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Opinion A wave of violence as the court prepares to rule

CompassCare President and CEO James Harden, right, speaks to the media after a firebombing at the antiabortion group's crisis pregnancy center in Amherst, N.Y., on June 7. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News via AP)
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The biblical teaching that violence only begets violence has long been proved true but rarely more poignantly than in the recent attacks on pregnancy counseling centers in Oregon and New York, disruption of church services, and the alleged plot on the life of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

Maybe America was too busy burying its slain children from the most-recent mass shooting at a school to connect the dots among the many efforts to intimidate, and thus influence, conservative justices as they consider reversing Roe v. Wade. Given that these acts of violence were all aimed at pro-life people, they should be investigated as terrorist acts.

It is a terrible irony that the people who want to protect life must put their own lives at risk. Maybe violence is what we should expect when abortion, one of the most-violent acts conceived by humankind, is Ground Zero. Whatever one’s argument for abortion, there’s no debating the utterly inhumane violence inflicted upon a gestating human being.

The entire abortion apparatus is reprehensible on its face, but over time we’ve become accustomed to it. In the process, we’ve found ways to discuss abortion that sidestep its appalling reality. We make the objectionable more acceptable by manipulating language. The object of termination isn’t a “baby,” we’re told. It’s a fetus. The terminology may be accurate, but “fetus,” despite its definition (”unborn offspring of a mammal”), does sound rather reptilian.

Republicans and Democrats have predictably defaulted to their usual crouches, each side accusing the other of insufficient outrage. Usually, the effect is a standoff, but this time Republicans have the stronger case. The public hasn’t heard much from the media about the reported dozens of attacks on churches and crisis-pregnancy centers since May 2, according to the Washington Stand, a news site recently launched by the pro-life Family Research Council. A draft Supreme Court opinion that outlined the end of abortion rights was leaked on that date.

If you go looking for stories about this or that bombing, you’re likely to find them only in religious news outlets, such as the Catholic News Agency or Get Religion. The pregnancy centers that were destroyed or damaged do nothing worse than help vulnerable pregnant women through counseling and resources, as well as provide diapers and other baby supplies. So much for pro-lifers caring for babies only until they’re born.

Despite these attacks — and the alleged attempted assassination of Kavanaugh — President Biden hasn’t been moved to condemn them. Kavanaugh’s would-be assassin, Nicholas Roske, 26, told police he was upset about the leaked opinion and concerned that Congress would tighten gun restrictions in the wake of the Uvalde, Tex., school shooting. He arrived at Kavanaugh’s home equipped with a Glock 17 pistol, ammo, a knife, zip ties, pepper spray and duct tape and said he intended to break in, and kill Kavanaugh and himself to give his life meaning.

The National Review points out that Biden had three opportunities before large audiences to condemn these events. Instead, he apparently delegated that job to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who has said that the president condemns all political violence.

Well, that must have been balm for Kavanaugh’s soul. Biden also failed to condemn protesters who surrounded Kavanaugh’s home for several days. Rather, he took the time to say that protests are fine as long as they’re peaceful. In fact, that’s not true. It’s illegal to protest at the private homes of judges under Title 18, Section 1507, of the U.S. Code, enacted in 1950.

One would think Biden, who headed the Senate Judiciary Committee for a time, might have checked with counsel before condoning illegal acts that easily could have escalated. This is an outrage, period.

Biden should have used a bullhorn to condemn all the above, presuming he was apprised of them. He surely would have done so had the justice in question been any liberal. Can you imagine the outcry from the media? He surely would have strongly condemned the firebombings had the targets been abortion clinics run by Planned Parenthood, which, through its advocacy arm, pledged to spend $45 million on Biden’s behalf in 2020 (three times what it spent in 2016).

My best guess is that the justices won’t deliver their abortion opinions until later this month. This means Biden still has time to be very clear that federal penalties for acts of terrorism can include life imprisonment and, in certain circumstances, death.

Violence, after all, begets violence.

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