Did Radical Activists Encourage Murder of Abortion Provider?
by David Sirkin
6 June 2009
This past week I watched Anthony Leake, an anti-abortion acivist and friend of Scott Roeder, the murderer of Dr. Tillman, speak on CNN TV. He said he understood how Roeder could be capable of killing the doctor. He said the murder was "the best thing that could have happened" to Dr. Tillman.
Why is this activist not behind bars instead of talking to me smugly on TV? What is the difference between such activists and preachers, and their likely implicit if not explicit encouragement of men such as this broken man, a man who had been beaten down in life and who had a history of mental illness, to commit murder out of religious extremist passion, and the radical Muslim clerics, and their encouragement of people who feel victimized by the West to go on suicide bombing or plane-flying missions?
One thing for which I criticize the pro-choice side (my side) is not answering often enough the "abortion is murder" cries with equally strong cries of "abortion is not murder." It is understandable that the other side will be infuriated, and that they more easily will see us as demons, if we seem to be saying, "Maybe it is murder, but it's ok, because it is a woman's choice." I think many on our side have some confusion in their minds as to whether an unborn embryo or fetus is as fully a person as the mother is. I for one do not share this confusion.
Almost everyone, even the vast majority of people on the anti-abortion side, have a gut feeling that the unborn are not persons. This gut feeling is consistent with what scientists understand about brain development. A one-page essay that I wrote as a handout for pregnant women seeking abortions may be helpful also for anyone who is interested in hearing an argument for why abortion is not murder. Even a newborn is not quite a person, but develops into one over the next several months. Drawing the line between a legitimate medical-surgical choice and infanticide at birth is reasonable: it is practical, and not inconsistent with science.
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