No, I Still Don't Stand With Planned Parenthood

No, I still don’t stand with Planned Parenthood.

The attack on the Planned Parenthood clinic yesterday in Colorado Springs was atrocious. There is nothing that justifies that kind of behavior. Granted, a motive has not yet been established. We’re unclear what the shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, was thinking before, during, or after the incident. Sadly, three people lost their lives, including an officer who was doing his duty to protect citizens of the community.

My initial reaction to the situation was a mixture of sadness, anger, and frustration. I will never understand why someone decides to kill another human being in a situation other than self-defense. Evil exists, and those with a desire to kill will do so, and will find a way and weapon to accomplish their demented, self-appointed task. Along with sadness at the violence committed, I was also angry and frustrated that a single individual had set back the pro-life cause in such a short time. No, it does not matter if he targeted the clinic because of its practices or not. This country is deeply divided between pro-life and pro-abort sides, and no matter the truth (which we have yet to learn), the pro-abort narrative has already been set in stone. Not long after the shooting, the National Abortion Federation released a statement which included the following:

Since a series of highly-edited, misleading anti-abortion videos was released in July, we have seen an unprecedented increase in hate speech and threats against abortion providers. We have been quite worried that this increase in threats would lead to a violent attack like we saw today.

Although anti-abortion groups may condemn this type of violence when it happens, the way that they target and demonize providers contributes to a culture where some feel it is justifiable to murder doctors simply because they provide women with the abortion care they need. Since 1977, there have been 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 186 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities. The last abortion provider was murdered in 2009 when NAF member Dr. George Tiller was assassinated in his church in Wichita, Kansas.

However, I still don’t stand with Planned Parenthood.

Too often I am confronted on social media or elsewhere by those who are shocked that I don’t support Planned Parenthood. “But they don’t just perform abortions!”, they say. “There are many other services they provide!”, they exclaim. I don’t deny that PP clinics nationwide do have a variety of services. However, there is nothing so sacred as life. That a clinic does breast exams or yearly physicals in no way balances out the life-destroying crimes they commit. I don’t want to hear it.

Among the reactions to the shooting yesterday, I noticed a few praising the actions of the madman. This is reprehensible. We should condemn all murder, whether victims are pre-birth or post birth, and whether they are sitting in the waiting room at a Planned Parenthood clinic or watching a band in a Paris concert hall. Anyone who doesn’t can’t say they care about life at all. If we call ourselves pro-life and proudly stand by that definition, then we must promote and protect life of all kinds.

If pro-life speech has been deemed “hateful” before yesterday, it will be even more so in the coming weeks and months. The videos from the Center for Medical Progress have been all but blamed for violence directed at abortion clinics and providers. But, like Benghazi, a video didn’t make anyone do anything. I am glad the CMP videos exist, for they show the truth of what occurs behind closed doors and glossy signs with the word “choice”.

The attack in Colorado Springs reinforced something I strongly believe in: the pro-life cause. I don’t stand with Planned Parenthood, but I also don’t stand with those who violently attack their clinics. Neither stands on the side of life.