The Variable Value of Human Life

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Animal Farm

An elderly, disabled, pro-life activist dependent on an oxygen tank and who wore leg braces was gunned down in Michigan. Had the man been an abortionist or a leftist activist like a Bush-era anti-war protester, the death of Jim Pouillon would have been news all week. Instead, it got buried in the weekend news cycle.

Compared to the media coverage of the murder of George Tiller, which pro-life activists repudiated, the murder of Jim Pouillon has garnered no national coverage. This despite the fact the murderer has admitted he killed Pouillon because of his pro-life activities.

A number of leftist justifications argue this isn’t the same as the George Tiller case, contending Pouillon’s murderer was 1) mentally unstable, 2) not a pro-choice activist, and 3) had two other targets and therefore this was not a crime against pro-lifers.

The arguments themselves are fairly reasonable. However, when compared to the media coverage of anti-abortion shootings, wide double standards exist.

In the first place, Eric Rudolph, whose 1998 bomb killed an off-duty Atlanta police officer who worked at an abortion clinic, also had multiple targets, many not related to abortion. John Salvi, who killed two women at an abortion clinic in Massachusetts in the 1990s, was a mentally unstable young man who committed suicide in jail and showed signs of schizophrenia. Further, the anti-abortion killers have existed on the fringes of the pro-life movement and have been condemned roundly. Yet all of these killings count against the pro-life movement in this country, while the killing of Pouillon is treated as irrelevant.

Consider also that the Pouillon killing hasn’t been the only violence committed against pro-life activists. This past summer, in Phoenix, a man pulled a gun on a pro-lifer who handed a pamphlet to his girlfriend just one week after another man in Chico, California, tried to run down a sixty-year-old pro-life protester.

And, that’s not all. David Brody of CBN News reports the FBI is looking into increased death threats against pro-lifers, many coming after the Tiller killing, when irresponsible media figures branded pro-life activists as nutty terrorists in reaction to the first anti-abortion murder in nearly a decade. Given recent events, will Keith Olbermann be the one with blood on his hands, as he famously slandered Bill O’Reilly?