Archive for July, 2014
by Mick Hunt
Earlier this month, a woman verbally and physically abused Created Equal (CE) staffers who were showing abortion victim photos in Columbus, Ohio. The incident was caught on tape and received extensive news coverage, including an interview on the Sean Hannity show (link here).
The attacker repeatedly called CE staffers misogynist and racist. If you are engaged in important work like CE and CBR, it won’t be long before someone says those things about you … if you are white and male.
But when women and people of minority races express pro-life views, it proves the issues of race and gender to be irrelevant to the argument.
The pro-life movement has a number of prominent African-American leaders like Dr. Alveda King (niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.) and Rev. Clenard Childress (a CBR director). To help complete the picture, however, I’d like to share a few black voices. These are stories written by staff and volunteers who helped with our recent GAPs in North Carolina, but they might have come from any state.
UNC-Chapel Hill (March 31-April 1, 2014)
p A black female student told me her brother was supposed to be aborted, but her mother went through with the pregnancy and her brother turned out fine. She was glad we were showing the truth.
p I gave a brochure to a black man and asked if he would like to know how we make the genocide comparison. He took the brochure and said emphatically, “It is genocide!”
p A black male student said, “I thought it was OK until maybe 3 months, until I saw these pictures. I had no idea!”
p Black male psychology student said, “Human fetus = person.”
p Conversation with an older black female: Q: Would you like some information? A: No, because I agree with you.
p Tony, a black student, was staring at the signs, listening to the crazy NARAL woman, and asked her, pointing to the signs, “How is that hate?” (This was in response to a comment she had made repeatedly.) She said, “I’ve had an abortion, and I’m not ashamed of it, but their signs are trying to shame me for my choice.” Tony was not buying any of it. I was standing right there, so we began talking, along with two other black women. Tony said, among other things, “It seems like anything pro-God, pro-morality, pro-creation, etc. gets stifled on this campus. It’s ironic that they try to profess tolerance, and yet with their appeal to the Dean, they are trying to shut you up, and take away your rights. That’s what is hate. If we don’t have the First Amendment, we don’t have anything. Them trying to get you guys off campus, we might as well be back in the 50’s. It’s just like the racist saying, ‘Get in the back, n***’”
North Carolina State University (April 2-3, 2014)
p A black female student was raised in a pro-life church and family; she didn’t know about the NCSU Students for Life group and immediately signed up. She came back to volunteer the next day. Her Bishop came as well and we encouraged him as a black pro-life pastor. Four of our folks went to his church on Friday to support their work.
Next time: African-American performance artist Shawn Welcome’s poem “Civil War.”
Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the Southeast and elsewhere.
by Mick Hunt
In an earlier post, I gave examples of “pro-choice” meanness at UNC. But there’s more to the story. In spite of the intolerance we witnessed among the hard-core leftists, there were many thoughtful students with open minds whose responses encourage us to continue in this difficult work. Here are a few stories and comments you will enjoy:
A young man protested in front of our GAP display. He said that he was strongly pro-choice, although he would not want his girlfriend or wife to have an abortion. After a lengthy dialogue with one of our volunteers, he looked at the pictures for about 20 minutes, saying very little. Then he said, “You have some compelling arguments. Although I’m pro-choice, that doesn’t mean I always will be. You’ve dissected this complex issue and made it very difficult for me to be pro-choice.”
A campus groundskeeper said that even though he was pro-choice, our display had an impact on him. After hearing why we compare abortion to other forms of genocide, he said he still didn’t agree. However, we had gotten him to think about it.
A young man said he didn’t get the genocide comparison because abortion isn’t based on race or nationality. We explained to him how the Cambodian genocide was based on level of education. He said, “Thank you. I guess I had a very narrow view of what genocide is.”
Two young men wanted to talk and learn about abortion and our display. Afterward one said, “Thank you for a calm conversation. These emotional issues so often end in ad hominem attacks.”
Katie was taught by her mother at a young age that if she ever got pregnant before she finished college, and was not married, she would have to have an abortion. She looked sadly at the display, almost crying. She said, “Before seeing your display, if I had gotten pregnant, I would have had an abortion. I never really thought what abortion did to a baby or even if it really was a baby. But no more. Now I know the truth. I have a post-abortive friend and I am going back to talk with her and provide resources to move her toward healing.”
And lastly, a woman sent the following letter to CBR headquarters:
Dear Genocide Awareness Project,
From 2005-2009 I was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On multiple occasions I saw your anti-abortion presentation and was shocked to see the dismembered little bodies. I was pro-choice when I was in college, mostly out of selfishness and lack of knowledge about the development of a fetus. I am now officially pro-life after having my first daughter and finally realizing WHAT is going on when a baby is developing in the womb. My SIX WEEK baby had a HEART BEAT … and we are allowed to kill them?
I will not give you my whole story, I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for what you do. I am sure that you get much more argumentative and accusatory feedback than positive feedback. Please let me tell you that when I hear my baby’s heartbeat (and I tracked her growth) I remembered your posters on campus and finally understood what you were fighting for. … I’m only sorry it took me so long.
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO. Your project made a difference in my life.
Mick (Meredith Eugene) Hunt is a regular FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the Southeast and elsewhere.
by Mick Hunt
The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) changes lives among our audience—students, staff, and faculty of our nation’s largest public universities. And it also changes the pro-life student leaders who host the project, by making them stronger.
In an earlier post, I gave examples of “pro-choice” meanness at UNC, including an account written by CBR Project Director Edie Benchabbat, who described how some UNC students attempted to dehumanize a pro-life student leader, one of the co-presidents of Carolina Students for Life, and how she felt bullied. Edie also reflected on how we encourage pro-life students for the long term. She wrote about the UNC incident:
Now I look at our role in a different way. So many pro-life students and adults felt intimidated by the pro abortion-choicers and whispered as they walked by, “Thank you!” We bring a strength to our students. We give them the foundation to stand up for the unborn. They may go out alone sometimes, but I think the level of their impact and the level of confidence in coming face-to-face with evil is stronger with us. I see us as spiritual, physical, and emotional bodyguards so the pro-life students will blossom into strong advocates for the pre-born children.
And if you think the pro-life UNC student leaders were discouraged by the ill treatment they received, consider what Julie and Emily Ascik, the co-presidents of Carolina Students for Life, wrote after GAP in their letter recommending the project for other universities:
It really is scary and was scary for us to bring the GAP Project to our very liberal, very pro-choice campus. But it was also probably very scary for Martin Luther King and William Wilberforce to speak up about their causes, especially towards the beginning when they were alone in their stance and when people were afraid their tactics would offend people. Abortion IS horrible and seeing the pictures of it is horrible, but we must make sure other people know what is happening thousands of times daily in our society. As William Wilberforce once said, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
We actually rejoiced when some UNC students staged a counter-protest; it meant they were thinking about abortion. Contrary to what most people think, having people talking about abortion, even if they are angry and insulting, is a good and productive thing to do. Yes, it hurts when they say hate-filled and incorrect things to and about you, but as Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Next time, I’ll share some UNC stories about how GAP changed our audience.
Mick (Meredith Eugene) Hunt is a regular FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the Southeast and elsewhere.
by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
238 years ago today 56 men signed a document which would change history.
While many of us gather together to watch elaborate displays of pyrotechnics or quietly enjoy time off with friends and family, we must remember that today is a celebration unique in human history.
The world has seen many a nation rise and fall — but none quite like America. For the first time in human history, a nation was bonded not by blood or ancestry but by common ideals. America is not something carried in your DNA but something carried in the heart and the mind.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Those words from the Declaration of Independence always give me chills. This revolutionary statement by our founders made everything that came after it possible. Everything we love about this nation sprung forth from that divinely-inspired text.
While many conservatives and constitutionalists like myself believe the United States government has strayed too far away from the revolutionary ideals of our founders, it is important to remind ourselves just how truly remarkable this nation remains.
Whatever of our federal government’s faults, we still retain the power to restore our country to its foundational principles. We just require the will. Because in the end, as the Declaration reminds us, our rights come not from our federal government but from our Creator.
I continue to keep the foundational principles of this nation in the forefront of my mind and I take great pleasure in the knowledge that many fine Tennesseans like yourself will be joining me in remembering the true spirit of this day.
Have a safe and restful Independence Day.
FAB contributor Ron Ramsey also serves as the Tennessee Lt. Governor and Speaker of the Senate … in his spare time.
from the Yes on 1 Campaign
Pro-abortion activists have been circulating fundraising emails making the following claims, all of them false. Please know the facts and speak out in support of Amendment 1.
When They Say: “Amendment One is an unprecedented power grab by the Tennessee state legislature to take away women’s right to choose.”
You Say: Amendment 1 restores to the people our right to debate and decide what policies are appropriate with regard to abortion, just as we do on any matter of importance. The Amendment specifically states “the people retain the right… to enact, amend or repeal statutes regarding abortion.” Even in the most difficult of circumstances, proponents of Amendment 1 trust the conscience and common sense of Tennessee’s people to do what is right and fair.
When They Say: “It is from a Republican legislature whose senators voted unanimously to ban abortion with no exceptions, not even to allow a woman to save her own life!”
You Say: Since 1973, there has never been a vote to ban abortion in Tennessee, period. Amendment 1 enjoys bi-partisan support and was placed on the ballot by super-majorities including the Democratic Leader and Democratic Caucus Chairman. In total, 39% of House Democrats voted in support of Amendment 1 during final legislative passage in 2011.
When they Say: “It is a deceptively worded constitutional amendment, designed to confuse and mislead voters, and all of us will be voting on it this November.”
You Say: Amendment 1 returns the Tennessee Constitution to neutral after a 2000 ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court which claimed a broader right to abortion in the Tennessee Constitution than Roe v. Wade or the U.S. Constitution. It restores the rights of Tennesseans to decide what abortion law should be in our state rather than leaving policy decisions to the Judiciary.
by Brent Boles, MD
The debate regarding abortion has always been an emotional and highly charged discussion. The people of Tennessee are not served well, however, by opinion pieces such as “Abortion amendment bad news for women,” June 4.
Nor are we served well by recent full-page advertisements that compared Amendment 1 supporters to the Taliban and wrongly implied that a state can ban the practice of abortion under Roe vs. Wade. So what would serve every Tennessean well? The truth.
The fact that most people in Tennessee do not realize is this: 14 years ago, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled in favor of Planned Parenthood regarding the laws enacted by the duly elected legislators of Tennessee and claimed that the state constitution contained a “fundamental right to abortion.” As a result, several meaningful restrictions and regulations on the abortion practice were struck down, and the enforcement of new legislation regarding abortion is certain to be similarly ruled as violating this newly identified “right.”
Our state now ranks third in percentage of abortions performed on out-of-state residents, with about 1 in 4 abortions sought by women and girls from elsewhere because it is easier to obtain an abortion here than in any of the eight states bordering Tennessee.
A recent opinion writer stated that passage of Amendment 1 will give carte blanche to all future politicians in regard to abortion. The reality is that Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist gave carte blanche to the abortion facilities in our state that now operate with no oversight by the state of Tennessee. Women who went to get a manicure today entered a facility that is probably better regulated than some abortion facilities here.
States bordering Tennessee have stronger laws to protect the health and safety of women and girls by requiring that abortion providers offer accurate information about risks of the abortion procedure through an informed consent process. They provide short waiting periods so that every woman is assured enough time to weigh the information provided and to guard against coerced abortions. Our neighboring states also insist the enforcement of common-sense safeguards such as requiring that abortion providers submit to the same state health inspectors that regulate hospitals, surgery centers, nursing homes, restaurants, and even hair salons.
Women and girls in Tennessee do not have these safeguards because the Tennessee Supreme Court took the matter of abortion policy out of the hands of the people and gave all authority on the matter back to abortion providers. The end result of Planned Parenthood vs. Sundquist is that the people are left with no ability to regulate abortion in any meaningful way.
Voting yes on Amendment 1 will allow the people of Tennessee to debate and deliberate what common-sense policies are appropriate in our state regarding abortion. It will allow Tennesseans to once again protect the lives and health of women and girls as is being done in each of our bordering states.
C. Brent Boles, M.D., is an Ob/Gyn in practice in Murfreesboro and is active with the Yes On 1 campaign. This op-ed was published by The Tennessean on June 16, 2014 (link).
by Mick Hunt
“Leftists claim to be the voices of tolerance and diversity; however, the universities they control are the most intolerant and monolithic institutions in American life. Their notion of diversity is to cover the range from extreme leftist to downright nasty leftist.” (FAB)
In my experience UNC offered the largest reaction against GAP when we previously appeared in 2005. (But see the positive article on our 2005 GAP on page 13 of the Carolina Journal.)
Then, some 200 students and faculty members surrounded the display with their backs turned away from it, symbolically rejecting its truths, while additionally preventing others from seeing it for themselves. Had they kept this up for longer than 10-15 minutes, police might have taken action, as would have CBR. As it was, we took advantage of the situation by placing our handmade signs throughout their midst, signs that said, “Face the Truth. Choose Life.” After their protest broke up, many of the students stayed to talk with us and view the display.
This past spring (March 31 & April 1) the “pro-choice” response was different. The drum beating and dancing—that sort of thing—we’ve seen the like of it before, but this time our opponents offered something more alarming: Meanness.
I’ll list incidents that I personally witnessed.
A visiting alumnus shouted at CBR’s Georgia State Project Director Lincoln Brandenburg, called him a number of coarse names and shook his finger in Lincoln’s face. Later, without provocation, he challenged me to a fight and offered to hit me across the head with a baseball bat. When I reported this to campus police, they said I need to fill out a warrant for his arrest. I told them they needed to stand closer to him in case he tried to hurt someone.
Two male students stood along a busy sidewalk, wearing black wetsuits (supposedly condoms) while holding signs featuring explicit, hard pornography and an absurd, filthy “scientifically inaccurate” slogan.
A black female Planned Parenthood representative mocked a black male student for being a “30 year old undergrad.” (He responded by saying he had served two tours in Iraq.)
When one of the co-presidents of the student organization that hosted us was standing in front of our display while holding a CBR “Choice” sign, a group of “pro-choice” students surrounded her to pose for mocking pictures, like she was some sort of inanimate object. This was so insulting and I felt bad for her. She is from Asheville and I know her family.
The worse incident of all is described by Edie Benchabbat, CBR Project Director for North Carolina:
“Emily is co-president of the pro-life club at UNC-CH. She was holding a choice sign and the pro-aborts surrounded her and scared her. Someone from CBR noticed and came to her aid. I was on the other side of the quad so didn’t know what happened. I walked back to get more brochures and noticed her sitting down on the ground behind our display with knees bent and hunched over. She was trembling and crying. I went to her and held her to make her feel safe. She told me what happened. We prayed together. 2 other women joined me and we prayed for her. After 20 minutes, she was settled and ready to go out again with someone around her.”
The meanness I’ve described is only one aspect of doing GAP, probably the hardest part. GAP is always intense, but not often as bad as this. UNC has been the worst that I remember. It wasn’t only the specific incidents, but the entire atmosphere. In summary, we should never believe that it will be easy being a part of transforming our culture into one that values and respects the lives of preborn children.
Next time: Changing lives at the University of North Carolina.
Mick Hunt (Meredith Eugene Hunt) is a FAB contributor. He has helped organize more than 50 Genocide Awareness Projects (GAPs) all over the southeast and elsewhere.
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