Monday, May 09, 2022

Tame


Confrontation always carries the risk of backfiring and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are reportedly not as gung-ho on overturning Roe v. Wade as are Justices Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito. However, this reflects a stunning lack of perspective:

 

 The "civil" approach to abortion politics was illustrated when on March 10, 1993 Dr. David Gunn was gunned down walking into his clinic during a forced-birth protest at a reproductive health clinic in Pensacola, Florida. In 1994 Dr. John Britton and volunteer Ret. Lt.Col. James Barrett were shot dead at another healthcare clinic in Pensacola. Later that year,

an anti-abortion extremist opened fire on two clinics in Massachusetts, killing both clinics’ receptionists—Shannon Lowney and Leanne Nichols—and wounding five others. In 1998, Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Olympic Games, a clinic, and a lesbian and gay bar in Atlanta, detonated a bomb at a clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing off-duty police officer Robert Sanderson, who served as a security guard at the clinic, and critically injuring a nurse. In 1998, a sniper murdered Dr. Barnett Slepian in front of his family as he was standing in the kitchen of his home in upstate New York.

On a Sunday at the end of May 2009, Dr. George Tiller was attending services at his church in Wichita, Kan., when anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder entered the church, raised a gun to Tiller’s forehead and shot him at point-blank range. Tiller had survived being shot in both arms by a different anti-abortion extremist in 1993.

In 2015 Robert Lewis Dear Jr. shot six people, two fatally, outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, then shot one person inside the facility and held police off for five hours, shooting four and killing one officer.  He later rejoiced at the murder and mayhem because he believed it would prevent abortions being performed there. However, the murders

don't come close to telling the full story of the unrelenting, daily violence and harassment that anti-abortion extremists visit on providers and clinics. Attempted murder, death threats, stalking, kidnapping, bombings and arson are a routine part of life for providers and clinics.

From 1993 to 2016 (video below from 5/16), "pro-life" advocates killed doctors, clinic employees, a clinic escort, a security guard and a police officer, 11 in all, with 26 attempted murders.

Then it got worse. After speaking to the National Abortion Federation, in 2019 CBS News reported

In 2017, violent acts against abortion providers more than doubled from the year prior, according to data compiled by NAF. The group recorded 1,081 violent acts, the most since the group began tracking these incidents.

Last year, the group recorded another new record high: 1,369 reported violent acts, including 15 instances of assault and battery, 13 burglaries, 14 counts of stalking and over a thousand episodes of illegal trespassing.

None of that includes the great number of women who are harassed, scared and shamed as they walk a gauntlet to enter abortion clinics.  It's what makes the pro-life movement the "pro-life" movement, a fervid, aggressive effort to prevent strangers from getting the reproductive care they've chosen.

Make no mistake about it.  If the authors of the draft copy of the decision leaked last week had gone against the State of Mississippi by concluding that the law banning most abortions after 15 weeks was unconstitutional, the uproar on the right would have been far nastier, illegal, and violent than anything we've witnessed from the left. Instead, it took anti-abortion activists several decades but they appear finally to have gotten what they have wanted, and it hasn't come by friendly persuasion.

It's how the right rolls. More than a month after testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee following nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Court, Christine Blasey Ford reportedly was "still getting death threats" and "had to move four times. She can’t go to work as a professor at Palo Alto University, and it’s unclear when she’ll be able to return, according to NPR. She needs a private security detail."

So obey the law, everyone. But never forget that "might makes right" is the code of the conservative.


 



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