Despite the fact that the Planned Parenthood clinic in McKinney, Texas is a clinic that does not perform abortions someone firebombed the clinic last week in another disturbing act of domestic terrorism targeting doctors and women.
The attack happened after-hours when, thankfully, no one was inside. The bottle broke the clinic’s glass door and started a small fire, but otherwise did little physical damage. But the message was clear: provide women safe, affordable health care and you put your life at risk.
The attack occurred at the same time Republicans were upping their anti-terrorism rhetoric. But for this attack, even the mainstream media remained mostly silent, adding complicity to what has become normalized violence targeted at medical professionals.
The hypocrisy in the reporting, and the narrative around domestic terrorism is thick. Alex Pareene notes that had the target of a clinic attack been associated with the right (and offers up Marcus Bachmann’s pray-the-gay-away clinic as an example) the media would make this event a national story even with no injuries and the terrorist’s identity still unknown.
Pareene’s point is hard to argue with, and that is in part because the right has so effectively dominated the terms of the abortion debate. The National Review has no problem publishing sketchy anti-abortion “studies” that accuse Planned Parenthood of absurdities like human trafficking and even more objective news organizations like National Public Radio still run stories suggesting contraception is “controversial.”
And the effect is devastating for women. A new poll suggests that large majorities of Americans favor several types of abortion restrictions including mandatory waiting periods and a ban on late-term abortions while still supporting federal funding of health care clinics. It’s a schizophrenic approach to regulating health care and one that, unfortunately, has taken a dangerous and deadly toll on women.
Photo from S.MiRK via flickr.