“I think about the public outcry that there was for an elk, and I think about the thousands of babies — healthy, full-term babies — that are killed down the street from where they paraded a stupid elk down the road.”
So spoke Abby Johnson to about 300 people on the campus of the University of Colorado as part an anti-abortion talk, or rant, or fever-dream soliloquy, or whatever description best fits
Abortion is an unpleasant topic and for obvious reasons is extremely emotionally charged. This, however, no excuse for slinging bullshit. If self-described anti-abortion crusaders were barred from lying or making abysmal analogies at nearly every opportunity, almost all of them would immediately fall mute.This blowhard, who has a penchant for smug and nasty Twitter behavior, is comparing the gratuitous shooting of an elk (which was apparently “stupid”) by Boulder police officers to the “thousands” of late-term abortions of supposedly performed by a single doctor in Boulder.
While statistics concerning such things are not easy to come by, and “late-term” is a subjective description, even Fox News reported 13 years ago that fewer than 100 abortions are performed per year in the entire U.S. after 24 weeks’ gestation — about one one-hundredth of 1 percent. Since then, the number of total abortions has been steadily dropping, and will turn out to have been about 40 to 50 percent lower in 2015 than it was in 2003. So the idea that the doctor mentioned in the story has performed “thousands” of such abortions in his career is ludicrous.
The real issue, though, isn’t simply that this person is lying. It’s that these kinds of lies carry a lot of potential for serious damage. Violence against abortion doctors is hardly unheard of, and here we have some morally confused gadabout trying to work through her guilty conscience by, among other things, putting the doctor squarely in the sights of potential perpetrators of that violence.
Of course, if someone actually does show up at the doctor’s clinic in the aftermath of this presentation and shoot him, Ms. Johnson would claim to have had nothing whatsoever to do with it, and would likely chalk it up to “God’s will” anyway.