PORTLAND, Oregon, September 30, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Obama administration has teamed up with leading pro-abortion lobbyist groups to host a training seminar aimed at combating pro-life "violence" against the abortion industry, which is defined to include even free-speech activities such as pro-life picketing, boycotting, and signage.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice sponsored an August 29 seminar in the FBI's Portland headquarters. The names of Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), and the Feminist Majority Foundation appear prominently on the front page of a document prepared for the event which compiled statistics, a list of pro-life websites, and case summaries, among other data. The 84-page document was handed out by FBI and DOJ officials to participants, according to a source in attendance.
Although one portion of the document - on page 67 - lists "pro-life counseling centers" as among providers of "reproductive health services," the document is generally organized as a guide to the "organized assault on women's health care" by "anti-abortion extremists" since Roe v. Wade, and targets such activities as pro-life picketing and boycotting.
On page 67, a section entitled "US Department of Justice FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act) presentation" includes "large graphic signs etc. not covered" among actions that constitute "intimidation," and on page 15 specifically references the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform's Genocide Awareness Project among a list of recent pro-life "violence." [...]
One portion of the document lists the websites of several peaceful pro-life groups and leaders, such as David Bereit of 40 Days for Life, Judie Brown of the American Life League (ALL), Concerned Women for America, Human Life International, National Right to Life, Priests for Life, Rock for Life, Students for Life, and The Pill Kills, the ALL project noted by authors as an "anti birth control site."
According to the appended agenda, speakers included both FBI and DOJ officials as well as representatives from NAF and Planned Parenthood. The Alliance Defense Fund notes that Julie Abbate of USDOJ, one of the speakers at the meeting, also filed a federal lawsuit in August 2010 against a pro-life advocate solely for leafleting while once allegedly crossing a driveway.
Neither the FBI nor the Department of Justice have returned calls and emails placed by LifeSiteNews.com as of press time.
Some of us may, at times, find ourselves disagreeing with a particular approach taken by various pro-life groups; there is nothing wrong with that, and, indeed, it's a prudent thing to do to ensure that one's message of respect for life is loving and inviting. But even groups whose approaches I personally find distasteful have the constitutionally-protected right to freedom of speech. It is not intimidation or harassment to speak out against abortion.What is intimidating is having government officials investigate peaceful protesting as if it is itself inherently dangerous. But when abortion is legal, maintaining the fiction that it is simply a removal of some sort of parasitic growth instead of the direct and intentional killing of an innocent human being in her mother's womb becomes a sort of mandate, and stifling pro-life speech becomes an openly pursued aim of our government's corrupted officials.