A PERSONAL CONFRONTATION WITH TERRORISM
Okay, the bi-line may sound a bit hyperbolic. Perhaps it is. But only a little.
I don’t put advocacy stickers on my vehicle. It’s just not my thing. I have, however, made an exception as a result of the terror attack against Planned Parenthood and my father’s response to this form of manipulation and coercion.
My father received a mailer from Planned Parenthood the other day. Inside was an “I Stand With Planned Parenthood” sticker similar to the one below. While I was reading the news, my father came to me with the sticker and said, “I just got this from Planned Parenthood. I’m going to help out, but if I put this on my car someone is liable to shoot me.”
There it is. That’s the fruit of terrorism, one of the goals of those who endeavor to use violence to achieve their goals. The standard definition of terrorism is the use of or the threat of violence to achieve a political end. At least part of the strategic benefit of violence is in silencing those who might speak against your goals for fear of being targeted. I have to wonder just how many people do, in fact, stand with Planned Parenthood, but are afraid to let this be known lest they become victimized.
Since there are no significant “pro-choice” terrorists to speak of (nor should their be), any discourse at all on this topic becomes lopsided as one side is afraid to let their reasons be heard. Consequently, the only argument that people hear are those made by the terrorists.
This is how terrorism works.
A free society cannot function in this way. Freedom requires courage, even in the face of possible violence. If we are to have a debate on the extent and merits of women’s reproductive health, then let’s have that debate without fear.
I tend to have a consistent response to fear. When I’m told I should be afraid of a thing, I like to put myself right in the way of the thing I’m supposed to fear. More often than not, I find that I had nothing to be afraid of from the start. So I asked my Dad if I could have the sticker and informed him that I would put it on my back window for anyone to see.
I know quite a few women who have benefited from the services that Planned Parenthood provides, from health screenings to education, from birth control to abortion. Because of these women I do stand with Planned Parenthood.
More importantly, I feel I must stand against the threat of violence as a means of suppressing free expression and free thought. If we submit to terror, then terrorists win.
Stand with Planned Parenthood! Trust women to choose.