Read your Emily Post and you'll see it's just not done in polite company. The question of whether women should have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, and about whether it might be okay to harass, intimidate and even murder those women and their doctors, is just too complicated, too touchy, too controversial. Each act of arson, stalking, bombing, shooting, and assassination must be considered an isolated incident and in no way part of a larger, organized movement of people who call themselves "pro-life" even as their movement has a funny habit of killing people. Each of the thousands of acts is a separate act, carried out by a lone wolf whose connections to the "pro-life" movement are purely coincidental. It is permissible, at times, to condemn the acts of violence, but never the movement itself. Because as Americans, we have a right to disagree with each other. And if a particular movement believes in achieving its political goals through terrorism, well, as long as they call themselves "pro-life," that's their right.
So it's refreshing to see that the FBI is investigating the current spree of domestic terrorism in Georgia. Via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The FBI is investigating whether a string of burglaries and arsons at Atlanta-area women's clinics are acts of domestic terrorism. Four of the five incidents were at clinics where doctors worked who expressed concerns to state lawmakers about new abortion restrictions. Below are the incidents.Women's health care providers in Georgia suspect that this wave of terrorism might have something to do with their vocal opposition to the state's latest anti-abortion bill, signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal. They can't prove it, of course—it's so very hard to prove terrorism when scary Muslims trying to impose sharia law aren't involved—but given the long history of domestic "disagreement" on women's health care, maybe, just maybe, the spate of threats and violence to which they've been subjected might have something to do with being women's health care providers who oppose restrictions to women's health care.
- Jan. 26, Lilburn, The Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics Gwinnett office is burglarized. Several laptops are stolen.
- March 4, Sandy Springs, Atlanta Women's Health Group office is burglarized. A desktop computer is stolen.
- March 17, Suwanee, The Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, which represents doctors who specialize in women's health, is burglarized. Several laptops are stolen.
- May 20, Lilburn, The Atlanta Gynecology and Obstetrics Gwinnett office is the target of arson.
- May 23, Marietta, A fire that has been ruled arson is set during business hours at abortion provider Alpha Group GYN.
We will never be able to put an end to this kind of domestic terrorism until we call it what it is. So it's nice to see the FBI taking this critical, if impolite, first step in actually calling it what it is: terrorism.