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Editorial: Recent bombings damage anti-abortion activists+ cause, worsen issue+s tension

Jan. 23, 1997



Recent bombings damage anti-abortion activists' cause, worsen issue's tension

The issue:

The recent bombings of abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices.

Our view:

Regardless of one's stance on abortion, violence will not help either cause, creating further friction between the two sides.

Three bombings to date have terrorized abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices in Atlanta, Tulsa, Okla., and Washington, D.C.., ironically enough on the week of the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision.

The anti-abortion crowd is very adamant about their feelings, as are the abortion rights activists. A minority of the anti-abortion activists have decided to wage war on the enemy.

This war, however, is being waged on American soil where mob rule has been outlawed since the 18th century. With anti-abortion activists looking to sway the rulings of the Supreme Court in their favor, staying on the favorable side of the law would be more profitable than the disgusting events displayed over the past few days.

Ideals of traditional Americana dictate that Americans would all get along together and be one nation, but abortion is not a traditional topic though it is an old practice. The ideological split between abortion rights activists and anti-abortion activists is vast and seemingly impossible to bridge.

Abortion is an issue fraught with emotion from both sides. For some, this emotion has spilled into violence. Not just spontaneous mob violence, but calculated destruction, which is far more disturbing.

Whoever is responsible for these displays is dangerously out of line. The groups of militant malfeasants responsible for these displays are ruining the credibility and reputations of peaceful, law-abiding anti-abortion activists.

Violence this severe has not been seen over abortion since the Paul Hill shooting at an Orlando abortion clinic in 1994. Have the tiny factions of anti-abortion militants given us a look at a new campaign of violence? Let's hope not.

These bombings heighten an already sensitive issue. Civil discourse and peaceful protest could be sacrificed by a misguided few. Bombing to get results may seem like a good idea to Middle Eastern terrorists who feel might makes right, but terrorist acts are in no way the solution to this issue, no matter the impact and attention it causes.

It has been proven before, violence breeds more violence. Harming and potentially killing someone who thinks differently than you is an evil act.

The way to deal with ideological problems is not to force someone to act against their feelings, but to change their minds. The mind is not something than can be forced into reversal. It must be nurtured and fed with knowledge and reason to be changed. A mind cannot be changed against its will.

Not all people feel strongly about this topic, but we can still disagree peaceably about it. When persons wielding high emotional involvement on the extreme opposites of the abortion issue let their emotions fly unchecked, we run into conflicts as ugly as the ones experienced this week.

Whatever your stance on the subject, abortion is legal. Lawfully, no one is allowed to detonate bombs to settle ideological disputes.

It is every American's right to demonstrate for or against any cause they wish but not when that demonstration interferes with someone else's rights.

What good can a bomb do to change abortion laws? Not as much as a strong lobby.

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