Anti-abortion protests took to the skies over Knoxville for the last few days with airplanes towing banners with images of a fetus and slogans like "Abortion is Terror." This political advertising has raised some questions in the blog world and this morning was a topic on WNOX-FM as Dave Foulk sat in the chair behind the microphone on the Hallerin Hill show.
Some pertinent questions were raised by the ad - was it appropriate or outside the bounds of taste and decorum? What happens when a young child, uneducated about sex, asks for an explanation of abortion?
Callers to Dave Foulk's show constantly framed their anti-abortion arguments with false language and false arguments, and an eagerness to control human sexuality. When someone calls abortion "killing children" they present a false claim. Children are not aborted. It also isn't "infanticide", as both child and infant are lifeforms outside the womb.
Certainly opponents to legal abortion procedures - and those who made and towed that banner across the sky - have the right to express their opinion. And they also have the right to express it poorly, which they certainly did.
The vast majority of cases involve the aborting of an embryo or a fetus. So I wish these opponents would stick to facts and not fictions like children being aborted. A child could be killed by abuse, but you can't abort a life outside the womb.
Is it or is it not a woman's right to choose? Of course it is - that is the law. And, yes, as some callers noted, is was a choice to have sex to begin with. What amazes me is how little effort is made to promote accurate education about sex, and instead opponents gather at the last stage of a process to demand a different outcome. And as Foulk said, protests outside clinics are rife with vile insults and damnation. Has anyone ever seen a group outside a clinic calmly and clearly informing a potential patient that their group would help find an adoptive home for a newborn? That they weren't there to judge but to help provide a home for a woman and child in great need?
I heard several callers mention "abstinence only" sex education. It is profoundly ignorant to expect humans to abstain from sexual activity. And the results of such activity by those who have never been educated about it clearly leads to not only pregnancy but to disease as well. Groups definitely want to bring images of abortion into the public forum, but no effort is made to insure the public forum includes frank, accurate communication about sex and sexual behavior.
As for the ad itself -- was it too much? If abortion is terror, why is it that the law calls abortion foes who hurl bombs at medical clinics criminals? It's as if they see sex as subversive behavior.
If these foes have the right to take their argument to the skies, then perhaps others should too. I heard several comments today that adults find images of abortion uncomfortable to consider, but that the public needs a non-sanitized perspective.
What then, would be the response if an image of the corpse of an American soldier killed in Iraq were flown in the skies, and the phrase War Is Murder were with it?