HuffPo, Mother Jones Claim Pro-Life Group OKs Killing Abortionists

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 28, 2011   |   4:27PM   |   Washington, DC

Two liberal publications, the Huffington Post and Mother Jones, have seized on a recent dustup in an attempt to make one mainstream pro-life group appear as if it is copacetic with shooting abortion practitioners.

A national controversy recently ensued over legislation in South Dakota that pro-abortion detractors wrongly said would give people a legal defense against shooting abortion practitioners. The bill never did that and the intent of the legislation was actually to help pregnant women fend off violent attackers who prey on them and their unborn children.

Americans United for Life is the sponsor of the model language South Dakota legislators relied on for their controversial bill — but the lawmakers made changes to the bill that went beyond the scope and intent of the model language AUL put together.

Still, that didn’t stop the pro-abortion publications from attacking the pro-life group.

With the scathing headline, “Revealed: The Group Behind the Bills that Could Legalize Killing Abortion Providers,” Mother Jones cited several people who criticized the “AUL-inspired legislation,” saying it “could be used to incite violence against abortion providers” and claiming “the series of AUL-backed bills allowing for justifiable homicide in defense of a fetus have all helped put the culture wars back on the nation’s front pages.”

The Huffington Post went further with its headline, directly saying “Americans United For Life Behind Bills Seeking To Legalize Killing Abortion Providers.”

The “media outlet” claims “these measures could invite violence against abortion providers and possibly provide legal cover to the perpetrators of such crimes.

But Americans United for Life Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke tells the “anti-life media once again got their facts wrong” in reporting about AUL’s “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act.” 

She said the model legislation seeks to ensure that a pregnant woman and her unborn child are protected from criminal violence and that her decision to carry her child to term is respected and that the model legislation was drafted in direct response to the well-documented and growing problem of pregnancy-related violence against women.

“Leave it to the anti-life lobby to claim that model legislation that shows respect for the choice a woman makes to keep her baby is flawed,” said Burke. “Research shows that pregnant women are more likely to be victims of domestic abuse. It is tragic that the pro-abortion lobby maligns efforts to protect these women.”

Burke points to the legislative findings section of the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act,” as providing evidence revealing how violence and abuse are often higher during pregnancy than during any other period in a woman’s lifetime. It notes the March of Dimes has produced statistics showing one in six pregnant women have been abused by a partner and points to a 1988 survey showing pregnant women are 60.6 percent more likely to be beaten than women who are not pregnant.

“In fact, a pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause,” Burke says. “And case after case has demonstrated that husbands or boyfriends are often the perpetrators of pregnancy-associated violence and that this violence is often directed at the unborn child or intended to end or jeopardize the pregnancy.” [related]

AUL’s “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” does not allow the killing of abortion practitioners but, as written, provides that a pregnant woman may use force to protect her unborn child when she reasonably believes that unlawful force is threatening her unborn child and that her use of force is immediately necessary to protect her unborn child. The language explicitly limits the permitted use of force to a pregnant woman and does not expand it to third parties.  Thus, under the express terms of AUL’s carefully crafted and narrow language, the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” could not be used to justify criminal violence against abortion providers or anyone else.

Burke concludes: “Pro-abortion groups and their allies in the media, including Mother Jones and the Huffington Post, appeared to have intentionally distorted their reporting on the express language and purpose of AUL’s “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act” in an attempt to further their own political agendas.  Their actions are not only dishonest, but they do a grave disservice to the hundreds of thousands of pregnant woman who are assaulted or killed every year in this country.”