Mississippi's "personhood" push combined with a wave of abortion restricting laws across the country seems to have emboldened anti-choice protesters. Let's take a quick, awful peek at how the other half thinks. Not surprisingly, their tactics are nuttier than a squirrel orgy.
Operation Rescue, the anti abortion terrorist group that incited the murder of Dr. Tiller and encouraged its members to seek out an anonymous abortion doctor's mother for, I don't know, a civil game of Scattergories, has decided to up its political involvement by sponsoring several political candidates.
The Star Tribune reports that Operation Rescue lap dog Gary Boisclair is mounting a primary challenge in in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, a heavily liberal neck of the woods, against incumbent Keith Ellison, a liberal Democrat and the US House of Representative's first Muslim. Operation Rescue's game plan is to inundate the district's constituents with graphic commercials featuring gory images of abortions.
Operation Rescue's president, Randall Terry, plans on airing a similarly graphic campaign ad during next year's Super Bowl, this time in support of his Presidential campaign (in other news, Rick Perry is not the scariest person running for President). When asked if he thought he or any of his candidates had any chance of winning, he replied that winning wasn't the point. The point is forcing people to look at a legal medical procedure that, like most legal medical procedures, is sort of stomach churning to watch. This is as effective a rhetorical technique as an anti-heart surgery lobby ("Heart surgery stops a beating heart!") airing similar images of a medical procedure in order to convince people that it's gross and therefore bad.
Unfortunately, TV stations are limited in their ability to restrict the content of campaign commercials, per a 1996 court ruling that declared the ads disturbing but not indecent. Stations are required to give candidates equal access to air time, provided the campaign ads aren't obscene. So, Minnesota's 5th district, fire up your Tivos. There's some ad fast forwarding in your future.
While Operation Rescue is attempting to horrify the public, other anti-choice groups are trying their darndest to vilify abortion practitioners.
A video making the internet rounds courtesy of Pro-Life Wisconsin, purports to show people who are alleged to be clinic employees laughing and dancing around outside of an abortion clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin right after a woman experiencing complications from an abortion was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Except the video shows nothing of the sort. It shows an ambulance pulling away and clinic employees gathered outside after work, presumably waiting to leave together for the sake of safety. We never see a woman leave on a stretcher, and we never learn that the woman was in an ambulance because of a botched abortion in the first place. All we have is the word of the sidewalk protester who took the footage, who is probably not the most neutral source of information in the world.
If anything, the video shows how far anti-choice zealots will go to make abortion providers out to be evil storytime witches who eat Christian babies while offering their eternal souls to the Devil. The man (who, for those keeping score, does not have a uterus) is so obsessed with other people's bodies that he camps outside of a medical center and records video of employees leaving work for the day. We learn that anti choice groups that perpetuate these myths will believe anything that fits into their chosen narrative and construct elaborate stories that justify their belief that abortion is dangerous to women (it's safer than childbirth) and that women who receive abortions are victims without agency to make their own health decisions with confidence.
At least they're not bombing clinics anymore, and we've gone a full two years since they've successfully murdered an abortion doctor, but with inflammatory rhetoric like what anti choice groups are perpetuating, it's only a matter of time before those dubious streaks are broken.