Extremists featured and responsible voices ignored

With the arrest of shooting suspect James Kopp in France in late March, pro-abortion media personalities have typically exploited the opportunity to accuse the pro-life movement of violence. The Christian Defense Coalition in the United States cautioned the media and pro-abortion organizations not to use the murder of abortionist Barnett Slepian to attack and demonize the pro-life movement. The group also urged the U.S. Department of Justice to not “politicize” this shooting as a pretext to harass and intimidate the pro-life movement as the Clinton administration did. All Canadian pro-life groups and all major U.S. pro-life groups have condemned such violence, noting that the right to life applies to all human beings without exception.

Prominent Christian columnist Cal Thomas, in his syndicated column April 3, also warned about the inevitable pro-abortion propaganda blitz following the Kopp arrest. He stated, “When the issue was civil rights 40 years ago, most of the mainstream media chose to promote the nonviolent ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. and treat him as the movement’s legitimate leader. Men like Stokely Carmichael, H. Rap Brown and Malcolm X, all of whom advocated violence to achieve their objectives, were eventually marginalized and portrayed as outside the mainstream, With abortion, it’s the reverse. The extremists are featured and responsible voices are ignored, because extremists help the pro-choice cause.”

The Globe and Mail ran an article by Peter Cheney trying to associate the killer of Barnett Slepian with pro-lifers in Canada. Cheney quoted Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler who said, “I am certain that Mr. Kopp had colleagues in Canada. I don’t think there can be any question of that.” Marilyn Wilson, executive director of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL), said of the case, “It shows how long these people can go unarrested because of the anti-abortion underground that harbours them.”

The Canadian Press reports that Canadian police seem to agree with the assessment and are “hunting for Canadians they believe helped Kopp while he was on the run.” Dennis McGillis, an Ontario Provincial Police inspector, said, “It takes help to be a fugitive. We’re sure there were people in Ontario at least that may have helped Mr. Kopp.”

CARAL’s Wilson said that since U.S. President George W. Bush is pro-life he would “obviously” not put effort into combating such violence, suggesting that he tacitly approved of it. “The presidency of George W. Bush and the appointment of John Ashcroft as attorney-general in the U.S. – two key powerful leaders in the U.S., both of them anti-choice – [means] they obviously aren’t going to put as much effort into combating anti-abortion violence,” she said.

Very conveniently, television media are already in the midst of a propaganda campaign to associate the pro-life movement with attacks on abortionists. As LifeSite reported in late March, CanWest Global TV, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Home Box Office (HBO) are all airing specials on killings of abortionists.

Currently, U.S. authorities are considering promising to waive the death penalty if Kopp is convicted, since the French government could refuse extradition due to its opposition to capital punishment.