Violence towards the Anti-Abortion Right

27 Apr

Personally, I find any form of violence against another person to be abhorrent. I don’t support war or the death penalty, which are generally approved of by the public. Obviously, I don’t believe a fetus is a person, or I wouldn’t be writing for the Abortion Gang.

Now that the obvious is out of the way, let’s discuss Ted Schulman. Raised by a famous women’s-lib activist, Alix Kates Schulman, who was very vocal about her own abortions, it makes sense that Ted would be passionate about the subject. But, when does passion go too far?

Ted is accused of threatening anti-abortion organizations and outspoken members of that community through phone calls, in writing, and online. His threats implied that violence would follow the actions of the harassed, never explicitly stating that he would be the perpetrator of this violence.  But, as anyone who has experience harassment knows, an implied threat is the same thing as an explicit one. Violence would have been visited on these people, likely perpetrated by Mr. Schulman.

I am not here to play the finger-pointing game nor am I going to write a comparative essay. I don’t live by an eye-for-any-eye philosophy. I understand “cause and effect,” but that is not the topic of my discourse. If this is what you are looking to read, please go elsewhere.

I digress. The behavior that Mr. Schulman is exhibiting is repugnant. Every person born in this country has the right to live free of fear. Our society states that this is the case. People seek situations that make them feel safe. It is a human desire. To cause someone else to fear, especially for their lives and the lives of their loved ones, is not only morally appalling, but it is, thankfully, illegal.

This behavior is not condoned by the Abortion Gang. The idea that Mr. Schulman holds dear, that violence will solve our struggles, is incorrect. Peaceful discussion, disagreement and discourse are the only way for progress to be made. Radicals on either side who use violence to make their point only serve to hurt their cause, regardless of where they stand.

We expect and hope that Mr. Schulman will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And we would also hope that this serves as an example to both sides of the abortion debate: violence is never the answer.

13 Responses to “Violence towards the Anti-Abortion Right”

  1. justlookingon April 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Well stated. Do you have the expectation that anti abortion proponents will accept what you have blogged, or do you suppose they will not believe a word you have said – in the same fashion as those of you who disbelieve pro life activists who clearly state that they do not condone the actions of Scott Roeder.

    Violence is obviously the stock and trade of radical activism – whether it is in the name of ‘pro life’ or ‘pro abortion’. Blaming all of pro life for one fringe lunatic’s actions is like blaming all of Christianity for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, or all atheists for the massacres carried out by Lenin and Stalin. Hasty generalizations and false causes – fallacies of logic 101.

    At any rate, I, being pro life, will give you the benefit of the doubt and thank you for not condoning the actions of Mr. Shulman. But it’s really not about the activists, is it?

  2. Christie April 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    I think that, to a certain extent, it can become about the activists, especially when they are committing what can be agreed upon as atrocities. When one side gets mired in defending themselves against radicals who threaten their lives, and not abstract ideals, the conversation becomes distracted, at best. At worst, it can result in more violence.

    I ask you this, if there were no violent radicals, would the dialog be the same?

  3. notobvious April 28, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    I agree with the overall message of your post not supporting any violence in our movement. However, I strongly disagree with your statement, “Obviously, I don’t believe a fetus is a person, or I wouldn’t be writing for the Abortion Gang.” I don’t see how this statement is productive for the pro-choice movement and why it is obvious. As a woman who considers herself staunchly pro-choice, has worked in an abortion clinic, and is currently 32 weeks pregnant this statement doesn’t sit well with me. At this point in my pregnancy I view the life within me as a person. I also realize it is dependent on me for life and recognize that it does not have rights that supersede my own. I also acknowledge that early in my pregnancy, when most women have abortions, I did not view the pregnancy as a person; however, there are many women who choose abortion who do view the pregnancy as a person early in their pregnancy. I think statements that alienate women who believe that having an abortion is ending a life but are pro-choice are counterproductive and create division within our movement. While we should not support the rights of a fetus above those of the woman creating it we should be more sensitive to those who define the life within them differently from our own definition. Pregnancy is complicated, as is abortion, only accepting the “obvious” view that a person cannot view a fetus as a person and also be pro-choice is narrow minded and counterproductive.

  4. Christie April 28, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    Please feel free to disagree with me. I was simply letting the reader know that that was how I felt, so that it wouldn’t become the message of the post. Many anti-choice people would have attacked this post as being hypocritical if I didn’t address the fetus. You, however, are free to feel differently.

    I respectfully disagree that my personal feelings about the fetus change the message of this post.

  5. Steph L April 28, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I find it very hypocritical that while Schulman was arrested for making threats (which is the proper legal response) the radical anti choice “hit list” websites featruing abortion doctors photos and personal informations are still up and running.

  6. justlookingon April 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Christie-

    What dialog?

    The business of pro life and pro abortion needs the antagonism. But it shouldn’t be about the business, should it?

  7. Jameson April 30, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    You know what? I don’t have any sympathy for the pro-liars. None. YEARS of terrorism on their side – doctors murdered, patients stalked and harassed, buildings bombed, vandalized and set ablaze, and nobody says boo; one pro-choice guy goes on the fringe and suddenly the world is ending. Serves them right to have to suck it up and eat a nice big heaping dose of their own ugly poisonous medicine.

    And seeing as how pro-liars have just succeeded in dealing the deathblow to Planned Parenthoods in the fascist state of Indiana, thereby screwing over millions of women who can’t otherwise afford healthcare, I’m not feeling forgiving or generous towards any scumbag who wants to deny women their inherent human rights. If women were men and men could give birth this wouldn’t even be an issue, there’d be free abortions and contraception packed in every school lunch across the globe.

  8. Tinka the Anonymous Model April 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    Christie – good article.

    Jameson – are you also on the fringe? How are you any better than them when you make hateful comments like that…

  9. justlookingon April 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Inherent?

    Does this mean, Jameson, that you wish violence on pro lifers?

    Does anyone deserve what they get?

    You make some very broad generalizations. See what I mean about the absence of dialog? Not that it matters. The only thing that matters to the movers and shakers is the money. As long as they keep making the money they will use the activists – and caring for the women gets lost.

  10. Christie May 2, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Justlookingon, are you discounting the conversation above as a dialog? Regardless of the fact that it’s not a terribly productive one, it *is* one. There ARE actually people out there who can talk about abortion while staying relatively neutral, though they are so rare as to almost not exist.

    However, what I meant by “dialog” is the grater sense of the word. The conversation that happens between lawmakers, the general public and individuals surrounding the movement as an entity in and of itself. If there were no violent radicals (politicians can be these same people) the conversation of late would be very different. Please see other blog posts on AG like this one (http://abortiongang.org/2011/02/killing-abortion-providers-is-not-justifiable-homicide/), and get back to me.

  11. justlookingon May 2, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    dialog – n. an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.

    Jameson’s comment in the strict definition, was not dialog.

    vitriol – n. something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism.

    it fits this definition more closely.

    Another fallacy of logic is called ‘missing the point’.

    When you engage in activism, you take on the risk of attracting the fringe lunatics who would do you harm. Harm occurs on both sides of the abortion issue. I am speaking out against activism. In case you haven’t heard me, all activists – pro life, pro abortion, are tools in the hands of the profiteers. I choose not to be used that way. I choose to help women where they are, and where they need the help. If that help influences a woman not to have an abortion, how can you say I’m wrong for helping her?

  12. Christie May 2, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, Justlookingon. Hang on a minute, so you’re saying that there can be no amicable discussions between pro-choice and “pro-life” peoples? Yes, it’s a touchy subject, but a dialog exists nonetheless.

    And speaking of missing the point, this post wasn’t a commentary on activism, but rather on violent rhetoric. Activism is perhaps better left alone by those who cannot see its value.

    Finally, no one has criticized you for wanting to help a woman in need. However, a “pro-life” definition of “help” is not always what a woman needs. Lies, half-truths, fairytales and fables aren’t helpful to women who are having to make the hardest decisions of their lives. Scientific support and compassionate understanding go much further in helping women than condemning them ever can.

    PS- I refuse to comment on this post further. You have been heard. I respectfully disagree with you. You will not sway me, and I will not sway you. With you, there can be no dialog.

  13. justlookingon May 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Christie: I re-read my comments, and I never said there could be no dialog. I asked if it was possible. I was just curious if you thought anyone other than the likeminded would believe your post was genuine. I said Jameson’s comment was not conducive to dialog. I asked questions, but I’m not trying to “sway you” to any point of view. I don’t care what point of view you hold, really. Just offering some general observations about lunatics. Lunatics are lunatics regardless of what they espouse. It’s the extreme view that makes them thus. Most pro abortion and pro life stay within the bounds of modulated civility. The extremists do not. I also did not feel personally criticized by you for helping women, but I have heard pro abortion activists criticize me for the help I give, sadly, without even knowing what kind of help I give. Isn’t it your tendency to assume I’m spreading “Lies, half-truths, fairytales and fables [that] aren’t helpful to women who are having to make the hardest decisions of their lives”? Aren’t you guilty of assuming anyone pro life only gives information that is un-scientific and sub-clinical? Maybe some women just need a friendly voice to tell them it’s ok NOT to have an abortion, and point them to tangible help. I don’t believe there can be dialog, because the key word in the definition is ‘agreement’. Even if there is no dialog, why do you shy away from polite discussion?

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