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new balance 991 A clinic's landlord turns the tables on anti Regardless of how you feel about abortion, the way Todd Stave flipped the script on his bullies is pretty dang clever. Stave is the landlord of a medical clinic in Germantown, Md., that offers abortions. Reproductive Health Services Clinic became a big focus of antiabortion protesters when it was leased to LeRoy Carhart, one of the few doctors in the nation who acknowledges performing lateterm abortions. There are always protesters outside the office park property quietly praying or holding a vigil, with signs, rosaries, statues of Mary and bloody, gory posters of mangled fetuses. "Totally appropriate. It's their right. They are protected by the First Amendment. And outside the clinic is probably the most appropriate place for them to express their views, he told me this week. This has been a way of life for Stave. He's not just a landlord. That office was his father's clinic. Then his sister ran it. been a member of this fight since Roe vs. Wade. Since I was 5 years old, he said. The office was firebombed when he was a kid, and protesters gathered outside his father's home as he was growing up. So he's no stranger to the harassment and bullying of doctors and their families. It's become routine for protesters to distribute fliers, posters and create Web sites with all of a doctor's personal information and urge others to target them. Kansas doctor George Tiller was killed in 2009 and his protege, Carhart, had his farm burned to the ground. The tactical twist to focus on a clinic's property owner was also a clever move. Stave himself could take it. He's pretty tough after all these years in this debate. But his harassers crossed the line last fall, when a big group showed up at his daughter's middle school on the first day of classes and again at backtoschool night. They had signs with his name and contact information as well as those awful images of the fetuses. View as one page 1 2 3(page 2 of 3) parent wants to have that conversation with an 11yearold on the first day of school? he fumed. Soon after that, the harassing calls from protesters started coming to his home. By the dozens, at all hours. Friends asked him how they could help. He began to take the names and phone numbers down of anyone who contacted him with an unwanted call. And he gave those lists to his friends and asked them to call these folks back. a very calm, very respectful voice, they said that the Stave family thanks you for your prayers, he said. cannot terminate the lease, and they do not want to. They support women's rights. started with a dozen or so friends, then grew. Soon, there were more than a thousand volunteers dialing. If they could find the information, Stave's callers would even ask the family how their children were doing, and mention their names and the name of their school. then we'd tell them that we bless their home on such and such street, giving them their address. In some cases, the family of a protester who called Stave's home could get up to 5,000 calls in return. Harsh? Nope. gave them back what they gave us, he said. Do onto others, and so forth. The supporters came so fast and in such big numbers, Stave founded a group, Voice for Choice. And now there are about 3,000 volunteers ready to make calm, reasoned calls to the homes of people who bombard doctors, landlords and families with their unsolicited protests at homes or schools across the country. Stave is pretty rakish about explaining the tactic, clearly enjoying turning the tables after decades of not fighting back. They don't want unsolicited calls to their homes? he asked. Still, there are calls they won't make. might call and say: protesting in front of my clinic. They're praying, chanting, with their signs.' And I say: they harassing you? Harassing the patients?' Stave said. (page 3 of 3) if they say then I say: can't help you. There is no more appropriate place for them to do this than here. They are protected by the First Amendment.' is being called a hero and even received an award from NARAL at a big gala in California last week. And that's when the trouble began again. While he was out in California, his neighborhood was canvassed with fliers depicting Stave in a Nazi uniform, with graphic photos of Holocaust victims and mangled fetuses. And it had all of his contact information as well as phone numbers and addresses for other family members.