by Mike Rosso
This is not the column I intended to write. I was thinking of something seasonally appropriate, giving thanks for the past year while looking ahead to the new year.
Instead, some 57-year-old white guy from Hartsel decided to play God, forced his way into a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, and began shooting people dead, including a police officer. As of today, the media has not determined a motive for this act of violence, but it’s not hard to connect the dots here.
We’ve got candidates running for the highest office in the land practically calling for armed insurrection against a facility that provides needed health services for women, partly due to contrived videos produced by questionable anti-abortion groups and embraced by the likes of failed former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina. Not only does she embrace these videos, she blatantly lies about their content to an audience eager for something or someone to vent their hatred toward.
This most recent assault against Planned Parenthood hits close to home for me. For a short time in the 1980s, I was a volunteer escort at a Planned Parenthood facility in Durango, one that provided abortion services. There was this small but very vocal group of anti-choice types who spent their days, not as productive members of society (must have been on unemployment and food stamps), but hanging out on the sidewalk of that building, carrying signs and preaching their hate to the frightened and often distressed young women who were making one of the most difficult decisions in their lives.
I remember clearly thinking that these people, with blood in their eyes and tongues like serpents, were as far from compassionate Christians as one could imagine – hatred just dripped from their beings – and here they were, passing judgement upon these fellow humans who were usually under extreme emotional duress.
Since Roe v. Wade determined that the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion, making it the law of the land, my feeling is if you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. It certainly does not give the “Pro-lifers” the right to violently take the lives of those they don’t agree with. Think George Tiller, the Kansas physician whose clinic was firebombed and who was shot, not once, but twice by anti-abortion zealots, losing his life to the second shooter. He had been dubbed “Tiller the Baby Killer” by a Republican congressman and by Fox News bloviator Bill O’Reilly, who discussed the doctor on 28 different episodes until he was eventually gunned down.
It is time for the mainstream media (as well as Fox) to stop calling these attacks “isolated incidents” and call them what they really are: acts of domestic terrorism. Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. Robert Lewis Dear, the shooter in Colorado Springs, certainly seems to fit that description, not a group of refugees from Syria who are trying to escape the actual terrorism that has befallen their home county, and who are crassly rejected by cowardly and opportunistic American politicians, many of whom are also running for president on the Republican ticket.