Creative Destruction

July 18, 2006

Planned Parenthood Labels Alito, Roberts, Others: “Terrorists”

Filed under: Feminist Issues — Robert @ 12:36 pm

The Planned Parenthood Federation has labeled organizations such as Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America, and individuals including Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts as “terrorists” and “extremist organizations” on the organization’s official website. (Archived screenshots of the page can be found at Go Pundit, Go, which broke the story.)

The groups which are listed as “extremist organizations” include: American Life League (ALL), Americans United for Life (AUL), Christian Coalition, Concerned Women for America (CWA), Eagle Forum, Family Research Council (FRC), Feminists for Life of America (FFL), Focus on the Family, Human Life International (HLI), Life Dynamics Incorporated (LDI), Missionaries to the Preborn, National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), Operation Save America (formerly known as Operation Rescue), Pro-Life Action League (PLAL), and STOPP International aka STOPP Planned Parenthood.

The individuals who are listed as “terrorists” include: Samuel Alito, Flip Benham, John Bolton, Michael Bray, John Brockhoeft, Lester Crawford, James Dobson, Nathan Hecht, Karen Hughes, Phill Kline, Michael Leavitt, John H. Marburger, Harriet E. Miers, John G. Roberts, Ellen Sauerbrey, Randall Terry, Leslee Unruh, and Ann Veneman.

A call seeking comment from Planned Parenthood was not answered, and no return call was received by press time.

Update: A repeated call to the Planned Parenthood media office was not answered, and has not been returned, as of 1:26 PM MST.



  1. I wanted to keep my post completely objective, so here’s my editorial comment:

    There are some individuals and groups who can justifiably be labeled terrorists. The man (I’m not going to give his name) who shot abortion doctors (and there have been a couple like that), places like the website that listed the home address of abortion clinic employees – these folks are attempting to use threats and violence to control the discourse. That’s terrorism, and I won’t argue the point.

    However, nobody that PP is labeling as a “terrorist” is such a person or group. Instead, these are groups which take advantage of the freedom afforded by our political system to work to express their viewpoint, or they are people who hold anti-abortion views and act accordingly, within the bounds of the law and within the scope of the political action permitted to all of us.

    It is contemptible for PP to label these individuals and groups in this fashion, and their leadership should take a hard look at whichever individuals made the decision to write the website headline, and should take a hard look at the bunker mentality that led the group to think there was nothing wrong with it.

    Comment by bobhayes — July 18, 2006 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  2. By Planned Parenthood’s logic, they are an extremist organization. It is sad, but this kind of overreaction is typical among political groups. Planned Parenthood has a political agenda. As we have seen in recent elections and campaigns, slaughtering the reputation and character of your opponents is apparently part of the political game now. The word “terrorist” carries a certain connotation, and Planned Parenthood is clearly trying to evoke that to gain support. It is disgusting, as comparing pro-lifers to terrorists only serves to damage Planned Parenthood’s credibility, but I doubt that raises their concern. Such tactics have worked in the past, so what reason do they have to offer an explanation?

    Comment by toysoldier — July 18, 2006 @ 2:29 pm | Reply

  3. Toysoldier’s comments are right on point. Political rhetoric in the marketplace of ideas has become so polarized (or polarizing) that folks of all politic persuasions now routinely brand the opposition with epithets and the word that currently elicits the most viceral response: terrorist. I also agree with Bob Hayes in his comment to his own post that it’s contemptible. “Bunker mentality” is a good way of describing the mindset, and like our rhetoric, it’s commonly found and a sad state of affairs.

    Though it would be difficult to demonstrate, my suspicion is that a gradual dissolution of rational thought in favor or magical and emotion thinking makes this apparent extremism acceptable. It’s been seen before, of course, in the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and McCarthyism. The only difference this time may be how widespread it’s becoming. I’m not yet sure, though, and only throw this out as an idea.

    Comment by Brutus — July 18, 2006 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  4. My guess is that the word “terrorists” was intended to refer to these folks, who are linked to at the bottom of the same column, under the link “more.” I’ve had that happen on web pages I’ve created – as subject headings get split off and put into different areas, captions that used to be descriptive become inaccurate.

    I find that more likely than the theory that PP considers Alito a “terrorist,” or thinks that anyone else will be persuaded to think of Alito as a terrorist.

    Nonetheless, the page as it stands is appalling.

    But the page is certainly badly designed, if I’m right about what the intention was. (Sorry – that sentence was supposed to be deleted).

    Comment by Ampersand — July 18, 2006 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

  5. Looking at the HTML doesn’t really support that view, Amp.

    They have an H2 tag with the “terrorists” headline, then they have a list of links.

    Then they have another headline (“Quotes”) and the text of a quote.

    Only then does the “more” text you refer appear.

    The list of organizations and groups is specifically tied to that “terrorist” headline.

    However, I’m a reasonable person. It’s possible that your interpretation is correct, and they’re just really bad coders. If that were the case, I would imagine that PP would be answering the phone in their media office and explaining the situation. Instead of NOT answering, and not returning repeated phone calls from media people (me, frighteningly enough) seeking comment.

    Comment by bobhayes — July 18, 2006 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  6. I don’t see the conflict between what you point out about the HTML, and what I suggested as possible. It’s possible that the quote section – which seems to consist mostly of undeniable terrorists – was originally under the “terrorists” headline, but as it grew and became more of a quote list they split it off to a separate heading in the same column, but forgot to change the original heading.

    I’ve wound up with inappropriate labels and listings all the time as a result of editing and modifying the “Alas” sidebar. It’s the sort of mistake that’s very easy to make.

    Since it’s not certain that the people taking calls from the media are the same people who write and code the website, I wouldn’t read too much into the lack of instant replies. Especially when fielding calls from hostile media, it’s intelligent to find out what the story is internally before answering external queries.

    None of which alters my opinion that the web page, as it stands, is absolutely appalling.

    Comment by Ampersand — July 18, 2006 @ 3:37 pm | Reply

  7. Considering the rate in which articles like this spread through the media and across the web, it would better for Planned Parenthood to make a comment as soon as possible rather than give the appearance of supporting such radical views. In this age, silence implies one has something to hide.

    Comment by toysoldier — July 18, 2006 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  8. I’d say that these comments make CD a certified terrorist website now.

    Way to go, guys.

    Comment by Adam Gurri — July 18, 2006 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  9. Terrible.

    When Planned Parenthood start imprisoning those they call ‘terrorist’ and holding them without charge or legal process in jails in foreign lands, you’ll be sure to get back to me, won’t you?

    Comment by Daran — July 18, 2006 @ 11:48 pm | Reply

  10. “The individuals who are listed as “terrorists” include: Samuel Alito, Flip Benham, John Bolton, Michael Bray, John Brockhoeft, Lester Crawford, James Dobson, Nathan Hecht, Karen Hughes, Phill Kline, Michael Leavitt, John H. Marburger, Harriet E. Miers, John G. Roberts, Ellen Sauerbrey, Randall Terry, Leslee Unruh, and Ann Veneman.”

    Are those names actually listed under the heading of “terrorist”? Because when I looked at the website, they were listed under “Profiles of anti-choice extremists, political hardliners, and people in the news.” Your post is very misleading.

    Comment by Jill — July 19, 2006 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  11. they were listed under “Profiles of anti-choice extremists, political hardliners, and people in the news

    Under the headline “Terrorists and Extremist Organizations”.

    I post::

    * A list of organizations
    * A list of individuals

    Click on the link for kitten-killing individuals, and Jill Filipovic appears. Am I calling you a kitten-killer? Obviously.

    The post isn’t misleading; you’re bypassing the headline and saying that all that’s there is the list.

    [Edited to remove some unnecessary snark. Stupid Amp and his good example.]

    Comment by Robert — July 19, 2006 @ 12:44 pm | Reply

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