“Genocide Awareness Project” uses shock tactics to effectively achieve goal



Despite accusations positing the contrary, it seems to me that the recently displayed so-called Genocide Awareness Project, sponsored by the Center for Bioethical Reform, did achieve its goals, and efficiently.

The images displayed, which I’ll deal with shortly, were indeed grotesque and disturbing, but the observable effect was exactly what CBR had intended: to engender discussion amongst those who might not otherwise have given the issue any consideration.

Two women who had abortions, as well as representatives of the Center for Bioethical Reform, stood by to answer questions, respond to protests and engage in debate.

They were calm and professional, and, though the air was tense, the discussion that took place near the display was civil.

However, Shannon Frazer protested in Wednesday’s Kernel that it was the content of the discussions that was the problem.

Frazer said, “They turn(ed) the ensuing conversation to how offensive particular images are, and not to who they (CBR) are, what their organization represents and their ideologies.”

To this I respond: “exactly as they intended.”  Who they are and what they represent is apparent.

The images serve another purpose.  CBR displays shocking images to shock.

Regarding the issue of the images themselves, there is no issue.  The same government that currently upholds a woman’s right to have an abortion also defends free speech.

Though perhaps irrelevant, it is notable that the latter right is found in our nation’s very constitution; it is more fundamental.

“But the images are offensive!”  Obviously.  “But the protest wasn’t civil!”  Irrelevant.

The KKK and The Westboro Baptist Church receive the same First Amendment protection as CBR.  The only relevant response then is simply to ask, “is CBR right or wrong?”

The answer to this, it seems, is complicated.  The comparison of Holocaust victims to aborted fetuses, the controversial stretch of the term “genocide,” the contested link between abortion and breast cancer, all of these leave the position of CBR in doubt.

But there is another relevant question that I would posit is easier to answer: is abortion wrong?

Yes.  Yes it is.  Why should not human life begin when it intuitively seems to, that is, at the beginning?

Markers such as the acquisition of consciousness, the ability to feel pain and others are not only arbitrary, they miss the point.

It is not a question of attribute, but of being.  Membership in the human species is a simple “yes or no” for all time; there’s no changing back and forth.

So is it not the same thing that begins as a bundle of cells and that is, nine months later, delivered into the loving arms of its parents?

Then what is it, a person or not?  And do not tell me first one, then the other, for this is impossible. I say that it is a person, a person from the beginning and a person absolutely incapable of self-defense, a person absolutely dependent on us for its life.

This is a person whose right to make any choice at all has been legally removed in favor of its mother’s right to decide whether it should even exist.  And this is wrong.