According to the FBI, their number one domestic terrorism priority is combating animal rights extremists and eco-terrorists. Yeah… that’s right, in an age when a widely-read fascist propagandist like Anne Coulter publicly calls for executions to “physically intimidate liberals,” the FBI worries about the “escalation in violent rhetoric” coming from a handful of fringe whackos.
In fact, while the FBI works to demonize the broader animal rights and environmental movements, it virtually ignores a domestic terrorist campaign that has been waged with quiet ferocity and frightening success for over thirty years. Of course I’m talking about the anti-abortion terrorists, whose relentless campaign of violence and intimidation has made legal abortion an unavailable option across broad swaths of the nation.
Over the last 20 years, anti-abortion terrorists have been responsible for six murders and 15 attempted murders (see Lake of Fire), according to the National Abortion Federation. They have also been behind some 200 bombings and arsons, 72 attempted arsons, 750 death and bomb threats and hundreds of acts of vandalism, intimidation, stalking and burglary.
That was from a 1998 report by the Southern Poverty Legal Center, and the campaign of terror continues unabated, including what has proven to be a highly successful strike near our state Capitol.
When an arsonist torched their clinic nearly a year ago, Eastside Women’s Health Clinic owners Nancy Armstrong and Shelly Pacheco vowed not to let fear keep them from providing abortions.
But when they reopen the clinic Monday, after a year working out of a double-wide trailer in the parking lot, there will be no more abortions.
It wasn’t the arsonist who stopped them, but their insurance company.
After the Jan. 9 fire, which burned through the roof of the building and destroyed much of the interior, the clinic’s insurance company canceled its coverage. Other insurers quoted them rates more than 10 times what they had been paying.
“The insurance companies think, “Oh, you had an arson because you do abortions. We’re not going to insure you,’ ” Armstrong said. “Then the arsonist thinks, “Oh, it works.’ “
And it does work. To get an insurance rate the clinic owners could afford, they had to agree to not perform abortions. Chalk up another victory for the terrorists.
Terrorists have forced abortion providers to shut down clinics nationwide, either out of fear for their lives and those of their family and employees, or as in the case of the Olympia clinic, by making it economically impossible to continue. What anti-abortion forces have been unable to achieve via legislation or the courts, they are achieving through brute, physical violence.
And with the eliminationist rhetoric spreading from the right-wing fringe into the mainstream, where Coulter can call for executing liberals, and anonymous posters in my own comment thread (though not as anonymous as they might think) routinely and publicly welcome such a violent fate for me, it would be foolish not to imagine this culture of terror creeping further into our political discourse. How many arson attacks against the houses and cars of liberal bloggers and other political activists before insurance companies deny us coverage? (…Or refuse to pay claims, citing the provision that they are not responsible for damages suffered by a policy holder engaged in a civil war?) How many progressives would no longer choose to speak out in the wake of a handful of targeted, high-profile assassinations?
For the FBI to imply that the greatest domestic terrorist threat facing America today comes from the largely unarmed and nonviolent left, is a joke, a sham, and a frighteningly complicit signal to the anti-abortionists that the federal government will continue to look the other way as they continue their campaign of terror. Even in Olympia, the capitol of a blue state, violent, right-wing thugs are denying women their constitutional right to control their own bodies. It begs the question… what will the terrorists target next?