Is there any starker example of irony than abortion advocates calling pro-lifers violent? Today’s lesson in self-awareness comes courtesy of RH Reality Check’s Robin Marty, who reports on an Indiana man who brought an ax to an empty Planned Parenthood in Bloomington and vandalized it with red paint:
According to the local ABC affiliate, Benjamin Curell said he damaged and vandalized the clinic because of his “religious beliefs.” Bloomington police Capt. Joe Qualters told the news organization, “The suspect made statements indicating the facility was targeted due to abortions being performed there … He stated his intent was to damage the building because they ‘kill’ and ‘murder’ babies. He attributed his actions to his religious beliefs.”
Obviously this guy’s a loose cannon who should be punished. Obviously Planned Parenthood is entitled to protection from legitimate infringements on its property. But, because a good apologist never lets an opportunity for demonization go to waste, Marty can’t leave it at that:
Planned Parenthood of Indiana has been the focus of Indiana legislators the last few sessions; in 2011 then Gov. Mitch Daniels attempted to defund the group (the federal government blocked that attempt), and this year anti-choice legislators are trying to pass a targeted regulation of abortion provider (TRAP) law, SB 371, to block Planned Parenthood’s Lafayette clinic from offering medication abortions. Throughout the testimony for the bill, anti-choice state groups demonized the Planned Parenthood. Is it a big surprise that an anti-choice activist would eventually take action against one of the group’s clinics?
No, it’s not surprising that in any emotionally charged debate, there will be individuals who go off the deep end. But blaming those who fairly describe Planned Parenthood’s evil for such crimes is absurd. As we’ve discussed before, abortion and its practitioners inspire such intense feelings because they ultimately are what their critics accuse them of being. There’s no way to honestly sanitize a discussion about this. There just isn’t. (It’s worth noting that the clinic in question performs abortions on-site, so they don’t even have the lame “we only do referrals!” excuse.)
Blaming the messenger might be useful to Planned Parenthood, but it won’t change the truth or elevate the debate, and it certainly doesn’t demonstrate the pro-life movement’s culpability in crime. If anything, it’s a testament to pro-lifers’ moral seriousness that it’s so rare for individuals on our side to meet violence with violence.
Let’s not forget that, aside from abortion itself, y’know, being violence, pro-aborts occasionally attack pro-lifers, too. Here’s a partial rundown of pro-life victims:
– Everett Stadig in July 2012—had his petition torn up and was thrown to the ground, requiring hospitalization
– Keith and Jennifer Mason in July 2012—had their home vandalized with red paint and a rock thrown through the window in their front door
– Blountville, TN pro-life protestors in July 2012—threatened with a gun by an abortionist
– Fr. Frank Pavone & Prof. Robert George in May 2011—targeted with death threats by self proclaimed “pro-choice terrorist” Ted Shulman
– Kalispell, MT pro-life protestors in March 2011—had a Molotov cocktail thrown at an elderly participant
– Leah Winandy in February 2010—threatened with a knife by a abortion-seeking woman who later changed her mind and had her baby
– Lila Rose in December 2009—physically assaulted by a Planned Parenthood clinic escort
– James Pouillon in September 2009—fatally shot by Harlan James Drake, who was reportedly angered by Pouillon’s use of a graphic abortion sign
– Josh Craddock in August 2008—shoved to the ground by a pro-choice man in Denver, CO
– Kevin Rilott in August 2007—assaulted outside an abortion clinic in Rockford, IL
– Daniel Heenan in April 2004—assaulted by a Planned Parenthood security guard in Washington, D.C.
It’s been asked before, and it deserves to be asked again: if harsh pro-choice rhetoric is to blame for violent pro-lifers, then why isn’t harsh pro-choice rhetoric – which, frankly, is far more likely to be chock-full of malicious lies that actually do give people false understandings of the issues involved – to blame for the above instances?
Of course, the simplest way for pro-aborts to disentangle themselves from the abortion debate’s intense emotions would be to stop involving themselves in violence against the young. But that will never happen, because in the bizarre world of the left, the closest distance between two points is never a straight line.