Silencing the Pro-Life Movement

The first time my friend invited me to attend a Lutherans For Life meeting, my immediate thought was, “I don’t want anything to do with those pro-life nuts.” Running through my mind were pictures of abortion clinics being bombed and abortionists being shot. I also thought of hate-filled protesters shouting and throwing things. I didn’t want to be involved in any of that stuff. And I’m glad to say that after being involved in the life issues for over 12 years, I haven’t been involved in any of those activities.

But that’s the way the media portrays pro-life groups and people. I’m not saying there have never been extreme actions perpetrated by individuals who didn’t quite understand what being “for life” is all about. It’s taken many years and many words to teach people, including pastors, that most pro-life folks love human life and they don’t want to hurt anyone, even someone committing a grievous sin like abortion. Most pro-life folks I know believe life is precious because God created that life and Jesus Christ died for that life. Most pro-life folks that I know believe that the best way to reach those on the other side of the abortion debate is to extend a hand of love with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And all pro-life folks that I know condemn the violent actions that a few misguided individuals have taken. It’s taken many years and many words to dispel the image of the violent “anti-abortion” protester that the media created by only focusing on the negative actions of a few extremists.

And now it looks like we’ll be re-educating all over again.

A disturbing news item was made public on most news sources yesterday. It would seem that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines rightwing extremists to include pro-life Americans. From the DHS assessment entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented…and those that are mainly antigovernment…. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion [emphasis added] or immigration.

Read a short article from Catholic News Agency or a longer one from Fox News.  The Fox News article points out that DHS released an assessment on left-wing extremists in January. However, the DHS states that the leftwing extremists will most likely cause financial losses, like hacking into a corporation’s website in protest; while the DHS portrays rightwing extremists (including pro-life folks) with bloodshed. The Fox News article also has links to the DHS assessments on rightwing extremism and left wing extremism.

Maybe it’s just me, but…can someone explain to me how trying to protect an innocent human life is seen as an extremist viewpoint, but wanting to end (i.e. kill) an innocent human life is not an extremist viewpoint? Or stated even simpler, how is it that wanting to save a life is “bad” and makes you “dangerous”; but wanting to end a life is “good” and you’re not “dangerous”? The preborn baby might have a different take on that idea.’

Am I paranoid to think that there’s agenda to shut down any opposition to the “freedom of choice”? Is it just one more attempt to intimidate those who are dedicated to advocating for everyone’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness–the preborn as well as those already born? You tel me…is this the change that people were looking for?

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