Abortion Foes Tell of Their Journey to the Streets: Action means many things to abortion opponents. Lobbyists and fund-raisers fight for the cause in marble hallways; volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers try to dissuade the pregnant on cozy sofas. Then there are the protesters like James Pouillon, who was shot dead here last month while holding an anti-abortion sign outside a high school. A martyr to some, an irritant to others, Mr. Pouillon in death has become a blessing of sorts for the loosely acquainted activists who knew him as a friend: proof that abortion doctors are not the only ones under duress, proof that protests matter, and a spark for more action.
“Jim suffered the persecution for us,” said Dan Brewer, who recalls swearing at Mr. Pouillon during one of his one-man protests in the ’90s, only to join him later after becoming a born-again Christian. “Now we just have to go out and do it.” A national tribute is already planned. Anti-abortion groups are calling on protesters to stand outside schools with signs that depict abortion on Nov. 24 in 40 to 50 cities nationwide.
Some who plan to take part, like Chet Gallagher, a former Las Vegas police officer, have been answering such calls for decades; he first got involved in the ’80s, when every month seemed to bring a new “rescue,” another chance to lock arms with fellow Christians and block access to an abortion clinic.Others have arrived at the cause after experiencing personal traumas — in the case of Deborah Anderson, an abusive childhood and then an unwanted pregnancy — while still more fell into it through personal connections.
Together, these street activists make up an assertive minority of a few thousand people within the larger anti-abortion movement. Neither the best financed nor largest element in the mix, they are nonetheless the only face of anti-abortion that many Americans see. Indeed, persistent provocation is their defining attribute: day after day on street corners from California to Massachusetts, they stand like town criers, calling to women walking into abortion clinics, or waving graphic signs as disturbing as they are impossible to ignore.Their ranks are more infused with emotion — they would say commitment — than top-down discipline.
Ziad Munson, a sociologist at Lehigh University who has interviewed hundreds of abortion opponents, said street protesters rarely moved into other areas of the movement and tended to work alone or in smaller groups. Even in cases when they form large and influential organizations, it is sometimes difficult to get beyond the culture of passionate dispute.To critics, like Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, these protesters look like bullies bent on harassment. Among those who share their views but not their tactics, street activists have been marginalized as attention hogs who prefer to attract outrage rather than inspiring compassion.
In the case of Mr. Pouillon, that outrage may have led to death. The police said the man charged in the killing, Harlan J. Drake, a local truck driver, was bothered by the signs Mr. Pouillon showed children as they came to school. The day he was shot, Mr. Pouillon was showing a mangled fetus, part of an almost daily effort to put abortion into the minds of his neighbors. “It’s all about the eyes,” he used to say to fellow demonstrators. “It’s all about the eyes.”But as the personal stories of Mr. Gallagher, Mr. Brewer and Ms. Anderson suggest, the motivations of many protesters are more complicated. They see themselves as righteous curbside critics, prophets warning the world with what they describe as the horrific truth no one wants to see. They have endured insults, threats and even estrangement from their families because they have found what nearly every activist craves: conviction, camaraderie and conflict.
The Police Officer: From Civil Law to BiblicalChet Gallagher did not plan to join the blockade at the abortion clinic in Atlanta when he traveled there 21 years ago. But when he saw the passion of so many Christians outside the clinic, he said, he could not resist: he ended up in jail for 11 days, with James Pouillon and 700 others.
The NYT has actually printed pictures of abortion victims. Here are the pictures below. Forewarning: They are graphic.
Here is more Jill Stanek's website
THIS HOLOCAUST BEING COMMITTED AGAINST UNBORN BABIES MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!