They’re fire-bombing pro-life pregnancy clinics. They’re defacing churches. They’re disrupting pro-life marches with threats of violence. And this is their reasoning: “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you.” Those are the exact words written on the outside of a counseling center for pregnant women in Asheville, N.C., this week. Earlier, a Christian ministry in Buffalo, N.Y., was vandalized and before that, the headquarters of a pro-life organization in Madison, Wis., was bombed.
This is just the beginning, according to the group “Jane’s Revenge,” a pro-abortion organization that has a history of violence. So far, they’ve limited that violence to buildings. It’s very easy to imagine that this group, which allegedly cares about the safety of women, will endanger the safety of pro-life women. They’ve already threatened the lives of Supreme Court justices, including death threats issued against Brett Kavanaugh this week. A man armed with a gun was found outside of the justice’s Maryland home. It’s only by a miracle that he, his wife and children were not hurt.
In some ways, I’m glad that these violent folk exist, and are showing their true faces. There is this false perception of the pro-life movement as religious and ideological zealots who are engaged in guerilla warfare against women. While it can’t be denied that anti-abortion activists have used violence to advance their goals in some very high-profile cases, like the murders of abortionists George Tiller and Barnett Slepian and the tactics of Operation Rescue, these are by far the exception and not the rule. It’s for that reason, and that reason alone, that I won’t tar the entire abortion-rights movement with the crimes of Jane’s Revenge and similar groups around the country.
But I will call out the so-called mainstream supporters of abortion for their silence in the face of the carnage. Ironically, the carnage I’m referring to this time is not the destruction of three generations of unborn children. This detritus of violence is more visible and visceral, with blood on walls and shattered glass in the halls. This version of “protest” is more immediate, and has the capacity to cause harm to those who are simply exercising their constitutional rights to freedom of speech, assembly and expression. Because nothing that these pro life clinics are doing is illegal, and the attacks on their mission is an attempt to violate their First Amendment birthright (pun intended).
You might recognize the language I’m using here, and the way that I’m framing it. The pro-choice, abortion-rights or pro-abortion movement is all about the lexicon of “rights.” They push for the “right” to privacy, the “right” to use birth control (no one ever stopped them from using it) and the “right” to become “unpregnant.” They demand the “right” to have free access to abortion clinics, the “right” to fund Planned Parenthood with tax dollars, the “right” to call a baby a clump of cells. Freedom of speech, of assembly, of bodily autonomy, all of these are the fundamental sacraments of the abortion-rights movement.
But I scoured the internet for some examples of those same organizations like NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW and Emily’s List condemning the violence against pro-life organizations and buildings, and I came up with this:
Nothing. When I googled “condemnation of firebombings from abortion activists,” one of the first titles that popped up was an article from the New York Times with this headline: “A Brief History of the Deadly Attacks on Abortion Providers.” I looked on Twitter and elsewhere to see if President Biden had said anything and there were some statements about how great it was that baby formula was getting to the children, but nothing about the violence. The governor of New York, a strong supporter of choice, issued a generic comment condemning “all violence.” I reached out to our local Planned Parenthood for a comment and got nothing.
Of course, I’m writing this on a Wednesday morning and they’ve only had a few days to react to the bombings and destruction, so I guess I should give them a few weeks to take notice. I mean, it’s taken almost 50 years for them to even consider the humanity of the unborn child and they’re having a hard time with that one. Patience, Christine.
But to be honest, I have no patience for these hypocrites. They wail in anguish at the thought of having to actually take responsibility for their sexual activity, and abandon abortion as a form of birth control. They seethe with anger at the prospect of not being able to decide that a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies should take precedence over the birth of an unexpected son or daughter. They reject science, much like the creationists who oppose evolution. They actually don’t believe in evolution, because they don’t think that human beings stem from “human” matter.
And they point fingers at other people who use violent tactics, tactics that have been disavowed by the vast majority of pro-life advocates. They try and conflate James Kopp and Scott Roeder (the men who killed, respectively, Barnett Slepian and George Tiller) with grandmothers who pray the rosary outside of abortion clinics. Or Catholic Supreme Court justices.
It’s time for these women and the men who support them to come out and condemn the nihilism and terrorism of these abortion rights activists. It’s time for Merrick Garland to open an investigation into their felonious behavior, instead of stalking parents at school board meetings. It’s time for Planned Parenthood and the sister groups to issue full-throated condemnation of the violence that is being done in their name.
I know they’ve spent a half-century condoning violence against the unborn, so that might be hard. But even a small effort would be appreciated, at a time when silence can kill.
Christine Flowers is an attorney. Her column appears Thursday and Sunday. Email her at [email protected]
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