Letter to the Kitsap Sun: We are here because abortion is here

In her August 18th letter, Danielle Rye says she is offended when she sees our aborted baby pictures along the streets of Kitsap County. She imagines this disruption of her otherwise pleasant commute as a bad thing, but effective social reformers know that individuals need to be bothered about an injustice before enough people will rise up to stop it.

The Anti-Choice Project uses pictures to bother those with a functioning conscience because we realize that injustices which are covered up do not end. When abortion is hidden, abortion is tolerated. When it is seen, everything changes. As abolitionist William Wilberforce once said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.”

Ms. Rye is outraged that her child saw our signs, but these images save lives and lives trump feelings in our book. The law, of course, is on our side: “It would therefore be an unprecedented departure from bedrock First Amendment principles to allow the government to restrict speech based on listener reaction simply because the listeners are children.” (9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Center for Bioethical Reform v. L.A. County Sheriff Dept.)

Ms. Rye ought to realize that we are here because abortion is here. The only question we have for those who can’t bear to look upon “Choice” is—If it’s wrong to SHOW what goes on in an abortion clinic, why isn’t it wrong to DO what goes on in an abortion clinic?

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for coming out behind your sign, and putting your name with your opinion of others. I wrote the letter you are referring to. My letter was not meant to attack pro-lifers or give a pro-choice opinion, but to simply state that the uproar over bikinis is laughable when there a people standing on the street corner with pictures of aborted fetuses. It is not my place (nor anyone else’s) to judge what someone does with their body, be it their employment, or an abortion. It is their bodies not mine. I would have to make a conscious decision to have my kids go through a bikini barista stand, yet they are forced to see what would be considered rated R material on the street corner so that you can make your point. If you want to get Biblical, may I remind you and your fellow CHOICE protestors of the Bible verse John 8:7 "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." I think our world would be in a better place if we quit condemning one another. Let Him judge it.

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  2. Monica Migliorino Miller, theology professor at Madonna University and the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, is credited as the person who actualized the use of these photographs for the pro-life movement and as the actual photographer of many of the images still used today. It would appear that Mrs. Miller agrees with Ms Rye about the intentional use of graphic images, and about exposing these images to children. "Over time, however, her views on which images are appropriate have evolved. She no longer sees gory pictures showing blood or organs as acceptable. She has tried harder to shoot younger fetuses, because that’s when most abortions take place, and she said she also believes that the most graphic images should not be deliberately directed at children because “they can’t intellectualize what they’re seeing.” " -Behind the Scenes: picturing fetal reamains, Oct 9 2009. Damien Cave, New York Times

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  3. "Thank you for coming out behind your sign.."

    For some reason, a lot of people wrongly think we use the signs as a way to hide from the public. The truth is we stand behind them in plain view of all who pass by, and we're happy to engage in a discussion of abortion anytime, anywhere.

    "… and putting your name with your opinion of others."

    The letter was a response to the *ideas* you expressed in your letter against us. My opinion of you is stated nowhere because (1) I do not know you and (2) even if I had one, my opinion of you is irrelevant.

    "My letter was not meant to attack pro-lifers…"

    In your letter you specifically said our signs were 'blatantly offensive', questioned the legitimacy of our actions ('..people are forced to see pictures of dead fetus, and that's OK?'), and suggested censoring us and making us use 'more tasteful signs'.

    ..not exactly my definition of a neutral observer.

    "It is not my place (nor anyone else’s) to judge what someone does with their body, be it their employment, or an abortion."

    The problem is that every abortion involves two bodies. One of which gets shred to pieces.

    "yet [my kids] are forced to see what would be considered rated R material on the street corner so that you can make your point."

    We don't target children with our pictures. It is regrettable some see them. But women who see the pictures are less likely to abort (no fewer than two babies were saved that we know of), and covering up the pictures for the sake of born children's feelings while unborn children are being tortured to death is far more regrettable.

    "If you want to get Biblical…"

    I don't. Abortion is a human rights issue, not a specifically religious issue. Here is my logic for opposing abortion:

    1) Intentionally killing an innocent human being is always wrong;
    2) Every abortion intentionally kills a human being,

    Therefore every abortion is always wrong.

    "I think our world would be in a better place if we quit condemning one another."

    We condemn no one; we condemn every act of killing a baby.

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  4. "Monica Migliorino Miller, theology professor at Madonna University and the director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, is credited as the person who actualized the use of these photographs for the pro-life movement and as the actual photographer of many of the images still used today."

    All true, but none of the photos we use came from her.

    "It would appear that Mrs. Miller agrees with Ms Rye about the intentional use of graphic images, and about exposing these images to children. "Over time, however, her views on which images are appropriate have evolved. She no longer sees gory pictures showing blood or organs as acceptable.""

    Mrs. Miller is entitled to her opinion. In the personal correspondence I have seen with her, however, I know this is a distortion and an incomplete summary of her view. Since the conversation was private, I am not going to publish her words here.

    Regardless, she is free to believe in whatever strategy she thinks best, and the Anti-Choice Project is free to engage in the strategy it sees as most effective.

    "She has tried harder to shoot younger fetuses, because that’s when most abortions take place.."

    Almost all the images used by ACP are 8-12 week abortions. Several hundred thousand late term abortions are performed every year in America, so we do have a small number of 24 week pictures.

    "graphic images should not be deliberately directed at children because “they can’t intellectualize what they’re seeing.”"

    We never target children.

    Reply

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