Feminist Majority Foundation
But even labeling these acts as terrorism doesn’t go far enough for many activists who have been monitoring this issue, and who say the warning bells have been sounding for some time — even before this summer’s propaganda videos. Even as violence decreased, clinics across the country and experienced a dramatic increase in threats, according to the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Clinic Access Project: “The percentage of clinics impacted by targeted threats and intimidation increased from 26.6% of all clinics in 2010 to more than half of all clinics in 2014, or 51.9%.” In the past, such targeted threats as “Wanted” posters with doctors’ faces on them have led to murders, which is why activists have been so concerned.
One of the reasons that there’s so much frustration with the framing of this ongoing domestic terrorism story is that law enforcement can’t — and shouldn’t — arrest people for speech or propaganda. Yet the press, which has done such a dogged job analyzing Islamist YouTube videos and researching the ISIS recruitment process on social media, could be an asset in exposing the truth about how domestic terrorism operates, and shining a light on that dark fringe environment in which it thrives. Independent media has been on the story for some time, but it certainly deserves the full cable-news or front-page treatment.
Merritt, of Reproaction, recalls that cable news devoted plenty of coverage of the doctored Planned Parenthood videos and the subsequent hearings in Congress, and outlets that covered those stories could have dug deeper. “The press is uniquely positioned to see the churning of violent rhetoric against Planned Parenthood,” she says. “When we look at international terrorism, we report on the power that rhetoric has for Daesh or other terrorist organizations. The mainstream press needs to put its thinking caps on and see that being born within the borders of the USA does not miraculously absolve people from committing terrorism.”