PRESS RELEASE: ABORTION CONTROVERSY - Date: 04.10.2016
Issued by: Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK
Video: EXPOSED - Anti-abortion harassment?
Channel 4 Television’s broadcast of a Dispatches news documentary scheduled to air Wednesday 5th October, 2016 and produced in collaboration with Hardcash Productions contains countless defamatory accusations levelled against the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK (CBR-UK) and echoed by the Mail on Sunday.
These accusations grossly mischaracterise CBR-UK’s consumer protection outreach (the Abort67 project) conducted outside UK abortion clinics. The project shows prospective clients outside the clinics what abortionists propose to do to the babies inside the clinics. It also makes prospective clients aware of abortion risk information that appears in peer reviewed clinical studies published in periodic literature of medicine – which studies are systematically concealed from consumers of abortion services.
This document refutes those allegations which could be rebutted in the unreasonably limited time Hardcash afforded us to reply to their written programme summary. Hardcash refused to interview us on camera, further limiting our ability to reply with an adequate response.
If you’re willing to spend an hour watching Dispatches smear CBR-UK, you have an ethical obligation to spend at least an hour reading CBR-UK’s rebuttal.
The Centre For Bio-Ethical Reform-UK (CBR-UK) and its Abort67 public education project makes no apology for the 43 page length of this rebuttal to allegations levelled against us by Channel 4’s Dispatches defamatory abortion documentary. Even 100 pages would have left unanswered significant numbers of the innumerable false claims made by the Hardcash Productions company which produced the program. A lie can often be stated with far greater brevity than the length of the material which is required to adequately refute it. Dispatches took more than a year to compile this screed and we are certainly entitled to offer at least a minimally adequate defence.
Dispatches have refused to permit us any preview of their “undercover” video material or to be interviewed on camera to rebut the distorted claims their staff are making on camera. Our written response (which we were forced to initially submit while being denied even time adequate for proof-reading) is as follows:”
1) Shock Tactics and Americanization of the Pro-life movement
The use of shocking imagery and “extreme” arguments are not, as Dispatches falsely alleges, tactics which are being imported by Brits from America. They are rather tactics which were initially imported by Americans from Britain. Only profound ignorance of British history could obscure the fact that disturbing pictures as an impetus for social reform are UK tactics pioneered by William Wilberforce and the Clapham Circle that were later taught to U.S. abolitionists and have today been adopted by anti-abortion campaigners the world over.
One of the most glaring discontinuities in the allegation that UK opposition to abortion is being “Americanized,” is that the Americanization of the movement for abortion has already occurred in the United Kingdom. Dr. Patricia Lohr, Medical Director of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), is an imported American mercenary. In their Spring 2008 newsletter, BPAS announced Dr. Lohr’s recruitment as their policy director and admitted that “BPAS’CEO, Ann Furedi, was very keen to recruit someone who would bring a fresh, new approach to our clinical processes; and recruiting a Medical Director from the United States will certainly achieve this aim.” The article adds that “Using everything she has learned in her academic career, Patricia says that her focus at BPAS will be on clinical innovation, which she hopes to achieve by developing new clinical protocols, promoting and initiating research and working with our clinical team to provide service excellence that will set new standards within the industry.”
The abortion industry is a global network which collaborates internationally (as did slave traders in Wilberforce’s day) and anti-abortion campaigners consequently claim the same right (as did abolitionists). At a conference in London on the 10 June 2015 Ann Furedi spoke of how she had been influenced by spending time in the United States.
She began her presentation with the remark:
I don’t have any slides, partly because I rewrote what I was going to say on my way back from … a conference in the States which made me think about this in a slightly different way.
During her speech on the topic of normalising abortion in the UK she continued:
I was particularly struck by a new clinic that has opened up in Washington DC by a bunch of people who used to work with Planned Parenthood and they’d gone and set up their own clinic, and they’d decided that they will go off and run this bijou sort of spa type clinic, costs a little bit more to go into um, not that much more actually it’s only $400 for your own medical abortion treatment so we might be looking at that, but the entire way that they’d designed their clinic is specifically with the notion that women who come into clinics in the United States, still have a residue of a sense of stigma of the back street. They want to make it look much more mainstream, much more like, I don’t know, a nail salon or what have you as a way of getting across to women that it’s dead normal! and it’s exactly the kind of thing that a normal woman would go to. And they think that’s very important in terms of breaking down that particular stigma. I think that we’ve got a long way to go in terms of breaking down that particular stigma that applies to our profession, our business and our clients as well.
She is correct about the “dead” part but dead wrong about the “normal” part.
Just to finish on this example, the thing that I left this meeting in the States with ringing in my ears was the braveness of a woman called Beverley Winikoff who is one of the people who worked very hard to get the abortion pill licensed in Britain and America and has being doing a huge amount of research projects. It really made me think about where you can go, when you free your mind from the constraints. What Beverley’s doing at the moment is trying to get together a project in the States where, let’s face it, abortion is particularly controversial, to have the abortion drugs treated like, well what, like any other medicine. So her point is well why do we even have to go to the clinic for it? Why can’t the drugs be stocked in the pharmacy? Why can’t a woman go to her family doctor, what have you, the family doctor prescribes the drugs for her, she goes to the pharmacy, gets the prescription filled, takes them home, has her medical abortion in pretty much exactly the same way she would do if she was doing it actually from one of our clinics, except she hasn’t actually had to travel to a clinic because she can do it through a pharmacy.
She wasn’t alone in this desire to copy America’s approach to baby killing. The UK’s Dr. Richard Lyus is also inspired by the abortion industries’ campaign to deceive unsuspecting mothers in the U.S.:
In the United States, quite a lot of abortion education and training has been developed under the umm…in the sort of Trojan horse of miscarriage management. And that has been I think very successful. In terms of developing people’s skills; doctors, nurses, midwives and other people; their skills in terms of managing termination of pregnancy. And if you then, facilitate their need for furthering those skills directly, you know as a logical progression for miscarriage management and termination because they have so much in common. And similarly here, now that there’s so much more autonomy for nurses and midwives, as I understand it to manage miscarriage, medically, umm. I just wondered if there’s any reason why we couldn’t start pushing for nurse or midwives ERPC lists, which would number one help develop skills and then have everyone in place for the miraculous change in the law that will happen at some point. (laughing) and it might even drive that forward umm and there’ll be all sorts of other benefits to it.
BPAS apparently thinks it is fair to Americanize baby-killing but foul to Americanize baby- saving.
We disagree. In a figurative sense, CBR-UK is going to wage war on abortion as long as abortion wages literal war on unborn children. And are
going to make certain that the adversaries in this life-and-death struggle are going to fight by the same set of rules.
2) Harassment, Intimidation and feeling harassed – alleged by Keir Starmer
On Keir Starmer:
In his Dispatches interview, Mr. Starmer (seemingly doing the bidding of BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) president Ann Furedi), claims CBR-UK is harassing people outside abortion clinics. His former staff at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), however, told him that CBR-UK were not harassing anyone. As the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr. Starmer over-rode the opinions of his subordinates and forced a prosecution of CBR-UK which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Mr. Starmer. The judge before whom Mr. Starmer unsuccessfully prosecuted our staff members, ruled emphatically that CBR-UK wasn’t harassing anyone – concerning which more detail appears below.
Then when existing law wouldn’t serve to adequately suppress the expressive rights of politically inconvenient pro-lifers, Mr. Starmer (apparently still under pressure from Ms. Furedi) declares the need for a new law with power to sweep pro-lifers off the pavement around UK clinics, thereby ensuring that Ms. Furedi’s prospective clients aren’t shown outside the clinic, what BPAS is going to do to their babies inside the clinic. How can it be socially irresponsible to expose in public what BPAS is doing in private – unless what BPAS is doing in private is socially irresponsible?
Mr. Starmer was abusing his authority as DPP and now he is abusing his authority as a Member of Parliament, still looking like a slavish lackey for the profit-driven UK abortion industry.
As noted above, Mr. Starmer yielded to abortion industry pressure in 2010 when two CBR-UK campaigners were arrested twice for the public display of signs depicting a living human embryo before an abortion and a dead human embryo after an abortion. On neither occasion did the CPS agree to charge them. These were harassing arrests intended to intimate CBR-UK.
Regarding these 2010 arrests, CBR-UK filed a civil action against Sussex Police which succeeded in forcing the disclosure of communications between Sussex Police and the prosecutor in which the latter advised the police that “the images displayed and the words used [on the signs which CBR-UK employed in its Abort67 display project] were not insulting, threatening or abusive” in the sense required to convict the campaigners under Section 5 of the UK Public Order Act.
The prosecutor also declined to charge under the Protection Against Harassment Act, saying, “There is insufficient evidence of … [harassment] in this case.” He added that “the suspects have not behaved in a disorderly manner” and that “there do not appear to be any other offences that apply here.”
Nonetheless, in 2011, CBR-UK campaigners Andrew Stephenson and Kathryn Attwood were again arrested for displaying the same images, in the same places. Despite there still being no proper grounds on which to charge on the facts or the law, this time the prosecutor decided he would charge both campaigners. What hadchanged this time was mounting political pressure from supporters of BPAS, the UK’s largest abortion provider. BPAS is determined to hide the horror of abortion from potential clients, and the police and prosecutor yielded to that pressure.
Though the prosecutor had conceded in his initial consultation with the police that CBR-UK was not harassing the public, it was now clear that both the police and prosecutor were harassing CBR-UK. This was a shocking abuse of authority and proved incontestably that law enforcement had been politicised. One might reasonably expect corruption of this sort in North Korea, but not in Sussex.
The aforementioned civil suit against the Sussex Police succeeded in forcing the police to release an internal memo in which the prosecutor advised Sussex on his decision to reverse course and now charge the campaigners. The contents of that document are disturbing at multiple levels. The prosecutor expressed concern that “the defence will have spotted [that] there are few uses of the words abusive or insulting” in our police reports so “we need the court to give our witnesses the chance to express themselves in the witness box rather than restrict them to the words they have chosen to write down [in their earlier witness statements].”
This was the prosecutor’s third instruction to the police regarding this matter, and although it might not constitute the subornation of perjury, or even witness tampering, it does raise the spectre of witnesses being improperly coached. This prosecutor knew that the court could not properly consider whether passers by found CBR-UK’s signs subjectively “harassing, alarming or distressing,” until the Crown first proved that the content of those signs was objectively “threatening, abusive or insulting.” He also understood that the known facts did not support a criminal conviction.
The Crown’s eight witnesses (six of whom were veteran police officers, trained and experienced in writing accurate witness statements) had failed to use incriminating terms to describe the content of the signs. Was the prosecutor suggesting an intent to rescue an incompetent prosecution by asking these witnesses leading questions on the witness stand? Was his goal to help them suddenly recall new “facts” which might turn lawful signs into criminal misconduct?
We may never know the prosecutor’s true intentions, because this second advice, which the prosecutor gave to the police shortly after the third arrest, could not be produced by either the CPS or the police, both of whom conveniently claimed not to have a written record of it. Both conceded, however, that advice had been sought and given. What is clear is that immediately after that advice was given, bail conditions were cancelled and the two were allowed to continue with their campaign (and therefore committing the alleged offences) without further arrest.
In his third advisory, the prosecutor remarked that a chief police inspector had attempted to impose upon Mr. Stephenson “ground rules for protest” which would have permitted the display of his “living embryo before abortion” image but prohibited the display of his “dead embryo after abortion” image. Mr. Stephenson correctly reasoned that the police had no authority to restrict his legitimate expressive rights and he rightly defied this stricture.
The prosecutor concluded that “Mr. Stephenson is deliberately testing the boundaries,” but, in actuality, he was doing nothing of the sort. He knew precisely where the real boundaries lay and he resolved to enlist the aid of the courts in teaching the police the exact location of these boundaries.
Mr. Stephenson and Mrs. Attwood were nearly certain to prevail before any fair tribunal because their abortion photo signs were specifically designed to defeat prosecution under the Public Order Act – or any other criminal statute. The signs intentionally contained only medical images with brief, content-neutral, identifying captions. They were non-judgemental. They were non-polemical. They offered no negative commentary concerning abortion, or the people who choose abortion, or the people who perform abortion.
Neither Mr. Stephenson nor Mrs. Attwood needed to protest abortion. When they held up an abortion photo, abortion protested itself.
On March 14, 2016, Master Leslie, the judge in the civil case, further embarrassed the police and prosecutor by ordering the police to pay the anti-abortion activists £40,000 in fines and issue a public apology. The way is now open for the campaigners’ barrister, Andre Clovis, of Tuckers Solicitors to collect a large award of fees and costs from the police. Also involved in the civil victory were Barrister Iain Daniels and Trainee Solicitor Emily Girvan. As part of the settlement, the chief constable provided the campaigners with a written apology and deleted the campaigners’ biometric data, unlawfully taken following each arrest.
The judge in the criminal case against Mr. Stephenson and Mrs. Attwood held (in a published opinion) that public outrage does not trump the expressive rights of anti-abortion campaigners. The master in the civil case ruled that police who violate those expressive rights will pay a heavy reputational price – with innocent taxpayers unfortunately bearing an even heavier financial penalty.
Andrew Stephenson also noted that “This is another magnificent triumph for free speech. We are enormously grateful for the expertise of our legal team, including Gregg Cunningham of CBR-US, who clearly had a better understanding of English law than many of the officers who attempted to stop us.” It should also be borne in mind that “When Geoff Weddell, barrister for the chief constable, angrily refused to shake Mr. Cunningham’s hand near the conclusion of the civil hearing, we gained a clearer understanding of just how stinging was the court’s rebuke to the police. The damages will certainly help us in further exposing the reality of abortion.”
Buffer Zones Declared Invalid In The U.S.:
In her January 29, 2015 article for Spiked, “Why restricting Clinic Protests is Not an Attack on Political Freedom,” Ms. Furedi called CBR-UK’s abortion photos outside her clinics “The most degraded form of political expression imaginable,” and that “they are simply attempts to intimidate and embarrass…” A LeftFootForward.org article, “How the U.K.’s abortion debate was revived,” December 4, 2014, echoes this lament decrying the fact that potential BPAS customers are “regularly subjected to placards showing pictures of dismembered fetuses, or lists of misleading information regarding abortion.”
On February 16, 2012, however, LifeSiteNews.com posted a story headlined: “Performing abortions is ‘extremely gratifying’ – Leading UK Abortionist.” It quotes BPAS Medical Director (and unapologetic American) Patricia Lohr proclaiming abortion to be “self-evidently moral” and gushing that performing them is “extremely gratifying.” How can an abortion photo “embarrass” and “intimidate” if abortion is “self-evidently moral”? How can it be a “degraded form of political expression” to display abortion photos outside abortion clinics if it is “extremely gratifying” to perform abortions inside abortion clinics.
These sorts of discontinuities might have been on the minds of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices who recently unanimously invalidated abortion clinic buffer zones in the case of McCullen v. Coakley, June 26, 2014. The Court rejected precisely the same arguments – word for word -- asserted by Ms. Furedi. She intentionally mischaracterises CBR-UK’s campaigners as “protesters” to make their conduct appear extreme and inappropriate. The U.S. abortion industry tried the same dishonest tactic but the Court wasn’t buying it. Their unanimous opinion (9-0, even the Court’s 5 pro-abortion justices joined with the pro-life minority) held that buffer zones “impose serious burdens on [pro-life] petitioners’ speech, depriving them of their two primary methods of communicating with arriving patients: close personal conversations and distributing literature.” The majority also unanimously held that “while the [buffer zone] act may allow [pro-life] petitioners to ‘protest’ outside the buffer zones, petitioners are not protesters; they seek not merely to express their opposition to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women…”
Then the Court observed that the law already prohibited every form of misconduct alleged by abortionists outside their clinics, but that despite “a significant police presence outside Massachusetts abortion clinics … not a single prosecution or injunction against individuals outside abortion clinics [had occurred] since the 1990’s.” The same is true in the UK.
In his concurring opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia scoffed at the abortion industry contention that patient “safety and access” were the goals of the buffer zones. He concluded that the buffer zones were “not” directed to those concerns at all, but to the “suppression of anti-abortion speech.”
The Court’s decision is yet another confirmation of the fact that freedom of speech means nothing if it means only the right to speak to an empty room. Ms. Furedi illogically argues that speech rights are meaningfully exercised by merely being allowed to speak—even when the speaker is denied access to his intended audience. The U.S. Supreme Court again rejected that doctrine in the McCullen case.
CBR-UK’s abortion photo signs are a consumer protection initiative intended to show women outside the clinics what BPAS will do to them and their children inside their clinics. BPAS does not want its potential clients to see the horror of abortion. Abortion is disturbing because it is an act of violence that kills a baby. That’s why pictures of it are upsetting. Unless women see these upsetting pictures, they cannot give fully informed consent to this procedure that is so horrific that BPAS wants no one actually to see it.
TheAtlantic.com posted a story on April 4, 2012, headlined “The Americanization of the U.K. Anti-Abortion Movement.” The sub-headline said “British pro-life activists are learning from their U.S. counterparts, adopting tougher tactics and harsher rhetoric.” The story was a masterpiece of defamation and disinformation:
LONDON -- Since the first day of Lent, protestors have gathered across the street from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) on Bedford Square, praying and chanting [meaning praying the Rosary] in the name of halting abortions ….
The group, 40 Days for Life [with which CBR also closely collaborates in the U.K.], has also approached women seeking consultation with BPAS, thrusting upon them literature that claims abortion is linked to breast cancer (it isn't) or that having a termination leads to alcoholism, drug use, and eating disorders (it doesn't). Some women who have used the Bedford Square clinic during Lent, according to BPAS policy manager Abigail Fitzgibbon, have said that the protesters made them feel humiliated, embarrassed, harassed, and even violated.
The absurd extremity of Ms Furedi’s buffer zone proposal (code-named “Back Off”) is nowhere more evident than in her demand that even prayer be
banned from the pavement around abortion clinics. This is an unprecedented assault on expressive rights.
It should be borne in mind that at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/114853 the Home Office responds to a petition demanding that Parliament impose buffer zones around abortion clinics (garnering a paltry 11,000 signatures), rejecting the need for such an extreme attack on expressive rights. “… [P]eaceful protest is a vital part of our democratic society, [and] there is a balance to be struck between the rights of those who wish to peacefully protest and the rights of others, such as clinic staff and patients ….” The Home Office adds that “Current laws in place provide protection against actions by protesters that may cause others to feel intimidated or harassed.”
CBR-UK and other anti-abortion groups will soon begin a campaign to press Parliament to impose on the UK abortion industry a duty to advise potential abortion clients fully as regards the many specific, peer-reviewed, clinical studies, published in the mainstream, periodic literature of medicine, establishing a causal connection between abortion and breast cancer and a host of other maladies.
3) Medical misinformation:
BPAS president Ann Furedi issued an unethical BPAS press release on January 22, 2009, in which she said “For most women, having an abortion poses fewer medical risks than going through pregnancy and birth.” This is, of course, the lie promulgated by the biased Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG). In a February 28, 2011 article at dailymail.co.uk, headlined “Abortions are safer …,” Dr. Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, accused the RCOG “of ‘perpetuating a myth’ about the safety of abortion. Questioning why the report’s 18 authors include representatives from two of the country’s largest abortion clinics but not one psychiatrist, he said: ‘The RCOG has been heavily criticised in the past for underplaying the physical and psychological consequences of abortion for women and this new document appears to continue in that vein.”
The Mail article (October 2, 2016) on the upcoming Dispatches program quotes Consultant gynaecologist Dr. Kate Guthrie offering a similarly categorical misstatement of fact regarding the causal connection between abortion and breast cancer: “There is no evidence that links abortion with an increase in breast cancer under any circumstances.” Dr. Guthrie is either a liar or an incompetent.
Consider the following rebuttal published by LifeNews.com on January 17, 2011, in a story headlined “Abortion Has Caused 300K Breast Cancer Deaths Since Roe:”
Professor Joel Brind, an endocrinologist at Baruch College in New York, worked with several scientists on a 1996 paper published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health showing a “30% greater chance of developing breast cancer” for women who have induced abortions. He recently commented on how many women have become victims.
‘If we take the overall risk of breast cancer among women to be about 10% (not counting abortion), and raise it by 30%, we get 13% lifetime risk,” Brind explains. Using the 50 million abortions since Roe v. Wade figure, we get 1.5 million excess cases of breast cancer. At an average mortality of 20% since 1973, that would mean that legal abortion has resulted in some 300,000 additional deaths due to breast cancer since Roe v. Wade.’
Brind said his estimate excludes deaths from the use of abortion to delay first full term pregnancies – a recognized breast cancer risk.
Karen Malec, the head of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, a public awareness group, says the number of studies showing the abortion-breast cancer link continues to grow in the years since Brind’s ground-breaking 1996 analysis of the major studies at that time.
‘During the last 21 months, four epidemiological studies and one review reported an abortion-breast cancer link,” she noted. “One study included National Cancer Institute branch chief Louise Brinton as co-author. We count nearly 50 published epidemiological studies since 1957 reporting a link. Biological and experimental studies also support it.’
Abortion is safer than full-term delivery? BreastCancer.org says that “About 39520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer
….” How many of these unfortunates might have lived had they not aborted?
In The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 10, Number 4, Winter 2005, Dr. Brind further states that:
Although many case-control studies, based on retrospective collection of data, have shown a statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk after induced abortion, especially before the first full-term pregnancy, (FTP), this risk is denied by the National Cancer Institute and many researchers. The conclusions of ten recent studies based on prospective data collection are cited to buttress this position [that abortion is not causally linked to breast cancer]. These studies are examined in detail, with a focus on methodologic aspects [in the article below]. Collectively, these studies are found to embody many serious weaknesses and flaws, including cohort effects, substantial misclassification errors due to missing information in data bases, inadequate follow-up times, inadequately controlled effects of confounding variables, and frank violations of scientific method. These recent studies therefore do not invalidate the large body of previously published studies that established induced abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.
Breast cancer incidence is increasing, as predicted from earlier studies. Disclosure of the probable contribution of induced abortion to the increase in risk should be part of the informed consent process for abortion. [emphases added]
Dr. Brind also notes that chief among the pro-abortion medical establishment criticisms of studies showing a link between abortion and breast cancer
is an alleged error termed “reporting bias” or “recall bias.” These terms describe a supposed (and implausible) tendency of women afflicted
with breast cancer to claim that they have had abortions which they didn’t have. There is no valid evidence to support the existence of such
a strange phenomenon and Dr. Brind debunks the study claiming to validate this methodological flaw. He also cites a well done study (ignored
by pro-abortion physicians and researchers) which finds that “reporting bias” is little more than a bizarre myth.
In further refutation of these false allegations that CBR-UK is overstating abortion’s health risks, AfterAbortion.org cites a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, December 2002, which found that “women with a prior abortion history are twice as likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to use illicit drugs, and ten times more likely to use marijuana during the first pregnancy they carry to term, compared to other women delivering their first pregnancies ….” One of the journal article’s authors says “this is the seventeenth study linking abortion to elevated rates of substance abuse.” AfterAbortion.org also notes three more studies supporting the proposition that “For at least some women, post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.”
Naturally, the abortion industry hysterically disputes any study which exposes the dangerous sequelae (side effects) of abortion. That sort of corruption may sound familiar to anyone who remembers the tobacco wars. CancerCouncil.com.au features a report which reveals the depths to which unethical cigarette manufacturers stooped to conceal the hazards inherent in smoking.
Titled “The Tobacco Industry – A History Of Deception,” which describes litigation against American Tobacco Company, British American Tobacco Company, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris Incorporated, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company and The Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute, which forced the tobacco industry to open “40 million pages” of internal documents. Those documents “revealed decades of industry misconduct” such as “… denials of addiction and links between smoking and cancer” and “attempts to manipulate scientific research” and “... attacks on epidemiology and epidemiologists,” and “recruitment of young smokers …” and “market targeting of women …” and “efforts to influence national tobacco control policy and to undermine unfavorable tobacco initiatives” and “… campaigns to circumvent tobacco advertising bans.”
Even now, major corporations are trying to hide damaging facts. NYTimes.com, May 24, 2012, posted a story headlined “Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food.” The article said “Farmers, food and biotech companies and scientists say that labels might lead consumers to reject genetically modified food — and the technology that created it — without understanding its environmental and economic benefits.” These arrogant CEOs of these companies, not unlike the arrogant management of BPAS, are perpetrating massive frauds which endanger the health and safety of their customers.
And this sort of corporate corruption is pervasive. SeattleTimes.com reported a conceptually similar article on March 30, 2012, headlined “Pesticides to blame for bee-colony collapse.” The story said “A new study released yesterday, and two published last week, strengthen the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are key drivers behind declining bee populations — alone and especially in combination with other stressors. This class of pesticides covers 143 million acres of U.S. countryside, and more damning studies are awaiting publication.” Then the punch-line: “Yet, pesticide corporations like Bayer and others are running a predictable PR defense aimed at delaying action by manufacturing doubt — it’s called the ‘tobacco strategy.’” It could also be called the “abortion strategy.”
Scientific studies of all sorts are often in dispute and pregnant women are entitled to be made aware of all the competing research whose consideration is required to form an opinion which supports true informed consent. Anything less treats women with insulting and patronizing forms of condescension.
4) “Following” incident:
In over a year of work on this smear project, Dispatches has not only failed to find any evidence of criminal misconduct, their own undercover reporter “Mary” admits herself on camera that she has seen no harassment take place (Mary was with us for three months).
Then Dispatches sends out another reporter who pretends to be a woman entering the abortion clinic. Dispatches falsely claims she is harassed after saying she did not wish to speak. But in fact, she never makes that statement. Instead she repeatedly stops, changes her direction of travel, approaches a CBR-UK staffer (a disabled person in a wheel chair) and slows down to allow him to move along beside her as she approaches the clinic entrance where she again stops and thereby invites further conversation:
The Reporter repeatedly makes herself available for conversation. Despite Dispatches false claim that she says she doesn't want to talk, at no time does she say "don't talk to me." The only negative demand she makes is a declaration that she "would rather not say" whether she is having an abortion. At no time does she say don't talk to me. She doesn't even say she doesn't want to listen to what C (the CBR-UK wheelchair bound volunteer) has to say.
Through her actions (stops, changes in direction, turns to face our volunteer, approaches, slowing walking pace) she repeatedly invited on-going dialogue. How hard would it be to walk briskly away from someone in a wheelchair?
If it weren’t for the presence of the video cameras we use for security, then all we would have is Dispatches intentional mischaracterisation of the encounter. This is why we use these cameras.
Here are some things to look for in the video regarding this incident:
Reporter = (R)
CBR-UK volunteer Christian = (C)
(Timings are approximate)
a. After 5s R changes direction to approach C in his wheelchair
b. 14/15s R stands in close proximity
c. 19s R turns to face C more directly
d. 27s R starts to walk but then turns back
e. 30s R takes leaflet from C
f. 36 R begins to walk slowly, stops and turns to face C and then walks whilst turned towards him
g. 48s R pauses (presumably so C can keep up in his wheelchair)
h. 1:04 R stops again in the front of the entrance and faces him. Then turns towards Liz and allows Liz to Engage. C wheels himself off
i. After R leaves GP surgery
j. R talks to Lesley then crosses road in front of C then stops to talk to him from 1:47 to 2:37
Additionally, here below is the transcript of the video in which Dispatches undercover reporter (“Mary”) grudgingly admits that she has observed no harassment by CBR-UK staff:
*After being accused by the police of harassment*
Ruth: See, harassment. Has there been any harassment today, Mary?
Mary: I’ve been…I’ve been…been facing this way…*mumbling*…so I don’t know what’s been going on…*mumbling – Ruth talks over*
Ruth: Have you seen us harass anyone today?
Mary: *Shaking head* I haven’t seen, I haven’t seen… *mumbling*
Ruth: Have you ever seen us harass anyone?
Mary: *Shaking head* I haven’t seen anything, not to my recollection no
Ruth: Why do you think that they, erm, are accusing us of harassment?
Mary: err…is it to do with the woman that got upset with Lesley?
Ruth: When was that?
Mary: The woman that walked off here
Ruth: Oh..when was that?
Mary: I think it must have been earlier
Ruth: Oh…the one who just, oh just walked away?
Mary: I dunno, Lesley, you’ll have to ask Lesley, she…*mumbling*
Ruth: Oh she just didn’t like the image?...yeah.
Mary: I’m not sure
Ruth: It’s interesting innit, how they just use “harassment”
Mary: But do you think someone has gone in and said…
Ruth: No I think the clinic’s just saying it, what do you think?
Mary: You think they’ve made it up? I don’t…I’ve no idea.
Ruth: I mean there’s been nothing, there’s not even been…there’s not even been a heated conversation today, has there, like
Mary: Well, we don’t know what’s happened with Lesley, I s’pose
Mary: So you think they just pick up the phone to the police and just make it up?
Ruth: I’ve got no idea? I know as much as you. But all I know is that there’s been no harassment.
Mary: Well we haven’t spoken to anyone.
Mary: Dya think it’s to do with having someone standing there?
Ruth: They just don’t like us here. We’ve always had someone standing there, handing out leaflets.
Mary: That was a quick conversation. But maybe it’s because women going in are saying…
*interrupted by police*
5) Genocide/Holocaust Child Sacrifice:
In his Wilberforce biography, Amazing Grace, Harper San Francisco, 2006, author Eric Metaxas offers an account of an English slave ship captain named Luke Collingwood who was sued for throwing slaves overboard to collect on the insurance which covered the cargo of the ship Zong. Collingwood prevailed at trial, and on appeal, Lord Mansfield ruled that “… it was just as if ‘horses had been thrown overboard,’”
Metaxas also explains why it was critical for abolitionists to make the horrors of slavery real to British voters:
Of the many social problems Wilberforce might have thought needed his attention, slavery would have been the least visible of all, and by a wide margin. In fact, the answer to how Britain could have allowed something as brutal as West Indian slavery to exist, and for so long, has much to do with its invisibility. Few British people ever saw the slightest hint of it, for only a tiny handful of the three million Africans who had been pressed into British slavery over the years ever set foot on British shores. They were kidnapped [in Africa] and shipped straight to the West Indian sugar plantations thousands of miles away. The sugar and molasses from these plantations came to England but who could have known of the nightmarish institution of human bondage that attended their making? Who could have known that much of the wealth in their nations booming economy was created on the other side of the world by the most brutal mistreatment of other human beings, many of them women and children. Most British citizens had never seen anyone branded or whipped or subjected to thumbscrews. They had no idea that conditions on West Indian sugar plantations were so brutal that most of the slaves were literally worked to death in just a few years and that most of the female slaves were too ill to bear children. Black faces were very rare in Britain in the late eighteenth century, especially before the 1770s, and any blacks one might have seen would probably have seemed to be treated rather well.
Abortion is as invisible today as British slavery was in the Eighteenth Century. The Telegraph.co.uk,
explains the importance of expressing the inexpressible savagery of slavery in a feature article headlined “Am I Not A Man And A Brother?”
on 11 March 2007. It reported that “Slavery was undermined by the very thing that kept it going - a brutality unendurable by the slaves or
by the awakening sensibility of the British public.” It was awful pictures which “undermined” it, shifting public opinion in support of abolition
when nothing else had worked.
Anti-slavery imagery was at least as provocative in 18th Century England as anti-abortion imagery is in 21st Century America. But abolitionists used it anyway, because slavery was shocking and voters needed to be shocked. At BBC.co.uk, in the section titled “Religions, William Wilberforce,” May 7, 2011 we read that “… [T]he abolitionists were brilliant at public relations and devised radical new ways of bringing their cause to public attention.” The writer says “They had pamphlets full of eye-witness testimony. They had extraordinary graphics such as the famous image of the slave ship, Brookes, which showed captive Africans packed like sardines in a can.” Most importantly, “The potter Josiah Wedgewood struck a brooch that depicted an enslaved man on bended knee. At the bottom of the brooch was the inscription: ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’”
For his confrontational tactics, Wilberforce was denounced as an extremist. In the book William Wilberforce: The Life of the Great Anti-Slave Trade Campaigner, William Hague, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2008) quotes Wilberforce declaring, “If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” At BBC.co.uk, in the section titled “Religions, William Wilberforce,” May 7, 2011, we read that: “For Wilberforce personally it meant enduring vitriolic attacks in the newspapers; he was physically assaulted, he faced death threats and he had to travel with an armed bodyguard.”
Abortion today is as invisible as slavery was in antiquity. We must make it visible exactly as abolitionists exposed the unspeakable evil of human bondage. But how can we if making it visible provokes arrests pursuant to complaints from those who have an interest in maintaining its invisibility? How could Wilberforce have ended the slave trade and slavery if The Public Order Act had jailed abolitionists each time their disturbing pictures offended those with an interest in keeping the horrors of slavery invisible?
On April 15, 2007, The Guardian published a story headlined “Of Human Bondage” which referenced the shocking pictures of slaves being tortured to death which were created by UK artist William Blake during the campaign against the slave trade and slavery. “Blake's engravings … are horrifying - brutal whippings, torture and hangings ….” These sickening images are at least as shocking and every bit as indispensable as any abortion picture.
Abortion, Racial Segregation and the Holocaust:
The Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2008, published an essay by historian Marcus Rediker headlined “Atonement,” with a sub-headline which read “Two centuries after abolishing the slave trade, the U.S. is due for a moral and material reckoning with the past.” He said “In 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech on Human Rights Day in New York.” In that speech, Dr. King “…decried ‘the rape of Africa’ for the profits that accrued to the United States, Britain and Spain, and the atrocities of the trade: ‘There are few parallels in human history of the period in which Africans were seized and branded like animals, packed into ships' holds like cargo and transported into chattel slavery.’” Then he compared slavery to the Holocaust.
“He emphasized the scale of suffering and linked it to other human catastrophes: ‘Millions suffered agonizing death in the middle passage in a holocaust reminiscent of the Nazi slaughter of Jews, Poles and others.’” Wearing a T-shirt comparing abortion to the Holocaust resulted in the arrest of Kathryn Sloane Attwood, who was once a criminal defendant in Brighton Magistrate’s Court, on trial for saying about abortion precisely what Dr. King said about slavery. Had Dr. King made that remark in Brighton subsequent to the enactment of the UK Public Order Act, would the Crown have arrested and charged him (or William Wilberforce) pursuant to complaints by offended racists?
Metaxas says that this disturbing picture of a tortured slave “… was reproduced on snuffboxes and made into cameos that women wore pinned to their dresses and in their hair. It was also made into made into a letter sealing fob … so even the wax seals on letters would draw attention to the cause.”
But, again, contemporary UK law protects so little speech that Kathryn Sloane was charged in part for wearing a T-shirt on which was printed the CBR slogan “Abortion is Genocide.” In 1946 the United Nations adopted UN Resolution 96 which asserted that “Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to life of individual human beings ... whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds ....” Unwanted preborn children are the human group whose “right of existence” is placed at risk by abortion. That is genocide and Kathryn has the right to wear a T-shirt which says so.
Disturbing Pictures and Civil Rights Activism in the American South:
Roots author Alex Haley says Martin Luther King “… decided to create a crisis in 1963 to ‘dramatize the Negro plight and galvanize the national conscience.’” He used shocking photos to do it.
In Why We Can't Wait, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mass Market Paperback (2000), wrote of the media coverage of the of the Birmingham movement he helped orchestrate in1963: “The brutality with which officials would have … [abused blacks] became impotent when it could not be pursued with stealth and remain unobserved.”
Martin Luther King determined that as long as racists were allowed to abuse black people outside the view of the national news media, most Americans would remain ignorant of the frequency and severity of the mistreatment and the abuses would never end. He too struggled in vain to rally the church against the brutalisation of helpless victims. He concluded his “Letter From The Birmingham Jail” (to which I will refer frequently in my reply because many historians regard it to be one of the most important documents in the history of social reform) with a description of just the sort of racial violence that, as is true of the violence of abortion, few Americans were allowed to see:
I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department.
But at some point, Dr. King had the same epiphany experienced by Wilberforce; he had to make invisible injustice visible. Suppose that instead of passively accepting random attacks against blacks in inconspicuous settings, civil rights leaders would organize protests specifically intended to provoke the racists into making their attacks in public? And suppose those same civil rights leaders would arrange with sympathetic journalists to photograph and film those attacks for publication and broadcast? Suddenly the public would be forced by the ugly pictures to confront the shame of racial violence. The civil rights movement realised it could use these shocking images to “shame America before the world.” Richard B. Speed’s review of Mark Kurlansky’s book 1968: The Year That Rocked The World, describes this enormously successful strategy:
In discussing the impact of civil disobedience, Kurlansky relates a telling incident that took place during a 1965 march in Selma, Alabama. Martin Luther King apparently noticed that Life Magazine photographer, Flip Schulke had put down his camera in order to help a demonstrator injured by the police. Afterward, according to Kurlansky, King rebuked Schulke, telling him that ‘Your job is to photograph what is happening to us.’
Social reform is always about the pictures, whether in the context of civil rights or child labour or anti-war campaigns or abortion. No one wants to see sickening pictures but until the public is forced to look, the sickening violence can’t be stopped. Dr. King and his associates had paid a terrible price for provoking these bloody attacks and without pictures to disturb the American people, their sacrifice would have been futile. Oppressors have always tried to suppress the evidence of their abuses. At JessieDanielsPhD.com (Thinking At The Interface) we read a quote by Gary Olson, speaking of slavery:
In his recent book, The Slave Ship, maritime historian Marcus Rediker documents the role played by emotional and especially visual appeals in ending the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The visuals were indispensable because, as the abolitionist James Field Stanfield argued, the terrible truths of the slave trade ‘had been withheld from the public eye by every effort that interest, ingenuity, and influence, could devise.’
The oppressors always try to suppress the pictures and they always dupe good people (often Christians) into helping them sweep the evidence under the carpet. Like their slave-owning forbears, 1960s racists quickly understood the dangers of news coverage and journalists, especially those with cameras, became targets. Harry F. Rosenthal, an Associated Press reporter who covered the James Meredith march to Jackson, MS, is quoted in the book Breaking News, Associated Press (Princeton Architectural Press, 2007): “’We never knew who to be afraid of’ he said. ‘Nobody wanted us there.’ He recalled that about twenty of the twenty-five cars that had been rented by reporters were returned damaged, many with bullet holes.”
In the Washington Post’s obituary of Mr. Schulke (May 17, 2008) quotes the photographer on the dangers of taking pictures of Klansmen attacking civil rights marchers:
Mr. Schulke was threatened by white mobs, tear-gassed by police and locked in squad cars so he couldn't document demonstrations. He usually rented Cadillacs while on assignment in the South, he said, because they were heavy and could outrun the old pickup trucks favored by Ku Klux Klan members.
In the fall of 1962, he was in Oxford, Miss., where James Meredith was attempting to enrol as the first black student at the University of Mississippi. With federal marshals confronting an angry white mob, Mr. Schulke got onto campus hidden in the trunk of a professor's car. A fellow photographer was shot and killed by a sniper, shortly after Mr. Schulke urged him to take cover.
Mr. Schulke was hiding in the trunk of a car because Mississippi authorities had banned cameras from the streets of the campus (Press-Telegram,
Long Beach, CA, October 1, 1962). They knew the world was watching and they didn’t want pictures of literally thousands of Klansmen trying
to kill one, lone, black man.
The evidence that distressing pictures changed public opinion was undeniable. Associated Press photographer Jack Thornell was interviewed by Smithsonian magazine (Smithsonian.com, “Down in Mississippi,” February 2005) about his photo of James Meredith, later writhing in the pain of multiple shotgun blasts on a march specifically intended to defy the Ku Klux Klan:
Of the many photographs that Thornell made of the incident, one shows the fallen man on dusty Highway 51 screaming in agony. It was published in newspapers and magazines nationwide and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. The image suggests the very pain and frustration of being black in the Deep South of the 1960s. ‘When people saw scenes like this in newspapers and on TV—when they saw what was actually happening down South—they couldn't believe it,’ says Thornell, who is 65 and retired and lives in Metairie, Louisiana. He says his one lasting regret about that day four decades ago is that he didn't put his camera down to help the wounded Meredith.
Heaven knows how many children were traumatized by horrifying photographs such as this one of the badly wounded Mr. Meredith. Should these pictures
have been suppressed to avoid “infuriating” the white parents of the upset children?
Dr. King told Mr. Schulke that his job was to “photograph what is happening to us” and CBR’s job is to photograph what is happening to aborted babies.
We insist you show this image to demonstrate that the description of abortion as genocide is indeed reasonable.
The definition of genocide is constantly controversial and always undergoing revision:
And regarding Child sacrifice:
From a Judeo-Christian perspective, abortion is Child Sacrifice and it represents depravity so unimaginable that it cannot be fathomed until seen. Invisible atrocity can never be overcome until it is made visible -- and making it visible invites terrible persecution.
JAMA Pediatrics, May 23, 2016 reported that “67% of preemies born at 22-23 weeks of gestation [the age of the aborted baby in the photo above] and given active medical care survived until hospital discharge” (WORLD Magazine, June 25, 2016).
Simon Sebag Montefiore, international best-selling author and writer of the history text Jerusalem, Vintage Books, (2011), p. 44 says:
Most dreadful of all, … [Manasseh] encouraged the sacrifice of children at the roaster – the Tophet – in the Valley of Hinnom, south of the city [of Jerusalem]. Indeed ‘he made his own pass through the fire ….’ Children were said to be taken there as priests beat drums to hide the shrieks of the victims from their parents.
Satan Has Always Been A Baby-Killer, Especially When the Christ Is The Baby Sought To Be Killed, As Prophesied In Revelation 12:1-6:
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a womanclothed withthe sun, withthe moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.2 She was pregnant andwas crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a greatred dragon,with seven heads andten horns, and on his headsseven diadems.4 His tail swept down l a third of the stars of heaven andcast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her childhe might devour it.5 She gave birth to a male child,one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child wascaught up to God and to his throne,6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for1,260 days.
Satan Attempts To Kill The Baby Moses And Then A Second Account Of His Documented Attempt To Kill The Baby Jesus:
Satan has been a baby killer from the dawn of time. He tried to kill the baby Moses through Pharaoh’s attempt to annihilate every male, Israelite child in Exodus 1:15-22 (see also Exodus 2:1-9). The baby Jesus survived a similar bloodbath as Satan tried to kill Him through Herod's command that every male child under the age of two be butchered to death (Matthew 2:16).
Satan would kill God if he could. Since he can’t, he grieves the heart of God by inspiring the sacrifice of children created in God's image. God
signalled the fervour of His regard for life in the womb when He chose to become man at the moment of Christ’s conception, not the moment of
The enemy of our souls has been called many names over the course of human history but he claims the same victory every time a child is sacrificed, whether he hides behind the altar of Artemis or Baal or the altar of “choice.” A sacrificed child may spend eternity in glory but God’s will for the child’s life on earth has been thwarted. We help Satan masquerade as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) when we help him hide the horror of child sacrifice.
We Are To Stand At the Gates of the Temple and Warn God’s People About Child Sacrifice, Jeremiah 7:
v1. This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2. ‘Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: ‘Hear the word of the Lord ….’
* * *
v6. ‘[D]o not shed innocent blood ….’
* * *
v9. ‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10. and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?’
* * *
v13. ‘While you were doing all these things,’ declares the Lord, ‘I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer.’
* * *
v16. ‘So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 17. Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?’
* * *
v30. ‘The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the Lord. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. 31.They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire ….’
Pagans Still Unrepentant About Child Sacrifice:
Contemporary pagans unashamedly proclaim abortion to be child sacrifice in the full spiritual sense. New Age pagan author Brenda Peterson was publicly declaring abortion to be the sacrifice of a living, human baby to a pagan deity as early as 1993, in a cover story in the September/October issue of New Age Journal. Referring to "pagan, Earth-centered goddess religions ..." she describes a "matriarchal time" during which "... the power to give and deny birth belonged to the goddess and to women."
Amazon.com sells a pagan book titled The Sacrament of Abortion, by Ginette Paris, Spring Publications (1992). On page 1 the author says, “I have drawn inspiration throughout this book from a guiding image, the Artemis of Greek mythology (known to the Romans as Diana, the Huntress).” At page 56 she says, “It is not immoral to choose abortion; it is simply another kind of morality, a pagan one. It is time to stop being defensive about it, time to point an accusatory finger at the other camp and denounce its own immoral stance.” At page 107 she says, “Abortion is a sacrifice to Artemis. Abortion as a sacrament for the gift of life to remain pure.” At page 92 she says, “Our culture needs new rituals as well as laws to restore abortion to its sacred dimension, which is both terrible and necessary.”
In 1 Corinthians 10:19-20, Paul asks “Do I mean then … that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.” Acts 19:23-28 describes Paul’s near-death experience at the hands of artisans and merchants who were making and selling pagan worship paraphernalia but losing money because Paul was converting Artemis worshippers to Christianity.
The Amazon.com Publisher’s Book Description says “Since its original publication, The Sacrament of Abortion has been widely used in abortion clinics in Canada and in France and has even been given by some doctors to each and every woman who had the procedure ….” Dr. Paris is a devout pagan who has also written Pagan Meditations and Pagan Grace, both also published by Spring Publications (1998).
Abortion Is Child Sacrifice:
Pastor John Piper, from a sermon delivered on Psalm 106:32-48, acknowledging the pagan perspective on abortion:
Abortion is the sacrificing of our sons and daughters to demons. And someday we will see this. And we will be as amazed that it could have endured so long as we are that the enslavement of Africans lasted as long as it did. The issue is just as clear as that one was. And we are just as blind today as they were then. The big difference is that the babies can’t run away. The underground railroad is entirely dependent on you, not them.
* * *
Sacrifice means that you give up something ordinarily considered valuable (a sheep or a bull) to gain something better—usually from a deity. Abortion in America is not done consciously with any desire to get blessing from a deity. But it is done to gain something ‘better’ than the baby - that is what the whole debate is about. Is the gain greater than the loss? We need to be sure to see it in those terms: The life of a child is being sacrificed for something. What that ‘something’ is defines the barbarity of our culture.
Eric Metaxas, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, writing at ChristianPost.com, September 20, 2015, “The Canaanites, Child Sacrifice And Abortion:”
To see just how far pagans would go to manipulate a deity, look at the Phoenicians, who were basically Canaanites with boats. Archaeological excavations of at least nine Phoenician settlements have found evidence of tophets, the biblical term for places where child sacrifice, usually by burning, was practiced.
As the Bible tells us, the practice spread to ancient Judah. We're told that Josiah destroyed the tophets in Judah along with other sites of pagan worship.
This kind of barbarism is unimaginable today. Or is it?
As Mother Theresa famously said, ‘It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.’
What is the so-called ‘right to choose’ if not the sacrifice of children to the gods of personal autonomy and self-fulfillment?
Randy Alcorn, New York Times best-selling author, former pastor and seminary professor, writing at epm.org says:
Child sacrifice is condemned throughout Scripture. Only the most degraded societies tolerated such evil, and the worst of these defended and celebrated it as if it were a virtue. Ancient dumping grounds have been found filled with the bones of hundreds of dismembered infants. This is strikingly similar to discoveries of thousands of dead babies discarded by modern abortion clinics. One scholar of the ancient Near East refers to infant sacrifice as ‘the Canaanite counterpart to abortion.’ Unlike the pagan sacrifices, however, with abortion, child killing need no longer be postponed till birth.
* * *
As the devil loved the sacrifice of children in the ancient heathen cultures, so he loves the sacrifice of children in our modern culture. Whether children are sacrificed to a heathen god called Molech or to the god of our own convenience, he does not care. …[T]here are demonic forces behind child killing. Abortion is Satan’s attempt to kill God in effigy by destroying the little ones created in God’s image. We are not dealing here with ‘one more social issue,’ but a unique and focused in which Satan has deep vested interests….
Discouraging the public display of disturbing abortion photos reinforces the lie that abortion is a nominal evil, best left to personal discretion
– not Christian activism to force government intervention in defence of unborn life.
For these and other reasons, it is as important to identify abortion as “child sacrifice” in the church as it is to identify abortion as “genocide” in the secular culture. Child sacrifice is not just another form of sin. It is an especially egregious form of sin which demands an especially vigorous response from people of faith. Genocide is not just another form of homicide. It is an especially inhumane form of homicide which demands an especially robust response from people of conscience.
The terms “child sacrifice” and “genocide” are rightly stigmatizing, anathematizing words which more accurately describe the magnitude of the evil each represents. Calling your enemy by its proper name is vital to accurately understanding and effectively responding to the threat posed by that adversary. Pastors and politicians often resist the use of these terms because their adoption imposes obligations they wish to avoid.
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary, Charlotte, NC, and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention'sEthics & Religious Liberty Commission, said in an interview with Baptist Press, bpnews.net, July 16, 2002, headlined “Land: Partial-Birth Abortion Another Form Of Child Sacrifice,” that partial-birth abortion is literally an "act of child sacrifice to the pagan gods of convenience, social convention and career well-being."
Catholic Bishop Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury, UK, was quoted in an article in the Catholic Herald, May 14, 2015, headlined “Western world shows same disregard for human life as the Aztecs, says bishop:”
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has said the disregard for human life in the western world today bears a resemblance to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.
Both societies held a belief that some human lives can be discarded, the bishop said, adding: ‘We cannot regard any human life as inferior to our own whether we meet them in the helpless refugee, the unborn child or the abandoned elderly person.’
Jewish Rabbi Jacob Neusner believes that abortion is morally comparable to the Holocaust. From a spiritual perspective, abortion, as noted above, is child sacrifice. From a secular point of view, however, it is not merely genocide, but Rabbi Neusner contends it is an extension of the Shoah. A professor of religion at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and Bard College, New York, Rabbi Neusner published an article to that effect in the October 26, 1998, issue of Christianity Today: Why Abortion is Genocide:
[H]ow is mass abortion in the State of Israel, such as is practiced by the secular (but not the religious) portion of the Israeli population, not comparable to mass murder of Jewish Children in German Europe?
* * *
As the numbers mount up, when do considerations of volume enter in and validate calling the annihilation of millions of lives a Holocaust? I think they do. Here is a Holocaust today. Every Jewish child born in the State of Israel is a survivor of the Holocaust sustained by Israeli law.
* * *
The difference is, Germany has acknowledged its shame. But for the annual annihilation of tens of thousands of Jewish children, the State of Israel acknowledges nothing.
The National Socialists killed over one million Jewish children during the Holocaust (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, ushmm.org), so it is ironic
that Israel “permits abortions at any stage of pregnancy” (Tabletmag.com, “On Israel’s Liberal Abortion Policies,” June 16, 2015). That puts
Israel’s abortion rate (25%) on a par with China’s (26%). It means that 2 million Jewish children have been aborted since Israel’s founding
in 1948. That is twice as many as were killed by Hitler (Aleteia.org, “Are American Tax Payers Underwriting Israeli Abortions?” January 15,
What meaningful moral distinction can be drawn between today’s Israeli doctors killing a Jewish baby a few days before full term, and death camp doctors killing a Jewish baby a few days after delivery – or pagan priests “passing him/her through the fires of Molech?” And these atrocities go far beyond Israel.
The World Health Organization estimates that 56 million abortions are committed every year worldwide. We have reason to believe that estimate is low. But even that figure would mean that every 12 months, the number of babies butchered globally is nearly equal to the size of the population of the United Kingdom (65M); is larger than the population of South Korea (50M); and is greater than the population sizes of Canada (36M), or Spain (46M), or Poland (38M).
We Will Be Judged If We Don’t Intervene:
Leviticus 20:4-5, “And if the people of the land do at all close their eyes to that man when he gives one of his children to Molech … then I will set my face against that man and against his clan and will cut them off from among their people, him and all who follow him in whoring after Molech.” (The Bethany Parallel Commentary On The Old Testament, Matthew Henry comment, reads “… all his aiders and abettors should be cut off likewise by the righteous hand of God,” – for the offence of ignoring or tolerating the practice of child sacrifice.).
Various translations describe this avoidance as to “ignore,” to “disregard,” to “hide their eyes,” to “look the other way,” to “avoid dealing with,” to “shut their eyes,” to “overlook,” and “neglecting” an important responsibility.
John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes describe this passage as “winking at his sin.” The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language defines “winking” as “pretending not to see.” “Winking” at something is commonly understood to trivialise an offence. The connotation suggests that the offence is unimportant. It doesn’t really matter.
Are Christians, redeemed by Christ’s New Covenant, bound by anything in the book of Leviticus? Does the New Covenant free us from the Old Testament’s prohibition against sacrificing our children to be devoured by demons (a practice condemned in book after book of the Bible)? If not, how then, does our redemption license us to look the other way when child sacrifice flourishes around us? No other sin in scripture provokes such incendiary wrath in the heart of God. Did God change His mind about child sacrifice with the finished work of Christ?
Isaiah 59:15-16, “The LORD watches and is displeased, for there is no justice … He sees there is no advocate; He is shocked that no one intervenes.” Some translations say He is “appalled” that no one intervenes. The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language defines that which is “appalling” as “horrifying.” Jeremiah 32:35 quotes God as also finding child sacrifice “horrifying.”
Could it be that as a consequence of our passage from the Age of the Law into the Church Age, God is no longer horrified when His people, individually and collectively, shrug off any responsibility for protecting children who are being tortured to death? Who would advance such a bizarre contention
Proverbs 24:11-12 warns that we are to “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” The passage adds that “If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”
James 4:17, “… [I]f anyone, then,knows the goodthey ought todoand doesn'tdoit, it is sin for them.” Does this injunction apply to every “good” except rescuing babies from child sacrifice?
Revelation 3:13-22, Jesus cautions, "I know your deeds ... So because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." “Lukewarm” almost perfectly describes the tepid opposition most churches register against abortion. In Matthew 24:12, Jesus told us that we could expect the end times when "the love of most grows cold." Has the heart of the church grown cold toward potential victims of child sacrifice?
Feeling Pity Versus Showing Pity
The Parable Of The Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37:
This teaching begins with a law professor asking Jesus what a person must do to be saved – the quintessential evangelical question (v. 25). Included in Christ’s answer is the commandment to “love your neighbour,” (v.27). Is an unborn child our “neighbour?” If so, we are obligated to intervene when such a child is in peril of violent death, and “take pity on him (v.33). We are to accept the full risk (v.34) and bear the high cost of intervention (v.35).
In Matthew 25:35-36, Christ warns that on the Day of Judgement, He will judge the works we have performed (or didn’t perform) in mitigation of injustice and human suffering. Those works will offer evidence that our faith is a living, saving, faith (James 2:26). Jesus won’t ask whether we felt pity for the needy. He will ask whether we took pity on the needy.
He won’t ask whether we were pro-nutrition. He will ask what we did to feed the hungry. He won’t ask whether we were pro-hydration. He will ask what we did to give drink to the thirsty. He won’t ask whether we were pro-life. He will ask what we did to save babies.
Correct attitudes and feelings will mean little to Christ or to the “least of these,” without corresponding works of mercy (James 2:16).
6) Images are upsetting
Dispatches accuses us of using graphic abortion images in an attempt to upset women and thereby to “stop them from accessing abortion services.” CBR-UK doesn’t upset women. Abortion photos upset women – and abortion should upset us all because abortion should upset people of conscience everywhere.
But in 2007, the same Dispatches programme used our abortion imagery resulting in women deciding to cancel their abortions.
In 2007, an award-winning British production company, named Quicksilver Media, contacted us with a request to use our abortion film in a one-hour program they were producing for the U.K. Dispatches documentary series. The program, titled “Abortion: What We Need to Know,” more than lived up to its name. It aired on the 17th of October and the fall-out was immediate. The British press and pro-aborts flew into a rage. Our pictures were changing many minds, and many influential Brits were very angry about that fact.
The Independent, October 21, 2007, published a story that captured the panic which quickly spread among defenders of “abortion rights”. Its sub-headline read, “The days of brutal back-street terminations are long gone, but debate still rages over the legal time limit”:
Last Wednesday a Dispatches programme on Channel 4 showed shocking images of the remains of foetuses pulled or sucked from the womb in bits: Long, slick trails of blood and jelly-like tissue containing a tiny foot here, or a hand with five translucent fingers there. ‘We are quieter than usual today,’ says the clinic manager, who says women have cancelled after seeing the film. ‘They will probably ring us again, though, in a couple of days’ [she said, trying to put on a brave face despite disaster].
The images were given to Channel 4 by the anti-abortion (or pro-life) movement [meaning our Center For Bio-Ethical Reform] which is using the anniversary to campaign for a reduction in the legal time limit.
* * *
Liz Davies, head of Marie Stopes [the British version of Planned Parenthood] in the U.K. says …, ‘The needs of the woman are paramount. Not the needs of the foetus.’
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Meanwhile, the cross-party group of MPs [Members of Parliament] on the Commons [House of Commons] science and technology committee has been hearing from both sides. Their inquiry was partly provoked by the astonishingly detailed ‘4D’ scan pictures of young foetuses made by Professor Stuart Campbell, who says they appear to suck their thumbs and make faces in reaction to movement.
On the 27th of October, 2007, Daily Mail columnist Peter Hitchens wrote:
Abortion is the only event that modern liberals think too violent and obscene to portray on TV. This is not because they are squeamish or prudish. It is because if people knew what abortion really looked like, it would destroy their pretence that it is a civilized answer to the problem of what to do about unwanted babies.
Mr. Hitchens nails it. Ignorance is the enemy’s greatest ally. It invites comforting illusions which we must shatter if we are to have any hope
of convincing the public that first-trimester abortion is too evil to leave to personal choice.
Deborah Davies, the reporter who did the interviews for the Dispatches program, wrote in the October 18, 2007 edition of the Daily Mail that as pregnancy progresses, abortion becomes more controversial, even among British abortionists:
They’ve [the abortionists] been having this debate [about lowering the age limit for later-term abortions] privately for a long time but they don’t talk about it in public – and one of the reasons is the very nature of the abortion procedure, especially in the later stages.
“The very nature of the procedure” is far more shocking than almost anyone realises, and the abortionists want to keep the public in the dark.
That is why we work so hard to drag it out into the open. Ms. Davies’ column illustrates the reluctance of abortionists to allow anyone to
see who these babies really are and what abortion really does to them. She notes the clinic’s refusal to allow any filming of aborted fetal
remains: “The bowl with what they call ‘the products of conception’ is quickly wheeled out of the [surgical] theatre, covered in yellow plastic.”
Back to October 18, 2007, TV critic Thomas Sutcliffe, writing in The Independent newspaper, convincingly explained the power of high-tech ultrasound and our aborted-baby video clips. Referring first to the ultrasound scans, he said:
They’re fiercely eloquent advocates, brilliantly exploiting our hardwired susceptibility to tiny hands and perfectly formed little limbs. And when these limbs emerge piecemeal in the course of an abortion, as they did in the most distressing sequence of Deborah Davies’ report, the advocacy shrieks almost incontestably. That’s why the opponents of abortion employ such images so frequently and why its proponents would prefer we don’t see them.
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The senior consultant [what British abortionists prefer to call themselves] who’d allowed Davies to bring a camera to a late-term abortion sensibly understood that his chances of making a case for the rights of his adult patient would hugely diminish if the camera strayed to what was emerging from her. That was off limits, and the images you saw later had been supplied by campaigners against abortion [meaning CBR].
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But it was what abortion looks like that dominated both film and argument.
* * *
…[I]f ‘Abortion: What We Need to Know’ proved anything, it was that the evidence of our eyes carries an emotional weight against which more abstract reasoning will struggle in the coming debate. There is no visual shorthand for the human cost of an unwanted pregnancy that will easily match the sight of a [severed] foetal hand ….
The focus of this TV critic’s commentary is cameras and film and what abortion “looks like.” He, more than most, recognises that we live in a post-literate
culture. People are reading fewer books, magazines and newspapers than at any time in modern history. Attitudes and behaviours are now picture-driven.
YouTube is the new New York Times.
Polly Toynbee wrote a related article for the Guardian newspaper on October 26, 2007. It was titled “A woman’s supreme right over her own body and destiny is in jeopardy.” As is true with virtually all of the most ardent pro-aborts, it was our pictures which really upset her. She begins by railing against “DVD’s of abortions” and “posting lurid [abortion] films on the Internet.”
Then she gets to our Dispatches abortion video, condemning it as evidence of the despicable tactics which pro-lifers will use to sway Parliament on the issue of abortion restrictions: “Images will mirror Channel 4’s disgraceful Dispatches programme, which used [CBR’s] anti-abortion footage ….” Ms. Toynbee then misstates almost every material fact associated with the program. Once CBR’s pictures had been shown, she knew she had lost the argument over the real facts so she made up new ones in the hope of regaining some tactical advantage.
On October 23, 2007, Dominic Lawson wrote a column about CBR’s video for The Independent and titled it “So you’d rather not think about late abortions?” It was remarkably even-handed:
Last week a Dispatches documentary, Abortion: What We Need to Know, showed [CBR] footage of the human detritus left behind after such abortions. I have very mixed feelings about the broadcasting of these images. If we regard such tiny but fully-formed humans as worthy of some respect – as I do – is it right for them to become posthumous performers in a snuff movie? The Guardian’s television critic argued that even to show such images was inappropriate in a programme which purported to be ‘fair and accurate reporting.’
I am not so sure about that. If you were making a documentary about lynching in the Deep South, would you refuse high-mindedly to reproduce the disgusting visible evidence of what actually happened? If you were making a film about the Nazis’ concentration camps, would you refrain from showing those horrible images of mounds of emaciated corpses? I am not saying that doctors who perform late-term abortions are like the Ku Klux Klan or the Gestapo – but we cannot dismiss from discussion the images from the Dispatches documentary, however much we might want to. Perhaps we should describe them as inconvenient truth.
British television critics, true cultural elites, are nearly unanimous in their conclusion that abortion must be seen to be understood. But because
it is so difficult to get these images into the popular press, we must create alternative mass media and make resort to simple signs, displayed
in the public square – that is, until we are jailed for showing the public the abortions which BPAS and Marie Stopes are honoured for performing.
Abortion is upsetting and should be because it is an act of violence that kills a defenceless and innocent human being. Anyone person with a functioning conscience will be upset. People are not upset because of the way they are talked to, or treated, but because of the reality of abortion that BPAS and Marie Stopes are systematically hiding from them. NHS Choice’s opinion on informed consent is that information must be given whether or not the patient wants to hear it, even if they object and find it distressing. More women would be running from abortion providers if they were really fulfilling their duty to obtain informed consent.
We are just showing them the pictures. And what are the pictures? They are what Ann Furedi is doing to these babies.We don’t accept the double standard that people should be upset by cigarette packet images but we should not be permitted to let them know the truth of abortion.
We are not chasing people down the street with abortion pictures. If they don’t want to look, they can just look the other way.
7) Potential Violence
Linking us with violence is a knowingly false claim. Here is a press release on the very subject:
THE CENTER-FOR-BIO-ETHICAL REFORM
February 1, 2010
PO Box 219, Lake Forest, CA 92609, www.aboritonNO.org, email@example.com
THE CENTER FOR BIO-ETHICAL REFORM CONDEMNS RANDALL TERRY’S SUPPORT FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST ABORTION PROVIDERS
The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) today condemned Randall Terry’s support for violence against
abortion providers. CBR also applauded the conviction of Scott Roeder for the murder of abortionist George Tiller and condemned the abortion
industry for slaughtering children on a scale which dwarfs every atrocity in all of human history.
The Associated Press reported a story on January 31, 2010 headlined “Conviction angers anti-abortion militants” which quotes Mr. Terry as saying that “… more violence is inevitable” and that “’The blood of these babies slain by Tiller is crying for vengeance’….”
The Los Angeles Times, in a story titled, “Killer of abortion doctor eager to speak, friend says,” January 28, 2010, reports that Randall Terry has now associated himself with the most violent elements of anti-abortion anarchy:
The trial also has drawn a who’s who of antiabortion extremists, including Randall Terry, a founder of Operation Rescue. Many of the abortion foes are connected with the Army of God, a group that urges violence against doctors and clinics. Michael Bray, who was convicted of bombing the Washington offices of the National Abortion Federation and the ACLU in 1984 is here.
Mr. Terry sought to further justify Mr. Roeder’s attack in remarks quoted by NPR.org, in a story called “Jury Convicts Killer of Abortion Provider,” January 29, 2010:
Some anti-abortion activists who attended the trial, including David Leach from Iowa and Michael Bray from Ohio, signed a petition arguing Roeder should be able to use a justifiable homicide defense. Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, was also in court, and he said he didn't think that justice was served since the jury didn't get to consider Roeder's motive of preventing abortion.
‘And it showed to me that they never got a chance to get inside of Scott Roeder's head. The babies who died at Tiller's hand deserved their day in court, and it should have been this trial and it wasn't,’ Terry said.
CBR categorically condemns Mr. Terry’s suggestion that any motive could have justified Mr. Roeder’s murder of
“Dr.” Tiller. That suggestion was repeated visually by Mr. Terry and others who held matching signs which argued the need to “GIVE RODER A
FAIR TRIAL” and asserted that a fair trial could only be had by allowing the jury to consider “RODER’S REASON: THE BABIES.”
We also condemn the notion that the violence of “vengeance” is an appropriate response to the violence of abortion. If it is morally justifiable for anti-abortion activists to kill abortionists, that same “right” could just as easily be claimed by wild-eyed consumer advocates who could begin to kill corporate officials who preside over the production of goods and services which they know or should have known will endanger public safety. The same attacks could be launched by radical environmentalists who think “climate change” is homicide; or animal rights activists who think “meat” is murder.
The list of grievances is endless and our pluralistic society would quickly be plunged into interminable chaos. The rule of law is fragile and hard-won and it would be swept away in a wave of perpetual holy wars. We could find ourselves living in the hellish equivalent of Gaza or Mogadishu. Every disgruntled sociopath would get a gun and once the shooting starts, it would be very difficult to stop. People would soon be shooting without any clear recollection of why they are even killing.
Why, then, couldn’t advocates of abortion rights claim the reciprocal right to kill anti-abortion activists? And as CBR has predicted for years, that is exactly what recently happened when a supporter of legal abortion shot and killed CBR volunteer James Pullion for publicly displaying abortion photos.
CBR opposes the death penalty so we were encouraged by a story at KAKE.com, headlined “Roeder Charged With Murder In Tiller’s Killing,” June 2, 2009. It said, “… District Attorney Nola Foulston told reporters the case does not qualify as a death penalty case.”
But neither do we want Mr. Roeder to ever again walk free. KansasCity.com, reported a story headlined “Roeder found guilty of murdering abortion doctor,” on January 29, 2010, which revealed “The prosecution said it would pursue a ‘hard 50’ sentence, which means 50 years in prison with no chance of parole.” Mr. Roeder is 51-years-old. We urge people of faith to pray that he repents of the terrible damage he has done the cause of life.
Martin Luther King Jr and potential violence allegations
The Everything Martin Luther King, Jr. Book, McElrath & Andrews, Everything Books (2008), reports that despite everything Dr. King did to stop the rioting which broke out during his 1966 Chicago civil rights campaigns, Mayor Richard Daley “blamed King for the rioting” anyway. The authors add that even the city’s black leaders “… had press conferences and urged Dr. King to leave Chicago, saying there is no place for you here.” Dr. King exposed injustice by exhibiting shocking photos and public opinion began to shift against racial discrimination but the great civil rights leader was repeatedly attacked for “inspiring violence” with these photos, despite his repeated condemnations of violence and calls for peace and harmony.
More on “provoking violence”
Should the news media have suppressed photos and stories describing an American drone strike against ISIS leaders because it might inspire violence from ISIS linked terrorists?
Should the news media have suppressed shocking imagery of the police beating of Rodney King to avoid the violent riots the imagery triggered? How can injustice be remediated if it is covered-up?
The linked article describes “… radical animal rights extremists are prepared to use intimidation or outright violence to further their cause.”
Animal rights activists are not concerned about better conditions for laboratory animals, they simply want an end to all animal research regardless of the consequences. Extremists try to impose their views on others by criminal activity, violence, intimidation and harassment. This is fundamentally undemocratic, as well as extremely distressing for the targets. Perhaps ironically, it also has the effect of polarising and silencing sensible debate about the use of animals in research.The current extremist tactic, of targeting organisations involved in animal research by attacking the individuals that work for them or the companies that supply them, dates from the mid-90s. The threat to medical research became so serious that 10 years later the UK government developed a strategy and drew up specific laws to crack down on extremist activity against animal research. A special national police unit called NETCU was established.The crackdown on UK animal rights extremism has been largely successful with very few incidents in the last five years (2008-2013), but the tactics used by extremists have been exported to many other countries. You can see details of these at www.animalrightsextremism.infoAnimal rights extremists (ARE) are those whose beliefs make them willing to take direct action. Sometimes this direct action takes the form of illegal behaviour ranging from moderate (misdemeanour crimes such as trespassing, criminal vandalism, public order offences, etc) to serious (libel, arson, assault, etc). ARE groups are usually careful to say they engage in lawful behaviour, but direct action – often illegal – almost always occurs wherever they go. The main UK-based ARE group is SHAC with ALF used as an umbrella name by some extremists.
This resort to violence is sometimes inspired by the display of shocking animal cruelty imagery. Should it therefore be suppressed?
In an article titled “Shock Advocacy, An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org,” we read:
“A study by Joseph N. Scudder and Carol Bishop Mills [The Credibility of Shock Advocacy: Animal Rights Attack Messages] examines this question. Scudder and Mills conducted a case study of a single campaign that used graphic images to sway the public’s opinion about factory farming by highlighting cruelty on a corporate pig farm. They found the advertising campaign was effective at delegitimizing the corporate pig farm while also increasing the perceived credibility of the organization that ran the campaign (PETA).”
The Crown Prosecution Service (Keir Starmer formerly served as Director of Public Prosecutions), has frequently granted animal rights groups leave to employ private prosecutions against alleged animal abusers. Despite the record of disturbing animal abuse photos provoking violence among animal rights campaigners, shocking imagery is invariably assumed to be a reasonable source of evidence of criminally actionable abuse.
8) Bribing and trespass
Again, these are deliberate misrepresentations of the facts. Our photographers pay a reasonable administrative fee to abortion providers to indemnify them for costs associated with our presence. The audio track recorded at the conference contains no use of the term “bribe”
Over the decades during which our photographers have filmed in large numbers of abortion clinics the total cost of acquiring this imagery has understandably been considerable – probably similar to the amount of money Dispatches has invested in its attempt to discredit CBR with false allegations. It is a demonstrably false claim to assert that Gregg Cunningham used the word “bribe,” which is a statutory term defined as any consideration offered to a public official in an effort to induce the performance of an unlawful act. The acquisition of our abortion imagery involves neither public officials, nor unlawful acts.
Gregg Cunningham makes it clear in the video of the relevant conference remarks that they work the way they do to ensure they do not trespass. A woman from the Society of the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) condemned Gregg for not interrupting the abortion process to stop abortions and Dispatches egregiously took that conversation completely out of context as an admission of trespass while he was explaining why they never trespass.
Here below is the actual transcript of the video:
Gregg Cunningham – Ending Abortion
Transcribed from 1 hour 29 minutes into the talk.
Gregg Cunningham: How do we get this video? We paid a great deal of money to abortion providers who let us in, and somebody who will accept money to kill a baby will let you film it under the right circumstances, and that’s how we do it.
Question from audience – unintelligible
Gregg Cunningham: Oh I think it’s deeply, profoundly moral to do that because we have….. I’m sorry…. More from lady…ah how could we stop it?
Lady: When you’re outside an abortuary you do everything in your power to stop … from going in
Gregg Cunningham: but how can we stop…
Lady: … how can you justify paying.. people who butcher babies?
Gregg Cunningham: OK, but you’re not, with all due respect you’re not answering my question. We’re in there with our photographer, how could we stop the first abortion
Lady: you could basically stop them, or do you admit that you partly facilitate their work by paying them?
Gregg Cunningham: Sorry that’s factually incorrect. Any attempt to interfere in the first abortion we film would immediately result in our arrest, removal, the abortion would go forward, we wouldn’t be allowed to stop it…
Lady: You would have done everything you could have done possible.. I just can’t agree with that.
Gregg Cunningham: We would absolutely be arrested..
Lady: You’re willing to be arrested, that’s all right.
Gregg Cunningham: No it’s not all right, because not only would our equipment be taken away, we would never get into another abortion clinic, and we still wouldn’t have stopped that abortion, that abortion would go forward anyway as soon as we’re hauled off, that baby would die, and the incredibly life saving video, that saves countless babies, that we take out of that clinic would now be lost. And so what you’re counselling, and I say this quite respectfully, would result in the deaths of enormous numbers of babies and be deeply immoral, deeply immoral.
Lady: Didn’t St Augustine say that God loves each of us as if we were the only person in the whole world. Each person is individually important to God, that God doesn’t count numbers, God cares about the individual. And God cared just as much about that baby who was killed in that abortion, as He is about millions of people.
Gregg Cunningham: Everything you just said is predicated on a false statement, and the false statement.
Lady: St Augustine’s false statement? ….
Gregg Cunningham: Excuse me, excuse me. On a false statement, and the false statement is that we have the power to interfere with that abortion, and stop it. We don’t.
Lady: I didn’t say that, I said you had the power to try to stop it, and you did.
Gregg Cunningham: If trying to stop it means our photographer gets arrested and hauled away and that baby dies anyway what useful purpose has been served? Now….
Lady: How can you say you weren’t complicit in that abortion? Your conscience….
Gregg Cunningham: Now what you’re describing is called legalism, and it is urm, it’s a focus on the rules that is paramount to the life of a baby, to the life of all the babies whose lives could be saved here. That’s not the heart of the God I worship. The heart of the God I worship is that we are to be clever as serpents. Jesus said the people of darkness … are more ...
Lady: ….and innocent as doves …
Gregg Cunningham: … are more shrewd in their dealings with the world than the people of light, and I regard it to be a form of legalism to say that it’s better for all these babies die than it is for us to not…..
Lady: … I didn’t say that…
Gregg Cunningham: … but that’s the implication of what you’re saying..
Lady: No. I disagree with the morality of witnessing the butchering of a human being, even though I recognise what you’re doing with this horrific material is good, I think the means you went about getting it were completely wrong.
Gregg Cunningham: For the record, for the record, you think it’s better to get arrested in an action that would not save the life of that baby, and would cost the lives of all the babies whose mothers’ minds might be changed by seeing the video that we’re capturing…. You think that’s the heart of God?
Lady: No, I think the heart of God is that whilst you’re doing good work, not to do evil to achieve a good end.
Gregg Cunningham: … we are not doing evil…..
Lady: …and to take part in an abortion, to be a witness and to pay abortion providers…. Is wrong
Gregg Cunningham: Over and over again you’re making a false claim. We’re not doing evil we’re recording evil.
Lady: You’re taking part in evil..
Gregg Cunningham: Excuse me you’re talking over me and..
Lady: OK sorry.
Gregg Cunningham: … it’s mildly frustrating, and I don’t mind you talking over me if you’re saying..
Lady: ….that you’re right!
Gregg Cunningham: Right, if you’re saying I’m being facetious, but if you’re making false claims then it becomes distracting. We are not doing evil we are recording evil, but we have no practical power to stop. We are in a controlled environment, where everybody is nervous about our presence, and one false step and the authorities, clinic security hauls us out of there. We get arrested for trespassing or whatever, because frequently we’re in countries where the rule of law is sort of a shaky kind of thing. And we don’t get the video, and the baby dies, and I don’t think that’s the heart of God. I think the heart of God is record the evil, Ephesian 5:11 Expose the deeds of darkness. You can’t expose them if you don’t record them. So, I mean I understand what you’re saying from a legalistic point of view. God is not a legalist. And what I hear from you is very pharisaic, it’s the Pharisees saying…
Lady: you can’t just use terms like that..
Gregg Cunningham: … it’s the rules that matter, not the lives. And Jesus says it’s the lives that matter, that’s why he healed on the Sabbath. I’m not…. You may be prepared to let all these babies die because..
Lady: …I’m not…Sir I am not saying that we should let all the babies die. I’m saying that there must be more moral means to get this footage then to pay an abortionist to kill a baby.
Gregg Cunningham: OK then tell me…
Lady: Even if that baby was going to die…
Gregg Cunningham: Then tell me where we get the video?
Lady: I don’t know….
Gregg Cunningham: Thank you, thank you…
Lady: There must be… that is wrong… there must be another way.
Gregg Cunningham: There’s a reason, there’s a reason you don’t know.
Lady: There must be another way.
Gregg Cunningham: There is a reason you don’t know, because there is no other way.
Lady: I don’t believe that.
Gregg Cunningham: Well then you tell us what it is. The burden’s on you to tell us what it is.
Lady: Well, well I’ll try my best to find out, because I could not partake in something like that in paying an abortionist.
Gregg Cunningham: We wouldn’t ask you to
Lady: Yes I work in the pro-life movement also, I want to achieve the same aims as you, but I just don’t believe that could ever be right. And somebody told me that’s the way you do it and I didn’t want to believe it.
Gregg Cunningham: Right. Everything you’ve just said to me is based on a false claim, and the false claim is that getting arrested by attempting to interfere in the first abortion we record would save that baby’s life….
Lady: No that’s not what I said, I said that you would not be complicit in that abortion..
Gregg Cunningham: How are we complicit when…
Lady: Because you are allowing it to take place while you were stood there…
Gregg Cunningham: Do you understand the difference between recording evil and doing evil? You’re recording it to expose it… let’s
Lady: Didn’t Bonhoeffer say to not speak is to speak, to not act is to act. You’re stood there while a baby is being killed.
Gregg Cunningham: If you’re acting in a way that results in the deaths of babies, versus acting in a way that results in the saving of babies, I’ll act in a way that results in the savings of babies all day long. And I don’t budge an inch on that.
Kym: Can I just say that watching that is very painful and I think it is difficult to watch but I know that Martin Luther King when he was recording what was happening to the black people, when he was trying to overcome, with pictures, one of the photographers went to put his camera down to help someone who was being beaten..
Gregg Cunningham: The man’s name was Flip Schulke and he worked for Life magazine. I’d like you to listen to what this lady is saying. I’d like you to hear this because it’s right on point.
Kym: What happened was one of the photographers was filming what was happening, they were being beaten up, the blacks were being beaten up by the police, and this photographer went to put his camera down to intervene and to help stop what he thought was a brutality and he was told by Martin Luther King, you pick up your camera, this needs to be seen. If you don’t pick up your camera no one else will see what is happening. And it was only by people seeing the imagery that things started to change. Like we heard from Scott earlier on about the pictures of the children down the mine and all these atrocities, without the photography… I understand your feeling of the.. watching that and seeing someone video it… no I understand someone standing there videoing what is happening actually….
Gregg Cunningham: OK… this is actually quite instructive. What Martin Luther… and I normally wouldn’t go on and on and allow this discussion to go on the way it is, but I am doing it for a reason. What King actually said, and your characterisation is correct. What King said to Schulke was, and this comes from the book written by a man named Speed. And King said to Schulke, if you really want to help us, pick up your camera and record what’s going on here, that’s the help we need. It’s not first aid, it’s not getting between us and the police. We’re out here to provoke the police so people can see how ruthlessly the police are treating us. Don’t impede that process, record it. Record it. That’s what we most need. And here’s the difference as I understand your position, again I say this quite respectfully, there’s no amount of money, let’s be fair, I’m trying to be fair with you, indeed I am, urm, there’s no amount of money that I wouldn’t give an abortionist to save a baby’s life, there’s no amount of money. I’d give all the money I could possibly amass if it would save a baby’s life, it would be immoral to do otherwise.
The allegation is that we are deliberately filming women using abortion services. This is nonsense. The irony of Dispatches filming outside an abortion clinic and then broadcasting on Channel 4 whilst falsely accusing us of criminal misconduct is bizarre beyond belief. Where is the evidence of us broadcasting women entering or leaving abortion clinics?
Additionally. Dispatches own reporter “Mary” witnessed our volunteers being physically assaulted and abused. This is precisely the reason we use our cameras.
Further, CBR-UK uses body cameras to protect our staff from false allegations of the sort Dispatches maliciously levels at us, just as the Metropolitan Police use body cameras for the same protection:
“In 2016, the Metropolitan Police will introduce the world's biggest single roll-out of 22,000 body-worn cameras. By the end of the year, the majority of front-line police officers across the country will have access to one.”
“The largest pilot study by the Metropolitan police – which led to its £3.5m investment in the cameras – set out to show that malicious complaints against police would fall, oppressive behaviour by police – particularly on stops and search – would decline, and evidence gathering would improve. The findings of the report were mostly inconclusive, though malicious complaints against police were down. ‘Where officers were wearing cameras, there was a 33 per cent reduction in allegations against them,’ said Nerys Thomas, head of research at the College of Policing.”
“Freedom to photograph and film: Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.”