On November 17, 2006 we saw still more dramatic evidence of the power of pictures to change minds and save lives. A twenty-one-year-old woman from Troy, AL, wrote us after seeing our aborted baby photos and said:
I was considering having it [abortion] done. I am six weeks pregnant, and after seeing these pictures I could not even consider it. I am glad I don’t have to think about that decision anymore. It would have hurt me more to go through with it than have the baby.
When someone has a functioning conscience, the facts matter. But alas, not everyone does. Professor George J. Annas, Boston University School of Public Health, inadvertently concedes that point in an editorial he wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine, January 11, 2001. He was commenting on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the partial-birth abortion case captioned Stenberg vs. Carhart, 120 S. Ct. 2597 (2000). He ends his analysis with the following observation: “Maybe, in the debate over abortion, we are all past the point at which facts and logic matter.” Not “all” of us, professor. And not even most of us. But there are, no doubt, a minority of Americans whose depravity is so profound that “facts” and “logic” really don’t “matter” on the issue of abortion.
One such lost soul is a twenty-one-year-old woman from Willard, OH. On November 19, 2006, after seeing the very same photos seen two days earlier by the twenty-one-year-old from Troy, AL, she said “no” when we asked if our photos had influenced her thinking and added “because I am having an abortion.” The Ohio woman apparently went through with her abortion anyway.
Indifference — or even hostility — toward facts and logic is a common problem. The prosecutor who is currently bringing rape charges against members of the Duke University lacrosse team, for instance, recently admitted that several months into his prosecution of various team members, he has yet to interview the accuser. He couldn’t care less about the facts. On October 27, 2006, the Associated Press quoted the players’ understandably angry defense lawyer, Joseph Cheshire: “…Mr. [Mike] Nifong [the prosecutor] did admit that he in fact has basically never talked to this woman and has absolutely no idea what her story is and yet he has chosen to continue to go forward with this case”…. A related article in the October 9, 2006 issue of National Review (“The Crime of Their Dreams”) criticizes the news media’s presumption of the players’ guilt despite the extreme weakness of the State’s case: “Far from dealing with these factual problems, many commentators have given the impression that the facts are beside the point. This attitude results from equal parts ideology, [an assumption of white society’s] guilt and political expediency” [emphasis added].
RealClearPolitics.com said: “As one student at Durham’s historically black North Carolina Central University put it to Newsweek, he wanted the lacrosse players punished ‘whether it happened or not. It would be justice for things that happened in the past.’”
The Duke lacrosse team case, where the facts cast doubt on the defendants’ guilt, is the mirror image of the O.J. Simpson case where it was facts which proved guilt that didn’t matter. On November 25, 2006, theAssociated Press ran a story headlined “Blacks and whites united in disgust over Simpson’s If I Did It”:
Unlike whites, [for most blacks] Simpson’s guilt or innocence was never the issue, says Marc Lamont Hill, a professor of urban education at Temple.
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Ronald Walters, director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland … [says] ‘This was about a victory over a system that had continued to vilify black people’ … citing … the disproportionate number of blacks in U.S. prisons.
In other words, politics had corrupted justice to the point that the evidence became irrelevant. Some people don’t know the facts because they don’t care about the facts. They aren’t looking for the truth. They are looking for a politically preferred outcome. People who are merely ignorant have an information deficit. They can be educated. People who condone evil in spite of the facts have a spiritual deficit. They can only be prayed for. Thank heaven, most pro-abortion Americans are more ignorant than evil. Facts and logic can still change most minds. We see proof of that fact virtually every day. And that is why the forces of darkness are so keen to suppress the facts – threatening and sometimes engaging in acts of violence against those who force the public to behold the horror of abortion.
That is why someone claiming to be “Jake Hurst” attempted to intimidate us with a threatening E-mail message apparently sent to us after he saw our aborted baby photos on November 13, 2006:
WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? I think that everyone who hates you or has ‘wronged’ you is justified. If you came and ‘visited’ anywhere I go to [school], I would destroy your s*** too. You’re probably all Jesus freak Republicans too. Jesus isn’t reeeeeeaaalll. Please just get rid of yourselves before someone crazy does.
We get lots of threats from angry pro-aborts. Many are too incredible to be taken seriously. More than a few, however, have given rise to violence. But isn’t it interesting to note how often, just beneath the surface, the anger which motivates these threats is actually about Jesus? Mr. Hurst threatens our photo signs and even our lives because we are exposing and condemning baby-killing; but it is really Christianity against which he rages. Hostility to criticism from people of conscience is a global epidemic. The New York Times published a story headlined “Anti-Syrian Minister is Assassinated in Lebanon” on November 21, 2006:
Pierre Gemayel, a Lebanese cabinet minister and prominent anti-Syrian Christian leader, was shot and killed today in Beirut. The assassination, which the United States immediately called an ‘act of terrorism,’ was the latest in a series of killings of prominent figures who were critical of Syria.
Criticize evil and you may well be assaulted by doers of evil. None of our staff has been killed but death threats against us are commonplace. And acts of violence against our equipment are a constant risk. Just a few weeks ago pro-abortion thugs slashed $800 worth of our billboard truck tiers in a nighttime attack.
Violence also has a long history of use to stifle dissent in Russia, where CBR has recently begun to work with some very brave pro-life activists. The Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2006, reported a story headlined “Acclaimed Reporter Killed in Russia”:
Moscow – A prominent Russian journalist known for reporting of human rights abuses in war-torn Chechnya was shot and killed Saturday in what colleagues and authorities described as an apparent assassination.
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[Anna] Politkovskaya, a mother of two, was considered one of the toughest critics of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin and of pro-Moscow Chechen Prime Minister Ramazan Kadyrov.
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After … [a] hostage crisis in 2004, the seizure of a school in Beslan, Politkovskaya became seriously ill on a flight to the region and was hospitalized. She and her doctors suspected poisoning ….
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Alexei Venediktov, editor in chief of Echo of Moscow radio, one of the few broadcasting outlets still pursuing Western-style journalism in Russia, said … some of his friends urged him to start using bodyguards.
We have at least a rough idea how it feels to require armed guards to protect us as we force the public to look at ugly truth. We have to be accompanied by the police on almost every campus on which we conduct our Genocide Awareness Project – and even that’s no guarantee that we won’t be attacked.
Voice of America (voanews.com) reported a story on October 9, 2006 titled “Europe Outraged Over Slain Russian Journalist’s Murder.” The article noted that “according to Reporters Without Borders,” twenty-one journalists have been killed in Russia for reporting [atrocities] since 2000 and free speech has been muzzled.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Russians may also be using poison to silence critics abroad. The Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2006, ran a story titled “Ex-spy’s poisoning may be linked to inquiries”:
London – A former Russian spy [Alexander Litvinenko] poisoned in Britain and now hospitalized under armed guard may have been targeted because of his criticism of former colleagues and his investigation of the killing of a prominent anti-Kremlin journalist [Anna Politkovskaya], friends and fellow dissidents said Sunday.
The press later reported that Litvinenko, who had narrowly survived a gasoline bomb attack two years ago, finally died from what his doctors confirmed was a sophisticated radioactive poison.
On June 2, 2006, The BBC News (News.BBC.co.uk) reported that legal authorities in Ukraine had concluded an investigation which found that President Viktor Yushchenko had been deliberately poisoned (and nearly killed) when he challenged the then incumbent president, supported by Russia, for the presidency. The Russians silence critics one way or another – choose your poison.
One is reminded of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov who defected to the West and was assassinated with a poison-tipped umbrella in London after criticizing Soviet Communist leaders.
Even America’s most radical feminists can’t quite muster the lethality of the KGB or Russian Mafia but on the campus of the University of Washington several pro-abortion demonstrators smashed glass vials of a foul-smelling chemical in an apparent attempt to render uninhabitable the site on which we were displaying our Genocide Awareness Project signs. The authorities had the stink bombs analyzed but the results were inconclusive. Despite the nauseating odor, we continued our GAP display. These sorts of laughably amateurish assaults would be comedic if children’s lives weren’t at stake.
We get threatened and attacked (see our Website at www.abortionNO.org) because we report the horror of abortion which the press ignores but when journalists report unpopular truth abroad, Lebanon and Russia aren’t the only places they are killed. The October 15 edition of the Los Angeles Times reported a story headlined “Attacks on Journalists Continue in Baghdad”:
Baghdad – Gunmen killed a radio journalist and kidnapped a television reporter, Iraqi police said Saturday, continuing a spate of attacks that has killed 14 media employees in recent weeks.
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The Committee to Protect Journalists, based in New York, reported Friday that 85 journalists and 35 media support workers had been killed in Iraq since March 2003 ….
Another Los Angeles Times story, November 24, 2006 (“Drug crime out of control”), describes the ruthless efficiency with which drug cartels have silenced the press in Mexico:
With [the Mexican] government all but ceding control of the border, civil society has fallen into disarray or been cowed into silence. Newspapers in Nuevo Laredo have stopped reporting drug killings under pressure from advertisers, government and drug dealers.
The dopers have now successfully used violence to silence their critics in Mexico and many pro-aborts would like to score similar victories here in the U.S. CBR may not be at the same risk as Mexican newspaper reporters but make no mistake, many of our adversaries would like to see us dead if they can’t get us to stop showing the truth.
On October 15, 2006, we received another death threat – from someone who claimed to be anti-abortion no less:
I recently saw 2 of your trucks and I thought it was the most disturbing image I have ever seen. I don’t agree with abortion and I don’t think your organization should be even allowed to display something like that… The people you get to drive them should be shot… your whole company should be locked up for the s*** you do.
Babies are alive today who would have been killed had pro-lifers such as those on our staff not been willing to risk their safety in defense of life. God bless them and God bless you for giving us the resources to stand between the children and those who would kill them. But we could save so many more if more of our supporters would only become regular monthly donors. Please pray about joining the growing number of stalwarts who stand with us every month!
P.S. Our Website material has become so “viral” (spreading exponentially across the Internet, almost by self-propagation) that I recently saw our abortion video “Choice Blues” on the wildly popular video Website “YouTube.com.” We don’t know who put it there but it had already been viewed by 6,046 people and generated 132 written comments in a running exchange on the issues of abortion. Reading these postings made it very clear that minds are being changed and by implication, lives saved. Thanks for making it possible for us to save babies all over the Worldwide Web!