Abortion activist group releases position on use of violence at protests: It’s dangerous

By Crossmap

Last week, I noted that Canada’s abortion activists have responded to a recent surge in violence against peaceful pro-life protestors with a collective shrug and a heavy dose of victim-blaming. Pseudonymous abortion blogger Fern Hill suggested that “blaming the victim is not always wrong.” Nora Loreto wrote that she blamed the young woman who was kicked by Jordan Hunt for provoking him into kicking her. 

And now, the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) has unveiled their position on non-violence, just in case anyone was wondering how abortion activists—who literally defend violence against the youngest and weakest human beings as a matter of course—respond when those who disagree with them get assaulted. As you might imagine, it is a bizarre moral mess.

“Part 1 of our ‘Why Non-Violence series,” ARCC announced on Twitter. “We do not oppose violence at protests on moral grounds, but rather as part of our intersectional approach to reproductive justice! There are many reasons why non-violence as a strategy is important.”

Got that? Non-violence can be occasionally strategic, but there is no moral reason not to use violence to achieve your goal. What an utterly predictable (and surprisingly consistent) thing for an abortion activist to say.

ARCC goes on: “SAFETY & PRIVILEGE: Not everyone can engage in physical violence or provocation. People of colour, those with criminal records, gender queer/trans folks, pregnant people, people with disabilities or mental illness are all more likely to be targeted by authorities or to suffer disproportionately due to violence. Provoking violence without the consent of your co-protesters puts everyone at risk & ignores/erases the complications of identity & experience.”

To break that down: ARCC is ignoring the fact that virtually 100% of violence at pro-life demonstrations is perpetrated by abortion supporters against pro-lifers, and is instead claiming that the various identity groups which make up the pro-abortion mob are themselvespotential victims for violence, and thus need to be careful when confronting pro-lifers (which could easily be accomplished by not assaulting the pro-lifers.) In fact, a quick look at the number of abortion supporters recently arrested, charged, or being investigated for crimes against pro-lifers indicates that this is an almost humorous attempt by ARCC to change the subject.

ARCC ends Part 1 of the treatise on pragmatic optional non-violence with a little testimony from an abortion supporter that is apparently intended to highlight the key point of this all: "We recently had a counter protest in Lethbridge. I was telling people how important it was to go. I knew how important it was to go, but I didn't go because I was afraid of it turning violent."

Again, this could have easily been solved if the person in question had urged the protestors to ensure that it did not turn violent—there has been regular pro-life outreach in Lethbridge for at least seven years, and not once have pro-lifers engaged in any untoward behavior whatsoever. 

The pro-life movement in Canada rejects violence on moral grounds.

The abortion movement in Canada—at least, if the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and an assortment of prominent abortion supporters are any indication—only reject violence on pragmatic or strategic grounds. In short, this indicates that there could be a time and a place where violence might become pragmatic or appear strategic—at least to some abortion protestors. Or perhaps many simply do not understand the intersectional gobbledygook that Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada is serving, and thus might decide that they feel violence to be justified in the moment. Considering the number of recent attacks on pro-lifers, that appears to be the case.

It is easy to imagine the public outcry that would erupt if pro-lifers announced that they were only rejecting violence for strategic reasons, and the immediate media firestorm and furious denunciations from abortion activists. But when Canada’s abortion supporters claim that it is strategy and intersectionality that are holding them back from violence—and not holding back many of them, I might add—there is hardly a whisper.