Pavone: Pro-Lifers Will ‘Intensify Both Our Language and Protests’ Against Abortion

Anti-abortion activists hold a rally opposing federal funding for Planned Parenthood in front of the U.S. Capitol July 28, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

The national director of Priests for Life asserts the pro-life community will intensify its protests against Planned Parenthood and abortion, despite attempts by abortion advocates to link pro-life “rhetoric” with the shooting by a deranged man at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs.

In a press release, Father Frank Pavone says there is “no justification for keeping silent.”

“The senseless and universally denounced shootings that took place in Colorado Springs on Friday have brought a number of inquiries to me and other pro-life leaders regarding whether we intend to soften our language or modify our actions regarding Planned Parenthood and abortion generally,” Pavone says. “In short, the answer is ‘No.’ In fact, we will intensify both our language and our protests.”

Pavone’s statement comes as many supporters of Planned Parenthood have seized upon the opportunity of the shooting to defend the taxpayer-funded abortion business after videos were released over the past several months exposing its apparent practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale and altering the position of unborn babies in order to harvest intact organs.

Pavone observes that the pro-life community does not participate in or condone violence.

“Our messages and our protests did not start because of irresponsible and deranged perpetrators of violence, nor will they change or cease because of such people,” he continues, adding:

Planned Parenthood — and the abortion industry generally — are dismembering and decapitating little children on a daily basis, and for a profit. We describe abortion that way because that is how medical textbooks describe it.

“A long curved Mayo scissors may be necessary to decapitate and dismember the fetus,” Dr. Warren Hern explains in Abortion Practice, p. 154.

The U.S. Supreme Court, moreover, has described abortion procedures in detail. “The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix… The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”  (U.S. Supreme Court, Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007, describing the D&E procedure).

“If these things were not true, there would be no justification to say them; but since they are true, there is no justification for keeping silent,” Pavone asserts. “Our language reveals these horrors and opposes them, but the language of the abortion industry not only admits these realities but justifies them. That’s the kind of language that does damage to the moral framework of our society.”

In a column at Tuesday, Pavone noted that abortion advocates are suggesting members of the pro-life community are “extremists” and “domestic terrorists” who are responsible for inciting violence.

Most members of the Democrat congressional delegation from Connecticut, for example, asserted following the shooting that the pro-life Republican candidates’ “rhetoric” against Planned Parenthood had incited violence and domestic terrorism.

“It’s still early,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, according to the Hartford Courant. “But if the intent here is to intimidate others into walking away from reproductive health services, it certainly looks like a terrorist act.”

Murphy added, while he does not believe anyone can “draw a straight line between the rhetoric of the Republican candidates and murder,” he is certain “that the Republicans are lying through their teeth about Planned Parenthood.”

“The escalating frequency of threats and harassment across the country raises apprehensions in Connecticut,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) who, along with others from his congressional delegation, reportedly is anxious that the “ferocity of the rhetoric” by GOP presidential candidates “may be escalating threats against Planned Parenthood.”

“Demagogic, hateful language raises the risk everywhere,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). “There are folks on the margin who will act on it,” he said. “Sadly, I think it may have been a contributing factor to what happened in Colorado.”

“I don’t think the incendiary rhetoric of those presidential candidates [is] helpful,” said U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT), adding that he believes “there is more than an element of domestic terrorism afoot in this country.”

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) said the attacks against Planned Parenthood by GOP candidates regarding the group’s apparent activities as revealed by the videos “increases the incivility… and for unstable people, it can increase their emotional response.”

“[W]hen [unstable individuals] have access to firearms, it can have dangerous consequences,” Esty added.

“The focus, the attention, the vitriol and rhetoric with regard to Planned Parenthood… can inflame someone who may want to take action,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). “It makes the environment hateful.”

Pavone states, nevertheless, “We’ve been down this road before.”

He explains that pro-life leaders have always swiftly and unanimously condemned any shootings that took place at abortion clinics by people who claimed to be trying to stop abortions.

He continues:

But never was this enough for the abortion advocates. Sure, we didn’t pull the trigger or advise others to do so, they acknowledged. But we created a “climate of violence” by our “extreme rhetoric,” calling abortion “child killing.” I have been on the receiving end of such criticism myself, when in 2001, various abortion groups in New York held a rally against me and National Right to Life when that organization gave me their annual award at the Waldorf Astoria. The charge: I promoted violence through my aggressive rhetoric against abortion, and National Right to Life was only encouraging me.

After the murder of abortionist George Tiller in 2009, Ellen Goodman wrote an editorial called “The Myth of the Lone Shooter.” She repeats the standard line of the abortion industry: “The pro-life community reacted with shock … No doubt. But …were they also shocked by the everyday mainstream rhetoric that casually refers to abortion as murder?”

Pavone dismisses abortion advocates’ demand that the pro-life community conform to its message that abortion is “women’s healthcare,” as they also cover up the killing of unborn babies.

“In the coming months, we will intensify our multi-pronged Expose Abortion effort (, using the words of abortionists themselves, the photos and videos of abortion, and the corruption of the abortion industry to awaken the public to this violence,” Pavone announces. “The strategies we will employ, and the principles on which they rest, are explained at length in my new book, Abolishing Abortion, released this summer by Thomas Nelson publishers.”

Pavone also states that on Thursday, January 21, when many pro-lifers will be in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life, Priests for Life will hold a national prayer rally and protest against Planned Parenthood at its newest facility in the nation’s capital.

“Planned Parenthood and the entire abortion industry are committing crimes against humanity,” Pavone asserts. “We thank the Republican members of the Select Panel on Infant Lives for the work that they are committed to do to bring to light the facts that support this assertion.”

“As for the Democratic members of the panel, we will oppose their efforts to distort, dilute and deflect the meaning and purpose of the panel, and will steadfastly oppose their efforts to keep America’s holocaust going strong,” he states.


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