Saturday, June 9, 2012

Clinic Violence and the Pro-Life Movement

Before Dr. Tiller was killed, I never really recognized the extent of violence against abortion clinics. I did not know there were terrorist groups such as the Army of God and I did not know that there were places like Pensacola, Florida that have experienced nearly 20 years of violence (having lost Dr. Gunn, Dr. Britton, a clinic volunteer and several fire bombs). While the mainstream movement says they condemn such violence, I do think that vilifying people involved in abortion care does influence the extreme side to commit despicable acts. Here, I propose an alternate solution, one that involves compassion and partnership.

What would it look like if the main pro-life groups would reach out to families who lost a loved one to anti-abortion violence? What would it look like if they would not only send kind words and gifts but would react strongly to terrorist groups? What would it look like if they offered protection to the people who worked in clinics and their families? What would it look like if they discouraged protests that are unproductive and encourage only contempt and disgust from people on both sides? What would it looked like if they considered their goals of reducing abortions and partnered with pro-choice organizations to make it happen? What if they added their services to pro-choice referrals so that, if in options counseling, women were able to have a realistic option to parent or go for adoption?

What if they donated their energies to reducing stigma? What if the pro-life movement joined forces with feminist groups to advocating for equal pay, maternal health care reforms, access to education and jobs, contraception, gay adoption? What if they were able to put aside their own pride and realize the world of difference resulting from their labor?

I foresee something beautiful from that partnership. I just hope others could see it, too.

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