Debunking the Latest Smear Effort by the Rabidly Anti-Choice Personhood Campaign
Continued from previous page
Anti-choice activist Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life fretted to LifeSiteNews:
Where are the voices of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other abortion advocacy groups when violence is perpetrated on pro-life people? These groups are heard loud and clear when violence is done to supporters of their philosophy. It would be nice to see some consistency here.
But this plaint, echoed by others, is a false equivalence.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains—whose staff, volunteers, and patients endure threats, intimidation, and low-level violence as a matter of course—know about being targeted for what they believe in. Four years after PPRM’s new headquarters and health center opened in Denver, contractors who built it are still picketed at their homes on holidays (including by the Masons, Kekoas, Enyart, and other Colorado for Life affiliates). One pro-life website links, under the heading of “blood workers,” to photographs of the contractors, as well as PPRM staff and security.
So far in 2012 PPRM averages 19 incident reports per month, according to Monica McCafferty, Director of Marketing and Communications. Incidents are defined as anything that rises above the threshold of center protests or picketing, such as arson, assault, battery, burglary, hate mail, stalking, suspicious and/or harassing calls, suspicious encounters and packages, theft, vandalism, trespass, IT hacking, bomb threats, death threats, residential picketing, and more.
“We can’t get distracted by fear tactics and intimidation,” McCafferty said. “It’s a daily way of life for us and we can’t make a media frenzy every time we’re attacked. We have an important job to do and that means ensuring people have affordable health care.”
“The anti-abortion movement has shown that they will accept any level of violence, that they will stop at absolutely nothing to impose their views on others,” said Boulder’s Dr. Warren Hern, one of the last remaining late-term abortion specialists since the 2009 murder of abortion provider George Tiller.
“…the comparison between this incident and what the anti-abortion people have done is quite ludicrous, because the anti-abortion fanatics have been harassing and committing acts of violence against doctors and women and clinics and pro-choice clinic personnel for over 40 years. And this includes multiple assassinations of physicians and others,”
said Hern, whose life revolves around the daily effort to provide safety and security for patients, staff, and himself. “So how this person, who’s an anti-abortion activist, can compare what’s happened to him to this other 40 years is quite absurd.”
Just today, in a RenewAmerica column titled “Violence against pro-lifers: evil and predictable,” Judie Brown of American Life League writes that, “It is not only sad, but terrifying, that there are people today who would get so enraged with those who are pro-life that they would attempt to frighten or even harm them. Yet that is exactly what has happened in Colorado.” Facts tell a different story. Of course, in a culture war, reality doesn’t matter as much as strategic truthiness and stories that endure.
Research for this article by RD Associate Editor KATIE TOTH
Lara Riscol is a journalist who questions the stories we tell ourselves about sex. Published in The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, RHReality Check, with position chapters in several college textbooks, Riscol confronts the "smut and sanctimony" contradictions exploited by business, politics, religion and media. She’s writing a book called “Ten Sex Myths That Screw America: The Case for Pleasure.”