In the wake of George Tiller’s killing, many pundits and pro-abortionists have tried to project the shadow of his assassination onto the entire pro-life movement.
A June 2 Associated Press (AP) article titled: “Suspect in doctor killing railed against abortion” exemplifies the attempt. Although the AP professes to be an unbiased news source, the only pro-lifers interviewed expressed support for Tiller’s slaying and a substantial part of the story outlined the increased security measures abortion mills will now assume.
Although every mainstream pro-life organization issued immediate condemnations of the killing, the article lacked a single quote from any of these statements. The only recognition of the pro-life movement’s rejection of the killing was a paragraph that stated:
Police said it appears the gunman acted alone, and some anti-abortion groups quickly distanced themselves from the killing. Outside Tiller’s clinic, the Kansas Coalition for Life placed signs saying members had prayed for Tiller’s change of heart, “not his murder.”1
Britain’s liberal newspaper The Guardian was even more biased. A June 5 story titled: “On the front line in the US abortion war,” is not an objective representation of the struggle against abortion, as the title suggests, but an interview with and character sketch of Georgian extremist Neal Horsley who justifies violence against abortionists and even honors the perpetrators of such violence, dubbing them: “soldiers in the war against terror.”
Worse yet, rather than admit that Horsley does not represent the pro-life movement, author Chris McGreal shockingly affirmed:
Horsley has been at the forefront of an unrelenting campaign against abortion that straddles the blurry line between the mainstream movement characterising itself as “pro-life” and men like Scott Roeder who has been charged with Tiller’s murder.2
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Meanwhile, the feminist pro-abortion group National Organization for Women (NOW) decried the killing as “the most recent in a string of murders in the service of the anti-abortion cause,” and called upon the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to “root out and prosecute as domestic terrorists and violent racketeers the criminal enterprise that has organized and funded criminal acts for decades.” They urged the government to put “the full resources of their two departments behind that effort.”3 National Abortion Federation (NAF) president Vicki Saporta went so far as to dub the last thirty years a “reign of terror” against abortionists.4
Similarly, late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart called on the government to define as hate crimes all efforts of “anti-choice domestic terrorists” and likened planting crosses in the yards of abortion-performing doctors to actions of the KKK.
Warren Hern, another late-term abortionist from Colorado, told London’s Guardian that pro-lifers constitute:
a national terrorist, totalitarian, fascist movement that is violent, well organised and well armed and they do not accept the basic premises of American society. Everything they’ve done for the last 35 years is designed to animate, to inspire, to give encouragement to anti-abortion assassins and anti-abortion violence.5
Indeed, the pro-abortion movement and leftist media are intent on equating the vast majority of peaceful and legal pro-lifers with savage terrorists. As conservative columnist Michelle Maklin aptly described it: “When a right-wing Christian vigilante kills, millions of fingers pull the trigger.”6
However, is this demonizing justified? Are pro-lifers really the violent people they are being made out to be? And what about pro-abortion violence, does it exist?
Skewed Statistics and Misrepresentations
To track pro-lifers’ “offenses,” pro-abortion groups tally acts of “violence and disruptive actions” the former allegedly perpetrate in the United States and Canada. The NAF publishes a table of the data they accumulate.7 At first glance the numbers are impressive, indeed. According to the chart, the total disruptions and acts of violence since 1973 is a full 156,961. However, a closer look reveals that 141,837 of these incidents are peaceful picketing of abortion mills, 13,995 are “hate mail” or “harassing” telephone calls – which certainly include many peaceful and legal actions –, 1,993 are trespassing violations and 1,400 are generically termed “vandalism.”
The section of the NAF chart on violence is even more misleading. Under this heading it lists trespassing violations, vandalism, invasion, threats and butyric acid attacks. The latter may look violent at first glance. However, butyric acid is a harmless but foul-smelling liquid. Thus, the frightful sounding “butyric acid attacks” amount to nothing more than the use of stink bombs. Admittedly this costs money to clean up, but to classify it as “violence” is simply dishonest.
Furthermore, a 1995 Life Research Institute study investigated all available claims of pro-life violence and uncovered major inconsistencies. The study is titled: Abortion-Related Violence and Alleged Violence and is readily available online.8
It shows that many claims made by NAF and other groups are simply not substantiated nor is any evidence provided. Readers are expected to accept many incidents without proof.
Furthermore, an investigation of the more detailed “offenses” reveals major flaws. For instance, pro-lifers are assumed as the culprits of any act committed against an abortionist or even near an abortion mill.
Other examples include:
The 1993 murder of abortion doctor Wayne Patterson is categorized misleadingly as a murder that forced the closing of two abortion facilities. The truth is that Wayne Patterson was robbed and killed by an unknown assailant while leaving a pornographic movie theater. What his killing has to do with the pro-life movement is not explained.9
On October 21, the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Redding California burnt down. The event and was designated a pro-life arson, despite police reports that identified an electric fan as the cause of the blaze.10
In June of 1990, the Minnesota director of Planned Parenthood was supposedly assaulted, although he escaped the event without a scratch. His assailant, who certainly attacked other clinic employees, was an escapee from a mental institution. It was proven in court that he had no links to any pro-life organization.11
Those Who Live in Glass Houses…
In addition to greatly exaggerating (and even inventing) incidents of pro-life violence, the pro-abortion movement is deathly silent about the violence from within its ranks against pro-lifers.
In fact, the vast majority of active pro-lifers have endured acts of pro-abortionist violence. A common example is abortion mill workers who try to run over pro-lifers demonstrating in front of clinics.12 Dr. Tiller, himself, ran over a pro-lifer and rammed a policeman on a motorcycle in a 1989 incident at his Wichita clinic.13
Pro-life organization Human Life International (HLI) has documented cases of pro-abortion violence for years. Their research is published online at: http://abortionviolence.com/ and on a blog titled: Tree in the Sea (see: http://tree-in-the-sea.blogspot.com/2008/05/pro-abortion-violence.html). The latter has a list that is over 100 pages long and contains more than 2,000 cases.
Seven-year-old Ekaternia Engelke was kneeling in prayer at a Wisconsin abortion mill when leftist Catherine Doyle approached and screamed profanities at the little girl. When the latter replied: “You are killing babies!” the former kicked little Ekaterina in the face, injuring her. Afterwards, a hotline for Doyle’s pro-abortion group, Milwaukee Clinic Protection Coalition, instructed fellow pro-abortion activists to “brush up on their football skills.”
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Despite numerous witnesses, charges were never brought against Doyle. Incidentally, her sister was Wisconsin Attorney General at the time of the attack.14
Worse yet, in Los Angeles, three pro-abortionists were arrested in 1989 for trying to burn down a church, packed with pro-lifers. Police also found concussion grenades underneath a speaker’s platform that was set up for a rally scheduled later in the day. There were 2,500 pro-lifers at the event.15
In Tennessee, Byron Looper, pro-abortion candidate for the state senate, shot his pro-life opponent Senator Tommy Burks in the face, killing him. Afterwards, he bragged about the murder to his friend Joe Bond, saying: “I did it, man, I did it! I killed that dude.”16
Last, activist Eileen Orstein Janezic shot pro-life talk show host Jerry Simon at his home. She proceeded to hold the police at bay for six hours, while she recited quotations from Antoin LeVey’s Satanic Bible.17
These four events are merely the tip of the iceberg. There are literally thousands of documented cases of pro-abortion violence.18 In fact, these substantiated incidents greatly outweigh the alleged acts committed by pro-lifers.
Denunciations and Silence
Furthermore, when an abortion opponent commits a violent crime, all mainstream pro-life organizations instantly condemn the act and reaffirm their commitment to engage only in peaceful activities.
Thus, when George Tiller was killed, immediately an ocean of rejection flooded from the pro-life community. Human Life International President, Father Thomas Euteneuer affirmed that Tiller’s killer “proved that he was no better than Tiller.”19
Likewise, American Life League executive director, Katie Walker, stated that Tiller’s killing defied the principles of the pro-life movement.20 Pro-Life Action League President Joe Scheidler affirmed: “We deplore the killing of George Tiller on Sunday morning.” He also stated that his policy is to try and convert abortionists, not kill them.21
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council president, decried the murder saying: “We strongly condemn the actions taken today by this vigilante killer.”22 Doctor James Dobson of Focus on the Family declared: “We are shocked by the murder of George Tiller, and we categorically condemn the act of vigilantism and violence that took his life.”23
Last, an Operation Rescue press release condemned the attack saying: “We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning.”24 (To read the American TFP denunciation of the murder of George Tiller, click here.) The list goes on and on.
However, when a pro-abortionist commits violent crime, abortion groups react at best with deafening silence.
When 69 year-old Ed Snell was counseling women entering Hillcrest Abortion Clinic in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from atop his car, the boyfriend of a potential “client” became angry and threw him to the pavement below.25
The force of the fall was such that Mr. Snell was knocked unconscious. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors found he had two broken ribs, four fractured vertebrae, a cracked scapula and bleeding in the tissue between his skull and brain. Until they were able to stop this bleeding, doctors feared he would die.
Nevertheless, when the author called Hillcrest Abortion Clinic for a statement on the assault, a receptionist shouted: “He got what he deserved! He earned what he got!” then hung up the phone.
Additionally, the author’s research did not uncover a single condemnation of the attack from pro-abortion organizations. This research included searching the web sites of: NARAL, Center for Reproductive Rights, National Organization for Women (NOW), Catholics for a Free Choice, National Abortion Federation (NAF), Feminist Majority Foundation and Planned Parenthood.
Furthermore, the author checked the same web sites for a condemnation of the murders committed by Byron Looper and Eileen Orstein Janezic mentioned above. Not finding the slightest reference to either, he proceeded to write to each of these groups.
NAF responded immediately that, due to the “volume of inquiries” they receive, they are unable to answer questions. NOW sent him a membership form and neither NARAL, Center for Reproductive Rights nor Feminist Majority Foundation returned his email.
Shockingly, Catholics for a Free Choice and Planned Parenthood wrote back stating they had no knowledge of the murders and asked for more details. Catholics for a Free Choice never responded after receiving more information and Planned Parenthood Media Relations Specialist, Elizabeth Clark admitted: “I’ve had a couple of people in the National office check for statements, but there’s nothing in our records. It doesn’t look like we commented on these incidents.”26
The Emperor Has No Clothes
Despite everything, the media continue their biased emphasis on anti-abortion violence while underreporting the violent acts committed by abortionists. It is time for this to stop.
It is time for pro-lifers to raise their voices and point out that violence is the inevitable inheritance of those who favor the killing of mankind’s most innocent and defenseless. This message should be repeated at every chance, in all their publications and republished until the message sticks.
Only then will America view the issue without the blinders crafted by media intent on promoting a cause rather than reporting news. With the help of Divine Providence and a clear outlook this nation can overturn Roe v. Wade and once again defend the right to life of its most vulnerable citizens.
- Ibid. p. 46.
- Ibid. p. 50.
- Ibid. p. 70.
- The author has spoken to literally hundreds of pro-lifers who have experienced this violent form of intimidation, including his own sister.
- Glenn Ellen Duncan. “The Shocking Violence Against Prolifers.” Catholic Twin Circle, September 11, 1994, p. 11; “Pro-Abortion Violence: A Growing National Phenomenon.” Life Advocate, July 1993, p. 10-15; “Pro-Choice, Anti-Child.” ALL About Issues, July-August 1993, p. 26; “Second Special Prosecutor Appointed To Investigate Kicking Of Seven-Year-Old.” The Wanderer, June 3, 1993, p. 6; Human Life Internationally … News from the Branches Worldwide. “Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” HLI Reports, August 1993, p. 10. Sources and story can be found at: http://tree-in-the-sea.blogspot.com/2008/05/pro-abortion-violence.html
- “Pro-Life Democrat State Senator Killed in Shooting.” Steven Ertelt’s Pro-Life Infonet at http://www.prolifeinfo.org/infonet.html, October 23, 1998; The Tennessean, October 27, 1998; Mary Jo Denton. “Looper Enters Not Guilty Plea.” Tennessee Herald-Citizen, February 6, 1999; Mary Jo Denton. “Looper Quoted: “I Killed that Dude.” Tennessee Herald-Citizen, November 24, 1998; Court TV’s Crime Library at http://www.crimelibrary.com has a complete 17-part series on Looper’s murder of Burks. Sources and story can be found at: http://abortionviolence.com/TN.HTM.
- World Magazine, September 18, 1993; “Pro-Life Leader, Pastor Murdered by Avowed Satanist.” Life Advocate, November 1993, p. 7. Sources and story can be found at: http://abortionviolence.com/AL.HTM.
- Readers interested in seeing more examples are directed to: http://abortionviolence.com/ and http://tree-in-the-sea.blogspot.com/2008/05/pro-abortion-violence.html
- For details on the assault of Ed Snell, see: https://tfp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=556&Itemid=28
- Quoted from an email Elizabeth Clark sent the author.