By now most people are aware of the shooting that took place at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last Friday. Robert Lewis Dear, Jr., killed three people and wounded several more, purportedly in retaliation for the activities documented by the Center for Medical Progress in which Planned Parenthood officials are seen and heard discussing the sale of fetal body parts obtained via abortion. The President has addressed the issue from the perspective of gun violence and the media is abuzz with talk of domestic terrorism and the radical nature of America's pro-life cohort. Of course, the actions of Mr. Dear should be condemned unreservedly, as should all acts of violence perpetrated by activists who think that the righteousness of their cause justifies cold-blooded murder. Such actions undermine the notion that all human life should be respected and protected under the law, and individuals who seek to take the law into their own hands, like Mr. Dear, should be prosecuted.
Currently, Dear's motives are unclear as is his mental state at the time of the shootings. What is known is that he has a history of conflict and scrapes with the law, and that he supposedly referenced the undercover videos during his arrest. Whether this means Dear has any or has ever had any involvement in pro-life activism is yet to be established, although according to the Washington Post, "Grass-roots activists connected with the antiabortion movement said they did not know Dear and that his name was not familiar." A statement released by Americans United for Life condemned the act as evil and offered prayers for the victims.
As expected, none of this has stopped the Left from seizing upon this tragedy in order to demonize the pro-life cause and its allies. Robert Dear's attack on Planned Parenthood provides the exact kind of red herring that Planned Parenthood so desperately needs in order to continue avoiding the true issue at stake in the debate over abortion. Thanks to one crazy man's actions, the nation's largest abortion provider can continue to obfuscate the reality of their work, discussing abortion in terms of "women's health care," and "reproductive choice," instead of owning up to the fact that they are, in fact, in the business of killing unborn children. If the Left didn't already believe they occupied the moral high ground on this issue, they certainly do now. It's the pro-life community's fault! It's the Republican Party's fault! It's those extremists at the Center for Medical Progress and their "highly edited" videos of Planned Parenthood officials horse trading in baby parts. If these people could just open their eyes to the ridiculousness of their cause and join the ranks of the enlightened, none of this would have ever happened.
Of course, all of this is nonsense. No one is responsible for Robert Dear's actions but Dear himself, and no movement can be expected to take responsibility for whatever kind of actions a deranged individual might decide to carry out in its name. At the same time, Dear's actions do not excuse the daily acts of violence that Planned Parenthood metes out against defenseless children in the womb. His crime should not obscure the reality of what abortion is – the destruction and dismemberment of innocent human life. The fact that this barbaric procedures has a gloss of legitimacy as conferred by the Supreme Court does not change the reality of what goes on in the abortion process – tiny skulls are crushed, limbs are amputated, and vital organs are removed. And these children are not guilty of anything except being unwanted. They didn't ask to be conceived. They do not receive due process. They don't get a judge or jury before the death sentence is carried out. All that is necessary is that the right amount of cash is deposited into the abortionist's coffers.
The actions of Mr. Dear should be condemned by all who love and respect life. But so should the actions of Planned Parenthood. That those on the Left condemning the loss of life in Colorado Springs do not see the irony of their position when it comes to the killing of innocent unborn children is a chilling testament to the deepening moral bankruptcy of our culture and society. Mother Theresa noticed this during her life and ministry, saying, "I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"
The voices of the pro-life community are needed now more than ever, and they should not be silenced because Planned Parenthood wishes to make political hay out of one man's senseless acts of violence.