Monday, July 24, 2006

Planned Parenthood: Calling its Opponents “Terrorists”

Via Modern Commentaries, an account of Planned Parenthood, on their web site, label a broad variety of anti-abortion organizations as “Terrorists and Extremist Organizations.”

What are these organizations doing to be labeled “terrorist” or “extremist?”

On the page where 15 anti-abortion organizations are listed, we find they use:
  • Conventions/meetings — training sessions and seminars
  • Crisis pregnancy counseling/centers
  • Litigation
  • Outreach programs for youth
  • Prayer and worship demonstrations
  • Publications
  • Action alerts, “get-out-the-vote” mailings, and phone calls
  • Grassroots organizing
  • Public misinformation campaigns [of course, what is “misinformation” is a matter of opinion]
  • Boycotts
  • Picketing at clinics
Wow! No democracy can allow stuff like that.

More controversial is “sidewalk counseling,” in which four of the listed groups engage. Women entering abortion clinics are approached and urged not to abort their babies. Planned Parenthood calls this “harassment,” but it is hard to see how this is worse than a picket line that a union might set up against a business with which it has a disagreement. Planned Parenthood liberals have uttered not a peep about this.

Somewhat more controversial is “clinic blockades” in which three of the 15 groups engage.

This, most certainly, is a form of nonviolent civil disobedience, much like sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in the early 60s, or “sit down strikes” supporting unionization in auto factories in the 30s.

The protestors are willing to accept the penalty for disobeying the law.

Most controversial, of course, is a tiny fringe of anti-abortion activists who are willing to use violence. Some have burned abortion clinics -- a tactic we deplore, but find no worse than 60s campus anti-war activists who burned ROTC buildings. Even worse is actual violence against persons, engaged in by only the most minuscule proportion of the anti-abortion movement. This few really can be called “terrorists,” but none of the 15 anti-abortion groups listed on the Planned Parenthood site promote or encourage this.

As is too typical, the liberals in Planned Parenthood can’t accept that people who disagree with them have the same rights as their friends and allies do. Even very ordinary political activity is called “terrorism” when their adversaries do it, and the sorts of civil disobedience they applaud coming from the left they condemn coming from the right.

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