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Saturday, September 06, 2003

The Executioner’s Hill

The Executioner’s Hill

Paul Hill is dead. Like many newborns in China, the former Presbyterian minister who gunned down an abortionist and his bodyguard was killed by lethal injection. The are differences, of course. Paul Hill is a murderer. The Chinese newborns aren’t. Paul Hill got his injection intravenously. The newborns get their poisoned needle through the base of the skull or directly into the heart. In the US, where technology is much more advanced, we shake our heads at the barbaric Chinese. We know enough to deliver the baby feet-first, punch a knife through the base of the skull and suction out the child’s brains before the head pops out of the birth canal. Contemplating the beauty of a woman exercising her right to choose can bring tears to one’s eyes.

As far as we know, Paul Hill didn’t cry when he pulled out his shotgun. The state has the right to execute an unrepentant murderer, and Paul Hill was certainly that. Some fear his execution may cause problems, though. The fear is that executing a murderer like Paul Hill will set off a wave of violence. It seems likely that this fear is justified. You see, for thirty years, a concerted effort has been made to paint pro-lifers as wild-eyed, violent fanatics. By concentrating on aberrations like Paul Hill, the media increases the likelihood that someone, somewhere, will again decide to kill a pro-life advocate simply because she is pro-life.

The word “again” is used deliberately. The pro-abortion movement has a dirty little secret. More abortion opponents have been seriously injured and killed in the last thirty years than have abortion supporters. The National Abortion Federation’s (NAF) own statistics bear this out. While the NAF reports 81,973 incidents of violence since 1977, nearly 68,000 (that is, 82%) of these “violent” acts consisted entirely of picketing. Yes, that’s right. Walking a picket line is a violent act (sshhhhh! Don’t tell your union). Twelve percent were harassing phone calls or e-mails, while an additional 2.8% consisted of trespass, stink-bomb attacks, and similarly juvenile stunts. The remaining three percent of attacks is where the problems lie.

When you finish drilling through the smoke and mirrors, it turns out that in twenty-six years of opposition to legal abortion, there have been 27 incidents of deadly or extreme physical violence against abortionists: seven murders, seventeen attempted murders and three attempted kidnappings. That’s about one a year. Certainly nothing to be proud of from a movement that claims to venerate life. In that sense, people like Paul Hill are news.

However, in that same time period, there were 337 incidents of deadly or extreme violence committed by supporters of legal abortion against those acting on pro-life convictions. In 1999 alone, American abortionists killed six of their own girlfriends and one wife. These women refused to have abortions, you see. As these seven adults were murdered, four children were also murdered to prevent their becoming witnesses. Now, admittedly, 1999 was not a good year for women who happened to be pregnant by an abortionist. But it is an unusual six-month period where we don’t read a small squib buried on page C-6 about some red-blooded American man who injured or killed his girlfriend because she refused to exercise her constitutional rights. Really, this kind of thing is barely news.

Real news has more meat to it. For instance, the NAF reports 125 incidents of less serious physical injury against abortionists. The NAF does not bother to mention that abortion-rights supporters committed 1001 similar incidents of less serious physical injury against pro-lifers during the same time period. Clearly, the NAF has a nose for news.

While pro-life organizations regularly repudiate the violence done in their name, there is not one documented case of any pro-abortion organization decrying the mayhem perpetrated by their supporters. Pro-lifers engaged in violence or mayhem – that’s news. Pro-abortionists engaged in violence or mayhem – that’s not news.

We may, from these rules, make the obvious conclusion: violence and mayhem are only to be expected from abortion supporters. You know the old story: dog bites man is nothing. But man bites dog? Run it, page one, below the fold. News reporting tells us what is considered normal and what isn’t. Another abortionist killed his pregnant girlfriend? Hmmm, well. Pass the comics, honey. Anything in sports?

We can’t blame the media for not reporting this trifling kind of event. It really isn’t news. There really isn’t anything else to say.

The leading cause of death among pregnant women is homicide. Studies show that roughly 25% of the pregnant women who die each year are murdered. Meanwhile, studies also show that women who have an abortion are up to four times more likely to die within twelve months than is the general population. Their rates of suicide skyrockets, as does their drug use and general risk-taking behaviour.

On the other hand, pregnant women who give birth are less likely to die than the general population and less likely to indulge in risk-taking behaviour.

Apparently, when you choose to preserve someone’s life, you choose life not just for the other person, but for yourself as well.

Paul Hill would have done well to remember that.

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