The federal government's main database of global terrorism includes tens of thousands of attacks over the last seven years, a survey of strikes by Islamic extremists, secular anarchists, animal rights activists and eco-terrorists.
But missing among the statistics are numerous cases of anti-abortion violence in the United States, an omission that raises questions about what defines terrorism and underscores how sensitive the issue of reproductive rights remains -- even when dealing with statistics.
Anti-choice terrorism doesn't count as terrorism? Really? Harassment, threats, violence, bombings, murder—all for the explicit purpose of achieving the political goal of ending reproductive rights for women? That's not terrorism?
Apparently not, according to the National Counterterrorism Center:
Carl Kropf, an NCTC spokesman, declined to address why those specifics cases were not included in WITS. He said the database "employs the statutory definition of terrorism provided by U.S. Code, Title 22, Section 2656, which states that terrorism is 'premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.' Any incident that meets this criteria is listed by WITS."
Because those "pro-life" terrorists who have threatened, stalked, harassed, and murdered medical providers and their patients haven't been perpetuating "premeditated, politically motivated violence"? That's funny, because I seem to recall reading a report on one such "pro-life" organization that openly endorses "politically motivated violence" as a "superb tactic":
The organization has repeatedly provided a platform for extremists using violent rhetoric—including some who have encouraged individuals to “let a wave of intolerance” wash over them or applauded sniper attacks on abortion doctors as a “superb tactic.”
I guess that doesn't count, though, because abortion is such a complicated issue, that those who endorse and even engage in violence and terror aren't really terrorists; they're just passionate about their beliefs.
Of course it's terrorism. Engaging in violent rhetoric, and even acts of violence, in order to terrorize citizens into opposing rights for women is terrorism. Period. And if our government refuses to recognize it as such, then obviously we have a much bigger problem than just the terrorists. Because we can't begin to fight against this kind of domestic terrorism, until we can first acknowledge that it exists.