Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An American Terrorist In Kansas"

Dr. George Tiller was performing his duties as an usher in his church on Sunday,

May 31st, when a man walked in and shot him dead with a handgun. The alleged shooter is

a 51 year old male from Kansas City. Dr. tiller was well known in Wichita. He ran a medical

clinic which performed abortions. In fact, his was one of the few clinics in the nation that

performed late term abortions. In 1991, Operation Rescue came to Wichita to shut his

clinic down. Over 2000 people were arrested as they attempted to prevent women from

being able to get inside. (Interestingly, most of those arrested fought to keep from being

punished for their actions. They wanted to commit civil disobedience as an act of

conscience, but only if the action carried no penalty.) In 1986, someone bombed his clinic;

and Dr. Tiller had been the target of another assassination attempt being wounded in both

arms. The killing of Dr. Tiller is part of an ongoing terror campaign that has been carried

out in this country against abortion providers that stretches back more than 30 years. The

purpose of terrorism is to cause people to be afraid and terrified. This may sound as if it

need not be said, but the terror is real and the fear palpable for doctors and clinics

throughout this nation. When politicians and pundits proclaim that their hasn't been a

terrorist attack in this nation since September 11th, they seem to ignore our home grown

terrorists as if they don't count. Dr. Tiller and other abortion providers have feared an

organized, steady, and effective campaign of terror, the purpose of which was to scare

them so badly that they would stop performing abortions and close their clinics. There

is no difference between this campaign of terror and ones conducted by the IRA against

the British, al Qaeda against the world, or Palestinian and Israeli terror campaigns.

(There are some who would include our killing of as many as one million Iraqis as fitting

this category.)

In Buffalo, New York, doctor was shot and killed in his kitchen by an assassin. In

Georgia, abortion clinics were fire-bombed. Death threats are a constant for doctors and

employees of Planned Parenthood clinics. The results of all of this are that there are fewer

clinics in the U.S. performing abortions, fewer doctors willing to specialize in the practice,

and fewer women who have access to a constitutionally protected right. It seems to me

that the terrorists are winning. Am I the only one who finds it disconcerting that all of this

terrorism and the terrorists who support it, fly a banner that carries the phrase "Pro-Life"?

The "pro-life" movement in America has always been an oxymoron. While they weep and

gnash their teeth over the abortions performed in this country, the "pro-life" movement

has nothing to say about the tens of thousands of dead women and children in Iraq. While

the "pro-life" movement screams at Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak at

their commencement, they were eerily silent when it comes to the deaths of hundreds of

thousands of Vietnamese at the hands of America's war machine. It would seem that the

"pro-life" movement is really a "pro-birth" movement; and once you are born, you are on

your own.

You won't find the "pro-life" movement at the forefront of movements dedicated to

the elimination of nuclear weapons from this planet. There is scant evidence that members

of the "pro-life" movement can be found in the ranks of those who fought genocide in

places like Darfur. Can you recall any "pro-life" campaigns to reduce world hunger, or

stop the epidemic of AIDS running rampant through Africa and killing thousands? When

states execute someone, do you see the "pro-life" adherents standing vigil outside the

prison gates calling for an end to such a barbaric practice?

For the sake of this argument, let's admit that fewer abortions is a good goal.

President's Clinton and Obama have proclaimed a goal of reducing the need for abortions

by promoting better sex education, better research on new birth control methods, and the

widespread availability of birth control methods that exist now. The "pro-life" movement

has opposed every one of these methods. The "pro-life" movement opposes effective sex

education of teens. This is despite overwhelming evidence that abstinence-based sex

education doesn't work; and evidence that in nations, such as France, where sex education

is mandatory,that their teenage pregnancy rate is significantly lower than ours.

The "pro-birth" crowd doesn't want women to have access to effective sex education,

effective birth control methods, or safe abortions. So, if they are so concerned to get the

babies born, they must be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to protecting and

improving the lives of all these new lives, right? They frequent the halls of Congress

demanding medical care, homes, and food for all these new lives, correct? They are

horrified by a nation that spends more money on it's war machine than on it's children

and families, aren't they?

Politically, people who identify themselves as "pro-life" fall heavily on the Regressive

side of the political spectrum. They oppose everything from pre-natal care for poor women

to the expansion of health insurance to all children in this country. States like Texas, with

strong "pro-life" movements rank near the bottom in funding programs for women, infants,

and children. State and federal governments spend between $20,000 to $40,000 a year

to keep an 18 year old in prison. Imagine if they spent that much for the first 18 years?

We have had a domestic terror campaign in America unabated for over 30 years. It

has been very effective in terrorizing those associated with the issue of abortion. At no

time in those 30-plus years has it ever been a real "pro-life" movement. Dr. Tiller is the

latest proof that life is cheap and disposable among those who are "pro-life". The next

time you hear a smug politician or public official tell you how safe America is or how well

they are protecting us, think of the wife, children, and grandchildren of Dr. George Tiller;

and wonder what they feel.

The United States is the most violent industrial nation on earth. Last year, more than

14,000 people were murdered by guns. Dr. Tiller is the latest victim of this gun violence.

Yet, the majority of Americans who identify themselves as "pro-life" are also opposed to

gun control laws and restrictions. The Second Amendment trumps any right to life in

their eyes. What do you think? I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please send them

to lionoftheleft@gmail.com

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