Tags: Abortion | Donald Trump | George Floyd Protests | Trump Administration | lafayette | square | constitutional

Anti-Abortion Supporters Won't Be Silent When Peaceful Protesters Are Abused

george floyd protest near lafayette park in washington dc

Protesters Demonstrate In Washington, D.C. Against Death of George Floyd. June 4, 2020 - Rain falls over a peaceful protest near Lafayette Park and the White House. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Friday, 05 June 2020 03:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Pro-abortion feminist writer Katha Pollitt recently said that she didn’t care whether or not candidate Joe Biden sexually assaulted Tara Reade, because "taking back the White House" is that important.

This is reminiscent of a famous view from another feminist writer, back in 1998, during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. Nina Burleigh, said she would still support then-President Bill Clinton, in spite of Clinton's affair, "for keeping abortion legal."

Conservatives and those who are anti-abortion rightly pointed out the hypocrisy: feminists, claiming to be for protecting women from male abuse of power and privilege, declaring its all OK as long as political needs are met.

In January of 2016, national anti-abortion women leaders sent out a press release decrying Donald Trump’s candidacy, saying:  . . . "as women, we are disgusted by Mr. Trump’s treatment of individuals, women, in particular.  . . . America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women."

Of course, this was before he became the only game in town, and the above warning turned to enthusiastic support: Donald Trump became the only barrier to Hillary Clinton, whose abortion advocacy would have been horrific.

There is little question that President Trump has delivered to his anti-abortion supporters.

He has supported crucial prolife legislation, nominated conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, and, in his speeches, spoken eloquently about the value of human life, and about religious liberty.

This is important.

However, his chaotic leadership in the White House and his disturbing personal behavior (especially his endless, vindictive tweets) have furthered divisions in an already divided anti-abortion movement.

Some are anti-Trump, holding that he is actually harming the movement in the long-run; some support him reluctantly because of the alternative; and others have created a sort of St. Augustine-like moral hero, a man who was admittedly a terrible sinner but has repented and now leads in the good fight.

Among the latter group, some will brook absolutely no criticism of him and turn angrily on anyone who dares.

This is not healthy. No one is beyond criticism.

In fact, we often criticize the people from whom we expect the most.

The anti-abortion movement ought to be able to stand apart from politics and parties and insist on overarching principles.

One of those principles is the constitutional right to protest injustice. I believe that what transpired in Lafayette Square on June 1st ought to give us pause.

We know that a crowd of protesters — eyewitness reports and video evidence portray peaceful people — were forcibly dispersed, 20 minutes before the previously announced 7:00 pm curfew.

Park police, secret service and National Guard members advanced with riot shields and with smoke bombs, pepper bombs, rubber bullets and canisters of some kind of gas, terrifying the crowd.

The park police say force was used because "violent protestors on H Street N.W. began throwing projectiles including bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids," but it's also confirmed that U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr had already ordered the perimeter to be cleared.

So was this pre-planned, or a reaction to violence? And could they have cleared the perimeter in a less terrifying and potentially harmful manner?

And how much does this have to do with the sort of reality-show scripted event of the evening, where President Trump declared in his Rose Garden speech that he was "your law and order president" while crowds were forcibly dispersed ahead of his surprise walk to St. John’s Episcopal church?

Here is what I think — and, anti-abortion friends, you may disagree, and criticize me; it's OK.

The anti-abortion movement is a civil rights one.

We continually engage in peaceful protests.

A tiny fringe group of us have broken the law and been violent, committing even murder.

Some of us break the law peacefully and get arrested on purpose to protest unjust laws.

The vast majority of us are law abiding and peaceful.

We depend on the protection of our constitutional rights and on honorable police to protect our bodily well-being.

What if the regimes in D.C. are reversed? It’s not hard to imagine this scenario.

An abortion rights party is in power. Anti-abortion protesters are in Lafayette Square.

The president uses his authority to call in the military.

Questions swirl about whether anyone was breaking the law; the administration asserts the anti-abortion movement is violent and dangerous, eyewitnesses insist that at that location and time, protests were peaceful, but people don’t care, because … it’s all in the name of keeping abortion legal.

We need to have the courage to examine the facts about Lafayette Square and make it clear that the anti-abortion movement will not look the other way if the constitutional rights of peaceful protesters are denied.

Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor in chief of the Human Life Review (www.humanlifereview.com), a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci's articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. Read Maria McFadden Maffucci's Reports — More Here.

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We need to have the courage to examine the facts about Lafayette Square and make it clear that the anti-abortion movement will not look the other way if the constitutional rights of peaceful protesters are denied.
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2020-27-05
Friday, 05 June 2020 03:27 PM
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