Dec 7, 2015
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a gunman opened fire on people in a Planned Parenthood clinic and the surrounding area, holding people hostage and finally murdering three people and injuring nine others. He allegedly included in his remarks when apprehended, “no more baby parts.”
His remark is a reference to current slanderous attacks that right wing politicians have directed against Planned Parenthood, the largest and best known provider of contraceptives, mammograms, cancer screening, abortions and other medical services for women. In the most inflammatory language, government leaders are continuing to pump the false allegation that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts from aborted fetuses for profit.
And while the dominant press presents this Colorado gunman as a loner and a “crazy”, he was only following in the path of religious extremist right wing individuals before him – part of a violent campaign against women fueled by right wing politicians in the government and funded by huge capitalist concerns.
At the very moment of the shooting, Congressional so-called leaders were threatening a government shutdown in order to cut all reimbursements to Planned Parenthood from the new federal budget.
Afraid of the political fallout of being connected too closely with the Colorado shooting, Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly discontinued debate on the matter. Suddenly he was afraid to continue leading the horrendous barrage of remarks from Congressional leaders and Presidential candidates who have referred to the “sale of baby parts,” as did the Colorado shooter!
News reports would have us believe that the U.S. population faces its greatest threat of terrorist violence from “Muslim extremists” connected in some way to ISIS or other “foreign” organizations.
In fact, the most common form of domestic terrorism in the U.S. continues to be violent attacks carried out by individuals connected to the Christian right wing. Hundreds of abortion clinics have been targeted – bombed, burned, shot-up – in the past 30 years, with most case-files against the perpetrators “still open.” At least 14 people have been murdered in attacks since 1993.
It is not just confused right-wing zealots attacking women’s rights today, it is none other than leading Republican politicians.
And while the rhetoric of the Republicans may be unbelievably crass, the Democrats have had an equal or greater hand in slashing away at benefits designed to protect women from unwanted pregnancy. President Jimmy Carter refused to veto a Congressional ban on federal funding for Medicaid abortions, condemning women least able to afford abortion to unwanted deliveries and/or unsafe abortion choices. And Democrats have been helping attack abortion rights ever since.
As a result of this rotten political system, millions of women are losing their rights to control their bodies and their futures. Nationwide, women seek to abort almost one out of four pregnancies. The reactionary measures imposed by Congress are not eliminating or reducing the number of abortions. They are only guaranteeing that more women will die from unsafe abortion.
The fight for women’s rights cannot be limited to reacting in horror to violent attacks on abortion rights. It has to extend to bringing down this rotten, so-called “democratic” system that promotes inequality and injustice toward women on every level.