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The Abortion Wars: Who’s Violent And Who’s Not?

July 31, 2023 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

Last month an online publication, Rewire News Group, published an article, “Anti-Abortion and Fascist Violence Are One and the Same,” by Garnet Henderson. Speaking of abortion clinics, the first sentence of the article sets the tone: “How can clinics stay safe as the anti-abortion movement — with its deep ties to white supremacy and Christian nationalism — becomes more aggressive?”
Ms. Henderson goes on in her article conflating abortion protests, those protesters that enter abortion clinics, such as Red Rose Rescue, the January 6 riots, and true acts of violence against abortion clinics, such as the well-known abortion clinic bombings in the 1980s and suggests that they are all related to white supremacy and gun violence:
“Given the anti-abortion movement’s longstanding ties to white nationalists and other fascist groups, it’s impossible to ignore the similarities between these events and a number of anti-government actions in recent years — the 2021 attack on the Capitol, the 2016 occupation of a federal building led by members of the Bundy family, and the 2020 occupation of the Michigan state capitol, which many now see as a rehearsal for January 6. The more recent trend of attacks and armed protests outside drag shows also follows an eerily similar blueprint. For abortion providers, this raises another fear: that the next time someone forces their way inside a clinic, they could be armed.”
That is a lot of conflation. Demonstrations at state houses, the January 6 riot, and protests at kiddie drag shows don’t seem to be related to pro-lifers — of course it would probably help if I knew who the Bundy family was. It’s simply painting with too wide a brush.
She noted, “Following the Dobbs leak and decision, there were a number of highly publicized vandalisms and arsons at anti-abortion centers. A group calling itself Jane’s Revenge took public responsibility for most of these incidents…. Conservative media and lawmakers latched on to the story, demanding federal investigations.”
Well, of course, that’s true, although many of us want to know why so few of those responsible were ever apprehended, oh, I remember now, that’s because they did their dirty work at night when they couldn’t be seen.
But, I digress, after all, as Ms. Henderson says, “Anti-abortion centers contribute directly to the chaos and violence outside abortion clinics. It’s often their volunteers, seeking to intercept and misdirect patients, who do things like climb into cars, follow patients, and antagonize their companions.”
Okay, let’s settle the violent vs. violent question. There is no question that violence has occurred from both sides. We have to admit that there have been clinic bombings, shootings, and bricks thrown by adherents of both sides. But what is prevalent in my mind right now is the complete disregard of attacks on pro-life clinics, and the damnable protests that occurred at the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices, including a threat to kill one of them, the silence of the media and the Justice Department and the enormous overreaction against pro-life demonstrators. Among the most notable was Mark Houck in Philadelphia, whose house was raided by an early morning FBI swat team with automatic weapons in front of his children — who the FBI knew would be there — because he defended his son from a pro-abortion agitator over a half city block away from the abortion facility.
Should we be surprised? After all the FBI is now investigating traditional Catholics as possible domestic terrorists.
But looking at the situation it appears that all the violence is coming from one side abetted by the federal government and a complacent media. Just recently, for example, two pro-lifers who were outside an abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., were brutally attacked physically by abortion advocates who appeared to be clinic escorts.
According to one of the victims, the altercation started when she was approached by a woman who threw coffee in her face. Yet despite video evidence of the event, the local D.C. police refused to press any charges against the pro-abortion individuals who started the fight. Michael New, a professor at Catholic University of America, told LifeSiteNews that it was not the first time that D.C. police have refused to press charges against individuals who have engaged in violence against peaceful pro-lifers.
And just recently Catholic League President Bill Donohue reported on the anti-Catholic attacks against Leonard Leo, the co-chairman of the Federalist Society, who was instrumental in President Trump’s selection of three conservative justices for the Supreme Court. Angered, the anti-Catholic pro-aborts have been picketing Mr. Leo’s home and business and accused him of being a member of the KKK.
“This is what happens when civility breaks down and demagoguery triumphs. The population control crowd, beginning with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, has a long history of anti-Catholicism. Today’s iteration is even more virulent, and in some cases, such as with Antifa and Jane’s Revenge, anti-Catholic bigots turn violent, especially when the issue of abortion is prominent,” he wrote.
Anne Reed, senior policy adviser to Operation Rescue, has catalogued some of the acts of violence against pro-lifers and pro-life pregnancy centers. She wrote of one instance, “On Friday, May 26, two pro-life sidewalk advocates in their 70s and 80s were brutally attacked while praying and reaching out to abortion vulnerable women at a Planned Parenthood in Baltimore, Md. The vicious, unprovoked assault left the two pro-life heroes, Dick Schaefer and Mark Crosby, unconscious and seriously injured.”
According to Anne Reed’s report, when one of the pro-life volunteers turned his back, he was violently attacked by a man who had just handed his coffee to a clinic escort. Both men were severely beaten and now require ongoing medical care. No arrests were made.
In another incident, Reed wrote: “Last October, Ross Foti [88] was rushed to a hospital emergency room and hospitalized with a punctured lung after being violently shoved onto a fire hydrant at San Mateo Planned Parenthood. It took months before charges were filed against his attacker for ‘Battery with Serious Bodily Injury’ and ‘Battery on an Elder or Dependent Adult’.”
In another incident, “Richard Harvey, a Michigan man, received one year of community service for shooting Joan Jacobson, an 84-year-old pro-life woman campaigning against a pro-abortion constitutional amendment last September.”
In Kansas, a teen-aged girl canvassing for the “Value Them Both” constitutional amendment initiative, was attacked by a grown woman in Overland Park. “The woman shoved the girl in the chest with both hands and hit her repeatedly in the head with closed fists. She proceeded to follow the teen down the street screaming expletives and cursing her with phrases such as, ‘I hope you get raped,’ and ‘I hope you get run over by a car’,” Reed reported.
Obviously, this is only a thumb-nail version of what is happening to pro-life advocates across the country: from assassination attempts to beating elderly folks and teenaged girls, to the cowardly anti-Catholic attacks on leading pro-life leaders — this is the state of violence over abortion today. It doesn’t have to be linked to everything from Pearl Harbor to January 6, from white supremacy to the KKK.
Perhaps Henderson should take a better look at what is really going on, not the propaganda spewing from one side — the baby-killing side.

  • + + (You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at https://iowacatholicradio.com/faith-on-trial/)
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