THE CENTER FOR BIO-ETHICAL REFORM
September 11, 2009
The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) condemns the murder of defenseless, pro-life activist James Pouillon, shot by a cowardly passerby while Mr. Pouillon displayed aborted baby photos outside a high school in Owosso, MI. The New York Times (“Anti-Abortion Protestor Shot to Death,” September 11, 2009) today quotes law enforcement authorities as follows concerning the shooter’s admitted motive in Mr. Pouillon’s murder: “Prosecutors said the suspect, who is 33, singled out Mr. Pouillon because he disapproved of the victim’s protests in front of children at the school. ‘There was some displeasure with how open he was,’ said Sara Edwards, the chief assistant prosecutor for Shiawassee County. ‘He tended to carry big signs with very graphic pictures of fetuses.’”
Ironically, every student at the school in front of which Mr. Pouillon displayed aborted baby photos was old enough to have an abortion, without parental permission or even parental notice (pursuant to “judicial bypass” procedures imposed by the Supreme Court in every state). But the shooter apparently believed they were not old enough to see an abortion. Thisnon sequitur reflects delusional thinking of the most bizarre sort. Students who are old enough to have an abortion are certainly old enough to see an abortion.
CBR intends to confront the very dishonest double-standard in this country regarding the public display of graphic images. Disturbing pictures of all kinds are seen by children every day in America. Even parents who don’t allow their children to watch violence on television or play violent video games, often take them to the grocery store where check-out lines are flanked with magazine racks whose publications feature cover photos which are inches away from young faces. These photos often exhibit bloody images of dead and dying victims of violence, terrorism, natural disasters, etc. The news organizations responsible for these shocking photos virtually never publish abortion pictures.
Angry parents are often in massive denial about this reality and almost always dispute these facts, so we have put up scores of examples of disturbing news photos on our website(www.abortionNO.org) under “PUBLIC EDUCATION PROJECTS” and then “USING GRAPHIC IMAGES IN PUBLIC.” Some of those magazine covers and newspaper photos are as gruesome as any abortion photo and they have been seen by countless children whose clueless parents never even noticed. The reason they complain about our disturbing photos but not the disturbing press pictures is because many feel more guilt when answering their children’s questions about abortion, with which they may well have some humiliating personal experience, than the feel when questioned about a terror attack for which they bear no responsibility at all.
Although CBR does not specifically target very young children for the display of abortion photos, there is no public venue which is reliably free of the presence of young children and public venues are often the only places we can reach women before they become pregnant and lose their objectivity about abortion. We care about the feelings of born children but we care even more about the lives of unborn children.
CBR has had innumerable women tell us that nothing less shocking than our abortion photos would have sufficed to dissuade them from killing their children. Many more have told us that had they seen these photos before aborting, instead of after, they wouldn’t have done it. Large numbers have confided that it took the photos to force them to stop trying to justify a sin they needed to confess and of which they needed to repent, spiritually. And virtually every person we have ever met in serious pro-life activism had admitted that it was pictures which activated them, making it impossible for them to remain complacent.
Parents and teachers frequently cover-up the horror of abortion. This is a form of child abuse and/or neglect. We aren’t going to allow adults to hide the truth from children who will thereby be more likely to kill a baby out of ignorance. It is the responsibility of the pro-life movement to stop this cover-up whether parents like it or not. The staff of CBR is frequently threatened and/or attacked for displaying similar photos to students and the public generally (see examples of such threats and attacks detailed on our website), and Mr. Pouillon’s murder only strengthens our resolve to show the truth.
The Associated Press reported (“Mich. Man leaves town after cops say he was target, September 12, 2009) that Mr. Pouillon “was a polarizing figure in Owosso….” Praise God for that fact. CBR’s principal objective is polarization. This battle will be lost when the abortion wars are allowed to end. Most Americans cling to the illusory notion that there is a “middle ground” position on the issue of torturing babies to death. Pictures of babies being tortured to death force those people out of the fictional middle, if they have a functioning conscience. Our pictures demand a response. They insist that viewers get off the fence and take sides.
It should come as no surprise that the press has consistently refused to publish the abortion photo which Mr. Pouillon was holding at the time of his murder. That is the cover-up which allows Americans to remain in the “middle” regarding abortion and it is why we must carry on the important work Mr. Pouillon helped pioneer.
But perhaps the ultimate irony in Mr. Pouillon’s murder are the remarks of Matthew Trewhella, a man who claims to be a “pastor” but who is also associated with an anti-abortion organization called “Missionaries to the Preborn.” Mr. Trewhella condemns the murder of Mr. Pouillon (detnews.com, “With suspect in custody, police searching for clues in Owosso shootings,” September 11, 2009) but as a leader of this organization, Mr. Trewhella, on the “Missionaries” website (www.missionariestothepreborn.com), calls Paul Hill, convicted and executed for the murders of abortion providers, “the sanest and bravest man of our age.” He says Hill’s murders were motivated by “rational, Biblical reasons….” He says he did not visit Hill in prison “to condemn what Paul did ….” He adds that Missionaries to the Preborn” will not “disparage those whose use force” in anti-abortion activism.
Mr. Trewhella’s refusal to condemn the murder of abortionists robs him of all moral authority in condemning the murder of a pro-life activist. He is not alone in this moral confusion and the result is tragically predictable. Mr. Trewhella may not have pulled the trigger, but he surely contributed to Mr. Pouillon’s death by glorifying and encouraging abortion-related violence.
We can only pray that an endless cycle of reciprocal violence will not now be initiated. The rule of law is the only responsible way to settle policy differences, irrespective of the dispute at issue.