Under-the-Radar Violence in the Conflict Over Abortion
Second, the victims of this particular category of abortion-related violence are not hard to identify. If a woman is brought to an abortion clinic because she has been told that she will be killed or brutally beaten if she refuses, her body language, facial expressions, speech patterns, and general demeanor are going to indicate a level of distress far beyond that normally associated with having an abortion.
The only plausible explanations for why an abortion would be performed on her are that (a) no counseling is done, (b) the counselor is grossly incompetent and should never have been trusted with this responsibility or (c) the counselor’s personal, financial or political bias in favor of abortion neutralizes any concern for the victim.
It is interesting to note that Herculean efforts have been made to protect abortion providers against violence. The United States Congress has held hearings on abortion clinic violence; federal laws have been passed to restrict pro-life activities in ways that have never been contemplated with any other issue; RICO statutes enacted to go after organized crime have been used against individual pro-life activists; the FBI and the Department of Justice have created special task forces solely for the purpose of protecting abortion providers; federal marshals have been assigned to stand guard at abortion clinics; police departments continue to openly and routinely violate the First Amendment rights of peaceful pro-life protesters; and the list goes on ad infinitum.
In order to appreciate how out-of-proportion these responses have been, it should be remembered that only eight abortion clinic homicides have occurred in the almost 40 years since abortion was legalized. By any reasonable analysis, infrequent acts of violence against a tiny group of abortion doctors have been given a level of attention that is so extraordinary, nothing remotely similar has ever been given to any other segment of society.
This effort has been the result of enormous pressure exerted upon the American political process by the
abortion lobby. Interestingly, the group being given this historically unprecedented level of protection is overwhelmingly male. At the same time, however, these same abortion lobby activists have shown a stark indifference toward the exponentially larger number of women who are being brutalized or murdered for refusing to have abortions.
From this comparison, it is obvious that, among those who most staunchly support abortion, these men count and these women don’t.
Adding to this is the fact that the leaders of the contemporary “women’s movement” are acutely aware of this situation and remain stone cold silent about it. For political and public relations reasons, those who most loudly proclaim “a woman’s right to choose,” have shown no interest in “a woman’s right not to choose.” On one hand, they may not approve of women being bludgeoned or killed for refusing to have abortions. But on the other hand, they have made it clear that they are willing to write-off these women as just collateral damage in the war to keep abortion legal.
To comprehend the scale of this betrayal, note that the abortion lobby has spent the past 40 years marketing abortion as the indispensable cornerstone of women’s equality. They have done this despite the fact that, with almost no exceptions, the pioneers of the American women’s-rights movement were outspoken opponents of legalizing abortion.
Moreover, this opposition was only partially based on the contention that abortion takes a human life. People like Susan B. Anthony, Mattie Brinkerhoff, Sarah Norton, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and numerous others routinely and strongly argued that legalizing abortion is also profoundly harmful to women. Just one example of this was Alice Paul – the author of the original Equal Rights Amendment – who referred to abortion as the ultimate exploitation of women. Even suffragist newspapers like Woodhull’s and Claflin’s Weekly had editorial policies that openly attacked both abortion and those who performed them.