Partisan blame shifting takes away from deeper issues of abortion and gun control

While law enforcement agencies were steadfastly refusing to comment on the shooter’s motives for the attacks at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, a single official, speaking off the record, revealed that the suspect had, in his rambling, said “no more baby parts.” That was enough for many pro-choice activists to call for an investigation of “domestic terrorism” encouraged and abetted by the rhetoric of pro-life activists. Especially the connection has been drawn, as Katha Pollitt did in The New York Times (12/1), between “no more baby parts” and “the deceptively edited incendiary videos” from the Center for Medical Progress that revealed Planned Parenthood’s involvement in procuring fetal tissue from abortions.

There is of course no justification for the shootings in Colorado Springs; they have been universally denounced, by pro-life leaders as well as by defenders of Planned Parenthood. But by depicting the very existence of the C.M.P. videos as an incitement to violence against abortion providers, pro-choice activists are trying to rule criticism of legal abortion out of the conversation altogether.

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Blame-shifting rhetoric—whether from pro-lifers comparing anti-abortion violence to the violence of abortion itself or from pro-choice activists accusing opponents of providing cover for “domestic terrorism”—serves no one. Worse, it draws our attention away from responding to another incident of gun violence made possible by a deeply disturbed individual’s easy access to high-powered weapons. The shooter may have used opposition to abortion as a pretext for his violence, but his violence should not be used as a pretext for rejecting pro-life arguments. And nothing should be used as a pretext for ignoring the need for substantive gun regulation.

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Phillip Johnson
2 years 8 months ago
In your article, "Abortion and its Critics," it seems incredibly ironic and disingenuous that you contend such a direct correlation between the attacks at a Planned Parenthood clinic, and the "need" for additional gun regulation. Your assumed correlation is no more factual than the assumed correlation between pro-life advocacy and domestic terrorism. Your advocacy for additional gun regulation may be well intended, but you are guilty of the same blame-shifting rhetoric denounced in your comments. Phil Johnson
Robert Koch
2 years 8 months ago
As hard as I try, I cannot feel sorry for Planed Parenthood.
Cody Serra
2 years 8 months ago
Domestic violence on the abortion issue was intensified for years of strong condemnation of abortion rhetoric during the cultural wars. Certainly this Colorado event is nothing really new. In the past years many clinics have been attacked, doctors performing abortion have been killed, patients to the Panned Parenthood and other clinics have been harassed... I am not discussing the Catholic morality involved in abortion. But it is legal in the country. Perhaps, the tactics used to achieve the objective of changing the law have been counterproductive, strengthening each side in their opposing positions. The theme of the proliferation of guns is another issue. The killings committed by guns were not always caused by the abortion issue. Schools where children were the victims, violence in the streets, where disputes are "resolved" by the parties involved by the use of their often legally acquired guns. Racial prejudices have shown police unjustified use of arms in certain cases. The 2nd Amendment is used as the legal argument to protect the right to bear arms. I wonder what will happen when the "open carry" guns law enter into effect on January 1st. I believe the article does not make justice to the problem of "violence in our society" by defending pro-life groups and ignoring a more profound reality of violent attitudes that have become a natural response to express anger or opposition to anything, and it is used in so many instances that cannot be explained by the simple diagnoses of each separate tragedy. I don't know which is the solution. A conversion of the soul of the country appears to be needed by a return to the values of freedom, peace, hospitality, inclusion, generosity of spirit, honesty, and dialogue used to solve conflicts of all kinds. That return to our historic ideals -not always followed- that made this country a heaven for many, and a leader in the world, could be attained by softening the rhetoric and revisiting our own personal attitudes and values.
Robert Koch
2 years 8 months ago
As hard as I try, I cannot feel sorry for Planed Parenthood.
William Rydberg
2 years 8 months ago
Nowadays the general public is more savvy about the pro-life side's point of view. Thanks largely to groups like the Vatican Nunciatures, the USCCB, CCCB, Lifesite, and the many thousands of ordinary working people that take time out of their busy year to stand up for Life. The misanthropes will never stop blaming Life unjustly though. But we are doing this for the Holy Trinity and humanity's future...
Carlos Orozco
2 years 8 months ago
I've grown pro-choice on violence against the procurers of abortion. I too would lie if I wrote I felt sorrow for PP, or for ISIS getting bombed to extinction. Violence against the innocent can be punished, even if such violence is "legal" in the West or in some crazed Islamic sect.
Elisa Plata
2 years 7 months ago
Even though I am a immigrant mother and was about being homeless I find no excuse to ever had gone trough this myself and I will cry in sorrows because I could not see and I will regret and I can't find a possible way to forgive my self or ask forgiveness.. But at the same time I cannot remain in silence after such spiritual battle no more. And even if I will cry forever maybe my mistakes can show others that is not right and maybe only maybe out of this my own tragedy other woman can choose life...
Elisa Plata
2 years 7 months ago
Even though I am a immigrant mother and was about being homeless I find no excuse to ever had gone trough this myself and I will cry in sorrows because I could not see and I will regret and I can't find a possible way to forgive my self or ask forgiveness.. But at the same time I cannot remain in silence after such spiritual battle no more. And even if I will cry forever maybe my mistakes can show others that is not right and maybe only maybe out of this my own tragedy other woman can choose life...
gista januri
2 years 3 months ago
for whatever reason abortion is a necessary part opposed by obat keputihan gatal

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