James Lawrence Pouillon, RIP

A dedicated pro-lifer named James Lawrence Pouillon was murdered outside of a high school. What makes it more egregious is that the man was handicapped and on oxygen, so the killer targeted one of the most defenseless in our society. Other than, of course, the unborn children he was trying to protect.

As CNN notes, “Authorities say the suspect, Harlan James Drake, was offended by anti-abortion material that the activist had displayed across from the school all week.” In one of the most bizarre attempts to spin this as a “crime of hate” and not a “hate crime,” we learn that:

Owosso Police Lt. Michael Compeau told reporters from The Detroit News that Drake didn’t have strong feelings about abortion one way or the other. “Mr. Drake did not believe children should view the graphic material on the signs Mr. Pouillon carried.”

A commenter on this wittily replied, “So, Drake didn’t like the highschoolers seeing graphic photos of aborted children. He thought having the kids see a brutal murder first-hand, right in front of their school was better.” Now just to be clear, here’s the sign that Mr. Pouillon died holding:

Wow. I can see why one would want high-schoolers to steer clear of signs showing what an infant looks like. On a more serious note, it might well be true that Pouillon sometimes carried the more graphic signs. Very well. On Saturday, coincidentally, I was at a lecture by Peter Kreeft: during the question and answer session, someone asked him his thoughts about this as a tactic. His reply is that the truth is sometimes an ugly thing, but its ugliness should be acknowledged. What’s more, he said, had signs like this shown what the concetration camps were doing during World War II, perhaps the Holocaust could have ended sooner. It’s hard to argue the logic – after all, we’ve allowed pro-choicers to sterilize so much of the issue of abortion by calling unborn children “embryos,” “fetuses” (which means “baby” in Latin), “D&C and D&X,” etc.; heck, even the term “abortion” just means to end something. Jargon is often used in this way – we’ve seen the same thing by torture proponents, who like to use buzzwords or technical terms to avoid calling evil things by name. An image depicting reality cuts through these attempts. It’s why the US Government doesn’t like pictures of soldiers’ coffins, it’s why the Abu Gharib pictures were so moving, and it’s why these pro-lifers are often quite successful. More precisely, they use graphic images and a positive message — “here’s what abortion is, you don’t want to do this.” And that’s what Pouillon was martyred for.
There have been numerous attempts to equate Pouillon and murdered abortionist George Tiller. Although my heart goes out for the Tiller family, these aren’t the same thing. First, Tiller was killed for what he did, not what he believed. He is said to have taken some 60,000 lives through abortion. Almost all Americans would agree that what he did was evil and wrong. Some think it’s necessary, but if Tiller had gone around bragging about this, even they would likely want him to shut up. Why? Same reason Harlan James Drake is said to have murdered Pouillon. As Americans, we don’t want to talk about the issue of abortion. We want it legal and off the table for discussion.
Now, if Pouillon had been shot by a vigilante for killing countless abortion doctors (60,000 is unrealistic, of course – only 5 have been murdered since Roe), he and Tiller would be equals: men who did evil things, who were stopped by men doing more evil things. But that’s not what Pouillon was shot. He was murdered for holding up a sign, for advocating for a cause that some people don’t want to hear about, in a way that some people don’t want to hear about it.
And what’s disturbing is that a number of pro-choicers are excusing, defending, or praising Pouillon’s murder. Mark Shea linked to this article on the murder, and the combox is scary. For example, “NapMom” writes:

Pro choice and proud.

It’s not like women intend to get pregnant so they can have an abortion. If more people made it easier to raise a child there would be no choice to be made. Nobody can afford to have a child anymore. Until the day a woman can be compensated for the effort and people welcome babies into the world, we have to do what we have to do and I prefer a clinic to a hanger. Barefoot and preggers in the kitchen is a dream gone with the wind. Women have to support other children, often alone, and work today. Some women are raped, molested, and/or will die in childbirth. It is not fair to force them to have unwanted babies. It is an individual choice and it is the law of the land today.

Don’t bring God into it either, he has killed lots of babies and we don’t need his forgiveness. You bible pounding, male chauvanistic, pompous, judgmental, right to lifers are hateful.

Some people deserve to be shot, that is why we are at war today, killing people over ideas. Some people are being aborted today because nobody wanted them or for several other legitimate reasons. Some people are committing suicide today because they think nobody wants them. Some people are going to die in their sleep tonight. Some are going to be hit by a car in the next minute. Some chose to sacrifice their life for mankind.

Dying is part of living, no matter how long or short you stick around. Be happy with what you have and don’t pass judgment on others. If I found out I was pregnant tomorrow, I would be first in line at Planned Parenthood and don’t get in my way.

This is, as far as I can tell, way more extreme than anything that pro-lifers have advocated. Certainly, there was a fringe (which the media promptly picked up on) that justified Tiller’s murder because he was a murderer. But this woman is literally saying it’s okay to kill people for thinking differently than you! And she seems to have no qualms about lumping abortion in with other forms of murder… after saying that some people “deserve” it. How one becomes so depraved by sin to think that children incapable of doing anything deserve to be murdered is a road I’d rather not travel down. Equally bizarre is how someone who is against freedom of expression (under penalty of death) calls herself “prochoice and proud.” Even the most radical pro-lifers don’t say we should ban the ability of pro-choicers to speak (nor did they when abortion was legal, in case someone would like to play the “they’re just out of power, you just wait” card).
So, after someone says something that vile, that insane, and directly defends (and incites) violence by someone people with certain views need to die, what’s the reaction?

Posted by uppermi on 09/11/09 at 3:54PM
@NapMom
Thank you! for bring up the fact that its too expensive these days to raise a child. people complain about paying for healthcare yet they want a pregnant woman to bring another disease bag into the world. Conflicting ideologies and morals … get your facts straight.
NapMom said it best when “don’t pass judgment on others” was written. If you practice religion this little phrase should be right at the top (Dont ask me…)

and

Posted by 3Readerz on 09/14/09 at 8:20AM
NapMom has made the most valid & sensible comment posted here! I’m feeling it, sista!!!

Literally… that’s the response. No one rebuked her fanaticism, and two other posters held her comments up as “the most valid & sensible comment” that “said it best” for wanting to kill infants… oh, I’m sorry, “disease bags,” before they’re born.

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