By Dave Andrusko
It doesn’t matter how often, how clearly, how sincerely pro-life organizations, led by National Right to Life, denounce violence at abortion clinics. There must be a connection, somehow, some way , between our Movement and the murders of three people and the wounding of nine others last week at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Before I start, let me begin with the obvious. You’d expect the following from Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, speaking to the Washington Post:
“They have ignited a firestorm of hate. They knew there could be these types of consequences, and yet they ratcheted up the rhetoric and ratcheted it up and ratcheted it up,” Saporta said. “It’s not a huge surprise that somebody would take this type of action.”
Speaking of “ratcheting it up….” It’s pointless to critique this comment or any other from a representative of the abortion industry.
Rather the subject of this post is the legion of media abortion apologists, especially those whose default response is to dial the handful of individuals, who purport to be “pro-life,” in order to determine what our Movement “really” believes.
This is so jaded, it gives cynicism a bad name.
When these half-dozen or so people give the reporter what he or she so badly wants–justifying or “explaining” the murders–they not only do terrible harm to the cause for which we labor, they also are compounding the tragedy that took the lives of a university police officer an Iraqi war veteran, and a mother of two children . But they serve a useful purpose for the “mainstream media” determined to tar the entire Pro-Life Movement with the ‘extremist” brush.
However even if they couldn’t dust off the old-reliable to give them the inflammatory quotes they so pine for, that same cadre of abortion defenders would conjure up some link. Take Robin Abcarian, a veteran pro-abortion scribe for the Los Angeles Times, who concedes that Robert Dear, the accused killer, may not be a member of any pro-life organization, but so what?
To criticize Planned Parenthood, that saintly $1 billion organization that dispatches over 330,000 unborn babies a year–well, such “rhetoric,” she announces, “is like tinder for those already smoldering.”
If that isn’t a tenuous enough connection, Abcarian likens it to “a dog whistle to extremists.” Get it? (A) Nobody else can hear this sound except those already predisposed to violence; and (B) would it be unfair to conclude she is suggesting those using such an instrument intend that the individuals respond violently?
Remember, as we talked about yesterday, exploiting the deaths of these three people for political purposes is par for the course for the abortion set.
“Certainly, you cannot draw a straight line from the loopy utterances of a desperate Republican presidential candidate to the crazy actions of a deranged human being,” Abcarian announces. “But you can definitely draw a dotted line.”
Dotted lines, dog whistles, tinder–how can you possibly critique such an example of scintillating detective work.
I could cite lots of examples, but here’s just one more: the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank. Here’s the headline: “Antiabortion rhetoric unwittingly unleashes the unhinged.”
So, whereas Abcarian likely believes–like Saporta–that there was no accident–no “unwittingly”–Milbank is a tad more subtle. He writes
The antiabortion movement did not kill those three people in Colorado Springs. The one responsible is the deranged gunman himself.
And then the “But”:
But it’s a different matter to ask whether the often-violent imagery used by conservative leaders on abortion is unwittingly giving the unhinged some perverse sense of justification to contemplate the unspeakable.
At the end he talks about “people with a few screws loose” and how they might “get other ideas”–murdering people–presumably the same extremists who can hear dog whistles or who are already smoldering.
I am not going to go the way many others have: to talk about the many examples where spokespeople for causes people like Milbank and Abcarian would likely approve of having made plenty of tough-hitting comments. But if I did, would those who clobber critics of Planned Parenthood jump to conclude that these other spokespeople were offering “some perverse sense of justification”?
I’m guessing not.
One more time. All responsible pro-life organizations denounce violence without hesitation and without qualification. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the murder victims and the nine people wounded.
But, as much as some would want otherwise, we will not be silenced.