On Wednesday, Rachel Maddow aired an excellent segment in which she reported on several more threats on abortion clinics. Not surprisingly, some pro-lifers are attempting to use the murder of Dr. Tiller for their own gain.
Maddow began by discussing the pro-life extremists who want to use Dr. Tiller's murder as a rallying point for their movement:
Mr. Troy Newman told "The Associated Press," quote, "I would love to make an offer on that abortion clinic and some of the discussion that we are having."
So, the official reaction of the super right-wing fringe to the assassination in its name, of its cause, is to make George Tiller‘s place of business a triumphant symbol for themselves, a symbol of their victory over the murdered doctor.
Maddow went on to interview Jennifer Boulanger, the director of the Allentown Women's Center, about threats the organization has received recently. Last Saturday, a man reportedly walked up to a volunteer working at the Allentown clinic and asked her, "How do you prefer to die, by knife or by bullet?" Boulanger says that since Tiller's death, she's been seeing more incidents like this:
We‘ve had malicious calls. Not a bomb threat but calls similar to the one you played in Texas. We‘ve had-we‘ve been targeted by a number of malicious calling events. We‘ve been targeted since the beginning of the year. I think abortion providers across the country have been targeted since Obama was inaugurated.
But now, since Dr. Tiller has been murdered, it‘s just-they feel even more empowered and we‘re seeing an anger that we‘ve never seen before.
But many pro-lifers don't seem too worried about the increased threats of violence being leveled at clinic workers. Yesterday afternoon, anti-abortion activist and former Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry hosted a press conference, complete with hot wings and beer, to discuss the pro-life movement, the murder of Dr. George Tiller, and the "role" of the Obama administration, which Terry says makes extreme and violent acts "inevitable." He expresses his hopes that Tiller's tragic slaying will "propel the movement forward and not backward, but it in part depends upon us" (full audio here, if you can stomach it). TPM reports:
Terry spent much of his presentation drawing a tortured analogy between abortion and slavery. Pro-life Americans, Terry said, are the ethical heirs of Northern abolitionists, who refused to flinch when the violent Nat Turner rebellion sent Southern slave owners into an angry panic. Tiller's murder, he reasoned, was like the Turner rebellion—the sort of event that becomes inevitable when systemic injustice thrives. "They want to blame our rhetoric," Terry said. "They don't want to face that child killing has something so insidious inside of it that it will boil over and create havoc and heartache and violence."
Right. So a woman's right to choose is somehow analogous with the institutionalized torture and bondage of sixty million and more who suffered under slavery? Okay.
And in other bad news, the Arizona Senate may pass legislation that would further restrict the availability of abortions. The two bills, which have been recommended for passage, would require women to undergo a 24-hour waiting period before undergoing the procedure, and would increase penalties for performing late-term abortions. The bills have already received tacit support from Republican Gov. Jan Brewer.
Rachel Maddow uncovers new threats on abortion clinics [Crooks and Liars]
Terry Says Obama Makes Attacks Inevitable; Also Serves Beer, Wings [Talking Points Memo]
Abortion bills progress in Arizona Senate [UPI]