Archive for October, 2014
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!
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), Southeast Region Operations, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kendra Wright as our newest (and youngest) Project Director in Virginia.
Kendra resides in Staunton, Virginia. (That’s pronounced STAN-ton, not STAWN-ton, for all you people in Rio Linda.)
Kendra’s family moved from Denver, Colorado to Staunton when she was 4. She told FAB,
Four-year old Kendra was a strong-willed rebel and continued to live in her stubborn ways until God grabbed her heart 9 years later. The Lord is now using my strong will for His glory.
[Side note: Some might say that, in fact, God grabbed her heart before the foundation of the world was laid. You see, although some of us at FAB were predestined to be Arminian, others chose to be Calvinist of their own free will. But, I digress. Anyway, …]
Kendra finished high school a year early and then graduated from Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey in less than two years … at only nineteen years old! She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.
In her spare time, Kendra enjoys strumming her guitar, singing, and spending time with friends and her five siblings. Active in her church, she leads worship and leads children to the Lord as well.
Kendra’s passion for pro-life activism stems from her own personal testimony of narrowly escaping abortion at five weeks gestation. Her mother was a rare case of a woman walking out of her abortion appointment. God spared Kendra’s life so she could rescue others!
Kendra is a big-picture person who appreciates CBR’s vision of ending abortion altogether by exposing the truth of it. She is excited to win hearts, change minds, and save lives, by God’s grace and with your help.
Welcome aboard, Kendra! We’re expecting great things from you and and the rest of the Virginia staff!
If you’d like to support Kendra (or any of our staff members), it’s quick, easy, and secure to support CBR online. Whatever you can do will make a huge difference. To support Kendra’s work in Virginia, designate your gift for “Virginia Projects (SE-KPW).”
A few days ago, a federal district judge in Asheville, North Carolina declared the state’s marriage amendment to be unconstitutional. This amendment to the North Carolina constitution, passed in 2012 by a margin of roughly 61 to 39% of those voting, affirmed marriage to be between a man and a woman. The judge acted under an implied directive from the U.S. Supreme Court when it refused to accept an appeal from a decision of the 4th Federal Circuit Court, which overturned Virginia’s marriage amendment. North Carolina falls under the 4th Circuit’s authority.
Asheville, then, is ground zero of the moment for our state on this issue. And Asheville City Council, cheerleaders for “marriage equality”, hung a giant rainbow flag on the exterior of City Hall in celebration of the supposed legalization of unnatural marriage. It created quite a stir here.
Some local conservatives claimed that City Council broke laws regarding requirements for public meetings, since the decision to hang the flag was made informally. Another conservative leader (a former City Councilman) posted on his Facebook page a photo of City Hall with the rainbow flag next to a photo of City Hall hung with a Nazi swastika flag. It got lots of attention.
I took a different approach and filed a formal request to hang a pro-life banner on the building. What follows is text of the letter I sent to the mayor:
October 14, 2014
Mayor Esther Manheimer
City of Asheville
P.O. Box 7148
Asheville, NC 28802
Please consider this letter an application to display a Life Advocates banner on the side of Asheville City Hall on Friday, October 31, 2014, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The banner is approximately thirty feet long and four feet high. It is made of a durable vinyl fabric with a black background and white letters that say “STOP ABORTING CHILDREN!”
It is the same banner we carried in Asheville’s Sesquicentennial parade some years ago. Because abortion violently destroys the lives of millions of pre-natal human beings, and is government protected and sponsored, it is the foremost human rights issue of our day.
In an informal session, Asheville City Council recently designated the City Hall as a Limited Public Forum, making the exterior of the building accessible to the public for visual displays. Federal case law is consistently explicit that in these circumstances, government is prohibited from engaging in viewpoint discrimination.
We would like the banner displayed to the same extent and in the same position or higher on the west side of the building that a rainbow flag was displayed on Friday, October 10. With assistance and supervision of the City, we will ensure that the banner is affixed to the building in such a way as to be safe for the property and pedestrians.
The date for our requested use of the building coincides with a protest on the public sidewalks around Planned Parenthood’s proposed new killing site on 16 McDowell Street, which it expects to open within the next few months. The protest, which we call “A Presence of Truth and Prayer” will be Saturday, November 1, “All Saints Day” from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon.
Sincerely, Meredith Eugene Hunt
Copies sent to: City Councilmen and Vice Mayor, City Manager, Asheville Attorney, Parks and Recreation
LIFE ADVOCATES PO Box 19205 Asheville, NC 28815 828-575-7300
While a couple City Councilmen have expressed themselves on the matter, we have yet to receive an official response. A friend of mine made an inquiry and was told the City’s legal department is doing some research. I will file an update next week.
Note: a title for the monarch butterfly photo is “complexity in smallness”. I took it on the Blue Ridge Parkway this fall. Click to enlarge.
Mick Hunt is the Director of Life Advocates and a regular FAB contributor.
By Jonathan Darnel
If you want to see the American culture war up close and personal, in all its gritty reality, just go to a rock festival and promote pro-life values. That’s what CBR and Delaware Right to Life did June 20-21 at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware.
During its four day run, Firefly draws a crowd of more than 100,000 people, almost all between the ages of 16 and 30, many of whom camp out at the festival grounds for the duration. With alcohol flowing freely and illicit substances only a little less freely, many attendees in various stages of undress, and a Trojan condom advertisement streaming behind an airplane overhead, it was obvious that this crowd would be a challenge.
Into this morass descended CBR Maryland and Delaware Right to Life with our graphic victim images, portable loudspeaker, and literature asking the question “When is it right kill?” For more than four hours each day, these heroic men and women challenged the death-culture at its stronghold … attracting attention, sparking conversations, and yes, inviting persecution. Meanwhile, CBR’s 33-foot Truth Truck, blazoned with enormous photos of abortion carnage, circulated up and down the busiest street in Dover, just outside the festival grounds.
Pro-abortion sympathizers were noticeably more vocal at Firefly than many of the other venues CBR has visited. Verbal harassment was constant and physical harassment took place upon several occasions, resulting in at least three arrests. While this atmosphere might have been too much for ordinary pro-life advocates, our volunteers had previously participated in the Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA) and were thus better prepared to both endure persecution and to answer the constant barrage of pro-abortion arguments. Surprisingly, a large number of concert attendees were quietly supportive and thanked us for being there. Post-abortive girls spilled their hearts in front of us and were, of course, ministered to.
The Firefly project took a lot of work. We spent months preparing literature and equipment, promoting the event, and coordinating with local police. To get to the display location, volunteers had to push/carry several hundred pounds of equipment over half a mile, and move everything back when finished. Yet it was well worth it.
We showed the grim reality of abortion to thousands, and every volunteer had multiple opportunities to explain the pro-life viewpoint to curious onlookers. Since living conditions at the Firefly campsite promote behavior that often leads to abortion, we believe that our unexpected presence at the festival is already bearing fruit, as new parents who might have chosen abortion cannot do so, our images and words being yet fresh in their memories.
Our volunteers were glowing about the experience:
At the very end a young man came past, yelling at us and very pro-abortion. We had a long talk and ran the gamut of the arguments. At the end he thanked us for being there and said we’d given him a lot to think about. (Bobbi, Delaware Right to Life)
On one occasion, I heard a group of young people admit that we were hitting our target demographic. Later, when one young man was berated by his friends for taking our literature, I heard him defend us and point out that he himself had been adopted. (Moira, Delaware Right to Life)
I specifically targeted couples who looked in love and who might face a crisis pregnancy later. Several were pro-choice and we talked a very long time. One couple in particular took our literature and said they would pass it out in the dormitories! They admitted that they really needed a new perspective on abortion, and thanked me for giving it to them!” (Eva, Delaware Right to Life)
Jonathan Darnel is a Project Director for CBR Maryland Operations.
CBR is at it again! We have launched our 2014 Key States Initiative (KSI), perhaps the most dramatic and effective pro-life voter education project every conceived!
CBR will drive large box trucks bearing graphic, oversize images of first-trimester aborted embryos and fetuses in major cities, as a way of educating voters about preborn children and what abortion does to them. CBR is operating the trucks in several states with tight U.S. Senate races to reach out to voters in advance of the November 4 elections.
These images are indispensable because they communicate to voters at a glance the crucial fact that abortion is a brutal act of violence that kills a baby.
The media describes pro-life candidates as “ultraconservative” and “extreme,” but they describe pro-abortion candidates as “moderate” on abortion. We will show voters the truth, so they will know that killing babies is extreme. Saving them is not extreme; it is compassionate.
If you would like to participate in this historic effort, please let us know. No special license is required. You must be 21 years old and have a good driving record.
Drivers must be available to travel to a nearby state, teeming with voters who need to know what abortion is and does. Immediate need for drivers willing to go to Arkansas and Louisiana. Alaska, North Carolina, and other states may also be targeted in the coming weeks.
Interested? Contact Lisa Olivier at 949-677-8697, or send us a message here.
CBR staff and volunteers in Atlanta were holding “Choice” signs at a very busy intersection (near an interstate exit at rush hour). We reached tens of thousands of motorists with our message!
As we stood on the sidewalk, I was approached by Molly, who asked about our activity. I explained to her why we display photos of first-trimester abortion victims. We are used to dealing with every imaginable response, but her’s caught me off guard. She said, “So, if someone wanted to donate to you guys, how would they go about it?” (The answer is, “Click right here!”)
I told Molly that our work is based on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Just as American did not reject racism until American saw racism, America will not reject abortion until American sees abortion.
“Which is true!” Molly agreed, “because I’ve had an abortion… I knew it was wrong at the time I had it. But it wasn’t until I saw this video on the internet called ‘The Silent Scream’ that I realized just how wrong it was.” As a post-abortive mother, Molly supported our work, and not only with her words. She made a generous donation as well!
Who knows how many preborn children have been saved from decapitation and dismemberment because we reached their mothers first? Like Molly, these mothers can easily rationalize this horror, even thought it goes against their maternal instincts. Seeing victims of abortion can give them the resolve to save their children’s lives.
“What about post-abortive women?” is a common question … and a legitimate concern. People ask, “How can we do this in a way that is non-condemning?” It is a question we ask as well. We answer it by directing hurting people to seek out post-abortion healing ministries like Deeper Still.
Others raise this objection only as a way to suppress the truth. Their supposed “compassion” serves only to maintain the status quo … death for many and bondage for many more.
“But there are so many other ways to get the pro-life message across that are more positive,” they say.
Indeed, there are. Educating people about prenatal development will save children. Helping pregnant mothers will save children. But neither of these activities, as important as they are, will convince millions of Americans that abortion is so evil that it ought to be against the law.
That is our mission, to convince people (like Molly’s former self) that abortion is not just evil, but is so evil that it ought to be against the law. And because people are so apathetic about our message, we only get about 3 seconds to prove that point.
Abortion is legal because decapitating and dismembering preborn children has been relabeled with an obscure, meaningless word, abortion. As the main character of “The Giver” aptly states, “We haven’t eliminated murder, we just call it by another name.”
Lincoln Brandenburg is a project director for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and a frequent FAB contributor.
Interesting article by Tim Urban explains why young people, college age and a little older, are unhappy. It’s because they are (a) wildly ambitious, (b) delusional, and (c) taunted.
There is a lot of truth in the article, but some of it is just the normal process of growing up. We all have to manage our expectations.
What do you think?
Matt Barber explains how the Left intends to normalize pedophilia. Excerpts:
There is categorically a movement to normalize pedophilia. I’ve witnessed it firsthand and, despite “progressive” protestations to the contrary, the “pedophile rights” movement is inexorably linked to the so-called “gay rights” movement.
Two years ago I – along with the venerable child advocate Dr. Judith Reisman – attended a Maryland conference hosted by the pedophile group B4U-ACT. Around 50 individuals were in attendance, including a number of admitted pedophiles (or “minor-attracted persons,” as they euphemistically prefer). … Here are some highlights from the conference:
- Pedophiles are “unfairly stigmatized and demonized” by society.
- “We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child’s sexuality.”
- “Children are not inherently unable to consent” to sex with an adult.
- An adult’s desire to have sex with children is “normative.”
- The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, ignores that pedophiles “have feelings of love and romance for children” in the same way adults love one another.
- The DSM should “focus on the needs” of the pedophile, and should have “a minimal focus on social control,” rather than obsessing about the “need to protect children.”
- Self-described “gay activist” and speaker Jacob Breslow said that children can properly be “the object of our attraction.” He further objectified children, suggesting that pedophiles needn’t gain consent from a child to have sex with “it” any more than we need consent from a shoe to wear it. He then used graphic, slang language to favorably describe the act of climaxing (ejaculating) “on or with” a child. No one in attendance objected to this explicit depiction of child sexual assault. There was even laughter.
See entire article here.
There are a number of pro-lifers out there, including friends of mine, who believe that because abortion is still legal, then incrementalist strategies have not worked and therefore should be abandoned.
If we accept that line of thinking, then we would have to conclude that everything we have been doing hasn’t made abortion illegal, so all of it should be abandoned. This could include (1) showing pictures of abortion victims, because people have been showing pictures for 40 years, (2) praying, because people have been praying for 40 years, and (3) … you get the idea.
Another major objection to incrementalist measures is that they are immoral because they save some but not all. But we know that the abolitionists in England (Wilberforce et al) did not achieve their ultimate goal all at once. They were forced to accept small increments of change, but those small steps ultimately led to the abolition of slavery.
Check out this excellent op-ed piece by Bruce Walker that explains the danger of letting lawyers run our country. Excerpts:
… When politicians as lawyers begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all consuming. Some Americans become “adverse parties” of our very government. …
… America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big. …
Read the entire article here.
We are often challenged by pro-lifers who resist our efforts to expose abortion. We recently met with a group of students who offered a series of objections to our work. Here are their objections and our answers.
Objection: We will be disliked, hated, criticized, etc.
Response: MLK, Lewis Hine, William Wilberforce, and Thomas Clarkson were all disliked, hated, criticized, etc. … and more. If we are serious about ending abortion, we need to be as strong as they were. In Dr. King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, he was very clear that reformers must expose evil, in spite of the inevitable negative reaction from those who support the status quo. Please take a few minutes and read his letter.
Objection: There is nothing but anecdotal evidence to say that pictures work.
Response: We have ample independent evidence to prove pictures work:
- We have the verdict of history that says pictures always work to educate, change public opinion, and ultimately public policy.
- We also have the history that reformers who don’t use pictures never succeed.
- At Middle Tennessee State, 15% of passersby said the GAP display changed their minds. That was in addition to the sizeable percentage (40-50%) who said the display made them even more sure of their pro-life beliefs.
- Typically, about 10% (range: 5-15%) of the respondents to our informal polls tell us that the GAP display changed their minds.
- At the U of Louisville, 65% of an independent group of students said the display was effective at changing minds. That included 29% who said GAP changed their own minds.
- Here is another statistic that is not anecdotal. At 100% of the venues at which we have displayed GAP, multiple people have told us that our pictures changed their minds. Others changed their minds but didn’t tell us until later. Here are just a few examples:
- The following comments came from just one philosophy class at the U of Louisville:
- Student B: I had always believed in choice … but the pictures were too convincing. I’m not sure why the relationship between abortion and genocide has never crossed my mind, but the display was surprisingly convincing. … Abortion is a form of murder and genocide.
- Student I: … it truly changed my perspective on abortion …
- Student L: I had only a few cheap glances over at [the pictures], but what I did see I wish I would have not. … [The photos] made me think about this and I think that the pictures woke me up … and gave me a reality check. … The pictures said enough for me.
- Student O: The first picture stuck in my head and I just stared at it in total shock. It was a picture of a tiny little embryo/baby, its head the size of a dime, lying dead in blood with all its organs visible … They are murdered because of the selfishness of others.
- Student P: I think these photos were used to prove the point that abortion is still murder and in mass numbers, should be compared to genocide. I didn’t think of abortion in this way until viewing the exhibit.
- Student A: It definitely make everybody not just stop and look, but to really think about the message … It worked!
- Student J: They made the presentation so that you didn’t want to look but you couldn’t help but look.
- Student Q: It was a clear illustration of how a well-planned … [the] project could reach hundreds of people in a very short span of time.
Objection: This approach is not compassionate to post-abortive women.
Response: Many post-abortive women have told us to please show the pictures so that others won’t make the same mistake they made. One such woman is Dr. Alveda King, who had 2 abortions. Others have said that only by seeing abortion pictures were they able to come out of denial, confess, repent and heal. One such woman is on this video. We always try to bring a team of post-abortive women who can reach out to women on campus who wish to discuss their experiences. Pictures don’t hurt women; abortion hurts women.
No reformers have ever stopped an injustice by covering it up. Reformers like Dr. King, William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Lewis Hine, and others have always used horrifying images to educate the public and create a forum in which the purveyors of injustice were forced to defend the indefensible. The purveyors of injustice had never had to do that before. With abortion pictures, we create a forum in which abortion apologists are forced to defend the practice of decapitating and dismembering little human beings. They can’t do it. But only the display of abortion images forces them to try and thus exposes the frivolity of their arguments.
If we don’t expose injustice, history is clear that the killing will never end. There is nothing our opponents fear more than pictures.
Liberal Alinskyites don’t have a monopoly on ridiculing political opponents.
If you need a refreshing break, watch the video below, as Evan Sayet asks (and answers) an all important question.
If the Modern Liberal is in fact as stupid as I believe him to be, then how is one to explain the fact that so many Liberals rise to the very pinnacle of their professions? If Nancy Pelosi is stupid, how did she become the Speaker of the House of Representatives? If Katie Couric is stupid, how did she become the most recent recipient of the Edward R Murrow award for “excellence” in television journalism. If Henry Gates and Ward Churchill are stupid, how did they become tenured professors?
Sayet explains the inexplicable, and the clip ends with:
…and they hate religious folk, the most… See, the idea of being a conservative is we try to better ourselves. Liberals spend their lives just being themselves. And you would think they would love the Catholics because you don’t even wait until you’re born to start being yourself. You were yourself in the womb. And you would think the liberals would love you for that, because, what is the womb? Basically, it’s a liberal paradise. Right? Basically, you’re sitting in a hot tub, feeding off of somebody else.
More on Evan Sayet:
by Gregg Cunningham
CBR has produced and posted on YouTube an abortion video which exposes the commercial fraud perpetrated by abortion clinic worker Emily Letts and her employer, the Cherry Hill Women’s Center. These scammers have been all over the press in recent weeks with headlines such as “Woman films her own abortion to show the world how ‘cool’ it is.”
The problem is that Ms. Letts and the Cherry Hill Women’s Center didn’t “film her own abortion,” they filmed only her own face during what she somewhat dubiously claimed was her abortion. The camera never reveals what is going on below her waist. If we assume, for the sake of argument, that she actually did have an abortion, she and her abortion clinic employer obviously didn’t want viewers to see the incontrovertible evidence that abortion is an act of violence which savagely kills a real baby, even early in pregnancy.
Ms. Letts and her abortion clinic employer created their YouTube video as a disingenuous sales pitch and our rebuttal video is a consumer protection device intended to ensure women are not deceived regarding the humanity of their baby or the inhumanity of the abortion which Cherry Hill Women’s Center is trying to sell them.
CBR unmasks the horror of abortion with a video which splices abortion footage into Ms. Letts’ claims that she “… has no guilt” and “recalls the procedure with fondness.” Those absurd assertions would only seem credible to viewers who have never seen an abortion. CBR’s parody video will help reduce the number of Americans for whom abortion is a comforting abstraction, always kept carefully out of sight.
Elizabeth Barnes, Executive Director of the Cherry Hill Women’s Center and the Philadelphia Women’s Center, is Ms. Letts’ co-conspirator in this abortion industry infomercial. She is also on YouTube proclaiming that “… we need to see more images in the media of women who choose abortion and it provides them a pathway to a new and better life.” CBR replies that what we actually need are more images in the media of dismembered babies for whom abortion provided a barbaric end to life. And if Ms. Barnes considers suing us for violating the copyright on her sales video, we say “Bring it on”–but we suggest she first read the federal judge’s opinion in Northland Family Planning Centers v. Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Gregg Cunningham is the Executive Director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) and a frequent contributor to FAB.
You are currently browsing the Fletcher's Blog blog archives for October, 2014.