In a statement released to the Colorado Independent, Colorado state representative JoAnn Windholz has blamed Planned Parenthood for the violence that was perpetuated in a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs last week, killing three and injuring nine. “Violence begets violence,” she wrote, arguing that the “true instigator” of these murders was the organization itself. “So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”
Rep. JoAnn Windholz can go to hell.
Planned Parenthood does not perpetuate violence. Planned Parenthood saves fucking lives. They provide women’s health. They screen for cancer. They treat sexually transmitted diseases, and they provide birth control. Sometimes, but in less than 3 percent of cases, they also provide abortions, procedures in which a potential life is often removed to save an actual life from ruination.
The doctors and nurses and staff and volunteers want to help. They want to provide knowledge. They want to treat disease. They want to improve the lives of their patients. They are not evil people. They are not violent people. They do not kill or murder. They provide a service, and it’s important enough to them that they risk their lives, they put up with protestors and death threats, and they risk being alienated by others because they care. They are not committing selfish or murderous acts: They are caring for women and families in need.
That is not “violence.” That is the opposite of violence.
Four years ago, when my wife was pregnant with monoamniotic twins, we were faced with the very real prospect of not only losing one of the fetuses, but having the stillborn fetus disastrously compromise the life of the other. When we asked what our options might be in that situation, we were told that we’d either have to carry a stillborn fetus and a baby with severe birth defects to term, or we would have to fly Florida to the one doctor in the country who would perform the abortion of a stillborn fetus and another with sever birth defects, before adding, “You used to be able to go to Kansas, too. But that doctor was shot and killed.”
But pro-choice groups would argue that we were the bad people. The evil people. Because we would have wanted to save that fetus from a short and incredibly painful existence or worse, a longer, incredibly painful existence that would’ve also severely effected the quality of life for the potential baby’s parents and its sibling. Yet, such an act would have made us bad people, and, according to anti-choice groups, it would’ve made the people who helped facilitate a form of mercy “violent” monsters.
And what would these doctors deserve for providing us with that mercy? Death, according to pro-life advocates.
So what is the correct course of action [according to anti-choice groups] to take against baby-killers and baby-choppers, if not vigilante capital punishment? The answer isn’t immediately clear, but in today’s anti-choice landscape, the notion that abortion providers deserve to die isn’t fringe at all. Just a few days before the shooting, Ted Cruz celebrated his endorsement by an anti-choice activist who’s advocated for the execution of doctors who perform abortion. Windholz’s words might be the plainest, but mainstream Republicans’ impulse to hold Planned Parenthood at fault for terrorism perpetrated against it is barely concealed.
I do not wish harm upon JoAnn Windholz or any others who believe, as she does, that the people who were killed inside that Planned Parenthood basically got what they deserved. I hope that she lives a very long life and dies peacefully in her sleep.
And then I hope she spends an eternity in hell.