|Almost as quickly as a sniper’s bullet in the back ended the life of mass abortion perpetrator Barnett Slepian, his apotheosis into a “saint for choice” began by the media.
The nonstop coverage of his death – more hagiography than journalism – from early Saturday morning, Oct. 24, to his friends’ final farewell four days later, testified to something much bigger than an abortionist’s commitment to his grisly trade: the mediarchy’s rule over this country with an iron rod.
Slepian, assassinated in the kitchen of his stately Amherst, N.Y. mansion, was praised as a dedicated doctor who loved babies, a devoted husband and father, a patron of the arts, and a supporter of women’s rights who put his life at risk to serve them.
The encomia, a blend of false reporting and advocacy, seemed to come straight from Planned Parenthood’s Madison Avenue propaganda mills. Abortionists, who just 30 years ago were considered the culture’s and medicine’s pariahs and bottom-feeders, were suddenly exalted as saints and heroes, noble miracle-workers, society’s scarcest and most valuable resource.
Typical of the tributes was that of Mark Fritz, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, who wrote that Slepian “wore jeans to the office. He was going on vacation next month. He raised money for the Buffalo zoo. He was a patron of the arts. He had a dry sense of humour, lots of friends, and a wife and four sons. He got rid of his boat not because he was a lousy skipper – he was – but because he wanted to spend more time watching his boys play sports.”
Joseph Berger of the New York Times presented Slepian – whose specialty was late-term abortions – as a “conscientious doctor … (who) wanted to practice the full range of gynecological medicine just as he had been trained to do, even if it included the procedures that many in the aggressive anti-abortion movement in western New York equated with murder.
“‘Having babies come into the world was his life,’ said Ellen Fink, a longtime friend. ‘But he performed abortions because he believed it was a woman’s right to choose ….'”
Berger added that Slepian, as a young man, wanted to be a doctor so badly that he studied medicine in Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico, after failing to qualify for U.S. medical schools.
Relentlessly, in print and broadcast media, Slepian was described and portrayed as “courageous,” “the bravest man I ever knew,” a man of superhuman “integrity and compassion.” He even had “the bearded face of a scholar.”
Even his assault on a pro-life picketer with a baseball bat, in which he broke the pro-lifer’s arm and smashed the windows of his van, was glorified as an example of righteous and controlled anger – in view of the circumstances.
This strange “reportage” not only obscures the truth about Barnett Slepian and ignores the reality of the ongoing American holocaust of abortion, but it drums out the media’s most important message: Vice pays.
The video clips of Slepian’s half-million-dollar home – what an objective reporter might call a “throne of blood” – drives home the fact that in a culture of death, Slepian is an icon of respectability, protected by the mediarchy and judicial and political leaders.
In any objective report, there would be a meticulous exposure of the grief and harm he brought women and families, a reiteration of the cycle of violence that abortion begets, perhaps a contrast between the amount of publicity the media gives a dead abortionist and a dead woman, like Sharon Hamptlon, whose slayer, Bruce Steir, is now facing trial in Los Angeles. Unlike Slepian’s fatherless sons, the orphan Sharon Hamptlon left behind has no feminists grieving over his dead mom.
Also notably absent from the coverage of Slepian’s murder is the fact that almost exactly one year ago, Slepian invited Bob Behn and his wife, Bonnie, who have sidewalk counselled outside his mills for nearly a decade, to have lunch with him. Lunch turned into a two-hour meeting.
“We talked about the ‘pros and cons’ of abortion,” Behn told The Wanderer. “It was very, very obvious that he was trying to make excuses for what he did. He knew it was wrong, but he was trying to make it right.
“At one point, he said he was ‘pro-life,’ and I said, ‘How can you say that and do abortions?’
“I’m forced to do them,” Behn recalled Slepian saying. “The women want them and I have to do them.”
Behn continued, “We were talking about spirituality, and I asked him how he was doing. I tried to talk to him about Jesus. After that meeting, he began being friendly with us. He’d stop to talk to us and the other sidewalk counsellors. Almost every day, he’d have a different question to ask us, questions about our faith, about Jesus, about how we could know we were saved and whether or not he could be saved.”
At one point during their lunch meeting, Slepian asked Behn why pro-lifers had picketed his house. “I told him directly: We want to witness to you. We want you to repent. We don’t want you to go to hell.”
How close was Slepian to a conversion?
Behn told The Wanderer that the Buffalo-area pro-life Clergy Council had invited Slepian to address its monthly meeting, and Slepian – who had expressed interest in attending – had promised to give his answer on Saturday, the day after he was killed.
“We’re certainly not happy Slepian’s dead,” Behn said. “It’s going to make things very hard for pro-lifers, especially the sidewalk counsellors.”
Two months after Slepian’s slaying, the FBI and law enforcement agents from Canada, New York, Buffalo, and Amherst have not found a suspect, feeding speculation that Slepian was the object of a professionalagent provocateur hired by those who knew Slepian was wavering in his commitment to “reproductive freedom.”
Slepian’s assassination raises troubling questions in the pro-life community here about just who would benefit by his murder.
While the mediarchy infers that the act was a pro-life execution to commemorate Remembrance Day in Canada or Veterans’ Day in the United States, some pro-lifers suspect that the assassination was timed to coincide with the Nov. 3 U.S. election, as a way to whip up support for pro-abortion political candidates, to embarrass and defeat pro-life candidates, and to generate more punitive legislation to harass pro-lifers.
In New York, for example, Senator Al D’Amato’s opponent, Congressman Chuck Schumer, started running TV ads claiming that D’Amato was responsible for Slepian’s death because he voted against pro-abortion extremist legislation such as requiring federal marshals to guard abortion mills. And the Catholic candidate for governor in California, Gray Davis, has increased his barrage of “pro-choice” advertisements accusing Attorney-General Dan Lungren of being a danger to women.
One prominent Boston-area pro-lifer, who requested anonymity, told The Wanderer, “The mediarchy’s treatment of Slepian’s death (is desiged) to prove that it’s time to knock off the little pockets of resistance, the little bands of sidewalk counsellors. It’s time to put in more un-constitutional buffer zones, and muzzle pro-lifers’ (freedom of) speech.
“Episodes like this put even more pressure on pro-lifers to stop sidewalk counselling, and the bottom line is that even more babies will be killed, and the baby-killing will continue unabated and unopposed.”
This article originally appeared in The Wanderer, and is reprinted here, abridged, with permission.