The ‘right’ to kill

By Thomas Jipping

When a 16-year-old abortion protest case came back to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, there were as many agendas as there were justices.

Abortion extremists believe the so-called “right” to kill children trumps everything. It trumps a woman’s right to informed choice – the extremists oppose requiring the same informed consent for abortion as for other medical procedures. It trumps the right of religious conscience – the extremists oppose allowing health-care workers to opt out when killing children conflicts with their religious beliefs. It trumps democracy – the extremists want to preserve a national abortion policy not in the Constitution that the American people have never chosen for themselves. It trumps free speech – the extremists want to ban pro-lifers from speaking to women on public sidewalks about alternative choices to killing children.

So it’s no surprise that the abortion extremists find the rule of law no major hurdle in their defense of child killing. It doesn’t matter how they play the game, only that they win. For nearly 17 years, abortion extremists have misused the federal racketeering law to destroy the right of social protest – a right exercised by Carrie Nation in the saloon, Martin Luther King at the lunch counter, and Joe Scheidler in front of the abortion clinic.

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act allows either civil suit or criminal prosecution for a “pattern of racketeering activity.” That pattern is made up of various “predicate acts” including extortion, defined in the Hobbs Act as obtaining another’s property by threat of force or violence. Virtually every word in that definition – from “obtaining” and “property” to “threat” and “violence” – must be twisted into a linguistic pretzel to be applied to this case.

The National Organization for Women sued Joe Scheidler in 1986 for racketeering, first claiming he had violated the antitrust laws (they really said that). Needless to say, that bunch of hooey was thrown out. So NOW made up something else, this time claiming Scheidler was an extortionist. The eventual jury verdict against Scheidler was based on four unidentified incidents by unidentified protesters.

The bottom line is that there was never evidence of anything more than a peaceful demonstration which briefly prevented some women from entering an abortion clinic. That’s it. As Scheidler’s attorney admitted to the Supreme Court, this may have amounted to trespass. The question for the Court, however, is whether trespass becomes extortion merely because one’s political opponent says so. Let’s hope not.

During the oral argument on Wednesday, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor interrupted Scheidler’s lawyer to insist that the defendant’s behavior in this case was not simply non-violent expressive conduct. She said that “there were assaults” in this case. NOW continues to make the most bizarre allegations of everything from murder and arson to bodyslammings and beatings, all of which are entirely made up out of thin air and which were long ago dismissed.

But false, though politically useful, propaganda lives on. During an on-line chat with Scheidler’s chief counsel following Wednesday’s oral argument, one chatterer said that “the right to free speech does not give someone the right to batter someone.” Batter someone? Another claimed that Scheidler “supports and participates in mass murder.” The truth is that NOW, and other abortion extremists, support and participate in mass murder. I wish you could meet Joe Scheidler, a former monk, a father of seven and grandfather of 10. Another chatterer said: “I do not see how assaults, arsons and murders can be lumped together with sit-ins.” They can’t. But since Scheidler did not commit arson or murder but did lead a sit-in, no such lumping is necessary.

If non-violent protest can be turned from trespass into extortion, then everyone’s rights are at risk. The rule of law is supposed to be both rule and law. Destroying both by twisting a law designed to prevent John Gotti’s shaking down the local merchant into a weapon to destroy political opponents will ruin much more than Joe Scheidler.

Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily will mark the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s most controversial decision in history – Roe v. Wade (Jan. 22, 1973) – by dedicating the entire January 2003 edition of its acclaimed monthly Whistleblower magazine to the subject of abortion. WND’s editors guarantee readers they will never think about abortion the same way after they read this powerful issue. Subscribe to Whistleblower now and receive two free gifts from WND.

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