Is Murder an Effective Political Tactic in the United States in 2011?
At least seven clinic doctors have been killed in order to intimidate doctors from performing the legal medical services of abortion. Countless others have been intimidated and harassed. Due to the murders, many clinics have shut down. Thus, murder is an effective political terrorism campaign. Of course, that doesn’t make it legal, moral, or ethical. But so far, as a country, we have not pushed back against the on-going terrorism of abortion providers. Does that mean that we tacitly agree that murder is an acceptable political tactic?
Murder of abortion doctors is a weapon of mass destruction, a shock and awe campaign against the law, aimed at ripping freedom from women. The law doesn’t agree with these extremists, so they’ve chosen to vigilante their way into imposing their own values upon the rest of America.
It has so far been illegal to murder an abortion provider, but we tell the clinics and doctors that they are on their own when it comes to the harassment and threats, even though the Department of Homeland Security warned of a dangerous upswing in Right wing terrorism.
Once a doctor is gunned down and murdered for performing a legal medical service, we prosecute the shooter but do nothing about the campaign of terrorism that led up to the murder, that incited the murder; a campaign that includes all sorts of nasty tactics like publishing the doctor’s home address with encouragements to “confront” the doctor, pictures of their home and car and publishing their home telephone numbers. These are the tactics of political terrorists, who are choosing to fight their political war with by killing Americans instead of using our courts and laws.
Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed Dr. Mila Means, a Wichita family practitioner who is the target of anti-abortion activists. Dr. Means spoke about murder, intimidation and threats by the anti-abortion movement and the effort to provide women the health services to which they have a legal, Constitutional right:
Rachel raised an important question during this segment, “Regardless of how you feel about the abortion issue, is murder an effective political tactic in the United States in 2009, 2010, 2011? If there’s a political movement that preaches that killing people is a just and appropriate way to achieve your desired political ends, how do we as a country react when some extreme member of that extreme political movement actually does follow through and really does kill someone?”
The movement who killed the doctor in Wichita is now bragging that their tactics were successful. Rachel continued, “Regardless of how you feel about abortion, are we OK as a country with this being this issue gets decided?”
Apparently the Republican Party is more than fine with this, they actually want to make murder as a political tactic legal. Republicans in South Dakota are taking this a step further, in what can only be seen as the natural progression of these tactics. They’ve have proposed a bill that would make it legal to kill an abortion provider. Mother Jones reports, “South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions.”
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.
Jensen did not return calls to his home or his office requesting comment on the bill, which is cosponsored by 22 other state representatives and four state senators.
“The bill in South Dakota is an invitation to murder abortion providers,” says Vicki Saporta, the president of the National Abortion Federation, the professional association of abortion providers. Since 1993, eight doctors have been assassinated at the hands of anti-abortion extremists, and another 17 have been the victims of murder attempts. Some of the perpetrators of those crimes have tried to use the justifiable homicide defense at their trials. “This is not an abstract bill,” Saporta says. The measure could have major implications if a “misguided extremist invokes this ‘self-defense’ statute to justify the murder of a doctor, nurse or volunteer,” the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families warned in a message to supporters last week.”
Rachel Maddow’s question haunts me, “Are we doing anything new as a country to stop this movement from using physical intimidation, and threats and murder, we generally lump those things together under the category of terrorism, what are we doing as a country to get them to not get their way, or are the doctors who provide those services still on their own?”
Americans on both sides of the aisle need to stand up and demand that terrorism not be a successful political tactic to over-throw the constitution and laws upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. Murder is not an acceptable political tactic in a civilized democracy, and our rights, laws and freedoms shouldn’t be restricted by a radical group of homegrown terrorists.