The Darkest of Black Fridays

Planned Parenthood has always been a grim place, but last Friday, its Colorado clinic was the scene of a different kind of tragedy. In a senseless shooting, one disgruntled man took the lives of three innocent people and wounded several more in a terrible atrocity that cast a somber shadow over the holiday. Regardless of what the gunman’s motives may be (and the media has suggested several), we strongly condemned this violence. All of us at the Family Research Council join with the pro-life movement in praying for the injured officers and families who lost loved ones.

Unfortunately, FRC can strongly empathize with the victims at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado after a homosexual activist, Floyd Lee Corkins, walked into our lobby in 2012 with enough ammunition to kill the entire staff. Were it not for the heroic acts of Leo Johnson, Corkins’s act of domestic terrorism (which he admits was inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center) would have been equally deadly.

Whatever this shooter’s intent, it’s only through peaceful means — not violence — that we can truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn. While police try to sort out the facts of this horrific rampage, many on the Left are using the tragedy as an excuse to indict the entire pro-life movement. “Politicians need to stop escalating the rhetoric against Planned Parenthood,” one abortion group insisted, “and that means by and large the Republican Party.” But this shooting isn’t the fault of politicians (many of whom are trying to uphold the same human dignity this gunman grossly violated) or a movement driven by mercy and love.

“To the ridiculous (and vile) claim that the rhetoric of pro-life advocates is responsible for Robert Lewis Dear’s murderous rampage,” Princeton Professor Robbie George pointed out, “the answer can be stated in three words: Floyd Lee Corkins. If the pro-life movement is responsible for Robert Lewis Dear’s crimes, then the gay rights movement (and especially the Southern Poverty Law Center) is responsible for Floyd Lee Corkins’. There must be one and only one standard, friends. Not two. For far too long, left-liberal hegemony in the media and other elite sectors of the culture has enabled a double standard to be maintained about issues of this sort. This. Must. End.”

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Ed Morrissey was just as stunned at the Left’s hypocrisy. “So let’s get this straight. When a lunatic shoots up a Family Research Council office, it has nothing to do with its political opposition… But when a lunatic shoots up an abortion clinic, it’s the fault of millions of Americans who oppose abortion, and who argue peacefully for limits on the practice and better oversight of those who operate in the industry?”

Carly Fiorina, one of the many GOP presidential candidates to denounce the attack, expressed her disgust — not just at the crime but at the insinuation that people who oppose Planned Parenthood’s gruesome business are to blame. “Any link between the shooting and ‘anyone who opposes abortion or the sale of baby body parts…’ is typical left-wing tactics.” Once again, she said, liberals “immediately begin demonizing a messenger because they don’t agree with the message. The vast majority of Americans agree [that] what Planned Parenthood is doing is wrong.” Already, some extremists are using the Colorado shooting as a reason to drop the investigations into Planned Parenthood’s baby organ harvesting ring. But the same compassion that drives us to condemn this violence also compels us to protect other innocents, including the unborn. Pro-lifers want to end all brutality — whether it happens in a clinic foyer or a mother’s womb.

In the meantime, the facts aren’t hate speech, as Ryan Bomberger explains. “Exposing the inner-workings of Planned Parenthood in an undercover investigation isn’t ‘hateful rhetoric;’ it enables illuminating and civil discussion about inhumane barbarity.” And it is that same inhumanity that Congress — and all of us — must strive to end.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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