The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Graphic abortion protests hurt cause

This past Sunday afternoon, as my boyfriend and I were driving away from the Kroger on Mockingbird and Greenville, I was feeling pretty good about life. I had just made a very budget-conscious trip to the grocery store and I was going to go home and make a meal. With the windows rolled down and the beautiful sunlight drifting into the car, everything seemed to be in the right place.

It was then that I was taken aback by something very, very out of place. There, on the corner of Mockingbird and Greenville, were protesters holding extremely graphic images of the aborted babies. Next to those photos were images of beautiful, healthy babies with frowns on their faces.

I immediately covered my face and said, “What?! Why?! …WHAT?!” I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Unfortunately, we had a red light and couldn’t get away from the images. The protesters and their horrible signs were just three feet away from me. One guy was even holding a flipcam in his left hand and an awful poster in the other.

I would have given him a piece of my mind if I had been able to think of anything to say that could have come out politely and in an educated manner, but I was too outraged.

Why are people displaying horrific images in an extremely busy intersection to people who are not involved in their debate? I cannot find it within myself to be OK with the fact that children of any age could be sitting in the backseat of their family vehicle and subsequently be exposed to the images that were shown on the corner that day.

I’ve been wondering: Do the protestors really think they are going to change people’s minds about abortion by shoving gut-wrenching photos of aborted fetuses/aborted babies (please choose whichever term offends you less) down their throats?

Do these people feel good about what they are doing because they think it will impact the community in a positive manner?

The answer, simply put, is yes. Yes, they do. After doing some research, I was able to find the group that did the protest last weekend: Pro-Life Texas. Their website is set up like a blog, with journal entries about various activities, information on “pro-life” groups and various videos and imagery that either mock Planned Parenthood or aim to scare people into believing that there will be religious repercussions to abortion.

Via www.prolifetexas.org, I learned that the obscenity I witnessed last Sunday was part of the Face the Truth Dallas Tour, wherein Pro-Life Texas aims to “[expose] the truth about what abortion is and what it does to the unborn child in the womb.”

One blog entry features a quote from Father Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life: “There is no activity in the pro-life movement more important and effective than to stand on the streets of America and expose the graphic reality of abortion.” Part of what appears to be Pro-Life’s mission statement is to “[hold] pictures of beautiful unborn babies and huge graphic signs of aborted babies…[to] line the roads at major intersections to show Americans the truth about abortion.”

Pro-Life Texas’ website claims that if one is to take part in these visually-offensive protests, he or she will “feel the power of the Holy Spirit as [he/she] stand(s) on the sidewalks of our city holding an image and praying for an end to abortion.” The website calls to action people who want to “teach truth” and “covert hearts.”

I did not feel any small bit of the Holy Spirit at the intersection of Mockingbird and Greenville last Sunday. My heart was not converted. I was simply outraged and disgusted. Any type of group that is going to solicit what is essentially a bloody corpse in order to “convert hearts” is not a group that I want to be a part of.

I was recently assaulted by similarly graphic images while watching a documentary called “180 Movie.” The video was created by Living Waters, a Christian company that produces the television program “The Way of the Master.”

The purpose of “180 Movie” is to show how people’s minds can be changed from either supporting or not having an opinion about abortion, to opposing abortion. What the film’s website (http://180movie.com) claims is that people’s minds can be changed “in seconds!”, but unfortunately the movie is thirty-three minutes long.

I had to sit through almost 15 minutes of horribly intense pictures, film clips and diary entries from the Holocaust(!) before I knew that the video was about abortion. Eventually, the man who interviews everyone in the film, Ray Comfort, ties the Holocaust and the murder of innocent people to the murder of unborn children.

While this point is potent and moving, even to someone as skeptical about the film as me, I was disgusted by the approach that the filmmakers took. It is absolutely unnecessary to scare people into taking your side by burning their eyes and brains with disgusting, tragic visuals.

I felt inspired to write this column because I was so hurt by what I saw last weekend. Only Texas legislators have the right to take away a woman’s choice to have an abortion or not, so forcing people who cannot vote on the issue to swallow those awful images is not going to make a difference as far as the law goes.

Regardless of my opinion on abortion, which I have done my best to hide in this article, I absolutely do not support these types of protests. Too many innocent eyes were exposed last weekend to something that they should not yet have to face.

These types of protests also discredit classier organizations and Christians who choose to educate, rather than intimidate, their target audience.

Katrina Leshan is a junior majoring in music education and classical guitar performance. She can be reached for comment at [email protected] 

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