Last night at about 8 p.m., the Associated Press’s Roxana Hegeman became an early purveyor of the myth that abortion clinic-related violence and violence against abortionists has been a frequent and consistent occurrence during the past two decades when she wrote the following about the murder of Kansas abortionist George Tiller (saved here at host for future reference; bold is mine):
There was no immediate word of the motive (of) Tiller’s assailant. But the doctor’s violent death was the latest in a string of shootings and bombings over two decades directed against abortion clinics, doctors and staff.
But a look at the actual history of such violence accumulated by a pro-abortion group demonstrates that Tiller’s murder is correctly seen as a horrible, isolated incident following a long, sustained decline in violence.
Here is the “History of Violence” accumulated by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), broken down into four categories:
- Murder and shootings — There were none since 1998 until Tiller was murdered on Sunday. From 1993-1998, seven abortion doctors or abortion clinic employees were killed, and 12 others were injured, many very seriously. One cowardly killing after 11 murder-free and shooting-free years following a period of seven in six years does not signal a trend by any reasonable definition.
- Arsons and bombings — Starting in 1976, NAF lists 13 such crimes during the remainder of that decade, over 75 during the 1980s, over 100 during the 1990s, and 16 since the turn of the century. Only six arsons took place from 2004-2008. The last arson listed at NAF’s site occurred in December 2007. It should also be noted that arsons set by business owners in general to collect insurance money are not all that infrequent.
- Butyric acid attacks — Butyric acid is a clear, colorless liquid with an unpleasant, rancid, vomit-like odor. According to NAF, this clinic attack method was used “about 100″ times from 1991-1998, and has not been employed since.
- NAF lists over 650 antrax attacks and fake anthrax attacks from 1998-2002, and none since then. Over 550 of these occurred in 2001.
Overall, an “Extreme Violence” page at NAF listing activity from 1997-2007 identifies the following number of incidents per year:
As you can see, Rebecca Hegeman’s alleged “string” has been broken twice in the past three years.
Abortion clinic violence and violence against abortionists has generally been on such a steep decline during the past decade that MSNBC stopped updating a web page dedicated to the topic in the late 1990s.
Without recounting already-known details, the unique specifics of Tiller’s situation also supports the idea that his murder, which should of course be and I’m sure will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, will more than likely not be a part of a new “string” of similar ones throughout the country.
Not that the establishment media types like the AP’s Hegemen, the ever-opportunistic Obama administration, or far-left blogs will particularly care about these facts.
There’s one more thing Ms. Hegemen forgot to note: The pre-born babies that George Tiller murdered were not available for comment.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.