Framing Choice | Pro-lifers promote Planned Parenthood event.

Pro Life activists in Knoxville display Choice signs (at left) and a banner announcing the PP fundraiser.

Pro Life activists in Knoxville display Choice signs (at left) and a banner announcing the PP fundraiser.

My trip to Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware continues. More on that later. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Shirley Moore and others took a number of CBR “Choice” signs to a Planned Parenthood fundraiser (PP) at Market Square in downtown Knoxville. Here’s her account:

Framing Choice: What Choice Means to the Victim

Planned Parenthood held their annual FYI Peer-to-Peer fundraiser at Market Square in Knoxville on Friday, May 6. This was held right in the middle of the May edition of Knoxville’s summer monthly First Friday celebrations. The Peers are students trained through 40 hours of exposure to Planned Parenthood ideology and advocacy coaching. They are required to make “100 informal educational contacts with their peers.” These newly designated “sex-perts” promote Planned Parenthood in schools, churches, and anywhere else teens gather. Here is Planned Parenthood’s announcement of the May 6 event:

Framing Choice: What Choice Means to Me

For three years, the teens of FYI have exhibited photography that explores choices in life – a road, a friend, a frame of mind, etc. The framed photos are always thought-provoking. With depth and beauty these Knoxville area teens explain what choice means to them and you have the opportunity to share in that experience. This exhibit promises to challenge and inspire you. In order to make the event a success, we need your help.

There you have it; they needed our help to make the event a success! You don’t have to ask twice! So a few of us borrowed CBR’s “challenging” and “thought-provoking” photographs to set up a display of our own.

Arriving early with the signs, I saw a large man in the PP party eye me suspiciously, even though the pictures were turned face-in, leaning against a tree, and not visible … not yet, anyway. Several of us gathered and waited for the young people to arrive. When those brave young souls entered the Square, we picked up our signs and walked toward the stage. We hoped to inspire a few people to reconsider what “choice” really means, so we held signs that said “Celebrating Choice Means Celebrating This” above the graphic photos of aborted babies.

A dozen of us stood in a semi-circle facing the stage, surrounded on both sides of the Square by diners enjoying a First Friday meal at the many restaurants. Since we were toward the front of the Square and not facing them, the diners appeared to pay little heed. Two of our party stood with their backs to the stage holding a long banner, announcing to those entering the Square from the opposite direction, “Planned Parenthood: the Largest Abortion Provider in the USA.” I think PP should be glad we were there to announce it was a PP event, for they had no signage of their own. No banner proudly heralding their name, no bold identifier … just a humble grey tri-fold display board with the PP logo at the bottom. A few people wandered through the exhibit, never realizing it was a PP event. Why so shy? How popular is that brand, anyway?

Perhaps the large man on stage called the police, because a policeman arrived and stood next to the stage most of the time. Which suited me fine, because some people walking by made comments of the hostile “hit and run” variety. But others were supportive and not afraid to come up and talk. One man said, “I’m against it too, but you shouldn’t be showing those.” And there he was, holding a professional camera with an impressive lens on it, lecturing me about censoring imagery. I thought, “If you’re against it, why not use that lens to stop it?”

A young man on a bicycle whizzed by tossing off a hit-and-pedal remark: “Mind your own business.” But as Jacob Marley’s ghost (A Christmas Carol by Dickens) says,

 “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

A professorial woman critiqued our images and explained facts about fetal development to a companion, never meeting our eyes or acknowledging our presence. Invisible as the unborn, I guess.

But the most boisterous reaction was from a musical band of blasphemy singers who took up positions in front of us and played loudly, mocking religion and believers in general, best I could tell. This song of mockery greatly heartened the PP personnel on stage and they came to the edge of the steps, beaming approval.

All in all, I hope PP appreciated our taking the opportunity to “share in that experience.” Anytime they need a banner to herald their name, we’ll be glad to bring one.

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