I recently wrote a letter to the editor in my college’s newspaper. It was in response to the following previous letter:
While waiting at a busy Lawrence intersection, I was assaulted by the graphic images of dismembered aborted fetuses. The 27 x 13 images grace the sides of a fleet of semi trucks.
Regardless of your abortion stance, you have to admit this campaign does more ham than good for the anti-abortion movement. Extremists tactics will only serve to alienate many moderate anti-abortionists form the movement, not wanting to associate with the cause of zealots.
After vising a Web site listed on the truck, I discovered these pictures were a part of a slick campaign designed by a California-based organization, the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. Lawrence isn’t the only lucky city to be graced by this group’s presence. The trucks are a part of a traveling marketing campaign designed to maker sure no American’s eyes escape unscathed by these pictures.
Laws exist to restrict access or viewing to only conscenting adults in other forms of media, bur fortunately for the Center, poor taste is protected by the First Amendment. Although the group’s tactics run perilously close to being adverting speech - to which the First Amendment offers less protection - it is still legal.
I’m not hoping to bend the First Amendment, nor do I want to. All I’m asking is that you remain skeptical about this particular group’s tactics: if you already support this group, I’d encourage you to examine what its actions really say about its values.
Some argue that the only way to show the “evils of abortion” is to show other Americans “what abortion is really like,” while other proponents liken its images to those of concentration camp victims during the Holocaust. If this group cares so much for children, why must it dehumanize the fetus by displaying its mangled body for the entire world to see, or for that matter, display an image certain to disturb plenty of young children? You see, these people don’t really care about children: all they care about is causing a scene.
The next time you see these trucks drive through your neighborhood, rejoice that you live in a country where it is legal to drive around tow with pictures of bloody, dismembered corpses on the side of a vehicle, but it’s indecent to do the same with pictures of a naked human body.
[quote=http://www.kansan.com/stories/2007/may/02/letter_editor/?opinion]I remember a time when Nickelodeon didn’t suck. “Hey Arnold,” “Aaahh!!! Real Monsters,” “Rocko’s Modern Life” and countless other shows ruled my life. Chucky is still my favorite ginger kid of all time (Big Red is a close second). My childhood aspiration was to climb the Aggro Crag.
But one third of my generation didn’t get that chance. They will never know what it’s like to see “Freddy Got Fingered” or to call their parents after getting administratively disenrolled from physics 211 for not going to the first lab.
Forty-eight million people will never have the chance to do anything because of a choice.
I’ve made a lot of dumb choices in my life. Answering “Reader beware: you choose the scare” to “What topping would you like on your pizza?” immediately comes to mind. If only I had known anchovies on the pizza would suck every bit of moisture from my body, I would have requested a specific topping.
Having pictures of aborted fetuses might not be the best way to change someone’s mind on abortion. But it should make our generation think if our best friend or future spouse was the one pictured on the side of those trucks.
When walking on Wescoe Beach, imagine one third more people walking around. When thinking about childhood friends, imagine a third again as many of them and the memories there could have been. When considering an abortion, imagine taking the training wheels of your baby’s bicycle, imagine his or her first prom.
Abortion may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right.
Zach Gardner. Lawrence freshman
I took a slightly different angle than most arguments against abortion: I tried to point out the reality of abortion instead of focusing on any one philosophical argument surrounding it. The reality of it is something that we honestly don’t bring to the table enough. It is something that the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform has tried to do, but I’m not sure if it is entirely the right way.
People have been much more responsive to the article, even if they don’t agree with the stance. Keep it in mind if you find someone unresponsive to philosophical arguments.