If you are a post-abortive woman (or man) willing to share your story, there is no better place to do it than in front of our GAP display. You can reach more people in one day on campus than in a whole year at your church. You can reach people who really need you. And who better than you to warn students of the consequences of “choice?”
Here is an essay from Debbie Picarello, someone just like you who is deeply committed to helping others find healing from their abortions. Read about her in student newspapers at the U of Central Florida (link here) and the U of South Florida (link here). In addition to standing with us on campus, she also volunteers with Deeper Still, one of our favorite post-abortion healing ministries. We pray that God will send us more like her. Perhaps He will send you!
Hope and Healing on Campus
by Debbie Picarello
I was in college when I had my abortion. Living without my child and living with the consequences of my “choice,” I have had a deep desire to reach men and women in this age group. Guttmacher estimates that half of all abortions are performed on women of college age, so the college campus is ground-zero for either preventing abortions or ministering to those already wounded.
My recent mission trip to Florida with the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) was my most productive to date. At the GAP displays, I set up a Deeper Still post-abortion healing table a few yards away from the display. My sign says, “I’ve had an abortion, you can ask me anything.” At the University of South Florida, I was approached by so many post abortive women and men, I lost count.
Stories from the men and women varied. Some regretted their decision to abort and wanted information about healing. Some tried to justify why they don’t yet regret their abortions. Others were somewhere in between. It was interesting to hear people share how, over time, it has become harder and harder to justify their “choice,” because it hurts. They hurt.
Some said that because I had an abortion, I was the only one who could speak authoritatively on the subject. I know that is not true, because abortion is still takes the life of a pre-born child, whether or not the mother feels regret over it. Nevertheless, that was the sentiment of a lot of students that stopped by the Deeper Still table. There is great power in testimony, especially the testimony of a healed man or woman. We can speak with the authority because we have been there, but we can also speak about Jesus, The Healer Himself.
I still find myself missing my twenty-something I aborted so many years ago, wondering what life with her would have been like. Sharing her story over and over keeps her memory alive. GAP has been a wonderful opportunity to share not only what abortion does to the pre-born child, but also to show that there is hope and healing in Jesus Christ after abortion.
Anyone can do what I am doing. Your story matters and there is someone desperate to hear it. CBR gives GREAT training, and they will teach you ‘how’ to share your story in the context of the whole larger abortion debate. And men — this is a men’s issue too — your story needs to be heard as well.
Please join us on a short term mission trip to a college campus near you. I promise, you will NEVER be the same! These trips have forever changed me because I have gotten to see first-hand that hearts, minds, AND lives are saved by these outreaches.
Our GAP at the University at Buffalo (UB) brought out the pro-aborts in force. UB student newspaper The Spectrum reported as many as 150 protesters on Day 2. They chanted, screamed obscenities, tried to block our signs, … the whole 9.
The only thing they didn’t do was give a rational explanation as to why it is OK to kill some human beings and not OK to kill others.
They even brought out fabric barriers in in a failed attempt to block the signs. The police refused to intervene, giving law-breakers tacit approval to prevent the UB Students for Life and CBR from exercising our First Amendment rights.
FAB wonders if the UB Administration would be similarly “tolerant” if conservative students interfered witih a leftist presentation on campus. Naah … we didn’t think so.
Anyway, CBR defeated this attempt by putting up one sign on the second level, extending high above the blocking reach of the mob. (Can’t wait to go back!)
The UB has a long history of obstructing pro-life speech. When the UB Students for Life organized in 2010-2011, UB stalled their application for 9 months, until the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) forced UB to give the Students for Life the same access to UB spaces/facilities that all the left-wing students enjoy. Story here: Recent Victory for Pro-Life Speech. Later, UB students vandalized a Cemetery of the Innocents display, not once, but twice. Stories here: Second Round of Discrimination and Vandalism at University of Buffalo Continues.
Stay tuned! Much more to come! To fight against censorship of pro-life students, please support our work here!
If you had not shown me images, I would not have changed my mind. Now, all I see is murder.
The Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK holds Abort67 project outside the Department of Health, London, UK. There were many conversations like this one. Graphic Images are crucial for changing the way society feels about abortion. This will enable them to change their thinking and behaviour on abortion too.
On Day 2, GAP at Auburn got really revved up. Huge crowds came out to see the display and discuss abortion with our staff and volunteers. Some of them even protested! Imagine that.
Where are the Christians? One female student was sitting on the ground, about 30 feet away, occasionally looking over at the photos, bowing her head, and reading her Bible. Jane Bullington went over to talk.
She was a Christian, she was pro-life, and she knew abortion was wrong. But she was worried that post-abortive women might see the signs and commit suicide. She was genuinely upset and wanted us to pull the signs down. Jane spoke with her at length, explaining why it is necessary for us to show the truth. Jane told her that millions of children have died because the “pro-life” church has covered up the truth about abortion.
Jane told her that women who abort are at a much higher risk of committing suicide. It is not us that puts them at risk; it’s the abortionist who kills her baby. Jane explained that many, many babies’ lives have been saved by exposing the truth using graphic abortion photos. She explained that all of our people are trained to treat people with respect, that we are all Christians who look for opportunities to share the Gospel, etc.
The young lady listened, she smiled, an occasional tear rolled down her cheek. Jane told her that we do our best to invite Christian ministries and pastors to join us at GAP, but they almost never come. It is just not on their agenda. Jane asked her, “Where are the Christians on your campus? Why aren’t they out here?” There is no good answer to that question. She just starred off in space for a moment and then said, “I need to go to class; thank you for talking with me. I am going to post on my Facebook page a plea for those in my campus ministry to join me today on the concourse to pray for GAP and for our campus.” We wonder if any did.
Media Coverage at Auburn. The student paper came out after we had left Auburn, so we don’t know how much was in the print edition, but you can find these two items online:
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At our GAP presentation at Auburn, some complained that we displayed graphic photos near a day care center, where they might be seen by children. We don’t know if the University administration notified the day care staff or not, but they had a month to do it. Unless we show pictures in the public square, the killing will never stop. No injustice in history has ever been eradicated by covering up the truth.
In 1997, the movie Schindler’s List was shown on network TV during the family viewing hour. Some expressed concern that children might walk into their living rooms and see the graphic violence before parents could intervene. Those people were laughed to scorn, “How dare they suggest that this movie shouldn’t be shown in places where children might see them?” They even said that children ought to see this movie, so that they can prevent such an injustice from ever happening again. That movie, by the way, was much more difficult to see than any of our abortion pictures.
We won’t submit to a double standard. If it’s appropriate to show a violent movie so that people, even children, will understand an injustice committed in another place and time by another group of people, then it’s appropriate to show pictures of an injustice that we are commiting ourselves, right here and right now.
Additionally, horrifying images of violence are routinely published on magazine covers and on newpaper front pages. These images are placed in checkout lines at the supermarket. Millions of children see them. Nobody complains about that.
We really have only two alternatives. If we show the pictures, some children may be disturbed by them, but other children will certainly be saved by them. We might even stop the whole bloody mess. But if we cover up the truth, the killling will never stop.
The American Life League (ALL) reports that both the New York Times and Washington Post rejected a full-page advertisement as “too graphic” and “shocking” for their adult readers. What was too graphic? This full-page color advertisement showed images from actual Planned Parenthood sex-ed materials used for children as young as 10 years of age. The rejected ad can be seen here: http://www.all.org/pdf/PP_HookingKids.pdf. Maybe it wasn’t too graphic; or maybe the NYT and WP knew it was just too perverted for the common rabble to know about. Only they know how to raise our children, not us.
Day 1 of our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) at Auburn was Holocaust Remembrance Day. People always complain that we schedule GAP on that day, because they are “offended” that we would compare killing millions of preborn children with killling millions of Jews and eastern Europeans. We don’t target any particular day; we just look for good weather days when the students are on campus. However, we believe it is just as appropriate to show the truth about abortion on that day as much as any other day, perhaps more so.
Nazis called their victims useless eaters and non-human (rats, pigs, vermin, “untermensch,” etc.). So the government took away their rights, experimented on them, and killed them. Surely we could never let that happen again.
Today, abortion promoters call their victims non-human (products of conception, blob of tissue, parasite, potential life, etc.) and a burden. The Supreme Court took away their rights. Medical practitioners experiment on them and kill them.
Many of the same people who say “never again” will turn around and destroy their own children, for very similar reasons. They are “offended” when we point this out.
It is easy to oppose an injustice committed by somebody else, a long time ago, an ocean away. It is much more difficult to oppose an injustice that we ourselves are guilty of, right here and right now.
But if people still complain, we make them this offer: If the abortion clinics will shut down their deadly clinics on Holocaust Remembrance Day (or any other day), we will suspend our presentations until the clinics open back up.
We took our Pro-Life Training Academy (PLTA) and our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) to Auburn University earlier this month. We had a great location on the Haley Concourse, right in front of the Student Center. You can see the large crowd in the photo (right). We were hosted by the Auburn Students for Life.
Converting the neutral and activating the converted. Nicole spoke at length with a student who was marginally pro-life until we showed up. She spent hours volunteering at the GAP display and is now on fire to do more. She joined the Auburn Students for Life and we know we’ll see her again!
Too late. Nicole also spoke with a young man who was obviously distraught. She said, “You are obviously upset by what you are seeing. Would you mind sharing with me what you are thinking?” As it turned out, this young man had advised his sister to get an abortion, just two weeks before. Clearly, we needed to be at Auburn last year. In fact, we need to be on every campus every year with GAP. Additional visits with “Choice” signs would be good, too. Nicole, who is post-abortive herself, explained about the many physical and emotional risks that his sister now faces. She also recommended counseling.
Abortion is not genocide … so they say. Many people are confused about the definition of genocide and assert that abortion is not genocide. Of course, abortion is neither murder nor genocide if the preborn is anything less than a living human being. But if the preborn is a living human being — science and common sense tell us that the preborn is both human and alive — then abortion kills 1.2 million American human beings every year. If not genocide, what else would we call it?
They try to say that abortion cannot be genocide because the government doesn’t perform the killing. That’s a silly argument because (a) government leadership is not part of the definition of genocide, and (b) the US government actually pays for a lot of abortions and will, under ObamaCare, pay for all of them.
There is no one definition of genocide. In our years of studying this crime, we have identified three different classes of definitions: general, legal, and scholarly. Within each category are literally hundreds of definitions. We use the definition of genocide embodied in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96, which defines genocide as “a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings….” Resolution 96 goes on to say genocide is a crime “whether committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds …” (emphasis added). With abortion, the “entire human group” denied the right of existence is unwanted, preborn children.
FAB Note: Sorry for the hiatus. We’ve been on the road for more than a month, both on CBR projects and on personal business. We’ve always thought it better to do good work than to just talk about it. Now that we’re back home for a few days, we can talk some now!
Marriott Opryland CAP: The work goes on!
On our 5th and final day of the launch (just final day of the launch, not the last day of the project!), we were greeted by the most powerful and coldest winds we had seen to date! Weather Underground reported winds gusts as high as 43 miles/hour! Yikes!
But God did not forget us. He sent us warm encouragement in the person of Carly Hill, the Managing Editor for YoungPatriots.com, a website for … well … young patriots. She spent quite a while with us and posted this report. (See video below.)
A few days later, Lyndon Allen returned to the Marriott Opryland with a team of Nashville volunteers to continue the project. (See photo below).
On January 25 our Georgia Project Director, Lincoln Brandenburg spoke at the 2013 Chattahoochee Valley March for Life in Columbus, GA, noting the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Hundreds attended, and we gave out 1,500 “Choice” cards, each of which features a graphic abortion photo. A “Choice” cards in your wallet is an excellent tool for changing minds by simply showing people the truth! The following are excerpts from his speech.
Forty years is a long time. Too long. And those of you who have given of your time and resources to save lives and to end the killing may be wondering, “Have we made progress?”
Many of you are familiar with the legendary human rights activist William Wilberforce who, in the early 1800’s, led the movement to abolish slavery in the United Kingdom. That campaign was an uphill battle. Slavery, like abortion, was as profitable and invisible as it was cruel and horrifying. But awareness was raised. Abolition bills were introduced, failed, and introduced again year after year. Incremental progress was made over the decades.
Finally, his old and broken body failing, Wilberforce received word that the votes and support were in place, and that legalized slavery in the British Empire would, at long last, come to an end. Three days after receiving this wonderful news, a tired Wilberforce went home to his Savior.
I’m telling you this story, pro-life friend, because it took Wilberforce and his team not forty, but nearly fifty years to accomplish justice. Fifty years of toil and labor, small victories, heavy defeats, and the ridicule of being misunderstood by friend and foe alike.
Though it has been a long journey for us also, we will not give up, because the lives of those precious little ones and the hearts of their mothers are worth fighting for! So stay in the fight, my friend.
I have one more story to tell. This is for friends who are pro-life, but not yet active in this work of saving lives.
In May 1940, German forces attacked Holland. The following years of occupation brought a gradual fulfillment of Nazi policies, resulting in the dehumanization of Jews. There were severe criminal penalties for any who would aid, abet, or harbor them. But that did not stop some. Casper ten Boom was an elderly watchmaker who, along with his two grown daughters, lived out their professed Christianity by risking their lives to hide Jews in their own home and guide them to safety.
A Jewish mother and her baby came to them for refuge. As they sought to find a safe place for them, the ten Booms asked a country pastor if he would take this family in.
Sadly, what this s0-called “minister” of the gospel gave them was not help, but cowardly excuses. “No. Definitely not. We could lose our lives for that Jewish child.”
Upon hearing that, Casper picked up the baby, holding him tenderly, and responded “You say we could lose our lives for this child? I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.”
Eventually, the Germans found this family out. They were shipped to concentration camps, and Casper ten Boom, being sick and elderly, did indeed lose his life for saving the lives of others. But unlike that pastor, he stood before God as one who could give a good account of his stewardship during a dark time in history.
You and I are also living in a time in history during which innocent lives are being snuffed out. But we have it much easier. Unlike the ten Booms, we do not have to keep our efforts hidden. We still have the freedom to peacefully stand up for these children whom our government won’t protect. How much more readily should we do so, given the comparable ease of our task? Friends, change will not come about by us wishing it away. It will not come about by thinking pro-life thoughts. It will not come about by going to a march one day a year and then staying at home for all the rest.
In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.”
Another day of exposing abortion in Nashville. We were set up at the Marriott Opryland Hotel & Convention Center for Day 2, where it much colder than yesterday due to a cold breeze coming down from Canada. In fact, we heard reports that it was so cold down at the State Capitol, the politicians had their hands in their own pockets.
At this location, we had no opportunities to engage people verbally, but we knew the pictures were working their magic. We could see them working in the expressions of passing motorists and their passengers.
In fact, Georgia Project Director Lincoln Brandenburg reminded us just how effective the pictures could be with his story of a recent encounter with a member of the Georgia Tech Students for Life. This active pro-lifer from Connecticut became pro-life at the tender age of 12, when she saw one of our truth trucks in the run-up to the 2004 elections. She recalled that her mother complained about the picture on the truck, but it caused the youngster to become a life-long (so far) pro-life activist. The pictures do work.
The Corporate Accountability Project (CAP) at Marriott/Opryland was a huge success on Day 1. Our team of volunteers displayed signs for about 6 hours, as scheduled, from about noon until dark. They were very enthusiastic about the experience, and most promised to return again to help as the picketing continues over the next 4 days.
We reached thousands of people, especially those lined up at the traffic light, waiting to turn left into the Opryland complex. Several people in the turn lane took pictures as they waited for the light to change. Friday is a huge day, because so many people arrive for their weekend stays. In this case, people were also arriving for the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention.
We got many thumbs-up from passersby, but only one or two “flying buzzards.” (The difference between thumbs-up and the other finger is what we call the “digital divide.”)
Our presence was covered by WZTV-17, the local Fox affiliate. Their concluding remark was the biggest laugh-line of the day (if you are into macabre humor); they identified Planned Parenthood as an agency that “provides services to expectant parents.” Who writes this stuff? (Oh, yeah, Planned Parenthood writes it.)
Date: February 27, 2013
The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) will display large abortion photos at the entrance to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, now part of the Marriott International hotel network, beginning March 1–5, 2013, during the National Religious Broadcasters Convention.
Marriott International has admitted in writing that it permits its own hotels and those of Marriott franchisees to donate to Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider. Marriott has also acknowledged in writing that Marriott money has been donated to Planned Parenthood, but refuses to ban this inhumane practice.
The Marriott hotel network consists of many corporations that collectively form a single, integrated, business entity. CBR’s anti-abortion pickets will become a regular presence at the Opryland Resort & Convention Center until Marriott International prohibits Planned Parenthood donations from any of its Marriott hotels or those of its Marriott franchisees.
The first time a corporation donates to Planned Parenthood, that corporation becomes, by definition, a Planned Parenthood corporate donor. That donor status places that corporation on a Planned Parenthood donor boycott list. Corporations on that boycott list are subject to picketing. Every Planned Parenthood corporate donor, however, qualifies for removal from the donor boycott list by simply promising to never give again. Marriott International explicitly refuses to make that promise. They will, therefore, be picketed until they change their minds. Marriott guests are entitled to know that Marriott International permits its hotels and the hotels of its franchisees to donate some percentage of their room rates to organizations which kill babies.
CBR staff and volunteers will maintain a lawful presence at the entrance to this property in the same manner in which CBR will soon display identical aborted baby photos at Marriott properties across the country and around the world. Many Marriott guests at other locations have thanked CBR for exposing Marriott’s refusal to prohibit Marriott hotels from supporting Planned Parenthood. Many have assured CBR that they would not return as guests until Marriott International reforms its socially irresponsible philanthropic policy. A simple management directive would serve this purpose with regard to its own hotels. A similar prohibition could be imposed by a letter to franchisees, announcing that donations to Planned Parenthood will henceforth be regarded as tarnishing the Marriott brand, in violation of Marriott franchise agreements.
More information regarding this project may be obtained by contacting Fletcher Armstrong, PhD, at P.O. Box 20115, Knoxville, TN 37940, or by phone at 865-776-1312, or by email at fletcher@CBRinfo.org. Inquiries may also be directed to Gregg Cunningham, at P.O. Box 219, Lake Forest, CA 92609, or by phone at 714-240-6976, or by email at CBR@CBRinfo.org.