Eric Scheidler with one of the League's warning signs
[Photo by Matt Yonke]
Following our first ever “Face the Truth Tour” in Cincinnati last weekend, we received an e-mail from someone who made it clear he was not a fan of ours:
Placing those photos on major roads was innappropiate [sic] and disgusting and Tramatizing [sic] to children and your organization should be ashamed and banned.
I don’t care if you are protesting against abortion, but subjecting children to these photos is not acceptable behavior for an organization that tries to represent itself as concerned citizens.
Please rethink your actions and your so called caring tour and don’t force this stuff on our children by using disgusting graphic photos.
After years of experience showing graphic abortion pictures out on the streets, we’ve gotten used to hearing complaints — which, like that of our aforementioned correspondent, most often ask “What if children see these pictures?” in some form or other.
That’s why this is the first question addressed on our Answering Common Objections to Face the Truth page.
But there’s another aspect of this complaint that deserves some attention: the idea that by displaying graphic abortion pictures, we are thereby forcing people to look at them.
To be sure, this likewise is a complaint we receive often enough. Here, for example, are some comments that one passerby posted on our Facebook page during our Chicago area Truth Tour this summer:
What you are doing in towns like Arlington Heights is deplorable. Showing those images to people who have no choice but to look is just awful. … You are no better than those who perform abortions. You gave no one the right to choose to see those pictures, you just shoved them in every drivers and passengers faces.
We gave no one the right to choose to see our graphic abortion pictures? Really?
When we get complaints like this, I’m left scratching my head.
How would it be possible to literally force people to look at our graphic abortion pictures? I suppose we would have to physically restrain them, place them in a straitjacket, and use a pincer-like instrument to prevent them from closing their eyes — as was done to Malcolm McDowell’s character in A Clockwork Orange (see left) — while holding up graphic abortion pictures in front of them.
But suffice it to say, we have no intentions of doing anything of the kind.
The Right to Choose to Not Look at Graphic Abortion Pictures
On the contrary, during our Face the Truth Tours, people have every right to refuse to look at our pictures if they don’t want to. How? By simply not looking.
What’s more, as a general rule, we have a policy of positioning four (4) large signs that read: Warning: Graphic Abortion Photos Ahead in advance of each of a Truth display to alert drivers coming from each direction approaching the intersection where our signs are set up.
So committed are we to warning passersby about our display that we’re continually looking at ways to improve quality and visibility of our Warning signs.
Since 2009, we’ve used solid metal signs manufactured by the same company the Illinois Highway Department uses. We use sandbags to hold the signs in place, and to prevent theft — a fate that befell two of our Warning signs in recent years — we now secure our signs to other permanently fixed signs or electrical poles using industrial strength chains and padlocks.
We make every attempt to position them at such a distance from the intersection as to make them most visible to the greatest possible number of drivers so they may choose to take an alternate route if they would like.
Still, when we’re out on the street, we often hear passersby complain that even though they saw our Warning signs, they still strenuously object to our showing graphic abortion pictures.
To such as these, we offer a solution: Help us end abortion. Then we won’t need to show them out on the streets.
UPDATE, 11/1/11: Check out other pro-life blog highlights from October 2011 at Life Report’s Pro-Life Link Party here.