Silence and spin: the pro-abortion response to brick attacks on pro-lifers’ homes

In the more than two months since Robert Lewis Dear’s killing spree at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, the barrage of pro-abortion attempts to connect pro-lifers with the crime was virtually nonstop, and continues to this day—just last week, Media Matters complained that our accurately describing abortion “creates space for anti-choice activists and extremists to justify violence,” while radical mayors are devoting entire panels to “anti-abortion terror.”

If we were to take these as good-faith stands for a more peaceful discourse, then it stands to reason they would have also condemned the recent bricks thrown into the windows of Jill Stanek and John Jansen’s homes.

If overheated pro-life rhetoric has indirect responsibility for the violent actions against abortion providers, then surely the overheated, uncivil rhetoric that pro-choice leaders routinely level against pro-lifers—not just that they think we’re wrong, but that we hate women, want to control women, want to subject women to disease, poverty, and death, and even that we resemble ISIS and the Taliban—would be similarly culpable, right? They have the same “obligation to denounce these attacks and clearly say that violence and intimidation in the pursuit of ideology are not acceptable in America,” as Democrat National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said of pro-lifers, right?

Apparently not. While pro-life leaders uniformly condemned Dear’s murders (before Schultz or anyone else asked them to), our counterparts have suddenly lost their voice. No mention of the attack against Stanek (the earlier one, which they’ve had more time to learn about and react to) from Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders (Schultz’s declaration included “those running for president”). No words of denunciation from the leading activists, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, or the National Abortion Federation. Not a scrap of coverage, let alone disavowal, from Media Matters, Jezebel, Slate, Salon, ThinkProgress, Raw Story, RH Reality Check, Talking Points Memo, Care2, Cosmopolitan, Ms. Magazine, xoJane, or Vanity Fair.

In fact, pretty much the only pro-abortion acknowledgement of the incidents so far come from internet commenters on the coverage, where there have been a few willing to simply condemn it, but seem to be outweighed by those who’d rather minimize the crime with false equivalencies, outright justify it, or conspiracy-monger that maybe Stanek made the whole thing up. Like here:

  • Could this attack have been staged? Only anti-abortionists call anti-abortionism being “pro-life”.

Or here:

  • Extremism only entrenches people. Stuff like this just as bad as when the anti-abortion crowd does it, and only hurts their position.
  • My partner and I had an abortion last year, and I will tell you, anyone who tells us that we shouldn’t have been able to make our own healthcare choice, is an enemy. Leave us alone, and we will leave you alone, period.
  • Jill Stanek is a propagator of lies. She hates the constitution and wants to force her personal beliefs on others though violence. Not that I condone throwing bricks at someone’s home but, Karma is a (*)(*)(*)(*)(*).
  • I am very pro-choice, but this is clearly an act of aggression on the behalf of the protesters. Sort of ironic, as that’s what they (in my view rightly) accuse pro-lifers of advocating.

Or here:

  • Hold up a sec. How do we know that a pro-life person didn’t do this? It was proven that black people vandalized property to make it look like white racists did it so it is entirely possible a pro-life did it to frame the anti-abortion crowd.
  • It is an appropriate act. She’s actively seeking to strip women of their rights. She deserves the same treatment that a pro-slavery activist or an anti-First Amendment activist would receive.
  • Really? She advertises to the world that she’s on vacation and acts surprised when something like this happens.
  • At least she wasn’t shot. That note looks suspiciously neat for having been attached to block that was thrown through a window.
  • Bet she did it herself for the “look at poor me” publicity. (And “fundraising”)

Or here:

  • You know they did this to themself. Paid someone to do it while they were gone. Smh. They send people with guns and bombs, prochoice people do not try to use fear or violence. That is done by the people who want to simply TAKE a woman’s right away instead of offering help.
  • Totally wrong to harass this woman and vandalize her home for her opinions, yes, but at least it’s just property damage, not targeted assassination and terrorist bombings like her side employs.

Come on, the pro-abort would say, those are just lone nuts on the internet who don’t represent me! To which I answer: (1) then maybe the “respectable” pro-choicers should speak up, just as they’ve always expected us to; (2) yet Dear, an even more isolated nut, represents us? (3) okay then, let’s look at how the “respectable” types have responded to their side’s violence in the past.

When Harlan James Drake murdered pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, RH Reality Check spun it as a “random and senseless incident” that was not “part of a larger abortion battle,” despite Drake himself admitting he was motivated by Pouillon’s abortion signs. When UC-Santa Barbara Professor Mireille Miller-Young assaulted a pro-life student, the school’s Vice Chancellor blamed the victim for provoking her, and the pro-abortion press agreed. Pro-abortion author Joyce Arthur accuses pro-life activists of simply being out to “incite violence – then use the ensuing publicity to make pro-choicers look bad.” And just last week, NARAL took a break from their demand that pro-lifers accept the “judgment of the consequences of your hate-filled rhetoric” long enough to engage in rhetoric about punching Rand Paul.

There are scores of incidents of unhinged pro-aborts carrying their movement’s message that pro-lifers are a threat to the nation’s women to conclusion with physical violence, yet there’s a distinct lack of abortion lobby denunciations of them—and holding themselves to the same “words have consequences” standard they’ve so aggressively held pro-lifers to is simply unheard of. It’s almost as if blaming pro-lifers for violence is more about the “pro-life” part than the “violence” part.

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