A homemade bomb struck a Planned Parenthood office in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, on Sunday night.
According to a local news report from the Fox affiliate, the perpetrator placed the bomb on a window sill, which started a small fire when it exploded.
Ultimately, the physical damage was limited. But that probably wasn’t the point of the attack. It was intended to be psychological, and it’s part of a pattern. The history of violence, murder, attempted murder and arson at clinics that provide abortion goes back more than 30 years. Now that Planned Parenthood has been tarred as an abortion provider, regardless of all the other work it does on women’s health, anti-choice zealots have simply expanded their targets. And while the goal has been to eliminate access to women’s reproductive health services, that can be accomplished not just through physically destroying the access site. You can make those seeking the services afraid to visit the sites. You can make the doctors and service providers afraid to provide the services.
In other words, you can terrorize the population involved in women’s health services. And that would be the standard definition of this kind of attack.
The FBI has now joined the investigation into the bombing, and there are federal laws specifically prohibiting violence at reproductive health clinics. But when this becomes a terrorism investigation is when we’ll see an advance.
I guess we might as well call it an actual war on women now, not just a metaphorical one. But remember, we’re not supposed to call it an American Taliban. That would be rude.