As everyone here reading knows, terrorism is a major concern for abortion providers. Just the other night, I went to an event for Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, and one of the doctors speaking wasn’t on the advertising materials because the FBI believes the threats against his life are credible. Clinics are routinely vandalized, targeted for arson, and threatened. Doctors and staff are threatened, harassed, and as you all know, assassinated. But by and large, anti-choice militants are more interested in shaming and harassing patients than threatening or killing them. The main reason is that they’re interested in keeping up the front of being “pro-life”, and killing a pregnant woman means killing that ever-important fetus inside her.
But recently, anti-choicers have grown a bit tired of pretending that this is about “life” and instead tipping their hand more frequently to the fact that this is about punishing women for being sexual beings. The war on contraception makes it hard to pretend you care about fetuses, even though they do try to tie it back to that as often as possible with flimsy excuses, like pretending that cutting off family planning subsidies won’t lead to more abortions. So it makes sense that, in this environment, Rush Limbaugh would go ahead and put violence against women seeking abortion—which had previously been a no-no amongsts antis to talk about—on the table.
You know how to stop abortion? Require that each one occur with a gun.
While most of us think of Limbaugh as an ass clown who should never be taken seriously, for the far right that creates the pool for potential anti-abortion terrorists to come from, this guy is a god. And if not to them directly, to the people around him, so these ideas will trickle out. The far right’s discourse is structured along a “how far can we go?” kind of framework, and they’re constantly looking to each other for “permission” to take it to the next level. Well, now Limbaugh has given them that permission. Killing women seeking abortion has been put on the table.
And boy how he put it on the table! It’s hard not to picture what “abortion by gun” would look like: A sort of rape by gun followed by the violent murder of the woman. It’s taking the subtext of gun nuttery—and how nuts feel that guns give them symbolic phallic power—and making it straight up text. That’s not subtly giving permission, but practically an invitation.
As a side note, it’s interesting to me how many wingnuts turn to abortion the second guns are mentioned. Couldn’t make it more clear that gun nuttery is part of a larger constellation of a psycho-sexual obsession with masculine dominance. Must have MORE GUNS while making sure that women are firmly relegated to a second class citizen status, unable to exert basic control over their bodies. Ugh.