When a Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin was bombed last weekend, it was widely reported but largely underplayed. Little in-depth reporting was done on the attack, few politicians spoke up about the bombing and the bomb itself was repeatedly described as “small” and “homemade.” (Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks noted, “Have you ever seen a media report when a Muslim puts a bomb somewhere and they go, ‘Well, don’t worry about it, it was just homemade’.”)
Teri Huyck, president of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin, released a statement saying that there was minimal damage and, thankfully, that no staff had been present.
“Our primary concern today—as always—is our patients, staff and volunteers. Women deserve safe and compassionate care, and we are proud to provide it. Rest assured, our doors will remain open for the thousands of women who rely on Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin each year for high quality health care.”
Anti-choice organizations and politicians were quick to condemn the bombing. Rick Santorum released a statement that “violence against our fellow citizens has no place in a freedom-loving America,” but made sure to add that Planned Parenthood should still be defunded. Romney had no comment, despite the fact that the bombing happened just days before the Wisconsin primary. (A few weeks ago, Romney said to a local reporter, “Planned Parenthood, we’re gonna get rid of that.”) Wisconsin Right to Life Executive Director Barbara Lyons condemned the bombing, saying that the organization was committed “to using compassionate and non-violent means to end the tragedy of abortion.”
The lukewarm (or in Romney’s case, nonexistent) statements against the clinic bombing are just the beginning of a predictable response from the right—that most anti-choicers condemn violence, that the perpetrator was a lone lunatic and that the unwavering war against women’s reproductive health and freedom has nothing to do with the bombing.
But this kind of domestic terrorism is a foreseeable result of a conservative culture that uses violent rhetoric and lies about women’s reproductive health to rile up the anti-choice public. Planned Parenthood has been accused (falsely) of supporting sex trafficking, trying to “hook” kids on sex so they’ll need abortions later in life and being mass murderers. Some anti-choice leaders have even accused abortion providers of eating fetuses. This is how incendiary and ridiculous the attacks against Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers have gotten.