Note: This is my first essay for rationalwiki. In order to make it as easy as possible for myself, I went with a very easy target:
http://abortionviolence.com/MURDERS.HTM (page no longer exists, Oct, 2011)
I find this site way funnier than any collection of murders should be. I’m not amused by the deaths themselves, but the tenuous logic used to connect most of them to abortions is, to me, hilarious. So, I offer you a glance at it, to let you have some of the fun without having to read about grisly, horrible deaths. First, some general stats. We have here a list of 426 murders. Of these, 34 are people (including babies, but not fetuses, though the definitions are VERY blurry) killed by pro-lifers, 117 are pregnant women killed because they refused to get abortions, and 309 are pregnant women who were killed. Oddly enough, even though I have found nothing in any of the 309 cases to indicate that any of the perpetrators had any links whatsoever to pro-choice causes, the actions of the murderers is still always equated with the attitudes of the pro-choice in general. A particularly blatant example occurs in the description of Lisa Montgomery’s case:
Lisa Montgomery had befriended 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant with her first child. On December 16, 2004, Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo with a rope, and then cut the baby from her womb with a kitchen knife in a crude cesarean section. Horribly, Bobbie Jo was still alive as she was being butchered. Montgomery was showing off the baby as her own the next day in her Melvern, Kansas home when police arrested her and charged her with kidnapping and murder. Montgomery actually tried to use the abortion decision Roe v. Wade in her defense during her trial, but it didn't do her much good. On October 22, 2007, a jury deliberated four hours before finding her guilty of kidnapping resulting in death
Not so bad, you think (well, probably not, actually. It’s horrible and grisly and senseless.) The point is, the article isn’t too biased. Aside from the “guilt-by-association” attack on Roe v. Wade, it seems to be a fairly balanced take on the case. However, look at the first sentence: “This strange, sad and murderous tale shows yet another repulsive quality of the ‘pro-choice’ mentality — that a baby is just a commodity that can be disposed of, kept — or, in this case, stolen.” Seriously, how do they even get that? A crazy woman does something horrible (I assume she’s crazy, at least) and pro-choicers get blamed? Ludicrous.
Another example: On December 20, 2005, Don Wayne Moody strangled his pregnant girlfriend Zana Danielle Leblanc and left her in her bedroom. He then fled the scene and, like so many other pro-abortionists who murder their pregnant wives and girlfriends, took the easy way out. Three days after he murdered Zana, he committed suicide.
So, yeah. I’m gonna assume that the rest of this section is absolute crap, with grisly, horrifying deaths tarted up with the most vague association to pro-life causes (incidentally, I’m a bit loathe to pull this out, but it seems slightly disrespectful to the dead to use their demise in this manner. That’s just my opinion, though.)
Anyways, on to the other two sections. Owing to their lesser length, I’m going to treat them in a bit more detail. Let’s tackle the worst section first, and look at the “people killed by pro-choicers” section. Here, we have 34 deaths. Of those, 15 are the result of medical malpractice, and 3 are the result of illegally performed abortions (which actually form the bedrock of one of the pro-choice movement’s better arguments, since legal abortions are definitely safer than back-alley ones.)
For the rest of the murderers listed, there are 2 serial killers (Howard Henry Holmes and Thomas Neill Cream, both of whom were technically abortionists, but were also certifiably insane and probably not all that indicative of pro-life attitudes, despite what the list claims,) an abortionist who had another abortionist shot for having an affair with his ex-wife, 2 abortionists who killed their wives in non-abortion related scenarios, 1 abortionist who killed his wife accidentally by botching plastic surgery he was performing on her, 1 abortionist who killed his girlfriend, 6 cases of abortionists delivering “viable” babies and then killing them, 1 abortionist killed by a burglar who had set up a rival abortion clinic, a pro-choice advocate who killed his roommates when they complained that he was “sloppy” and then stabbed his mother, and a pro-choice man running for state Senate who killed his pro-life opponent.
The final murder in this category is, in some ways, the holy-grail of this particular pro-life endeavor, as it features a noted pro-choice advocate killing a pro-life commentator. However, there are some problems with it. I don’t think I can sum the matter up better than Abortion Violence did:
In 1993, pro-abortion activist Eileen Orstein Janezic murdered pro-life activist minister and radio talk show host Jerry Simon in Huntsville, Alabama. After killing Simon, she held police at bay with a pistol for six hours while spouting quotes from Anton LaVey's "Satanic Bible." In October 1994, a jury found her guilty of murder, and she was sentenced to life in prison
So, that’s the best they can offer, as far as a pro-choice person killing a pro-lifer over abortion. I think it would work much better as a piece of anti-Satanism propaganda than it does as anti-choice, but at least they’re trying.
That concludes my analysis of this section, although I would like to point out in parting that these are the murders that Abortion Violence says “Nobody can logically deny that 'pro-choicers' are guilty of murder in these cases.” Of course, the fact that someone who held a belief did something exceptionally unpleasant doesn’t really say much about the veracity of that belief.
We now move on to the next section “Women Killed Because They Refused to Abort.” Most of these are cases of boyfriends getting their girlfriends pregnant and then killing them when the girl refuses to get an abortion or men attempting to hide the fact that they’ve been cheating on their wives. I’ll skip the rather obvious cheap shot about “Better sex education, less pregnancy” and instead question why these are included. It is incredibly sad when a woman is killed, doubly so when she is pregnant, and I don’t think that any stable person is going to argue for forcing women to get abortions. This whole section essentially amounts to straw-manning of the worst sort, with “Think women should be able to get abortions if they would like one and that said abortions should be safe” being turned into “We hate babies, you’re getting an abortion.”
I also think that the writing style on these is pretty offensive. Snark is justified in many cases (ridiculing others’ stupid attacks on abortion, for instance) but using it to discuss the rape and murder of a 14 year-old girl is unacceptable to me. Also, the website uses “abort” as a synonym for “murder,” and, even accepting that abortion is murder, it does not follow that all murders are abortions (that whole “every square is a rectangle, not every rectangle is a square” thing.)
Yes, the crimes are vicious and horrible and stupid and the murderers seem to have deserved about what they got. But I still don’t see why any this is comparable to someone killing a doctor who occasionally performs a kind of medical procedure on people who want it.