Friday, June 12, 2009

Open Letter to the Pro-Life Movement

[As a citizen, I have to do something. This version of the letter is addressed to the President of Operation Rescue, with similar version addressed to other abortion-protest groups, including the minister listed as a contact for the horrendous "Army of God" website.]

Troy Newman, President
Operation Rescue
P.O. Box 782888
Wichita, KS 67278

Dear Mr. Newman,

Although I am not a member of Operation Rescue, I appreciate the need for an earnest moral debate on the issue of abortion and human life. More specifically, I appreciate the presence of a truly “pro-life” perspective in the debate, and although I write you as a Buddhist rather than as a Christian, the letter is inspired by a similar compassion for human life.

The reason I write you today is that your cause is being undermined.

As a fellow citizen of these United States, I am watching developments in the wake of Dr. Tiller’s murder with increasing concern. Numerous law enforcement agencies confirm an increase of threatening activities at sites where abortion is protested. These range from violations of buffer zones to truly menacing activity. One clinic had a security camera broken. At another, a protester entered the clinic and threatened a patient (who may have been there for a routine examination, for all we know). At still another, a clinic employee was asked how she preferred to die, by knife or bullet. Some doctors and clinic directors are even warned by local police to law low, to stay home and locked down as much as possible. These are still law-abiding citizens. This is not right.

If the moral purpose is to uphold life, then the organizations promoting a “culture of life” must step up and respond to this. I, too, must respond in some way, which is why I am writing this letter to you and to some of your colleagues. I cannot stand to see this prevail in my own country. Terrorism is creeping into your movement and it will only negate your moral message if you do not confront it. It’s not good for the movement politically, nor is it good for people. Defacing a clinic, tampering with its locks and security equipment, is in violation of federal law. This is not the way to pursue the pro-life cause.

A strong message accompanied by some action is called for. Certainly a moratorium on publishing home addresses is appropriate, since there are clearly people going beyond peaceful protest. You could also resolve to cooperate with law enforcement if you know people who are violating the law and threatening people. Please, at least reject violence and terrorism. It has to be clear that people who stoop to that are not serving your cause. That is true, isn’t it?

Isn’t it?



Nathan said...

Excellent, respectful letter. Something definitely needs to change before levels of violence increase, and the more of us that express a desire for peaceful dialogue, and non-violent actions, the better.

I personally cannot stand completely against abortion - things are just to complex to say no abortions, ever (maybe you have a similar view). But I also believe that the only way we can reduce suffering on all sides is to remain open, to listen fully, and to express our views clearly and honestly.

Your letter is a step towards that.



Algernon said...

Thanks, Nathan. I sure hope it helps and that, perhaps, others will make this their business and send in similar letters, emails, etc.

quid said...


I applaud your letter. I hope the group will find a way to start a journey to center.