Why Can't You Pro-Choice Rioters Be Peaceful, And Just Murder Doctors Like The 'Pro-Life' Folks?
Officers remove Dr. George Tiller's body from the church where he was murdered. ABC News video screenshot.

Rebecca Mansour, the senior editor-at-large for Breitbart and former ghostwriter for the Palins, tweeted out a fascinating revisionist view of the anti-abortion movement Monday night. She insisted that unlike "the Left," which is always burning down cities and threatening people to get its way, "pro-life" folks are just the most law-abiding, nonviolent people who ever harassed women trying to get mammograms or birth control at Planned Parenthood clinics.

Her four-tweet rhapsody over the absolutely model behavior of the anti-abortion cause closed with a warning that "the Left" will doubtless respond to the expected overturning of Roe v. Wade with "rioting, violence, fear-mongering" and "intimidation tactic[s]," because after all, that's all "the Left" ever does.

Here's Mansour's initial thread, transcribed for easier reading:

The freakout you are witnessing from the left is very instructive. When Roe was handed down 49 years ago, pro-lifers didn’t riot, didn’t call for SCOTUS to be burned down, didn’t threaten the lives of justices, didn’t try to stack the Court.

Pro-lifers (mostly Catholics at first) organized at the grassroots level. They planned an annual peaceful march on Washington. They created crisis pregnancy centers. The got involved in electing politicians.

They passed pro-life legislation. They WORKED WITHIN THE SYSTEM of our Constitutional republic to enact change at the ballot box and in the hearts and minds of their fellow Americans.

If this draft SCOTUS decision holds, then these pro-life Americans (who are now a majority of Americans, I might add) won the right way. And no amount of rioting, violence, fear-mongering, or any other left-wing intimidation tactic can change that.

And yes, Mansour has parts of the history right. The road to eliminating Roe was a decades-long political movement that involved mobilizing rightwing voters, building a political machine that allied the evangelical Right with conservative Catholics — whom Evangelicals had previously considered disloyal threats to America — and creating institutions like the Federalist Society that would educate an army of rightwing lawyers, who could eventually become rightwing federal judges, and here we are.

Of course, Mansour's version misses one or a few hundred things, as others on Twitter went and pointed out.

Strangely, it seems Mansour's initial thread didn't mention a single instance of the decades-long campaign of "pro-life" murder, bombings, and violent threats targeted at clinics, doctors, nurses, and politicians who support abortion rights. Oh, and as for that line about how anti-abortion activists "didn’t threaten the lives of justices," recovering journalist Dan Nguyen called attention to a 1985 Washington Post article whose lede made clear the exact opposite was the case:

Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, who has been the target of frequent death threats since he wrote the court's controversial 1973 decision legalizing abortion, said yesterday that a bullet was fired through a window of his Arlington apartment Thursday night. [...]

Both Blackmun and his wife, Dorothy, were at home at the time, but neither was injured by the single shot, which a law enforcement source said showered glass on Dorothy Blackmun as she sat in the living room of the Blackmuns' third-floor apartment. The source said Blackmun had just left the room when the shot was fired.

The article went on to note that Blackmun had "received a particularly graphic death threat" within the prior week, that he "has been the target of numerous threats from antiabortion groups," and that he had "been placed under constant police protection" after receiving death threats from the anti-abortion terrorist group the "Army of God," whose members and admirers committed multiple attacks on clinics and clinic staff, including murders and attempted murders.

One Army of God acolyte was Eric Rudolph, who was convicted in the deadly bombing of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as well as the 1998 bombing of a clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed an off-duty cop working security. He also bombed other clinics and a lesbian nightclub to help Jesus fight the New World Order.

Here's a quick rundown of the anti-abortion movement's greatest hits, as it were:

Ms. Filipovic also helpfully noted that "pro-lifers" have in fact murdered "more people than there are Supreme Court justices."

And then of course there's the day to day threats and harassment directed at people working at or just walking into clinics, or working for pro-choice groups, and the like.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people took issue with the idea that conservatives didn't "stack the Court," which is only true if you define court-stacking as expanding the number of justices (which, like abortion, isn't mentioned in the Constitution). Making overturning Roe the prime criterion for appointing judges and refusing to hold hearings for a Democratic president's nominee isn't stacking, it's entirely "rule of law" and norm-following, don't you see.

Eventually, a good 13 hours after her initial thread, Mansour posted an "update" that dismissed the decades of violence, because after all, those violent people were No True Pro-Lifers (to say nothing of Scotsmen). Here's her brilliant rebuttal:

Update: Yes, I’m well aware that some violent fringe extremists targeted abortion providers. Pro-life leaders & activists denounced these criminal actions, and the criminals were punished according to the law. In other words, our legal system worked as it’s supposed to.

The assaults on abortion providers did NOT lead to Roe being overturned. The SCOTUS decision (if the draft stands) happened because pro-lifers WORKED WITHIN THE SYSTEM by fostering pro-life jurisprudence, electing politicians, and drafting legislation.

Please ignore the widespread terror campaign, because the actual Supreme Court decision wasn't written by Eric Rudolph, so shut up. And golly, the official leadership of the anti-abortion movement denounced the radical militants, at least when Fox News wasn't inviting them to appear on air. And look, Bill O'Reilly never actually encouraged anyone to go and murder Dr. George Tiller; he just repeatedly called him "Tiller the baby killer" and regularly compared him to Dr. Josef Mengele. It would be very unfair to suggest that anyone in the "pro-life" movement ever egged on the folks who printed up "Wanted" posters for doctors who happened to later end up being murdered in the name of saving the precious babies.

Besides, Mansour added, "Other human rights movements—from the abolition movement to the civil rights movement to the anti-apartheid movement—all had some violent extremists," and that certainly doesn't undermine the good they did, now did it?

Yes, this is where Mansour's also asking us to accept that ending the legal right to abortion won't be, in itself, an act of violence against women, because if ladies don't want to die from an illegal abortion, they would just keep their legs together so they wouldn't have unwanted pregnancies. That's just logic.

In conclusion, please, you radical leftists, try to suppress your violent impulses and work for change the right way, like the pro-life movement always did without fail (please ignore the extremists, they don't count). You can work for change through the ballot box, at least if you can stop burning down cities and killing police long enough to remember to vote. Oh, wait, "the Left" can't be trusted not to cheat, so Republicans will make voting harder, too.

[Rebecca Mansour on Twitter / Mediaite / CNN / WaPo]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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