The deadly hypocrisy of the "pro-life" movement
Planned parenthood protest (flickrusersmirk)

Since the 1970s, abortion providers have been the target for arson and bombings by the very people who claim they value life at the moment of conception. The latest example of their hypocritical ideology happened in Pullman, Washington, where a Planned Parenthood clinic was set ablaze at 3:30 AM on a Friday morning.

Authorities have concluded that the fire that destroyed the building was an act of arson, likely committed by someone who has strong and misguided feelings against abortion. While no one was hurt during this clear act of violence, there have been numerous instances over the last few decades where people were either seriously injured or killed by religious zealots who cherish the lives of non-viable zygotes over living, breathing human beings.

The most recent and notorious case involved late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, who was violently attacked several times before he was ultimately shot and killed by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in a church of all places. Prior to his untimely death, Tiller's clinic had been firebombed in 1986, and both his arms had been shot by anti-abortion activist Shelly Shannon in 1993.

But Tiller wasn't the only victim.

In 1998, police officer Robert Sanderson, who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed.

In 1994, receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. In the same year, Dr. John Britton and clinic escort James Barrett, were shot to death outside the Ladies Center in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings.

When looking at the bigger picture and taking all acts of violence committed by anti-abortion activists into account, you begin to see the hypocrisy even more clearly.

According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, 13 wounded,100 butyric acid attacks, 373 physical invasions, 41 bombings, 655 anthrax threats, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers.

While these direct acts of violence are clear examples of how disingenuous right-wingers are in regard to how much they value human lives, one can also look to their conflicting political beliefs. Of the 33 states that restrict public funding of abortion, 27 permit death sentences. Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana are among the most "pro-life" states, and yet are also the most supportive of capital punishment.

While these extremist anti-choicers are quick to threaten or take the lives of people they disagree with on abortion, they're rarely seen protesting for public assistance to help those in lower socioeconomic statuses so they can take care of their children.

I don't deny that there are some who are genuinely against abortion because they believe life starts at the moment of conception. However, it seems there are far more hypocrites out there who despise what family planning means for women. When women have reproductive rights, they are able to plan their own destiny. They have more control over their own lives, and those who are drawn to controlling women can't handle the notion of female independence. This is not a question of life or death - it's a question of power.

If that sounds outlandish, I'd argue that the consistent hypocrisy of the murderers claiming to value life is even more insane.