Proving yet again just how extreme the far-right "pro-life" movement really is, protesters disrupted an interfaith prayer service at the opening of the Democratic National Convention. Protesters were also escorted from the first meeting of the DNC’s African-American Caucus where they shouted "Obama supports black genocide" and, in a third location, gathered around the headquarters of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. There they were met by supporters of women’s legal rights to choose who "just showed up once they realized what was happening" and were not part of an organized protest according to sources in Denver.
One older "pro-life" protester at the Planned Parenthood protest claims that abortion is responsible for our problems with Social Security, which gives you some indication that his concerns are perhaps more self-involved than the line they put forth about being concerned about babies. Forced birth is the answer to Social Security, I’m sure McCain will be campaigning on that very soon.
This from the Rocky Mountain News:
"There are people in that room that still have a conscience," said
Randall Terry, founder and president of the Washington-based
anti-abortion group Operation: Rescue, explaining why after the first
song of the gathering he stood and shouted, "Obama supports the killing
of children by abortion."
Another man shouted, "Obama is a baby killer," and a third man —
Joseph Landry, who said he is affiliated with Operation Rescue, yelled
to the crowd, "You are not Christians."
"No Christian in good conscience can support a baby killer like
Obama," Landry said, adding that of all the Democrats and their stances
on abortion, "He’s the worst we ever had."
As reported by Naomi Zeveloff today, splits in the "pro-life" movement are causing rifts within social conservative circles, and the evidence from the protests today seem to indicate the way they will fight it out is by trying to see who can out extreme the other by disrupting prayer, and other meetings. We’ve seen the "pro-life" blogs explode with outrageous claims in the past couple of weeks that include what Sen. Obama blatantly called "lies" including that he supports "infanticide." Then again, Jill Stanek said the similar things about former First Lady Barbara Bush:
her November 7, 2007, WorldNetDaily column, Stanek
wrote that Barbara Bush, wife of former President George H.W. Bush, was
"a pro-abort," adding that her "platform as first lady
was illiteracy, so she obviously thought abortion was a solution to
illiteracy. In actuality, then, she was a eugenicist, because it is poor
people who are illiterate, not rich people."
If you believe what these extremists say about Barack Obama, you have to believe it about Barbara Bush too.
There are plenty of issues Americans can disagree about, including reproductive health care, but it should be very clear that these "pro-life" extremists are not patriots, but rather out to destroy our democracy. They are not out to save one life, but have absolutely no respect for the private lives and medical decisions of women. Prohibition does not stop abortion, it only makes it unsafe and turns women into criminals.
Meanwhile the Democratic Platform is being hailed by both pro-life and pro-choice Democrats as progress toward improved access to health services for women, improved comprehensive sex ed and access to contraception, and strengthening the abilities for women to choose to have children by increasing support systems like pre- and post-natal care.
All this while the Bush Administration tries to jeopardize access to contraception by redefining it as abortion, in the name of "conscience" as Randall Terry and others from Operation Rescue were screaming about in one of the protests today.
This is the state of the extremist right wing Culture War in 2008, first declared by Pat Buchanan at the Republican National Convention in 1992, and that has been used to divide our country ever since. I can’t wait to see the protests next week in St. Paul if McCain has the courage to select a pro-choice running mate.
So we ask again, who is outside the American mainstream? Those working on an education and prevention agenda, or those extremists who believe only prohibition is the answer?