By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan Education Coordinator
Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the 2022 election season entered its most critical stages, the rhetoric from elected officials and members of media who support abortion has been unhinged.
On September 20, that rhetoric came to a head with Richard Harvey shooting an 84-year-old prolife volunteer, a passionate lady who just wanted to talk to people who live in her town of Lake Odessa about Proposal 3.
This rhetoric is widespread and sustained. Read these comments in recent days from U.S. Senators, national media voices, and even the President of the United States of America:
“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our Republic.”
“These days it feels like we’re not just that the brink of Civil War, but that one has already begun.”
Legislators addressing abortion “is literally a call to arms in our country.”
“We have to kill and confront that movement”
“Obviously Republicans are, I think, the biggest threat to democracy. We don’t separate right-wing extremists and Republican Party anymore.”
“We are at war with these people. These folks are evil. They have allowed evil into their house with Donald Trump.”
Trump supporters’ plan is to “essentially, destroy the United States of America”
And of course, Governor Gretchen’s almost daily message to her constituents who support abortion: “Fight like hell.”
Marinating all day in these hateful screeds was the Harvey household, whose house the 84-year-old victim made the tragic mistake of visiting on September 20 to tell them to vote against Proposal 3, the abortion amendment in Michigan.
On September 27, the Harvey’s spoke with a Grand Rapids news station about the shooting. WOOD-TV’s evening news shows Richard and Sharon Harvey of Odessa Township claiming Mr. Harvey pulled his gun on the victim while she was peacefully canvassing to vote “no” on Proposal 3. Mr. Harvey said he accidentally pulled the trigger.
No one should fear violence while peacefully exercising their constitutionally protected right to free speech. The 84-year old woman is hardly imposing, standing about 5-feet tall. The idea that shooting this woman is at all excusable is a dangerous claim for Americans across the country who engage in peaceful door-to-door canvassing.
Why was a gun pulled on an short, 84-year-old lady?
A look through Sharon Harvey’s public posts on her Facebook page is a sad tour of vitriolic rhetoric being repeated day, after day, after day, for years on end. This is a person who believes—like President Biden and Governor Gretchen Whitmer—that people like the victim who see things differently on abortion or other issues are a grave threat to the republic, who if not confronted and stopped will be shipping people off to concentration camps, will forever end democracy, and let women die left and right because of ectopic pregnancies. She believes people like the victim are basically the Taliban.
What could have stayed a heated political discussion that ended peacefully and was totally forgotten years down the road by these ladies instead culminated with pulling a gun on a small, elderly woman and shooting her. This recklessly irresponsible rhetoric must end, and it must end now before more people are harmed.
The campaign of violence and threats against prolife pregnancy centers has come to Michigan and affected our own organization. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been silent about these terrorist activities, except to continue to repeat “fight like hell” to her followers over and over and over. Governor Whitmer has so far been silent about the shooting and attacks on pregnancy centers.
If Governor Whitmer cannot condemn this ongoing campaign of violence or the climate of violent rhetoric she contributes to daily, she should resign in shame as the leader of our state.
Enough is enough.