Flower

Archive for the ‘Pro Life Activism’ Category

Let’s stop playing nice

Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Director, Georgia

Lincoln Brandenburg, CBR Project Director, Georgia

The following speech was delivered by CBR’s Georgia Project Director, Lincoln Brandenburg, at the 2016 March for Life in Columbus, Georgia. 

What is the goal of the pro-life movement? Jason Jones, the co-producer of the pro-life film “Bella” recently wrote a dynamite article called “The Pro-Life Art of War.” In it, he asks us to:

“Imagine if same-sex marriage were prohibited nationwide, and legal protections for homosexuals consistently struck down or defeated—while sodomy laws were re-imposed and enforced, with billions of dollars in funding from Congress. How effective would you consider the gay rights movement? If the Second Amendment were reduced to a hollow, meaningless shell, and Americans’ guns—even hunting and target rifles—were all confiscated by the feds, what would we think of the gun lobby? If the U.S. abandoned Israel to its fate, and starting sending aid and arms to Hezbollah and Hamas, what would we say of the Israel lobby? Fix each of those scenarios in mind, and let’s ask the question: What should we think of the pro-life movement? The answer is tragically clear: For all the minds and hearts it has changed, it is a comprehensive political failure. American abortion laws are among the laxest on planet Earth…”

Such thinking doesn’t exactly bring out the sunshine on a cloudy day like this, does it? And yet, when you consider the success of the aforementioned movements, contrasted to where we are after 43 years of legalized child killing, one cannot deny that Jones is on to something. In terms of public policy, we really have very little to show for decades of efforts.

Our goal must be to win. We can save a life here and there, but winning is the only way that the killing stops. But we have become entirely too timid to win. Most in our movement are Christians. And it is so ingrained in us to be loving, selfless and nice that we don’t know how to stand firmly and boldly against the evil of child sacrifice. We don’t even have a category for that in our thinking. We know how to be gentle as doves, but we don’t’ know how to be wise as serpents.

I would like to submit that being Christlike – loving, sacrificial and gentle – does not exclude us from also standing boldly against evil. Failure to do so is itself is unloving.

In the introduction to the book “The Bravehearted Gospel,” Pastor Ben Davenport writes:

“The historical Jesus was not crucified because God so loved the world. No! The only begotten of the Father was fastened with iron nails to an unforgiving cross because He spoke the truth with authority and glistened with the light of Heaven and men loved darkness rather than light…

“If Jesus, who was perfect, who never sinned, and who was love incarnate, could not speak the truth without being hated, rejected, and despised, who are we to think that we can do better? Who are we to think that we have figured out a more ‘loving and ‘relevant’ way to present the truth in a more ‘seeker-friendly’ manner than Jesus Christ, the Son of God?

“We have wholeheartedly embraced the sentimental, watercolor Jesus that seems to spend most of His time holding lambs and patting children on the head with some faraway, glazed-over, dreamy look in His eye. And we tend to shy away from, or altogether ignore, that man who spoke the truth of God so boldly that conspiracies were hatched, witnesses were bribed, and politicians were entreated to bring about His painful and public execution.”

This is the side of being Christlike that we are afraid of.

Now does this mean that we shun and condemn women and men who have been involved in an abortion? Does this mean that we scream at people outside of clinics? Of course not! I too have sinned. Were it not for the grace of God, I would still be blinded to sin. From one human to another, I can assure you that God is eager to forgive and to free from bondage to sin, including abortion. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.” If you view such people as the enemy, maybe you need to spend some time with God looking in the mirror first.

This is not a call to become one-dimensional. We have all seen people who became so enamored in a cause that they became cynical and abrasive. They develop tunnel-vision and lose their tenderness towards others, their winsomeness and their clairvoyance. That also is not what God calls us to.

But for the majority of us, that’s not the temptation we face, is it? Our temptation is to be silent and passive. Our temptation is to be content with having a political or theological stance, but not taking sacrificial action. We’re comfortable having our bible studies with people who are like ourselves; talking about “discipleship” and “worship,” and being really, really nice people… but doing nothing about the babies being decapitated and dismembered down the street from us.

After WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s best friend, Eberhart Bethge, wrote about the weakness of the Confessing Church in Germany during the war. These were not the liberalized, Nazi-pandering churches, but the Bible-believing ones that still held to orthodox theology. He observed that “it became clear where the problem lay for the Confessing Church: we were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.”

"We were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.” Eberhart Bethge

“We were resisting by way of confession, but we were not confessing by way of resistance.” Eberhart Bethge

Taking a cognitive stance is not enough. The love of God compels us to act. If we will not take a bold stand against the evil of modern child sacrifice, when WILL we finally stand up? What else would it take?

Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, we will get flack for it. We will be mischaracterized and called names. At my church we’ve been studying the sermon on the mount in Matthew’s gospel. In chapter 5, Jesus says: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in Heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” That should put steel in our spines!

“A servant is not greater than his master;” like Jesus, we should not be surprised when we get flak for speaking the truth in a culture that loves lies. When my colleagues and I engage in activism, we don’t yell at people. We don’t call names. We show the truth of what abortion is and attempt to engage in respectful dialogue. People yell at us. They throw things at us. They call us names. But God uses the prophetic message to convict consciences, change minds, and to save lives and souls. And each one of those precious lives and souls is worth it.

“Like Jesus, we should not be surprised when we get flak for speaking the truth in a culture that loves lies.”

Imagine a day when killing preborn children is a thing of the past. We are continuing to support pregnancy resource centers, such as Sound Choices and Seneca, Choices for Life), not because it’s the pro-life thing to do – but because it’s just the Christian charitable thing to do. No other reason. Imagine us getting together like this, not to march for life, but to celebrate the precious lives that are no longer in danger. Imagine standing before the God who purposefully placed you in this time and place of history, and hearing the words “well done, good and faithful servant!”

With that dream in mind, go forward courageously and boldly. Connect with others who are engaging the culture. Let’s stay humble, stay winsome. But let’s also refuse to take no for an answer. Let’s refuse to let up. Let’s stop playing nice.

Submitted by Lincoln Brandenburg

Newbie staff member on pink out day

Jacqueline and abortion victim image

Exposing Planned Parenthood on their annual “pink out” day.

by Jacqueline Hawkins

As a newbie staff member, there’s a certain apprehension that precedes each pro-life outreach.  Questions go through my mind while butterflies take residence in my stomach.

What’s going to happen?  How will people respond to the pictures?  Will there be protesters?  Can I go back home, hide under the covers and come out when abortion is abolished?  These questions raced through my mind as I drove to a local American killing field.

Planned Parenthood (PP) was hosting their national “pink out” day, a celebration of prenatal decapitation and dismemberment.  The local sidewalk counselors and pro-life activists weren’t sure if this particular PP affiliate was going to participate, but they would make a preemptive strike with their presence.  We stood with abortion victim photos across the street.  The 40 Days for Life sidewalk counselors prayed and called for women to escape with their children.

As always, the apprehension died away as we took our places and focused on the task at hand.  In this case, the outcome was low-key.  We held our signs in peace.  There were no pinked-out pro-aborts.  A few passersby beeped their horns and gave us the thumbs-up.  Some used another digit to get their point across.  We call this phenomenon the “digital divide.”  One passenger in a black SUV used her phone to take pictures of our signs as she rode by.

Low-key does not mean hundreds of passersby weren’t confronted with the true horror of abortion.  Every minute of exposing abortion helps win hearts, change minds, and save lives.

That’s why I go forward … even when I’m tempted to go home and hide under the covers.

Jacqueline Hawkins is a CBR Project Director and a regular FAB contributor.

Rules for Rallies: Avoiding conflict over abortion victim photos

CBR volunteer Debbie Picarello on the public sidewalk near a pro-life rally in Nashville

CBR volunteer Debbie Picarello on the public sidewalk near a pro-life rally in Tennessee.  CBR cooperated with rally organizers to select reasonable display locations.

It’s a source of conflict and it won’t go away.  What do you think?  Please comment.

More and more, pro-life activists are showing up at political events, Tea Party functions, Christian assemblies, and even pro-life rallies to display abortion victim photos (AVPs).  We at CBR do it, and so do others.

Event organizers routinely take exception to this, asserting that we are being disrespectful, divisive, disruptive, etc.  They ask us to put away our signs.  “This isn’t the time or place,” they say.

We do it anyway.  It is our duty to expose injustice.  Yet, over and over again, it is never the disaster that rally organizers fear.  Maybe it’s because we always respect the rights of organizers to reserve space for their own exclusive use, and we never disrupt or interfere with any of their activities.  Here is how we do it:

  1. We communicate our intent to display AVPs near the subject event.
  2. We assure the organizers that we will keep our signs out of whatever space they have reserved for their own exclusive use.
  3. We promise that we will not go near the podium nor interfere with the event in any way.
  4. We make it clear that we are not there to protest their event, but to deliver our message to an important audience.  We come as friends and co-laborers, albeit determined to fulfill our own particular mission.
  5. We even let the event organizers tell us where they want us to stand, within reason.  When they see that we are reasonable, then they are reasonable (most of the time).
  6. We send a letter or e-mail to the police notifying them of our intent to display AVPs; we offer to meet with them to discuss locations, rules of conduct, etc.

Why do we show up at pro-life events?  Because the abortion industry is chopping up little babies and selling them for parts, and somebody needs make that point clearly visible and undeniable.

Pro-lifers are an important audience for our message.  We want them to see how serious abortion is.  Almost every full-time pro-life activist can trace his activism back to that day he first saw an abortion photo.

We want to demonstrate how AVPs can be displayed in a respectful way.

Finally, we want to invite pro-lifers to become more active in the movement, perhaps as a vocation.  That’s vocation, not vacation!  The other side has made killing babies a full-time profession, but we have made saving them a part-time hobby.

Yes, pro-lifers are often our most important audience, but there are others.  For example, we want news reporters to know that abortion decapitates and dismembers its victims.  Whether they decide to report that fact is another thing, but at least they will know.

Passersby will wonder what the rally is all about.  We want them to see that the rally isn’t about the abstract notion of “choice,” but instead is about the decapitation and dismemberment of little human beings.

So what happens?  Nothing bad.  In the end, we have never caused a problem for event organizers, despite their initial fear and trepidation at our presence.  They did their thing, we did ours, and we all sang Kumbaya at sunset.  Well, maybe everyone didn’t sing Kumbaya, but nobody has ever claimed that we disrupted their event.

May we respectfully offer the following Rules for Rallies for your consideration:

  1. People who organize rallies have every right to set their own agendas.
  2. People who organize rallies have every right to control the space they reserve for their own exclusive use.  They get to decide what signs get brought into that space and what signs don’t.
  3. People who organize rallies don’t get to control everything within visible sight, however.  Spaces that are still available for general use (i.e., still available for use by the general public while the event is being held) may not be claimed by the organizers as off-limits to AVPs.
  4. People who display AVPs have every right to do so on the public sidewalk and in public spaces that are not being used by rally organizers.
  5. People who display AVPs have every right to target whatever audience they choose, including people who are going to or leaving a rally, with whatever message they choose.  Just as the pro-life movement (PLM) is fighting against the status quo of abortion in society, some in the PLM are challenging the status quo of the PLM itself.
  6. People who display AVPs have as much right to engage people walking toward a rally as pro-lifers have a right to engage people walking toward an abortion facility.
  7. Nobody has the right to veto the proclamation of truth.
  8. Displaying AVPs near a rally does not disrupt a rally.
  9. People who display AVPs should, as a courtesy, notify the rally organizers of the plan to respectfully display AVPs on a nearby public space in a way that does not interfere with the rally itself.
  10. Under most circumstances, it is not unreasonable for the rally organizers to ask for a 5-foot buffer between their crowd and the people holding AVPs.

As a matter of course, we always notify the police that we intent to display AVPs.  In our letter or e-mail, we normally offer to meet with them to answer questions and discuss specifics.  This gives the police managers a chance to tell the street officers that we do indeed have the right to be there.

That’s what FAB thinks, but you might change our minds.  What do you think?

Should we show graphic abortion photos outside abortion clinics?

CBR Volunteer Gary Johnson and the AVPs that saved Suzanne’s baby in Knoxville.

Occasionally, we encounter the pro-lifer who supports the use of abortion victim photos (AVPs) on college campuses (in an academic setting), but not outside abortion clinics (where they might be seen by pre-abortive or post-abortive women).

To support their position, they cite the observations of former abortion clinic workers who say that such violent photos often frighten and upset women rather than lead them to change their minds.  Abby Johnson’s has stated that women who came into her Planned Parenthood clinic for abortions were not dissuaded by pro-lifers displaying AVPs.

We love Abby Johnson, but these former clinic workers miss the main point.  First of all, we have heard from countless women who did not abort because they saw AVIs (www.AbortionNo.org).  The babies saved by AVPs are very real.

Second, we should bear in mind that clinic workers inside these clinics spoke only to the mothers who decided to go through with their abortions.  Yes, these mothers did decide to walk past the pictures and come in anyway.  That is obvious.  But these former clinic workers fail to consider the mothers they did not talk to, the mothers who did not say to these clinic workers, “I decided to save my child,” because they turned around and left before they had a chance to say anything at all to the clinic workers.

And yes, mothers who went ahead with their abortions might have been “frightened” and “upset” by the truth, but so what?  They were having their own children decapitated and dismembered, perhaps even tortured to death.  The problem isn’t that they were upset; the problem is that they were not upset enough.

Thankfully, we know that some women were upset enough, and their babies are alive today.

Still wonder if abortion victim images are effective?

Shock and Awe on Chasing New Jersey

Shock and Awe on Chasing New Jersey

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.

 

The Pro-Life Viewpoint and Equal Access

This is artwork I included with my letter to the mayor. It’s intended to match the cool colors of the rainbow.

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

Greetings,

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

Here’s a link to a local TV news story on our request.

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.

-Meredith “Mick” Hunt

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.

CBR Announces Key States Initiative (KSI) for 2014

KSI Trucks

KSI Trucks. (Click to enlarge.)

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.

DRIVERS NEEDED

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.

Did Martin Luther King use graphic pictures?

attacked by dogs

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “America will never reject racism until America sees racism.” Was he wrong?

Did Martin Luther King use graphic pictures?  You bet he did.  He said

America will not reject racism until America sees racism.

He organized marches so that racial violence, which had been perpetrated mostly in the shadows, could now be exposed to the light of day.  When Americans saw racial violence for themselves, they rejected it.

Richard B. Speed’s review of Mark Kurlansky’s book, 1968:  The Year That Rocked The World, describes how Dr. King orchestrated this enormously successful strategy:

In discussing the impact of civil disobedience, Kurlansky relates a telling incident that took place during a 1965 march in Selma, Alabama.  Martin Luther King apparently noticed that Life Magazinephotographer, Flip Schulke had put down his camera in order to help a demonstrator injured by the police.  Afterward, according to Kurlansky, King rebuked Schulke, telling him that “Your job is to photograph what is happening to us.”

When does showing abortion pictures become an “assault”?

John Stonestreet

John Stonestreet

Recently, John Stonestreet made some great points in his commentary A Time To Shock? over at BreakPoint.  He says that he used to be against the use of graphic abortion images, but now has “mostly” changed his mind.  He made several good points that will be familiar to most FAB readers.

However, we’d like to see him change his mind all the way.  We were confused as to what displays Mr. Stonestreet endorses and what displays he believes are off-limits.

His subtitle says: “Using Images of Abortion in the Public Square.”  But then he says: “Now let me be clear: I am completely against blindsiding people with images of aborted babies. It’s not only unfair; it can be a visual form of assault.”  How can we expose abortion in the public square without being accused of blindsiding or assaulting people who are in the public square and don’t want to see the photos?  Is it too much to ask them to look the other way?

He writes favorably about reformers who absolutely placed horrifying images into the paths of people who did not consent to see them (e.g., publishing the photo of Emmett Till in a newspaper, taking unsuspecting men and women into the odor cloud of a slave ship, publishing the photo of the Vietnamese girl on TV and in magazines).  In our case, the newspapers and TV are covering up the truth of the abortion injustice, so is it inappropriate for us to go to the public directly?

Are abortion photos off-limits except for academic settings, sermons in church, and speeches (generally attended only by people who are already pro-life)?  How can we show our fellow citizens the facts if they don’t attend our lectures or worship at our few-dozen churches where they will see the truth?

He cites Eric Metaxas saying we should show our fellow citizens the facts, but we should do so in “appropriate ways at appropriate times.”  What does that mean?  What is an inappropriate method or time to show our fellow citizens the truth?

When does showing abortion pictures become an assault?

Fletcher Armstrong on WLAP Radio in Lexington (podcast)

On Air

.

Your humble correspondent was interviewed by Tom Dupree on WLAP Radio, the Rush Limbaugh station in Lexington.  To listen to the podcast, click here.

This interview was aired on Sunday morning, October 26.  Tom is a great interviewer.  We covered a lot of serious ground, but it was fun, too.  Hope you enjoy listening.

 

These guys are everywhere!

CBR Maryland at the Bel Air Festival for the Arts

CBR Maryland at the Bel Air Festival for the Arts

It seems that CBR Maryland’s presence is becoming well known in the Washington-Baltimore area.  “Jack” recently posted the following on Facebook, next to a photo of our Black Genocide Awareness Project display:

Jack ——-, August 25:

I saw these guys at the March yesterday and they really bothered me – they show up at most big events in DC, like a bloody wet blanket.  Dear Bloody Baby Guys,  I see your oversized panels of blood, guts and tiny human parts at most large gatherings on the Mall and it offends me. But frankly you bore me, and I can’t take you seriously and you all are aggressively annoying and I think, intellectually dishonest.

Unbeknownst to Jack, one of his own Facebook friends was CBR Maryland volunteer David, who responded, instigating the following conversation:

David ——-, August 25:

Hi Jack. If you continued down to the second to last sign on the left you would have found me. I didn’t see you there so maybe you didn’t see that at least 6 of our members were women. For the most part people seemed interested, shook my hand, and thanked me for being there.

Jack ——-, August 25:

Dave, I am proud to call you a friend and neighbor! Much love back at ya!  Please answer this, Dave, why the giant gross-out signs? Such a negative presence, I personally don’t like them, but further I can’t imagine they win many to your cause. For every one person you may win I suspect you drive away 20!

David ——-, August 25:

I believe that it is important to put a real face on the victims of abortion just as for years we have put a real face on the victims of poverty, war, human trafficking. You know this from Time, Life, and so on. Young people who see these images begin conversations because they are so shocking and then we instantly have another pro-lifer for the rest of her/his life. Never does it work in the reverse unless that person is nuts. 40 years of legal abortion on demand at any stage of fetal development and very little change in public policy because when people say choice they think “reproductive health rights”. The images will help associate “choice” or “right to choose” with the true end product of the wrong choice, a dead baby.

Tim ——-, August 25:

I think that was a great explanation.

Jack’s comments are proof positive that, despite the media blackout, pro-lifers can still succeed in getting their message across to the community.  If it can be done in DC, it can be done anywhere!  If this is what we can do with a mere sixteen volunteers, image what would be possible with a hundred or more!

Jonathan Darnel speaks to a group of young people

Jonathan Darnel speaks to a group of young people

Pro-life activism at it’s best — Artscape 2013

CBR peacefullly confronts a crowd of 350000 with the truth

CBR peacefully confronts a crowd of 350,000 with the truth. What an honor to bring light to this darkened place! What a tragedy more pro-lifers don’t do it.

FAB is grateful to CBR Maryland Operations for filing this report.

Pro-life activism at it’s best — Artscape 2013

Again this year, CBR rocked the Baltimore art scene to its core with three days of non-consentual, anti-abortion witnessing.  Twenty volunteers helped reveal the truth of child-killing to a crowd of 350,000.  Many of them were willing to see and hear the pro-life message.  Reactions ranged from extremely hostile to enthusiastically supportive.  In fact, four people came out of the crowd and joined our demonstration!

On Friday, a woman who had protested against us last year turned up again, this time with spray paint.  She defaced one of our signs and violently assaulted a volunteer before being apprehended by Baltimore police officers.  There were many more incidents of vitriol and rage, but this was the only physical assault, thanks to the diligence of the Baltimore Police Department.

Two volunteers leave the crowd to help

Two volunteers abandon their plans for the day to help save babies. Will you abandon your plans for the day and help? Whether you hold a sign yourself or buy a sign for somebody else to hold, your contribution saves lives.

Saturday and Sunday gave us greater exposure, as the size and density of the crowd increased.  Our headline banner could be read seen from the other end of the fairway, so we attracted a great deal of attention.  People of all races, ages, and backgrounds passed by to read our messages and see the reality of abortion.  We spoke to Satanists, eugenicists, homosexuals, atheists, Christians, post-abortive women, adopted children, and a self-described socially liberal, gay, pro-life young woman running for state delegate.  The diversity of human emotions and reactions was incredible.

It is often saddening to see how absolutely the pro-abortion narrative dominates people’s thinking, despite their pro-life instincts.  Over and over, they confirm what CBR Executive Director Gregg Cunningham has long said,

When the topic of abortion comes up, the average IQ in the room drops by about 40 points.

People have taught themselves to believe really stupid things about abortion that they don’t … well … things they don’t really believe.

We met several who did not believe late term abortions were performed in Maryland.  The assumption that the world is overpopulated was almost universal.  Few people, even the most intelligent, had a coherent idea of what constitutes a “person,” almost as if they had never considered the question before — which most probably hadn’t.  As always, many had simply never seen what an abortion looks like.

What an honor to bring light to this darkened place!  What a tragedy more pro-lifers don’t do it.

As we departed for the last time Sunday afternoon, a police officer quietly shared with one volunteer that his parents had considered aborting his younger brother, yet chose life instead.  This same brother is now designing satellite systems.  What a testimony!  If only every unborn child were given the same chance!

The pro-life movement cannot afford to overlook opportunities like Artscape.  Everywhere we turn, there are people whose pro-abortion assumptions have never been challenged.  How can we expect to win without converting people to our side?  Babies are being murdered even as you read this.  To save them, we must reach our fellow citizens … where they are … and make them see.  Please help us do it.  There is no time to waste.

Pro-life presence at abortion fundraiser

FemKill Fundraiser

FemKill Fundraiser

Abortion industry fundraising events are a great venues for pro-life activism.  Here is a story from Mick Hunt of Life Advocates in Asheville, NC, describing his work at a Femcare (abortion clinic) fundraiser.  You can read the complete story and see more photos on his blog (Part 1 here and Part 2 here).  Mick is a faithful CBR volunteer and uses CBR Choice signs in his work in North Carolina, as seen in the photo at right.

FemKill Fundraiser
by Meredith Hunt, Life Advocates

Yesterday evening, fourteen of us stood in front of the entrance of the Millroom to greet financial donors of the Asheville business that aborts prenatal children on Orange Street.

Amy Renigar, Executive Director of Girls on the Run of WNC (GOTR) attended the fundraiser.  The GOTR website says, “Amy Renigar joined the GOTR team in June 2012 because of her interest public health and passion for creating a world where all girls (and women) are empowered to become their best selves.”  Ann Pfaff, an outspoken abortion supporter, is on their Board of Directors.  This organization runs programs in elementary schools all over the region, including at Veritas Christian Academy.  Go to it’s website to learn of its numerous local sponsors, many of whom would not wish to be connected with the violent deaths of prenatal children.  Groups such as Rotary Club of Asheville, Earth Fare, Diamond Brand Outdoors, and so on.

City Councilman Gordon Smith passed by me with an acknowledgement, “How are you, Meredith?”  I nodded.  Then he turned back and said with a grin, “You have raised so much money for them in there.”  Something like that …  Money.  This got me thinking.  The people at this event were pretty committed and not likely to be influenced.

But not everyone is this way.  Many people still have a functioning conscience when it comes to abortion.  Or at least they can have a normal reaction.  When we were winding down, I took Eric and Starla with me around the block to the other side of the building, which is the front of Asheville Pizza and Brewing, the business that owns the Millroom, which was either rented or donated for the Femcare fundraiser.  Asheville Pizza has an outdoor dining patio that is right next to the sidewalk and last night it was full of people eating.

We had faced the large posters of a mangled, bloody 10 week pre-born child toward the customers no more than two or three seconds before we had a diner in our face, confronting us.   None of the Femcare supporters acted like this.  People are more upset over an impediment to their appetite then they are about children being slaughtered and about a fundraiser for such atrocities in the same building in which they are filling their stomachs.  They demand that we behave decently when this horrible outrage goes on day after day, year after year (out of sight, out of mind).  But at least they react.  One of the managers called the police and when an officer came we chatted a few minutes.  I wonder how much money we could raise for Asheville Pizza and Brewing.  It would be a new twist to “Brew and View.”

Notorious celebrity Cecil Bothwell’s contribution to dialog was to practically shout that one of the protestors should “repent of your self righteousness!”  I wonder if he can explain “self-righteous” in a way that doesn’t include his own attitude?  This accusation dodges talking about what’s really right or wrong.

1 aborton video + 1 smart phone = 1 baby saved

Outside a Baltimore Abortuary

Outside a Baltimore Abortuary

CBR Maryland reports on how a graphic abortion video on the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform’s (CBR’s) website, AbortionNO.org, was used to save a baby’s life.

“Star” was counseling for only the second time ever outside Planned Parenthood (PP)of Baltimore.  Among the numerous couples she approached was a woman in her 30’s, escorted by her male friend.  While mom didn’t want to speak to anyone, her friend was willing to hang around and chat.  Like most people headed into an abortion clinic, he was convinced that this was the only choice.

Star procured a smart phone and persuaded him to watch the graphic abortion video posted on AbortionNO.org.  He was visibly disturbed and told her that witnessing abortion certainly did change his perspective.  Eventually mom came out again to retrieve her friend, who urged her to view the video herself.  Reluctantly, she did, and experienced the same paradigm shift.

Star continued counseling these two for 30 minutes, aided by other counselors on scene, until at last the couple departed the clinic, armed with information on a local crisis pregnancy center.  Victory!

Star was instrumental in another save that same day, and in a third encounter used the graphic video to persuade a woman to reenter the clinic and attempt to get her abortion-minded friend out of there (result inconclusive).

CBR encourages the use of graphic abortion images outside abortion mills.  The pictures do not make the sidewalk counselors unapproachable, and they have been instrumental in deterring several women from aborting their children.  Praise God that an image of man’s inhumanity can become a tool of life and love!

Does the March for Life advance or impede the Pro Life Movement?

Jonathan Darnel practicing what he preaches

Jonathan Darnel practicing what he preaches.

Guest column by Jonathan Darnel, Project Director for the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) Maryland Operations.  This originally appeared as an online comment to a piece by Gerald Nadal on LifeSiteNews.com.  Dr. Nadal’s piece was in response to a hit piece against the pro-life movement written by Elizabeth Jahr.

Does the March for Life advance or impede the Pro Life Movement?
by Jonathan Darnel

I’m afraid neither Ms. Jahr nor Mr. Nadal is right.  Mr. Nadal has adequately refuted Ms. Jahr in this article, but his belief that the March for Life (MFL) motivates pro-lifers to fight abortion is false.  Rather, the MFL convinces most pro-lifers that all they need to do is march once a year, and spend the rest of the year pursuing their normal lives.

Don’t believe me?  I can prove it.  According to Mr. Nadal, last year’s MFL attracted 600,000 marchers. According to AbortionDocs.com, there are fewer than 800 abortion clinics in America.  Do the arithmetic: 600,000 pro-life marchers divided by 800 abortion clinics equals 750 marches per clinic.  Tell me, are there 750 people targeting each abortion clinic in America?  Are there even 100?  What is the average number of people you see standing outside an abortion clinic on a Saturday morning?

Ask any random pro-life person what they are doing to end abortion and you will hear them say, “I pray, I vote, and I attend the MFL.”  Maybe their church gives a pittance to a nearby crisis pregnancy center.  This is the sum of their dedication.  And they think it’s enough?  Outrageous!  I know plenty of abortion clinics located mere blocks from a Christian church or high school, and nobody seems to notice or care.  It’s the same for both Catholic and Protestant churches.  It is absolutely terrible.

Instead of one large march which gets zero media coverage, we should be conducting thousands of local marches, and maintaining persistent, year-long vigils outside very clinic, every abortionist’s home, every government building, every college campus, and every busy city intersection.  As long as we can do more, we should.  Few of life’s pursuits are more important than ending this wicked Holocaust.

When I attend the MFL, I go there with large banners decrying Christian apathy and calling on marchers to get serious or go home.  Marching once a year is not enough.  It is an insult to the lives we supposedly are there to defend.

CBR Maryland has launched a new project called Run2TheBattle (link here), which aims to help Christians realize that marching once a year is not enough to end the abortion holocaust, and that kids are dying because barely anyone is fighting to save them.  Several other groups around the country are also doing this.  It’s about time.  40 years of apathy is just too long.