Last week was the 10th anniversary of George Tiller’s death. The late-term abortionist was known across the country—murdered by a mentally disturbed individual claiming to champion the pro-life cause. While Tiller consistently aborted preborn babies late into pregnancy, those who truly embrace the pro-life movement know that violence and death is not the answer. Unfortunately, the actions of a few have been used to portray the whole pro-life movement as unhinged, violent and extremist. It isn’t, but ironically it is facing the increasing threat of violence from pro-abortion activists.
In the 1990s, the response to abortion by some individuals and groups, passionate about life but misdirected in action, committed crimes like arson, attempted murder, acid attacks, and bioterrorism. By and large, those days are gone. Now the biggest complaint that abortion clinics often have about pro-life supporters is the increasing number of demonstrators praying and counseling women outside clinics across the country on a daily basis. According to the National Abortion Federation, a pro-abortion advocacy group, an estimated 100,000 peaceful demonstrators were noticed outside abortion clinics in 2018.
Despite the relative peacefulness of abortion protests and sidewalk counselors, abortion advocates still see the actions of demonstrators as some great invasion or terroristic type threat. That belief is completely untrue. Most pro-life supporters are peaceful individuals who are simply praying or acting as sidewalk counselors in front of an abortion clinic. The goal of many of these people is to reach women walking into the clinic and offer them choices other than abortion.
A great example is a video taken outside the St. Louis, Missouri Planned Parenthood location, which is currently in a battle with state regulators over its abortion license. During the video, one of the “picketers,” as abortion activists like to call them, approached a woman who was there for an abortion and shared with her how her baby’s heart is beating. His message resonated with the pregnant mother immensely. In that brief interaction, she stated her intention to go to the pro-life pregnancy resource center (PRC) down the street and learn more about her options.
There was no threat here, no violence or intimidation—just one human being reaching out to another to share the truth about life. But to some pro-abortion activists, any mention of the sanctity of life is quickly becoming a call to aggressive action. As the pro-life message has started to resonate more and more with the nation, some pro-abortion activists have resorted to violence and bullying in an attempt to fight against efforts to protect the lives of preborn babies.
One example is of Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims, who earlier this year videoed himself verbally harassing an older woman and a mother who had three teenage girls with her. All these women were doing was peacefully praying outside a Pennsylvanian Planned Parenthood.
Although outrage followed in pro-life and conservative news, the mainstream media ignored the story. In response to the outrage, Sims tried to lay low for a while, even making his Twitter account private in order to avoid the onslaught of pro-life activists posting on his feed. But he has now made it public again. Although he did finally delete the videos, he has never apologized to the women he victimized.
Another example occurred at a demonstration in Alabama, where a near-total abortion ban was recently passed. Police arrested a woman after she physically assaulted a pro-life demonstrator and briefly stole her phone. The abortion activist is now being charged with third-degree assault. But again, this incident didn’t merit national attention.
This is only a taste of what has been happening on sidewalks outside abortion businesses across the country. The attacks and assaults are becoming more frequent and there is virtually no accountability from the media.
Pro-abortion activists are on a slippery slope. If the physical assaults and acts of violent aggression continue, there is always the possibility that serious harm could come to pro-life activists. The death of George Tiller should be a lesson to all that vitriolic language and actions can have unintended and deadly consequences.