Monday, October 16, 2006

Grim Ads In Knoxville Skyline

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?


  1. Anonymous2:05 PM

    Great post! I am a strong advocate for factual, realistic sex education to our children. Abortions and sexual crimes would decrease with more knowledge of healthy sexuality. I have seen too many instances of teens not knowing a certain behavior was criminal because they have had no guidance from home, school, or church. They also cannot ask because they are not supposed to even think about sex, much less ask an adult about it. They are just supposed to deny their biology and accept that they will not have sex until adulthood (yeah, that'll happen). Nice theory, except that we are humans and not AI programs. How many reading this had sex before marriage/adulthood? I know I did and I know that most of my friends did(and some of them are even heterosexual). [I work with teen boys who have engaged in criminal sexual behavior so I do have some knowledge.]

    But I suppose I'm just touting the Gay Agenda, trying hard to recruit all I can.

    If extremist Christians don't want anyone to have sex and if they don't engage in it themselves, then why are there so many of them?

  2. I would hate to have an abortion--hate the idea of it.
    That said, I am very glad the option exists for me as a woman (knock on wood).

    I have a dear friend that worked at a women's clinic in Knoxville. She was there when they made the anthrax threats. She watched innocent women who were expecting mothers get harassed by over zealous right-to-lifers who assumed any woman going to the clinic was there for an abortion. She witnessed doctors and nurses have their lives threatened by pro-life terrorists (if the shoe fits...).

    Since this "Christian" administration has taken power, instances of unwanted teenage pregnancy and STDs have gone up in this country because sex education to the theo-cons means abstinence education. It's all pretty sad.

    Yes, everyone has a right to their opinion, but the crazy right-to-lifers have no business selling their lie based agenda as truth.

  3. refreshing to read, i can't believe i missed these over the city.

  4. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Can't really add much that hasn't been said. But good post Joe, especially in these times. Thanks.