“Frederick,” a James Madison University (JMU) student from Germany, was ashamed of his peers. He said to CBR’s Jane Bullington,
“It is so closed-minded to decide you guys have nothing worth hearing and just sit on the sidelines protesting.
I am studying genocide and human atrocities. These photos are not disturbing; the actions are disturbing. Folks need to get out of their comfort zone and engage others so they can expand their world views. It is pitiful that my peers are so pansy and childish.
I don’t know how old you are, but I do know that you know more than I do and I need to listen and learn. And whether this is genocide or not, I see the reasons for the comparisons and it is an atrocity.
You have made my Tuesday. My comfort zone has been stretched once again. Thank you for coming, and thank you for taking with me.”
He’s right about one thing. Jane is pretty old.
by Lincoln Brandenburg
At James Madison U, I spoke with a young Jewish lady who had heard about GAP and came out to see it. She was Jewish and was offended by the comparisons of abortion with the Holocaust.
She opened by declaring that “Abortion is not genocide!” I responded, “You are absolutely right … if the preborn are not human. Were that true, the comparison would be inappropriate and the right to abort would be established.
“But if the preborn are human, as science tells us they are, then we kill over a million humans every year. Then there’s no better word to describe it.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re causing me to change how I think about this.” (protester at James Madison U)
She brought up many examples of when abortion might be “needed,” such as for a woman who is in college and cannot take care of a baby. Again, I agreed with her that abortion would be acceptable in those cases (and, indeed, in every case) … if the preborn were anything less than human.
She began to grasp the concept that the humanity of the preborn is the central question to the morality of abortion.
Some of her friends have had abortions and she didn’t want to believe they are guilty of murder. I assured her that we are not here to condemn or judge her friends; they may be good people who didn’t realize that abortion decapitates and dismembers a baby. I pointed out that, like many who have seen these images, they might not have aborted their children had they known how evil abortion really is.
As we spoke, her demeanor changed. She glanced at the pro-abortion protesters and said, “I don’t want to say this out loud, but you’re making good points. You’re really making me shift in my view.”
I told her how I personally became a pro-life activist after connecting abortion to the Holocaust. I knew that I couldn’t say I would have stood up for Jews (her ancestors) in Nazi Germany back then, if I didn’t stand up for preborn children right now.
As we continued to discuss the logic of standing up for all human beings, she hesitantly said, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re causing me to change how I think about this.”
Some respond to GAP with a closed mind, but others are willing to blindfold their own prejudices. At first, she opposed our use of abortion pictures, but she had to admit that our conversation (and many others) would not have happened without the tension created by the photos. Dr. King was right:
“I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Lincoln Brandenburg is a Project Director for CBR in Georgia. He iis with the GAP team in Virginia this week.
Now that the vote is in, there are important lessons to be learned, not just in Tennessee, but nationally as well.
1. Until we change public opinion, Amendment 1 (along with the anticipated ensuing regulations) are about as much as we can hope to accomplish with our current strategy. An outright ban would not have passed.
Voters believe that abortion is evil enough to be regulated, but not evil enough to be banned. Americans will not tolerate government intrusion into matters of personal morality, unless there is extreme justification for that intrusion … and they don’t understand how extremely evil abortion really is.
2. In order for the public to demand protection for every human person, we have to convince millions of American voters that abortion is not just evil, but so evil that it ought to be against the law.
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), along with NRLC affiliates and others in the movement, are trying to end abortion by mobilizing public opinion as it currently exists. The results of Amendment 1 in Tennessee and initiatives in other states demonstrate that this will never work.
Unfortunately, they have nothing in place that even begins to reshape public opinion, not at the level necessary to challenge the status quo.
3. In order to reshape public opinion, we must force millions of ignorant and apathetic Americans to see the facts they are desperate to avoid.
They are apathetic because they are ignorant of the facts, and …
… they are ignorant because they are apathetic.
They don’t read our stuff. They don’t come to our talks and debates. They avoid new information.
We have to go to them, they will not come to us. Our methods must be non-consentual.
With the average American, we get maybe 3 seconds to prove that abortion is so evil that it ought to be against the law.
This is the same problem faced by Wilberforce, Clarkson, King, Hine, and other reformers who came before. They all solved the problem the same way … by using horrifying pictures to engage citizens who were desperate to avoid the truth … after years of trying what didn’t work.
4. We have a long way to go. Let’s get started.
Created Equal’s Jumbotron abortion display was recently featured on a TV station in New Jersey. In the video below, watch as people react to an abortion video on screen. Link to original report here. One woman said,
I have friends who’ve had abortions, and they wish they knew exactly what the abortion process was going to be before doing it.
One man said,
I’m never going to forget that for the rest of my life.
CBR staffers Bill, Jeanette, and Edie recently joined up with Aubry, Ruth, Catherine, and Stephen, all members of the Students for Life (SFL), for an afternoon of exposing abortion at North Carolina State University.
We displayed CBR “Choice” signs on the Brickyard, not far from where we had displayed GAP last Spring.
As students walk by, our standard ice-breaker is to ask a simple question, “What do you think?” This opened many opportunities for dialogue with respectful students on both sides of the issue. We got many positive affirmations from pro-life students, and at least 15 passersby signed up to be members of SFL.
“For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear let him hear.” (Mark 4:22-23)
Tired of feeling guilty and, no doubt, frightened that rate of abortion has declined in recent years, the pro-aborts are changing their message. Abortion can no longer be considered a morally problematic “choice” that women nevertheless have the right to make for themselves. No, abortion now must be considered a positive good that should be celebrated, not discouraged.
Katie Yoder at the Media Research Center has identified 10 ways that the media spin abortion as a moral social good. Link to article here.
This all reminds us of John C. Calhoun, the senator from South Carolina who proclaimed that slavery was not an evil, but “a good — a great good.”
Abortion victim photos (AVPs) don’t just convert people to pro-life. They affect everyone. They …
- neutralize the opposition, …
- convert the neutral, …
- activate the converted, and …
- energize the active.
Live Action News recently highlighted the pro-life activism of Katie Perrotta at Eastern Michigan University. She is just one more example of a student who became actively pro-life after seeing GAP.
From Live Action News:
Katie Perrotta is a 20-year-old student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Having grown up “pro-life” she wasn’t active in defending life until she witnessed a campus display featuring images of abortion victims and the angry reaction of pro-choice students. It was then that she started reaching out to her campus and actively defending life.
Congratulations to Tennessee Right to Life (TRL) on a major pro-life victory in Tennessee. After 14 years of planning and laying the groundwork, Tennessee Amendment 1, which clears the way for the Tennessee Legislature to enact modest regulations on the abortion industry, passed with 52.6% of the vote.
Special kudos to TRL President Brian Harris and all of the TRL chapters who made this big win possible with an outstanding grassroots effort that reached into every county in the state.
The abortion industry spent more than $4,000,000 on clever and often deceptive advertising, even claiming that Amendment 1 would ban abortion in the state (which is ludicrous because Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton prevents a state from banning abortion).
In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court struck down abortion regulations that were passed with bipartisan support in a legislature still controlled by Democrats at that time. The Court invented a right to abortion that simply is not present in the Tennessee Constitution. As a result, the citizens of Tennessee were forced to pass this amendment, which only clarifies that the Tennessee Constitution contains no right to abortion.
The kind of regulations which might now be considered by the Legislature cannot effectively prohibit abortions, but they have been shown to save babies and moms in other states. Of course, any regulations passed by the Legislature will be subject to the limitations of Roe v Wade, Doe v Bolton, and any judgments of the Federal courts.
It is unclear at this time whether (1) the restrictions passed 15 years ago will go into effect immediately, now that the “Constitutional” prohibition has been eliminated, or (2) new regulations will have to be passed by the Legislature.
Mike Huckabee and Andy Andrews remind us to get out and vote on Election Day!
The Knoxville News Sentinel printed part of my letter, but here is the entire letter.
The abortion debate is usually quite polarized, so people are always asking me, “Isn’t there some room for common ground between pro-life and pro-choice?” I never thought so until now, but clearly, Amendment 1 is that common ground.
People on both sides agree that abortion facilities should be licensed and inspected. Amendment 1 allows that to happen.
People on both sides agree that women should never be coerced into having abortions, yet the Elliot Institute reports that as many as 60% of abortions are coerced (Forced Abortion in America, accessed online). Amendment 1 allows measures to curtail unwanted coercion.
People on both sides agree that women should be given all the information regarding medical risks and alternatives to abortion, yet the Elliot Institute reports that 79% of women were not told of available resources.
If you follow the money, the big money against Amendment 1 is coming from the abortion industry. Go figure. But most people agree that regulatory oversight is important and necessary to ensure women’s health.
Because you support CBR. the University at Buffalo Students for Life (UB SFL) are displaying abortion victim photos at strategic locations around campus.
UB SFL member Cristina Lauria reports
We get lots of positive comments from people walking by. Although, of course, there are those who get angry at the pictures and stomp on by them. Interesting how they won’t look at what they support.
Way to go!!!! Keep up the good work!
by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
Tennessee is one of the best-managed states in the nation. Our budget is balanced every year, we have cut taxes and our recent education reforms are the envy of other states.
Due to its many attractive qualities, Tennessee has become a great magnet: for retirees looking for a place to spend their golden years, for working people looking to escape states that bleed their earning through state income taxes and for entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of our business-friendly environment.
Unfortunately, there is another reason people come to Tennessee that is not cause for celebration: our liberal abortion laws.
In fact, just a few days ago, the New York Times asked in a headline whether Tennessee was the “abortion capital of the bible belt.” It is my hope that Tennesseans will go to the polls Nov. 4 and vote YES on Amendment 1 so that question will never be asked again — rhetorically or otherwise.
The origin of this amendment is rooted in a Tennessee Supreme Court decision which asserted Tennessee’s Constitution prevents the legislature from passing common-sense laws regarding abortion. Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist (2000) resulted in the removal of three protections passed by the General Assembly: informed consent, a 48-hour waiting period and a requirement that late term abortions be performed in a hospital setting. A fourth protection passed after the ruling that would have required state inspection of abortion facilities and licensure of providers was also struck down.
So in Tennessee, hairdressers and exterminators are licensed and inspected – but there is no oversight of people who perform abortions.
The lies told by those who oppose Amendment 1 are cynical and misleading. They insinuate the amendment could end legal abortion in Tennessee. It does no such thing. The amendment would merely allow the legislature to pass common sense laws regarding abortion that many, many other states have passed. Nothing more.
These measures have widespread support. While the extreme liberal activists at the Tennessee Democratic Party are spreading half-truths and conspiracy theories, the fact is Amendment 1 has support across ideological and party lines. Amendment 1 passed the legislature by wide margins.
That means legislators, Democrat and Republican, pro-life and pro-choice, believe Tennesseans should have the final say.
Those who support unrestricted, unregulated abortion on demand are trying to make Amendment 1 a litmus test on whether one believes in legal abortion. It is not.
This issue is beyond simplistic labels. Personally, I am pro-life and believe that abortion is the killing of an innocent human life. But even those who believe abortion should remain legal think the practice should be safe, legal and rare.
This amendment does not eliminate the right to choose; it simply allows us to join with other states to pass common sense laws that protect women and ensure their safety.
Many Tennesseans are decidedly pro-life and some are militantly pro-abortion but a plurality are somewhere in between. Polls indicate that nearly half of the electorate falls somewhere between the two polar extremes. This amendment not only brings us in line with a majority of other states, it allows us to put safeguards in place on which most reasonable people can agree.
According to the Department of Health, nearly one-fourth of women having abortions in Tennessee were from out of state. Tennessee should be known for its scenic vistas and pro-business economy, not for having the most liberal abortion laws in the southeast.
Vote Yes on Amendment 1 and bring common sense back to the abortion discussion in Tennessee.
FAB contributor Ron Ramsey also serves as the Tennessee Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate … in his spare time.
Great op-ed piece that appeared in the University at Buffalo (UB) Spectrum soon after our GAP visit to that campus. It was written by Anne Mulrooney, a regular columnist for the Spectrum. Piece: Graphic images are necessary to anti-abortion movement.
I do this for a living, but Ms. Mulrooney found another example of the use of images that was completely new to me:
During the late 1800s, King Leopold II of Belgium beat, enslaved, mutilated and brutally killed citizens in the Congo when Belgium’s production quotas for rubber and ivory were not met. Had his actions not been exposed through the photography of Alice Seeley Harris and her husband John Harris – missionaries in the Congo during the 1900s - these horrific abuses might never have been exposed.
Entire op-ed piece here.
Pro-lifers voted for Gov. Haslam in 2010 and would do it again. But this year, many will skip the Tennessee governor’s race altogether. Why?
Because a vote for governor (any candidate) will be a half-vote against pro-life Amendment 1. The Tennessean explains in this article. According to the Tennessean … and have no fear, they are correct this time …:
That logic … hinges on a provision in the state constitution that outlines the threshold an amendment must get for it to succeed — a majority of the votes cast in the gubernatorial election regardless of the number of votes cast on the amendment.
Watch this video and pass it on!