Pro-life Killer, Robert Dear

Women's bodies are not battlefields.

Women’s bodies are not battlefields.

It seems strange when a “pro-lifer” kills.

Like Robert Dear’s recent mass shooting.

Yet “pro-lifers” are less interested in sustaining life than in controlling women.

That sounds crazy, but check this out:

Pro-lifers aren’t really pro-life

“Pro-life” politicians often (in fact, usually) vote against:

  • Allowances for abortion to protect a mother’s life or health
  • Prenatal care for the poor (which supports live births)
  • Food stamps
  • Universal health insurance
  • Medicaid, Obamacare
  • HPV vaccination for cancer
  • Legislation to stop climate change
  • Gun control

That last one helps men like Robert Dear to go on shooting sprees.

Pro-lifers actually want to control women

“Pro-lifers” are often conservatives who are intent on making sure that women are controlled. Many believe:

  • Women should obey their husbands
  • Women should be modest — allowing others to tell them what to wear
  • A woman’s place is in the home — making her more dependent on a man

The next two “pro-life” stances also make it harder for women to be financially independent — leaving them more dependent on men (and more easily controlled by them):

  • No right to terminate a pregnancy
  • Limited rights or no right to contraception (even though it prevents abortion)
Officer Garrett Swasey, killed by Robert Dear

Officer Garrett Swasey, killed by Robert Dear

Many abusive boyfriends and husbands hide or destroy their partner’s contraception for that reason.

Meanwhile, televangelist, Pat Robertson, is against abortion in the US, but is okay with forced abortions in China (due to overpopulation). He’s only consistent in controlling women: trying to prevent US women from terminating a pregnancy and trying to prevent Chinese women from keeping one.

Robert Dear isn’t pro-life; he wants to control women

Obviously, anyone who would go into a clinic and start shooting people is not pro-life.

The mis-named Mr. Dear wants to force women to follow his religious beliefs (no abortion) or be killed.

But he follows a very different standard, himself. “He was a man of religious conviction who sinned openly,” says the New York Times.

An ex-wife explains,

He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases.

But women must do what he wants.

Including past wives or girlfriends he abused when they didn’t.

He also has a BDSM fetish. I can only guess that he wants to be the dominator.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on December 2, 2015, in feminism, psychology, reproductive rights, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. I enjoyed reading this post from letter to letter and you bring up valiant points why so many pro-lifers are totally wrong on their stance on abortion. It should be the female’s decision to abort a pregnancy and her decision alone. Not all circumstances are the same, of course, the female might dealing with her own health problems, the fetus might have some sort of medical complication, or even if the female isn’t ready to become a mother. I agree with your ideas that the female has the right to choose to do whatever she wants with her body. However, I find it off-putting that you would blame the gun laws in America for this heinous crime. Other than that, I found this blog very interesting in many ways.

    • Sorry you found it offputting. But if you don’t have some sorts of limits, Like background checks that can keep guns out of the hands of wife batters, the mentally ill and terrorists, you have more deaths.

      If you look at countries with stronger gun laws than ours, they have way fewer deaths.

  2. peterdjames:

    “I haven’t met a pro-lifer that fits the extremes you talk about. I guess it’s just the circles you run in + media coverage you read.”

    So? Why would you have? You are not the target of their ire. Your experience doesn’t trump mine and a lot of other women who have encountered vile misogyny while advocating for women’s rights or merely seeking health care at a clinic.

    “At the end of the day, there are far more babies being innocently killed with legalized abortion than there were women dying from desperate illegal abortions. If we can’t save both why not save more? Not to mention save the ones who don’t have a choice at all. Women have a choice to not put their lives at risk with illegal abortions.”

    That really looks like an argument that it’s okay to sacrifice a few women’s lives for the “greater good” of all the babies born through compelling women via the force of law and prosecution to gestate them. That is not only an incredibly callous attitude toward those women but basically a statement that women should be reduced to the status of state-owned breeding chattel while we’re in our childbearing years. That would seriously hinder the ability of many women to enjoy freedom and full lives. And you’re one of the “non-extreme” anti-abortion advocates? Yikes.

  3. You make some great points in this blog post about the contradictory motives behind what many “pro-lifers” try to emphasize and enforce. Their efforts are so focused on controlling women and condemning their ability to choose what happens to their body, that they actually enable more death than life. Planned Parenthood is a very good example of this! They offer so many significant free and low cost services, such as exams, pregnancy tests, birth control and the treatment of STIs. Only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood carries out abortions. The points you made under “Pro-lifers actually want to control women” conveyed to me that the conservatives behind this movement truly are trying to control women. Robert Dear is a walking contradiction. He states that he is pro-life yet can take lives of innocent and exploit women. Doesn’t seem very “pro-life” to me.

  4. It is interesting to me that the term “pro-life” seems to exclude a lot of consideration for the life of women.. once more patriarchal values devaluing the life of women.

    • Yeah, of women whose pregnancy threatens their lives or desperate women who might die trying to abort. Plus all the cuts to food stamps (75% go to families with children, the elderly and disabled), trying to get rid of Obamacare, against gun-control…

  5. Reblogged this on Rcooley123's Blog and commented:
    Excellent essay on the hypocrisy of “pro-life” people who commit mass murder at Planned Parenthood clinics. Calling these people and those who refuse to call them out “pro-life” is sophistry of the highest order.

  6. “He wants to control women.”
    Aside from the PP shooting, a look into his past also makes that clear.

  7. Again… I agree with you that these pro-lifers are awful and that their motives and conclusions are completely off base.

    But I wish you would stop writing as if ALL pro-lifers are this way.

    The loud, extreme, hateful pro-lifers always get the most coverage because it sells better with the media than level-headed compassionate pro-lifers.

    As we discovered on your last anti-pro-life post, the only difference between you and me is, after acknowledging that it’s impossible to save both women and babies from dying, that one prefers to save desperate women and the other prefers to save innocent babies.

    For instance, I only believe one of the five pro-lifer beliefs you mention, not terminating a pregnancy.

    Both of us mourn the fact that, in either case, people die and lose their freedom.

    There are people who read your blog who only know about pro-lifers from what they read in blogs/news. It’s not fair to any level-headed compassionate, and pro-woman pro-lifer those readers may meet and subsequently judge based off of hearsay alone.

    • Yes, I realize that some pro-lifers are sincere about saving lives. It’s just that I personally don’t know any who don’t also vote against a lot of life-saving legislation like those I listed in the bullet points. So none of them are actually pro-life.

      And legislation against abortion doesn’t end abortion, anyway. Desperate women go to states where they can more easily get abortions, or seek out dangerous back ally abortionists, or do it themselves – and end up dying. So the legislation doesn’t actually end up saving lives. It takes them.

      Countries with few restrictions on abortion, like northern Europe, have way less abortion then countries that have a lot of restrictions, like Uganda or Latin America. That’s because countries like those in Northern Europe are more likely to have sex education, available contraception, and they don’t make women feel shamed to use contraception.

      • Well now you sorta know one who votes for ALL of those life-saving legislations that you mentioned. And most of my friends also vote that way. I haven’t met a pro-lifer that fits the extremes you talk about. I guess it’s just the circles you run in + media coverage you read.

        We’ve gone back and forth about the other issues you mentioned already so I won’t bring that up again.

        At the end of the day, there are far more babies being innocently killed with legalized abortion than there were women dying from desperate illegal abortions. If we can’t save both why not save more? Not to mention save the ones who don’t have a choice at all. Women have a choice to not put their lives at risk with illegal abortions. Their options suck, yes, but they at least have options. Aborted babies (many of them are future women) get no say whatsoever.

      • Well if you look at the politicians, almost all of those Who claim to be pro-life are against all of the life-saving legislation I brought up. Harry Reid is the only exception I’m aware of.

        It actually doesn’t save lives because desperate women find ways to abort, and too many of those Women end up dying.

        Plus, a lot of pro-choicers see a fertilized egg as equivalent to a human being – hence wanting to get rid of a lot of contraception (Which prevents abortion). Fertilized eggs are used in stem cell research. If a pro-lifer were protesting at a stem cell research institution and a fire broke out, would she or he save vats full of fertilized eggs or the two-year-old child who happened to be there? Fertilized eggs are not equivalent to a human being, but pro-lifers don’t make any distinction between fertilized eggs and human beings.

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