On Sunday night, pro-life activist Jill Stanek returned to her home in the Chicago suburbs to find a Target bag with a cinder block in it had been thrown through her window. Taped to the cinder block was a note saying "QUIT THE PRO-LIFE B---S---." She told Barbara Hollingsworth at our sister site CNSNews.com that this act of vandalism “gave me a strange reassurance that I was still on the right track and doing what God wants me to do. I’m making a difference. What I’m doing still bothers them.”
Jill was a writer here at NewsBusters before taking on a new role with the Susan B. Anthony List, and we know she has been a reliable media critic for years on this important social issue. So I asked her to assess how this scary event would be mediated.
As she published photos on her Facebook page, she said in the "scheme of things," this attack was "nothing," Clearly it's not something anyone would like to happen at their home because of their political beliefs. No one noticed this attack in the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Sun-Times. Smaller threats have gotten coverage in the Illinois press. A mere posted threat at an abortion clinic in Champaign, for instance.
What if this exact incident happened to say, Carole Brite (the head of Planned Parenthood in Illinois)? Would it be noticed? Stanek guessed "certainly if an identical act of vandalism had been committed at Carole Brite's home, not only would local press be all over it, so would national press."
I also wondered if Jill downplayed this as "nothing" because of what she has written about the untimely deaths of women choosing abortions, like Tonya Reaves or Lakisha Wilson? "I downplayed what happened to me in consideration of the preborn babies being slaughtered or the suffering of Christians around the world, including torture and death," she told me. "In comparison, what was done to me would be embarrassing to complain about. No, I wasn't even thinking of maternal abortion victims like Tonya or Lakisha."
Most people might ask Jill if this is something that she faces routinely because of her pro-life activism: Do angry people attack you in public?
"In social circles, I don't get much heat. Most pro-abortion friends I had, say 15 years ago, before I became involved in the pro-life movement, aren't in my social circle any more, probably the fault on both our ends. I began hanging with different like-minded people, and they had less in common with me," she said. "I do sense my neighbors, friends, and even church friends not involved in the pro-life movement are a bit nervous or uncomfortable with the pro-life topic and/or my activism. But the only real anger I see is online, like you, or when I'm at a protest."
We all know abortion is a very emotional issue, but Jill's articles were not inflammatory in tone. It's not "hate speech." What does this say about how the side that calls itself "pro-choice" can't really be tolerant of people who think it's "a child, not a choice"?
Stanek replied, "As NB documents on a daily basis, we see growing intolerance on the Left for any socially conservative views. What they see and hear from us is condemnation, blame, 'slut-shaming,' et cetera.It's classic dark hating light shone on it. There is nothing new under the sun. The only change is where are we at in the circle? Right now the ultimate goal on the American Left is to block God from society."