It’s been four years since Dr. George Tiller was gunned down in cold blood in front of his church by an anti-choice fanatic. His killer, Scott Roeder, is serving a life sentence for that murder. However, that hasn’t stopped him from threatening another women’s health clinic.
The South Wind Women’s Health Center opened at the former location of Dr. Tiller’s practice earlier this year. Naturally, the existence of a facility dedicated to women’s health (all of it, abortion included) is too much for some people to bear. According to Raw Story:
“To walk in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, is almost like putting a target on your back – saying, ‘Well, let’s see if you can shoot me,’” Roeder told [anti-choice activist Dave] Leach in the interview.
Sure! Because letting women make their own health care decisions and act on those decisions is basically asking to get shot in the back. Stay classy.
Look back up at how I described Roeder in the preceding paragraphs. I use terms like “killer” and “fanatic,” which he undoubtedly is. Why, though, don’t we call people like Roeder — people who make it their life’s mission to destroy the ability of women to control their own bodies — terrorists?
There have been sustained attacks on abortion providers since Roe. According to the National Abortion Federation Violence and Disruption Statistics (PDF) there have been 8 murders, 420 death threats, and over 15,000 incidences of hate mail and harassing phone calls since 2011. It may not have all been one organized group, but if this isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is.
It hasn’t even been that long since the last attack on an abortion provider. In early April, a man was arrested for breaking into an Indiana Planned Parenthood, causing extensive damage with an ax. In 2012, clinics in Wisconsin and Florida were firebombed.
This is the day-to-day for abortion doctors, nurses and escorts. These are some of the bravest people in the world. Sure, their clinics aren’t attacked every day, but I can’t imagine what it must be like to know that deadly violence has been used against clinics before and it likely will again. Days must be filled with constant anxiety and fear for the safety of yourself, your family, your coworkers and your patients.
You know. Terrorism.
I guess that’s how you show you’re “pro-life,” by threatening and taking the lives of others. If there is one thing Roeder’s recent comments remind us, it’s that the “pro-life” movement is exactly the opposite.