To the Editor:

I preface this piece by saying that I am staunchly anti-abortion. However, I too am appalled by the tactics of such groups as Operation Save America, which establish specious connections between tragedies such as the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and the ongoing practice of abortion in this country.Ê

The web site for Operation Rescue West, an affiliate of OSA, refers to 9/11 in the following manner: “Today the Lord has visited our land in judgment.”

The case of John Hamilton, a doctor who practiced abortions in the Oklahoma City area and who bludgeoned his wife to death, is referenced as well, and the author of the article laments that the criminal justice system discriminates between the “life of a pre-born baby and one of an adult,” saying that Hamilton has killed thousands of times, not just once. More gruesome still are the pictures on the site; several photos of aborted fetuses have been posted, among other things.Ê

We must respect the right of organizations such as this to publish their rhetoric. We must also acknowledge the right of these people to practice and promote their religious beliefs. But abortion rights and anti-abortion factions alike must condemn the violence perpetrated by members of OSA, or else those opposed to the practice of abortion risk justifying murder while in the same breath condemning another practice as tantamount to it.Ê

I write this as one who believes that dialogue is an absolute necessity regarding the abortion issue. For abortion rights leaders to lump all anti-abortionists into a broad category of “radical reactionaries,” or for anti-abortion activists to denounce all those in favor of a woman’s right to choose as “murderers” is to do a great disservice to each.

John McCormack ’04

March 6, 2002