Activist and actress, Jane Fonda, has claimed that her comments about ‘murdering’ those responsible for and supportive of pro-life laws in the US was “obviously made in jest”.
The 85-year-old actress made the comments earlier this month during an episode of the popular talk show, ‘The View’. During the discussion, referring to the legal decision Roe v Wade, which prevented states from protecting the lives of their own unborn citizens, Fonda said “We’re not going back, I don’t care what the laws are. We’re not going back.”
One of the panellists then asked her what she proposed doing “[b]esides marching and protesting”.
“Well, I’ve thought of murder”, Fonda replied.
She repeated the comment before other members of the panel rushed to assure viewers that she was joking.
Facing a mounting public backlash, the activist clarified her comments later that same day saying:
“While women’s reproductive rights are a very serious issue and extremely important to me, my comment on The View was obviously made in jest. My body language and tone made it clear to those in the room — and to anyone watching — that I was using hyperbole to make a point.”
Violence against pro-life pregnancy centres
Fonda’s statement came in the wake of a series of violent acts against pro-life pregnancy centres in the U.S. and an assassination attempt on one of the Supreme Court Justices involved in the overturning of Roe v Wade.
Numerous pro-life pregnancy resource centres were subjected to graffiti, vandalism and on a number of occasions, arson.
On 10 May 2022, the pro-abortion group, Jane’s Revenge, published a communique demanding the “disbanding of all anti-choice establishments, fake clinics, and violent anti-choice groups within the next thirty days”. The group threatened violence if the demand was not met.
The group claimed responsibility for throwing Molotov cocktails into the Wisconsin Family Center in Madison on 8 May 2022, causing severe fire damage. A pregnancy centre in Buffalo, New York was firebombed on 7 June 2022. The message ‘Jane was here’, was scrawled across the building’s exterior.
On 14 June 2022, the group published a follow-up letter, claiming responsibility for attacks in Madison, Wisconsin; Ft. Collins, Colorado; Des Moines, Iowa; Hollywood, Florida; Denton, Texas; and Washington, D.C.; Portland, Eugene and Gresham in Oregon, along with Olympia, Lynwood and Vancouver in Washington state, and Reisterstown and Frederick in Maryland.
Justices Alito, Roberts, Kavanaugh and Barrett were all subject to protests outside of their family homes last year. Members of the ‘Rise Up 4 Abortion Rights’ campaign rallied outside Barrett’s home with their hands and mouths taped, wearing blood-stained trousers and carrying dolls.
In June last year, a man, Nicholas Roske, was arrested outside the home of Justice Kavanaugh with a handgun, ammunition, a crowbar and pepper spray. He has been charged with attempted murder. Roske said he had come from California to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice”.
Right To Life UK spokesperson Catherine Robinson said “This extreme rhetoric coming from a prominent pro-abortion activist cannot be easily dismissed. Unfortunately, following all the political violence after Roe v Wade was overturned, as well as an assassination attempt of a sitting judge, it is not at all obvious that her words were ‘made in jest’.”