In light of a highly orchestrated and dishonest campaign to smear and discredit Planned Parenthood, Christian extremists are anticipating violence against abortion clinics and abortion providers.
The escalated threat against abortion providers is motivated by heavily edited undercover videos recently posted by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, a group with ties to violent, anti-abortion, Christian extremists.
The heavily edited videos supposedly shows Planned Parenthood doctors discussing the illegal sale of fetal body parts after abortions, and is being used by anti-choice, Christian extremists to excite and inflame opponents of reproductive freedom.
Right Wing Watch reports John Zmirak, a conservative activist and a senior editor of James Robison’s “The Stream,” an extreme conservative Christian website, is predicting violence against abortion clinics as a result of the on-going smear campaign against Planned Parenthood.
In a recent interview Zmirak praised the “pro-life journalistic heroes” at the Center for Medical Progress, declaring:
I think they’re going to need to put police in front of Planned Parenthood clinics to keep them safe and intact because the public outrage will just be so great.
Conservative Christians aren’t the only ones predicting violence. RH Reality Check reports that in a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, 32 attorneys from across the country asked that her investigation into the Center for Medical Progress be conducted with the “utmost urgency,” due to what they call “a real threat to abortion provider safety.”
Attorney General Harris announced on Friday that her office will review whether the Center for Medical Progress violated California law when it posed as a fake biologics company and recorded Planned Parenthood officials without their consent.
Writing for RH Reality Check, David S. Cohen, one of the letter’s signatories, discusses the threat of violence abortion providers must live with:
This kind of individual targeting takes on a variety of forms—from hate mail and death threats, to regular large-scale demonstrations in front of people’s homes and stalking providers outside of work. At its most extreme, this kind of targeting has resulted in eight abortion providers murdered since 1993, the most recent being Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of his Wichita, Kansas church in May 2009.
For the record, Planned Parenthood is not “selling” fetal tissue. This is a dishonest and fabricated claim made in an underhanded attempt to discredit Planned Parenthood and ultimately undermine legal and safe abortion.
For the record, some women who freely chose to have an abortion make a thoughtful and generous decision to donate their fetal tissue to science, with the hope that science can use that tissue to benefit humanity. The fact that anti-abortion activists would attack and smear Planned Parenthood for facilitating scientific progress only reveals the depth of their inhumanity and willful ignorance.
It is clear the Center for Medical Progress is running a highly orchestrated campaign to discredit Planned Parenthood and ultimately undermine legal and safe abortion. However, perhaps even more significant, the group is issuing a not so subtle dog whistle to unstable, anti-abortion, religious extremists. Ultimately, the dishonest videos are a call to action, and an incitement to violence.