Losing The Hearts And Minds

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

In March of this year, a series of break-ins at Doctors offices in Atlanta resulted in the thefts of several laptops.  In each case, valuables in plain sight were passed over.  Only the laptops, and only the ones in the executive offices – the ones which would likely contain sensitive data, were stolen.  The locations of these thefts were doctors’ offices specializing in OBGYN practices, and the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, the association for doctors specializing in women’s care in the state.

In May, there were fires.  Arson is suspected at OBGYN clinics in both Cobb and Gwinnett counties just days apart.  Two men were seen leaving the building just as the Cobb County fire broke out.  It was set at 10am, in an office building where others not working for the clinic worked as well.  It seems that the protection of “innocent life” has its limits, and does not extend to those who work in offices nearby but unrelated to women’s clinics.

Not all of those who appear to have been the targets of a coordinated terror campaign perform abortions.  Four of the Five, however, all visited the State Capitol during the recent debate over the bill which restricts abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, known as the “fetal pain” bill.

There were much publicized political threats made during the debate of the bill.  Those who spoke in opposition and even those who suggested amending the bill were told they would receive primary opposition.  Such threats have become the mainstay of abortion politics, despite the threats having less and less teeth each time they are made.  Few of those targeted during the debate received primary opposition this year.

Threats for political opposition are part of the process.  Threats that go beyond politics are not.  Some of those who spoke out against the bill claim to have received threats of physical violence and even death threats.  The robberies and fires this spring appear to indicate that some have now decided to move the battle from the political and judicial realm and into vigilante terrorism.

Those of us who are pro-life must reject these tactics.  We must rebuke those who advocate them.  Terrorism spawned by zealotry should be no more acceptable from those who share our own houses of worship than by those of other religions. 

Threatening experts who speak out on what complications will arise if a bill is passed unamended is unacceptable.  Setting fire to a crowded office building filled with innocent workers is hypocritical of a desire to protect innocent life.

There was a time, now roughly two decades ago, when pro-life causes were gaining in public opinion polls in this country.  The spoken goal then was to win the hearts and minds of the citizenry.  The peak was the passage of the federal partial birth abortion ban in 2003, after an earlier attempt in 1995 was vetoed.  The bill brought those together who disagreed on many facets of what may happen during the early term of a pregnancy to agree that killing a viable baby as it is delivered is wrong.

Today, the pro-life community seems less interested in finding agreements and common ground that it does in determining how narrow the ground they are willing to accept will be.  The movement, in many cases, has been hijacked by ideologues who are more concerned about promoting their direct political fiefdoms than they are about saving the babies that they can through incremental change.  Those who are then frustrated with the stalemate at the legislative level appear to have justified their own personal crusade against those they determine are in opposition through criminal acts.

Acts of violence – crimes – will not win hearts and minds.  Instead, they are much more likely to turn sympathetic and like minded individuals away from the cause.  The few who stoop to terroristic acts continue to make it less likely that a public which has lived with the Roe v Wade decision for three decades will ever decide to overturn it as the law of the land. 

Americans don’t give in to terrorists.  Even domestic ones.

Those who broke into the medical offices of doctors who dared speak about actual medical conditions and complications which can result after 20 weeks of pregnancy have unequivocally harmed the pro-life movement.  Those who set the fires endangering innocent life are traitors to their cause.

We have long stopped winning hearts and minds on this issue.  The acts of a few now stand to lose even more.


  1. CobbGOPer says:

    “We have long stopped winning hearts and minds on this issue.”

    Yeah, intentionally. The gameplan for a while now has been to kill Roe v. Wade by a thousand legislative paper cuts, like the ‘fetal pain’ bill.

  2. fultonrighty says:

    “Those who broke into the medical offices of doctors who dared speak… have unequivocally harmed the pro-life movement. Those who set the fires endangering innocent life are traitors to their cause.”

    Sure hope the investigation extends to those who would LOVE to harm the pro-life movement! (The perpetrators would only be traitors if they were actually pro-lifers, right? What if…)

    Charlie, I agree–we don’t give in to terrorism–find the scum and throw the book at them!

  3. Bob Loblaw says:

    Charlie nailed it when he said this:

    “Today, the pro-life community seems less interested in finding agreements and common ground that it does in determining how narrow the ground they are willing to accept will be.”

    The entire debate during this legislative session (outside of whether a legislator supported or did not support this year’s abortion bill) was whether or not a pregnant woman who found out her child was not going to survive outside the womb would be able to go ahead and have the baby, bury the child and grieve. A legislator was not “pro life enough” for the tastes of those threat-makers Charlie references if they thought extending this current basic health care standard was acceptable.


  4. Mrs. Adam Kornstein says:

    Eric Robert Rudolph was a domestic terrorist to many, a hero to a twisted few, entirely a criminal.

    Would have been nice to have seen this discussion at that time.

  5. SallyForth says:

    “Pro-life”, eh? Correction – these people are pro-death and violence for anybody who disagrees with their un-Constitutional ideas about what government is supposed to do to a woman’s body and the profession of medicine.

  6. Scott65 says:

    This has gone well beyond being “pro-life, pro-choice”. They want to impose their morality on everyone else. No birth control and abstinence only education just to name a few. I find most of the pro-life movement to be some of the biggest hypocrites around. If they truly wanted to not have abortions, they would be doing everything in their power to prevent unwanted pregnancies…and that includes birth control and sex-ed (and the funding for each included). Marching in front of clinics that provide abortions dressed as the grim reaper harassing women who are making a decision that is hard enough already (and completely legal whether or not you agree with the practice) WITH THEIR SMALL CHILDREN IN TOW does no good for this movement…not to mention that many of those women are not even there for abortions and some are there for prenatal care. I used to live behind a clinic that preformed abortions many years ago, and some of the things I would see sickened me that these people must be so mentally ill to do the things they were doing. How about helping the living? They aint interested in that…heaven forbid

    • SallyForth says:

      Amen, Scott65. I just wish all forms of the media, all discussions in the blogosphere, and even just personal conversations would refuse to use the self-labeling of these nut jobs trying to give themselves a positive spin as “pro-life” and call them what they actually are: anti-abortion. That is what they are truly all about, and their efforts to force that view on all of American society. Let’s get honest about the issue, stop going along with their obfuscation techniques — if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck……. must be an anti-abortionist.

  7. Harry says:

    “President Says Obamacare Decision a Victory for Freedom”

    The Orlando Women’s Center in Florida is offering a $50 discount to patients for abortions performed on Sunday.

    NARAL spokesperson Adora Slaughter praised the clinic’s “progressive marketing campaign. The frontal assault on the notion that somehow Sundays ought to be sacrosanct is a stroke of genius. I mean, consider the contrast. Instead of sitting in a church worshiping a nonexistent god a woman could be contributing to the health of the environment by reducing the Earth’s future population. If a $50 coupon is all it takes to shift our culture’s focus in this way I’m very encouraged about the progress we’re making.”

    If the $50 discount isn’t enough to enable a woman to afford an abortion, the Fund Abortion Now website (www.fundabortionnow.org) offers additional aid. “No one should be forced to forgo an abortion just because she can’t pay for it,” Slaughter declared. “Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act is on track to secure this right for everyone in America. In the meantime, we’re grateful that alternate sources of funding are so readily available.”


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