Rewire editor accuses pro-lifers of fueling Orlando shooting spree

Jodi Jacobson of Rewire (formerly RH Reality Check)

Jodi Jacobson of Rewire (formerly RH Reality Check)

To most people, this weekend’s horrible shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida, committed by a radical Muslim swearing allegiance to ISIS, wouldn’t seem to have anything to do with abortion. But Rewire (formerly RH Reality Check) is not run by most people.

On Sunday, the site’s president and editor-in-chief, Jodi Jacobson (pictured), used the atrocity as a springboard to declare that “inciting hatred and violence” is “who we are as a nation” because, among other hysterical accusations, America is “a country in which women’s rights to their own bodies are a subject of ongoing debate [and] medical professionals are villainized and murdered.”

And here you thought terrorism had something to do with a radical ideology that predates America’s existence. Nope! Turns out it’s your fault for telling people, er, that killing babies is wrong. It’s even your fault when the attack has absolutely nothing to do with abortion. Not since Hillary Clinton said pro-life candidates reminded her of terrorists have we seen a more outlandish attempt to slander the pro-life movement.

If Jacobson were honest, she wouldn’t pretend protecting another body inside a pregnant woman was infringing on her right to “her own body.” She wouldn’t pretend “villainizing” abortionists for butchering children and endangering women was somehow different than any other instance of condemning sham “doctors” for making a mockery of the medical profession. She wouldn’t pretend eight murders in almost 40 years (0.056% of a single year’s overall murders in the US) tell us much of anything, let alone indict millions of peaceful pro-life Americans.

She wouldn’t pretend there was the foggiest causal link between “don’t kill your preborn child” and “shoot gay people.”

Jacobson tries to sustain this bile with some false equivalency: “The beliefs of Islamic fundamentalists are condemned, but the same views when espoused by conservative Christian fundamentalists are given legal and social approval by both parties.” When, exactly, have Islamic fundamentalists said similar things about abortion as elected officials or “conservative Christian fundamentalists”? The author has no examples. When have pro-lifers said anything even vaguely akin to jihadist diatribes? Again, no examples.

What, exactly, is the difference between the hatred spewed by radical Islamists and that by conservative Christian fundamentalists in the United States?

Apparently the difference is huge; otherwise you would have come up with a few pairs of quotes for comparison (she cites two allegedly homophobic comments by Marco Rubio and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, but not only are they completely unrelated to abortion, they aren’t even homophobic, hateful, or violent in any plausible way).

How can any less responsibility be laid at the feet of the U.S. politicians and their supporters for violence and terror when they espouse the same forms of hatred and marginalization as those they blame for that terror?

False premise that “U.S. politicians and their supporters” espouse “hatred and marginalization” aside, when did “because they didn’t commit acts of violence and terror” stop being a self-evident answer?

Why are we so quick to connect the lone gunman in Orlando with Islam and so unwilling to connect the “lone wolves” like Robert Dear, Angel Dillard, and Scott Roeder with the Christian right.

Uh, because there actually are large and influential Islamic groups encouraging violence, whereas the pro-life movement never legitimizes violence in the first place and unanimously condemns it whenever it happens? Because the gunman claimed dedication to ISIS and ISIS claimed him back, whereas the violent anti-abortion activists you cherry-picked really were lone wolves?


(Rewire says that Dillard, who didn’t actually engage in violence but was sued by the Justice Department for writing to an abortionist that someone might someday plant an explosive under her car, had “connections” to pro-life groups, but nothing suggesting she told to or heard from them anything even remotely related to violence.)

Christian fundamentalist hatred is not “better” than Islamic fundamentalist hatred. White American misogyny is not “better” than Islamic fundamentalist misogyny […] We like to act the victim, but we are the perpetrators.

With that, we have a spiritual successor to a demented column one of Jacobson’s colleagues penned in 2014, equating the pro-life movement with the Taliban.

The wild caricaturing of peaceful views one disagrees with, refusal to see an ocean of difference between them and the nightmarish examples of literal fundamentalist hatred right before one’s eyes, the galling hypocrisy of blaming everyone else for violence despite belonging to the only major American political movement expressly championing violence against any innocent human beings…it’s all there, every bit as dishonest and indefensible.

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