel in the Army, serving in Vietnam and ending his career at nearby Redstone Arsenal in 1985. As clinic escort volunteers recollect, the couple first appeared outside of the Huntsville clinic in 2000 or 2001 to do what they call “counseling and prayer.” We have a few examples of this behavior to share with you.
Here is a video of James Henderson telling police that he obeys “God’s laws” as opposed to the laws of Alabama:
And here is Carol Henderson insulting a clinic escort because Jesus would definitely approve of her fat-shaming:
Watch James harass a black clinic escort by name. He apparently does this to her all the time:
Hypocrisy rules the Hendersons’ world. After leading the anti-choice crowd to block sidewalks, stalk down providers, and record the faces of women entering the clinic for twelve years or more, they got their panties in a bunch the moment that prochoice activists began fighting back. Suddenly they became very, very concerned about people turning their cameras on the Hendersons and their creepy friends, or using boomboxes to drown out their disinformation. He was absolutely livid last year when, after a long battle to control the public sidewalks outside the clinic, Huntsville’s mayor and city council ordered him to share the space.
James has posted about all this many times on his Facebook page, which is a study in self-righteous defamation. He denounces his enemies for “criminal behavior” if someone burns sage nearby, but feels no remorse when his own friends spray the other side down with “holy water” in response. When he doesn’t get his way, he turns into a whining bully.
The Hendersons constantly confuse freedom of speech with the power to compel others to listen to them, leaving no space for disagreement, because their ‘god’ is actually just an excuse for a creepy hobby: controlling the lives and bodies of other people.
Listen to James rant, if you can stand it: