Just two more murdered doctors, you’re thinking, and it will have to stop. They’ll have run out of targets.
The clinic in Wichita is closing, you hear -- closing permanently. The murdered doctor’s family announced the decision just days ago, and now it’s down to two. Two clinics in the entire country where a woman can go for a late-term abortion. A legal, late-term abortion.
Opponents are exultant. Already the president of the group that calls itself “Operation Rescue” says he’d like to buy the building where the clinic was located, and perhaps move his own group’s headquarters there.
File this under “Dancing on Dr. Tiller’s Grave.”
Just two more to go, you’re thinking, and they can stop filling websites with doctors’ home addresses, and doctors’ faces in cross-hairs, and pictures of doctors’ families. Just two more to go, and they can call off the shouted threats, and the whispered ones.
Just two more, and the murders can end.
Not such a large number, you’re thinking -- not in the overall scheme of things. Unless, of course, you’re one of the doctors yet to be gunned down, or a loved one, or a friend. Unless you’re one of the women desperate to make use of the medical services -- legal medical services -- the doctor would have provided but for the bullets.
Then it’s an enormous number.
And it still wouldn’t be enough to end the murders.
After all, what if another doctor steps up to fill the gap? He’ll have to be stopped, too, won’t he? There’s a doctor in Nebraska, you notice in the morning paper, who’s just announced that he’ll provide late-term abortions in Kansas. He’s apparently been providing them at Dr. Tiller’s clinic; he’s prepared to continue providing them, he says, at another location not yet disclosed. Not yet targeted on the websites. But he’ll have to be stopped, too, won’t he?
And it still wouldn’t be enough.
Assume, just for the moment, that the goons with the guns check off every name on their deadly to-do list. Assume, too, that the air is so heavy with danger that nobody else steps up. That they’ve finally cleared the field of every last late-term abortion doctor.
Why assume they’d stop there?
After all, for the most radical among the “pro-life” contingent, there’s hardly any difference between a late-term abortion and one that happens earlier in a pregnancy. Abortion is abortion. Abortion is killing. Abortion must be stopped.
So why not expand the target list? It’s the only logical conclusion.
Once the late-term-abortion providers have all been eliminated, who’s to say the radicals won’t start picking off the mid-term providers? And then the first-term providers? They’ve already proven to their own satisfaction that violence works, and that extreme violence works best of all. So why not deploy their most effective technique on the broadest possible canvas? It’s only...logical.
Just two more, you’ve been thinking, and it can stop. You’ve been fooling yourself, you realize. It’s time to think again.
They’ve had the taste of blood in their mouths.
They’ll be back for more.
# # #
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.