Difference This Time: Pro-Life Heroism
by Rachel MacNair
With the lethal shooting at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs of November 27, 2015, we in Consistent Life first waited to hear if it were in fact connected to abortion. Once the news was that the shooter had rambled about “baby parts,” then recent news about undercover videos involving those did seem to be the motivation. Our issue of Peace & Life Connections that week went through an intense round of revisions as we grappled with what to say and what not to say.
After all, militant people in the past spoke to the media to justify vigilante action after past shooting incidents. Violence as problem-solver is steeped in our society.
The peace movement in opposition to the American war in Vietnam had the same problem – big time. “Anti-war” bombings killed people. The civil rights movement had to deal with such militants, too, and major riots to boot. So did Gandhi.
When I was trying to adopt a special-needs child, I was initially blocked because a specific person told the social workers that I was inclined to bomb places to express my political views. I know she did this because she bragged about doing it to a friend of mine. So I had to inquire whether it was the peace-movement or prolife-movement activism that got to that stereotype. It was the pro-life. Even the local director of Planned Parenthood at the time knew me and told me she thought this was ridiculous. I was able to persuade the social workers that it was untrue, so I was technically still qualified – but I never did have a child placed with me. So my home is emptier now than it might have been because of this form of bigotry. I feel the injustice of it very personally.
Many of us have been facing the outrage from abortion defenders who want to call this “domestic terrorism,” and we feel a little intimidated about mentioning we’re pro-life. A handful of places in the media are highlighting people who’ve come out with violence-oriented signs; those signs fit their stereotypes.
Yet it’s been years since they found someone to articulate at length a vigilante perspective.
The pro-life involvement in this case was that a pro-life police officer gave his life in protection of the people at the clinic.
Police Officer Garret Swasey, loving father of two and volunteer co-pastor of Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs, was murdered in this shooting spree. This is a case where a pro-lifer was murdered. Not for being pro-life, but because he was a police officer doing his job trying to protect people’s lives. An officer who worked with Swasey, Larry Darnell, reported that Swasey was not merely sent but volunteered to go when hearing news of the shooting.
He’s therefore, by definition, a hero. Thousands attended his funeral.
This is the exact opposite of “terrorism.” Since that term is questionable when no organization was involved, we can be more precise and say it was the exact opposite of being vigilante.
Since many abortion defenders are unaware of this point about Garrett Swasey, they don’t know how utterly inappropriate it is to use his death as a way of furthering bigotry against pro-lifers. We need to do more to communicate this.
If the case were being presented fairly, it would be a way of pointing out how admirable pro-lifers can be, putting their very lives on the line, in the face of horrific and senseless violence.