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As Long as We Remember...

June 16, 2004

Support The Message, Hate The Method

Bethany Stevenson

When was the last time you said, "I love to see those pictures of dismembered babies?" Or your friend said, "Let's go see those posters of dead babies down on 40?" What? Did you say, "Never?" Then why, why, do we have to be tortured again and again with their display?

Anti-abortion groups are everywhere and many people will state they are firmly against abortion. I will even adamantly raise my hand to confirm I believe that abortion is murder and kills innocent human beings.

But, who was the demented mind that devised the plan to parade 10-foot posters of fetuses that have been aborted through most torturous means?

On Monday, June 14, 2004, at 4:05 P.M., I was leaving Toys 'r' Us on Patrick Street with my two children. In their seats, the children were perusing the booty of Yu-Gi-Oh cards they had just acquired. At the stop light, we all noticed people scurrying in the median with large boards. Curious we all continued to watch. Then the under-my-breath utter escaped as I realized who they were and what they were doing.

"Come on light, change, change!" But not before the observant eyes of my children in horror cried out, "What are those pictures of, Mom?" My desires to shield them from the gore were fruitless.

As a mother who knows the effects of violence and horror in the media, I have protected them as best I could from seeing such graphic violence on TV, in movies and in video games. But who knew a simple trip to the toy store would end up destroying all that I have worked for.

Almost in tears, my sensitive son was shocked to hear these people were flagrantly flaunting pictures of dead babies. "Why, Mom, why would someone do that?"

From the mouth of the innocent to the demented anti-abortionists who traipse around holier-than-thou, I, too, say, "Why, why would anyone do that?"

Knowing that humans have tendencies to clasp onto a cause and defend it to the end, I realize that the issue is that important to these people. I, too, am appalled that someone would choose the selfish life and abort a child, rather than avoid sex, or take up the responsibilities and joys of motherhood.

But what possesses a person to take shock value, and remove personal agency, to promote a cause. These people are in the same extremist groups as those who bomb abortion clinics or declare jihad as a reason to kill.

My own sister, who lives a different lifestyle, religiously, from me, called me at 5:15 on Monday, fit to be tied. "Don't drive down 40 if you don't have to, those .those. people are there again with their posters." Trying to come up with a descriptor of "those people" without offending the ears of her 3 year old, who just saw this stomach-wrenching display, she stated that someone has got to do something about this.

She, too, is against abortion, but like me, adamantly against this wack-o group.

I am embarrassed to admit that I am a Christian, that I am conservative in my political and moral views, because people like these exhibitioners give us all a bad name. When extremists can be separated and given their own island to live on, then we can all be safe from their destructive tactics. Then they can do what they want to each other.

But until that magical day, somehow our Constitution has given them the right to flaunt this nastiness to unwary eyes and minds. I understand they are committed to the cause of teaching that abortion is taking a life. But there are ways to teach this without offending the innocent and those that believe in the cause.

This extremist group lacks tact, decency, and thought beyond their own little world. In their selfishness to feel good about promoting their cause, they have inflicted pain, gore, and disdain upon those who would be their allies.

My children have now suffered through the lasting memories of these horror raising photos four years in a row, not to mention the anger and sadness I have felt. My only desire is not to promote the cause of anti-abortionists, but instead to rid the world of these jihad-like extremists.

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