Let George Tiller's murder be the last straw. It is time for America's pro-choice majority to stop standing idly by as extreme so-called pro-life advocates murder obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) who are providing women with the legal right to terminate pregnancies. I am careful to note I am referring here to EXTREMIST pro-life advocates, people who refer to abortion as "baby-killing" and other inflammatory rhetoric. I am explicitly not referring to mainstreamers who object to abortion due to religious beliefs, but who refrain from using inflammatory speech.
It's also time to ask the question: Why is it that more than a handful of OB/GYNs, nurses, and women's health clinic workers have been murdered at gunpoint or in clinic bombings, and no one on the so-called pro-life side of this debate has been similarly injured? Could it be that there are more maladjusted persons on the religious side of this debate? It is a question that must be answered.
I heard NOW President Kim Gandy on CBS radio Sunday night saying that some seven to eight OB/GYNs have been killed by anti-choice extremists. Here is a link to a 1999 Web story showing a pro-choice group at the Supreme Court holding a poster stating: "Casualties of Anti-Abortion Terrorism: Assassinated 8, Wounded 16."
When is enough enough? And yet, after yesterday's murder, Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and stoker of much anti-abortion violence if ever there were one, published a press release saying:
"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God. I am more concerned that the Obama Administration will use Tiller's killing to intimidate pro-lifers into surrendering our most effective rhetoric and actions. Abortion is still murder. And we still must call abortion by its proper name; murder."
This type of speech ought to be against the law and anyone who issues it ought to be prosecuted as an accessory to murder, as well as for partaking in domestic terrorism. What, after all, is the difference between Terry's statement and releases issued by the Taliban calling on Muslims to kill westerners? None!
NOW has asked all abortion rights supporters to wear white armbands on Monday as a show of support for a day of mourning in Dr. Tiller's honor.
It is also asking the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to prosecute Dr. Tiller's murderer as a domestic terrorist. That's all well and fine, but much, much more needs to be done, including banning inflammatory rhetoric that incites the unbalanced to violence, and holding the inciters responsible for the murders they cause.
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By Bonnie Erbe