The Ugly History of Anti-Choice Violence

It's no secret that the abortion debate is riddled with hypocrisy. To take one of the most obvious examples, conservative legislators don't like the idea of abortion, but also want to reduce access to birth control—which can help prevent abortions. 

Recently, MSNBC pointed out another form of hypocrisy at play: a violent, sometimes murderous approach to a purported attempt at saving lives.

Here's a quick primer on some of the dramatic ways anti-abortion activists have tried to get their point across over the years:

  • Since 1976, there have been over 215 cases of arsons and bombings (combined) at reproductive health-care clinics.
  • There have also been terrifying threats; clinics across the nation, for example, have attracted 654 anthrax threats just since 1998.
  • Let's not forget the butyric acid attacks on five abortion clinics back in 1998.
  • Oh, and remember Dr. George Tiller? In the arc of his 30-year career assisting in abortions, he was harassed at his home and clinic, shot at, bombed, and eventually murdered.

It's hard not to wonder at the logic here. Why assume that fetuses deserve to grace the planet more than living adults? Certainly, every political ideology holds inconsistencies, but this one is especially puzzling. 

No matter your opinion on abortion . . . can we at least agree that violence, threats and murder are not the answer?

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