COMMENTARY: On behalf of the pro-life movement in Las Cruces, we are saddened and outraged by the violence committed on Friday outside of Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs.
The killer has been described as a “deeply disturbed” and “rambling and incoherent” recluse who, though reportedly opposed to abortion, never talked about it and had no connection with the pro-life movement.
Police Officer Garrett Swasey, a pro-life Christian pastor, gave his life defending Planned Parenthood from the deranged attacker, and their officials have confirmed that none of those killed or injured were among their staff or patients. Our prayers go out to all the victims of this violence and their families.
While authorities have not confirmed the killer’s motive or intended target, many have presumed an anti-abortion intent for this senseless assault. Regardless of his deranged justification, aggression against human life is always wrong, whether outside or inside an abortion clinic. Just being anti-abortion is not enough to call someone pro-life.
From its inception, the pro-life movement in America has been committed to non-violence, and we in this movement reaffirm that commitment today. Anyone who feels that violence against human life warrants yet more violence against even more human lives is by definition not pro-life.
No person who carries out, intends to carry out, or justifies in theory such acts of violence has any part in our movement, our organization, or our efforts. We furthermore pledge to redouble our efforts to advance a climate of nonjudgmental understanding and peaceful non-violence.
We respect the sanctity, dignity, and intrinsic value of each individual human life, at every stage of biological life, from conception to natural death. This includes the lives of those who disagree with us as well as those who perform abortions.
In short, violence against human life is not an acceptable way of resolving this (or any) problem. The pro-life movement peacefully protests the violence of abortion with love and prayer for all, including and especially abortive mothers and abortion providers.
Building a culture of life and liberty
This is the only appropriate and effective response. It has helped countless mothers choose life and hundreds of abortion clinic workers leave their industry, leading to the closure of more abortion clinics and the saving of more lives than any law, election, or act of violence.
We are pro-life precisely because we vehemently deplore and oppose the initiation or threat of force against the life, liberty, or property of any other person, regardless of age, size, race, gender, level of development, economic worth, perceived quality of life, etc.
This is why we oppose all savage acts of violence against human life, such as abortion, infanticide, murder, capital punishment, euthanasia, offensive wars, aggressive law enforcement, acts of vengeance, and all unjust killing.
This opposition to all aggression includes even the initiation of force against one’s own life, which is why we also oppose suicide and physician-assisted suicide.
Tragedies such as this shooting are regretful symptoms of our culture of death, wherein violence attracts more violence and the response to aggression is often, sadly, just more aggression. As the renowned pacifist Mother Teresa lamented, “We must not be surprised when we hear of murders, of killings, of wars, of hatred. If a mother can kill her own child, what is left but for us to kill each other?”
Please join us in rejecting all aggression, denouncing all unjust violence, and working to build a culture of life and liberty that respects every individual human person, no matter how small. Truly, all lives matter.
Mark Cavaliere is executive director of a startup pro-life ministry called Las Cruces for Life. In the last year, since abortion has resumed in Las Cruces, he has led three “40 Days for Life” campaigns and multiple peaceful protests against preborn child killing. Their ministry plans to eventually offer full-time sidewalk counseling outside any local abortion facility.