…when right-wing Americans do it, of course.
The Washington Post was trying to do the right thing when it published this article about the reticence of many medical students to take up abortion in their OB-GYN practices. This has been a problem for a while, of course; as the article notes, though abortions are utilized by up to a third of American women at some point in their life, almost 90% of U.S. counties have no abortion provider. Obviously, the right to obtain an abortion is hindered (if not negated) by the inability to access a doctor to perform the procedure. What makes this a particularly pressing issue is that most of the physicians who currently perform abortions are near retirement, yet few medical schools include abortion services in their curriculum.
Highlighting these scary facts should animate those of us concerned with reproductive health. However, I’m more than a little peeved at the Post’s perception of the causes underlying these problems, which they’ve summed up with the headline: “Abortion Stigma Affects Doctors’ Training And Choices”.
Stigma? Are you serious?
Not the absurdly restrictive state laws that foist medically unnecessary practices on clinics, which force doctors performing a safe, legal procedure to scare, deter, even lie to their patients?
Not the constant harassment from anti-choice activists, who – should doctors have the temerity to provide a safe, legal procedure – will put your personal information online as a virtual hit list, and even post videos of your daily movements?
Not the fact that, even if access to your practice of a safe, legal procedure is routinely disrupted by those same anti-choice protestors, in clear violation of federal law, those violators will face no penalty?
And certainly not the fact that when your practice of a safe, legal procedure is explicitly threatened, the Attorney General sees absolutely nothing wrong withdrawing your protection by federal marshals?
Although the opening paragraph makes reference to Dr. George Tiller, they continue to use mealy-mouthed phrases to describe his murder, referring to it as a “slaying”, as if this were a random act of violence. Like much of the media, they simply won’t come out and call this what it was – a cold political assassination, as clearly an example of domestic terrorism as the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Of course, the Post can’t come up with the moral stamina to call Scott Roeder a terrorist – after all, he was white! To label him a terrorist must mean that those who agree with his views, and implicitly defend his actions, are in league with terrorists. This doesn’t just mean Randall Terry, an anti-choice extremist the Post prominently quotes, it would mean a large proportion of the American right, and thereby a significant number of white Americans. And golly – if they were to do so, it would indicate that the right wing creates terrorists!
And they would be exactly right. Sadly, for the preservation of white male Christian supremacy, they would never go so far.
To help remember Dr. Tiller, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance is hosting a memorial vigil today (Wed., 9/30) at 6PM in the Peace Circle outside Usdan. Members from various religious and secular groups will speak to his incredible courage in the struggle for womens’ lives, and all are invited to take part.