Last week a women’s health outreach clinic in New Orleans became the fourth such facility to be set ablaze in recent weeks. Two clinics were hit in Georgia in early May, where three women’s health centers had been burglarized earlier in the year. The FBI and ATF are still investigating these cases of confirmed arson.
In April, a Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin was fire bombed by a luckily incompetent villain. The perpetrator was caught and charged with arson rather than terrorism even though his outbursts at his initial hearing revealed his “righteous” intention to stop “baby killers”.
Just as those involved in promoting Cuba travel have been ruthlessly targeted by anti-Castro zealots during past periods of relaxed travel restrictions, women’s clinics have also suffered waves of violence over recent decades triggered by changes to national policies or perceptions.
It was only three years ago that an abortion provider, Dr. George Tiller, was murdered by an anti-abortion militant while attending church service.
Leading up to his murder the direct action organization Operation Rescue had set up a camp on the side walk in front of his clinic to intimidate patients. Tiller was wearing body armor, at the suggestion of the FBI, the day he was shot point-blank in the head.
It is unconscionable that the country leading the global war on terror discounts domestic terrorism when it is perpetrated by extremist of right-wing ideology.
If the FBI were to treat these crimes as acts of terrorism and the investigations and perpetrators were handled accordingly, perhaps the crusaders against family unification and family planning would think twice about intimidating law-abiding individuals and about tossing flames through windows.