Anti-Abortion Protesters in Town

Anti-abortion protesters spent yesterday in various locations around Charlottesville, waving 5′ photos of bloody fetuses and declaring that “Planned Parenthood…destroys Christ.” The graphic approach is part of their Virginia-wide “Face the Truth Tour,” intended to shock people into sympathy with the cause But, said one anti-abortion supporter that witnessed the scene, “I’m pro-life but against this. It’s kind of funny to say you’re for life, then do this kind of thing.” One lone person protested the protesters, waving signs reaading “honk if you love porn” and “free gay porn.” Sarah Bouchard has the story in today’s Progress.

28 Responses to “Anti-Abortion Protesters in Town”


  • Are they still out there? Because I’m quite prepared to show up with a 5 foot tall picture of a rape victim.

  • Pictures of aborted fetuses are more obscene than pornography. That’s the point that the protesters are trying to make. Protesting the protest is "killing the messenger."

    I think that pro-lifers are easy targets in our society. Would someone hold up "free gay porn" signs at an anti-Nazi protest where demonstrators showed photos of Holocaust survivors or piles of corpses?

  • Pictures of excised tumors would be pretty gross, too. Obscene, even.

    If I wave around a 5′ picture of a a bloody, excised tumor, making the point that it is more obscene than pornography, that won’t prove that cancer surgery should be made illegal.

    I am mistrustful of anyone whose arguements are weak enough that they must resort to sign waving, slogans and other rude theatrics in order to seek support. These protesters would probably have better odds of finding new support if they would carefully explain the rationale behind declaring a 1st trimester fetus to be a sentient human life. The crux of the entire disagreement between pro and con on abortion is essentially ‘when does it count as human.’ Why not address that? What can a disturbing picture prove?

    My humble request to the sign wavers is that they make a clear, reasonable case to me for why a 2 week old embryo is a more valid example of human life than a tumor. Seriously, I’m open to changing my mind.

  • Here’s the opinion of a woman who’s trying to have a baby of her own… now I really don’t wanna get the unresolvable issue of abortion started, but in my humble opinion, why not put up pictures of bloody women who have died thru illegal abortions?

    I just don’t understand how to anyone can see this issue as black or white. One cannot discern whose life is more important… If we choose the life of an unborn child we may be electing the death of a woman to illegal abortion. It’s really so simple (and ugly). When abortion is illegal-women die. When abortion is legal-babies die. OK the balance isn’t nearly equal when abortion is legal, but a life is a life & women are no less precious that babies.

    If you want abortion to stop work for things that make parenting a very attractive choice. Geez, in this city alone we have 3,000 children eligible for low-income health insurance & 300 kids are signed up. That’s just a tiny example of how precious this state sees its children.

    Want peace-work for justice! Want no abortions-work for social reform! Fear tactics are useless and just lame.

  • My humble request to the sign wavers is that they make a clear, reasonable case to me for why a 2 week old embryo is a more valid example of human life than a tumor. Seriously, I’m open to changing my mind.

    I sincerely hope that a tumor will never grow up to be president, one day. The fetus, however, has exactly that chance.

    Not seriously arguing here, but just showing that a 2 week old fetus and a tumor are distinctly different things. ;)

  • Lafe writes: Not seriously arguing here, but just showing that a 2 week old fetus and a tumor are distinctly different things.

    Perhaps it is a matter of personal perspective, which includes not only Christian (or other religious) ideas.

    I strongly suspect that such images have a stronger impact on those who already have blessed with children (and have seen still/moving ultrasounds of their kids since they were oh so wee small) than they do on other, childless folks.

    In any case, a two-week old pregnancy (measured from fertilization, I assume — but there are indeed other ways of reckoning such time) doesn’t look like anything human, so I assume for visual impact the poster-holders were showing something quite a bit ‘older’.

  • So does every zygote and ovum. You can use your imagination and think of just how ridiculous enforcement efforts would be in that arena.

    Going a little farther in that direction, what about the implications of cloning? Because it is possible to create a new, unique (despite what you hear in bad sci-fi movies) human life from a wide variety of cells in the human body, all sorts of parts of us have the potential to become presidents. Cells from my removed left kidney could have been nurtured into an infant. Did I have an abortion? The fact of that potential remains even if you ban cloning.

    Mere potential cannot logically be held as an arguement against abortion. The implications become too preposterous. Reasonably, we must look at the embryo and later the fetus as a snapshot- as what it is rather than what it might be. Abortion could still be a bad idea, but not on the basis of potential.

  • You are probably right. Which doesn’t make me look down any less on theatrics substituting for reason.

    For the record, I think that aborting anything past the first trimester is a seriously bad idea.

  • I agree. Potential alone is not a full and valid argument. That’s why I disclaimed that I wasn’t truly being serious.

    A fetus, however, has already started down the road of turning into a complete, unique, living human being. Your kidney cells, by contrast, have not. Nor have sperm cells or eggs alone. (Oh, the septillions that teen boys have killed!)

    You state in another post that you feel the cut-off should be the first trimester. Why then? What definining moment is there for you that means it’s stopped being a “blob of flesh” and started being a human?

    Personal preference isn’t a logical argument for abortion either. Who decides?

    Or better phrased: What is the logical place to make a distinction between “potential” human life and “actual” human life?

  • I’m fully on board with your cause, but possessing a five foot tall picture of a rape victim is just wrong.

  • I work right by where this was happening (for a couple of hours anyway) and it was irritatingly loud. And repetetive! There were about half a dozen different sentences about God’s plan and all the different ways abortion would get you sent to Hell, just with the words mixed around for variety. I couldn’t get anything done it was so loud, but they were apparently within their rights and the laws of the zone; so be it. When I went to lunch though, I had to ask mr. megaphone to get off the sidewalk because he had blocked the entire thing with his dead baby (which is, in fact, the one thing the police were able to tell them not to do) and he just stared at me!

    I eventually had to walk through him, leaving some choice words behind (granted, that was a hot-head mistake). He then broadcast to the entire corner that I was going to Hell and it was a decision I had made, not him.

    How rational is this?

    If it wasn’t obvious, I’m pro-choice, but I think there are plenty of good arguments that can be made against abortion. and not ONE of them includes abstractions like God or Hell. Those are such obscenely propagandistic choices for motivation that I can’t believe they would sway ANYONE’S opinion.

    Even religious people thrive on logic and concrete concepts.

    But anyway, if you happened to be there when it was announced I’m headed for Hell, please just try and forget you heard it. it’s a little embarrassing.

  • I have always listen to people talk about a middle ground on the topic of abortion. A friend however once told me "If you believe that abortion is murder how can there be any middle ground for the murder of innocents". It is a point of view that I have yet to resolve. I wish that this protest not go on. I defend the protestors right to protest, as long as they break no law.

  • How do these idiotic protesters think it affects the many women who have had miscarriages when they have to see a picture of a bloody fetus. It wasn’t their idea to give up their child. That is just nature and there is nothing you can do about it. It is a painful reminder to them of the child they never had AGAINST their choice…

  • you should have knocked the shit out of him..

  • There is no Yes or No on this issue at all. Legal abortions kill babies while illegal abortions kill women.

    The real question should be who would you prefer to see dead? An unborn baby or a grown woman? I say let he/she who is without sin cast the first vote.

    For now the law has decided to protect the lives of grown women rather than unborn children. The balance in terms of #s of dead may be different, but in terms of every life is precious and sacred there is no difference at all.

  • That’s exactly right! I have no problem with opposing opinions that follow through with their logic (I’m pro-choice with reserves). But what gets me boiling are all those folks who simply impose righteously their law, yet then turn all meek when it comes to seeing the consequences of their laws. They want to impose parenthood but then when the responsability to make sure that child has an opportunity to grow up in a healthy environment, then these same people put their heads in the sand and profess freedom [to be poor and struggling just to stay alive]. In short, it’s easy to "be for life", but it’s harder to "deal with life".

  • You wrote, "When abortion is illegal-women die. When abortion is legal–babies die."

    Actually, when abortion is illegal, women AND fetuses die, because even when it’s illegal, women still find ways to abort their unwanted children. You’re right that it’s much more dangerous for women when abortion is illegal, but let’s not imagine that "babies are being saved" by making abortion illegal. As long as there are women who don’t want to be pregnant (for whatever reason), there will be abortions. The protesters aren’t doing anything to change that reality.

  • Want to talk about middle ground? A few short miles East of my house is Atlanta, where at least 20 abortion clinics are flourishing. A few miles West of my house is Carrollton, home to Neal Horsley, who would have us all shoot abortion doctors so he can cross ‘em off on his web site.

    I really think that no one without a uterus needs to get actively involved in the abortion issue … but I’m definitely sitting squarely on "middle ground." :)

    SJ

  • I really hate to see this issue treated so squarely. This is at least the third comment to focus on the idea that there is a choice being made about who dies between babies and women and it’s really not that simple.

    for one, it’s not just life or death at stake, it is quality of life and health of society. there are already too many orphans to go around.

    and to speak for the other side of the camp, it is also important to acknowledge the fact that (arguments about the true beginning of life aside) the result of abortion is a direct termination, while the death of a woman due to an unhealthy, illegal abortion is the result of a conscious choice for one’s self.

    i’m already further into this argument than i care to be, but it is just terribly aggravating to see it turned so black and white when it clearly has one of the widest gray areas in the history of controversy.

  • that’s correct- the posters were, first of all, not real fetuses at all (which it seems the protesters were open about) and were very well past legal abortion stage – easily near full term.

    again, this is propaganda at its finest.

  • doesn’t mean for everyone it has to exist. If I believe it is murder, there doesn’t have to be any middle ground. Unless you want to argue that murdering innocents is ok. This is a valid POV for some

    Please seperate the fact that it is current legal to have an abortion or that woman have a right to choose. This is not that discussion.

    Why is it so very hard to accept that if someone truely believes that:

    If life begins at conception that anything purposely terminates that life is murder.

    You can argue choice, health of the mother, legal vs. illegal and it doesn’t effect the central belief.

    If I believe that the state shouldn’t sanction murder, with the exception of self-defense. This leaves us war when attacked. But what about the right to self-defense against child killers. There starts the slippery slope.

    I go back to my friends original statement that if you believe that abortion is murder, you are then obligated to fight it by an legal means. Many of life problems are casued by the obession to find the gray while blind to existence of any black or white.

  • i think it’s weird to say anyone is blind to the black and white when the extremes of any controversy are always the most voiced. i don’t really see how an attempt to reach understanding between the two extremes can be tagged as blindness.

  • the point is that many people only want to believe in gray and never black or white. I think believe in gray is fine but just because you believe in it doesn’t mean someone else has to. The whole point was that there are time when there can be , for some people, no middle ground. That belief in black or white does not make them bad people or wrong.

    As for blindness was to simple say that sometimes you can focus on the gray to the point where you forget to look for back or white. Today’s coporate scandals are based on very gray accounting that became clearly wrong. The more gray Enron et al. look for, the more evil they created.

  • good god. you’re talking about creating gray area out of thin air. i’m not.

    this really isn’t going anywhere, it’s too abstracted.

  • Although Anonymous has a hard time with words, there is the ring of truth to his ideas. Always seeking a middle ground can be a festering source of evil. You see, when goodwill is brought to only one side of the negotiation table (and life *is indeed* one continuous negotiation), then the resulting ‘gray’ keeps nudging towards the bad and the ugly. His allusion to Enron is perfectly timely. How do you think the accountants, analysts, CIO, CEO, board members and everyone in between got to that point? By nudging the truth, inch by inch, to a point where the instigators probably weren’t even sure anymore where the boundaries are.

    I have seen firsthand what MEDIATION can do: make completely unfair contracts between parties in the best interest of RESOLUTION. That last thing there can be a very dirty word in my book, because it is all too often replaced for JUSTICE. And that can only be a bad thing, no matter how many times folks chant "life is unfair".

    Evil is insidious. Rather than announce itself, it mostly just creeps up on you. So, go ahead, look for the middle ground on everything. Our mores will just keep marching towards mediocrity and no one will notice until JUDGEMENT is passed.

    Back to the discussion at hand: I feel we should establish a marker when the fetus becomes a human being. Before that point, a woman has total and unhindered choice. After that point, there’s no killing that baby. Science should lead our discussion on when that point is and it should stay open to more scientific findings in the future. This is an imperfect solution, but it is not a "gray" one, as in leaving open the door other factors that are not of essence.

    Personally (I am father of 2), I feel the marker is around 3 months. Before that point, the fetus is really just a bunch of cells in formation. Also, pregnancy isn’t always obvious the first month or even second. But after that point, that thing in a woman’s tummy seems to have a brain that can feel and react to external stimuli. At that point, a woman should not kill.

    Lastly, I am of the very strong conviction our society needs to become more socialist. Parents and their children should have access to quality daycare, healthcare and schooling no matter where you are on the ladder of society. I say ***** that extra Stealth Bomber and put those billions of dollars to work for our children. How many ***** war planes do we need anyway?

  • I think we need few more planes if we are going to invade Iraq.

    My 2 Cents

  • that’s the wisest statement in this whole thread.

  • Sure, let’s kill the babies we have here because we can’t afford to raise them because we are getting ready to kill the Iraqis because we need our SUVs because they threaten our reserves. Yeah, sweat, super wise!

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