We should not be surprised that anti-abortion terrorists are offering bounties.
Laura Bassett of Huffington Post gets the unfortunate duty of explaining:
According to abortion rights advocates, Joseywhales’ post is just one example of an alarming spike in death threats and violent acts against abortion providers, clinics and companies that work with them since the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood were released. Two Planned Parenthood clinics have reported arsons, anti-abortion protesters are showing up in large numbers at doctors’ homes, and commenters on conservative websites and online forums are calling for the bombings of abortion clinics across the country, according to Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation. Saporta is so alarmed by the escalation of threats against providers that she asked the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to intervene.
“In my 20 years at NAF, I have never seen such a volume, intensity and escalation of hate speech, threats and criminal activity, and we would like to prevent a serious violent act from occurring,” she told The Huffington Post in an interview. “We have enlisted law enforcement’s help.”
If history is any indication, death threats against abortion providers should be taken seriously. Two abortion doctors have been murdered during Saporta’s tenure at NAF: Dr. George Tiller in 2009 and Dr. Barnett Slepian in 1998. Slepian was shot in his home after returning from synagogue, and Tiller was shot in the head while attending church services on a Sunday morning.
Saporta had worked with them both.
And that’s the problem; it easily sounds like the kind of big talk many enjoy around the internet, a manner of vice and hatred that allows one to feel better for ephemeral and illusory sensations of empowerment.
But there is history.
“I’ll pay ten large”? Yeah, it sounds like someone has been watching too much television, or something. That a certain business executive “should be hung by the neck using piano wire and propped up on the lawn in front of the building with a note attached”? Yes, at some point it is problematic that this is what a person so needs to say in order to feel better about life, the Universe, and everything, otherwise known as self.
Except for the fact that we know where this goes. Arsons and shootings and even that weird aspiring mass murderer in Wisconsin a few years ago.
No, really. What the hell is anyone supposed to do with something like that one?
c. Officer Dyer asked Lang why he had a gun and Lang replied, “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies”. Lang then told Officer Dyer that he was planning on going to the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Highway 51 across from MATC on May 26, 2011, when it opened at 8:00 a.m. .... Lang said he was going to find out who the doctor was that was doing the abortions, and shoot him in the head.
d. Lang told officer Dyer that he was in Madison last week, on either Thursday or Friday, because he thought that surgical abortions were performed on those days. He told Officer Dyer that he had the gun with him last week, but was having spiritual struggles and was not 100% in sync with God, so he did not shoot anyone last week. Lang told Officer Dyer that he bought the gun approximately two years ago after being arrested for protesting at an abortion clinic. He said he bought the gun to “help end abortion” ....
.... a. Sergeant Gonzalez entered room 125 to insure that nobody was injured in the room since the shot had been fired from there. Upon entering, in plain view, Sergeant Gonzalez saw a box containing numerous documents, including a map of the United States, with dots in each State and the handwritten words above the border of the United States “some abortion centers”. Also on this map were the words “Blessed Virgin Mary says Hell awaits any woman having an abortion. Nurse or doctor who helps will one” (sic). Sergeant Gonzalez reported seeing a significant amount of anti-abortion literature in Room 125 ....
4. [FBI Special Agent Joseph LaVelle has] has also reviewed a Madison Police report prepared by Madison Police Officer Tim Frey on December 21, 2007. That report sets out that Ralph Lang was arrested at the Planned Parenthood building at 3706 Orin Road … on December 21, 2007. During that arrest, Lang told Officer Frey that the “bible states that anyone involved in abortion should be executed.” Lang further stated that everyone in the building should be executed and that police officers were not fulfilling their jobs by not executing the individuals involved in the abortion clinic ....
In 2011, People for the American Way published an overview of abortion politics in the states, including a section on “Legalized Murder of Abortion Providers”―yes, really―examining legislative action in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.
And no, it’s not a joke.
Hey, here’s one: Do you remember the time Operation Rescue claimed credit for terrorism, and nobody noticed?
That isn’t a joke, either.
We should not be surprised that anti-abortion terrorists are offering bounties; nor does history afford us any reason to go looking for a joke in it all.
And all for a deceptive propaganda video.
Which, in turn, was the point.
Image note: Christian terrorism ― Detail of flyer offering thirty million dollars for the murder of Dr. George Tiller; in May, 2009, Dr. Tiller was gunned down at a church service.
Bassett, Laura. “Death Threats On Abortion Providers Spike In Wake Of Planned Parenthood Videos”. The Huffington Post. 3 September 2015.
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. “Complaint for Violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 248”. United States of America v. Lang. 26 May 2015.
People for the American Way. “The GOP Takes Its War on Women to the States”. 2011.
Operation Rescue. “Victory: Operation Rescue Successfully Thwarts Abortion’s Return to Wichita, Kansas”. 15 February 2015.