Wednesday, April 29, 2009


To whomever thought it would be a good idea to stand on the corner during rush hour, while school buses drive by with your huge anti-abortion banners, I have one thing to say: Shame on You.

At the time I went by, traffic was still moving pretty well, but at that 5-way intersection, it was pretty much a given that we would see. I am sure that’s why you chose the location. That’s exactly how I wanted to start my day – with graphic photos of aborted fetuses. But you know what? I’m an adult – I can handle it. I might not have liked it, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that buses (and most likely cars) filled with young children saw your signs – saw those horrible, ugly images. Shame on You.

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and where abortion is concerned, there are certainly a lot of them. I have one. But my opinion on the legality or morality of abortion doesn’t really matter right now, because it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Regardless of how I feel about abortion, I am against such a display simply because - while we are entitled to our opinions - we need to be responsible about the forum in which we choose to air those opinions. On a busy street corner while kids are in their way to school (or worse - as I experienced a few years back - a soccer field with teams of kids 10 and under, or last year – a panel truck driving around a park emblazoned with the same images) is NOT the appropriate forum. Shame on You.

Children are fragile and need to be handled with care. Exposing them to a topic such as abortion like that can frighten them. It’s a complex issue that needs to be dealt with carefully, regardless of your views. Anyone with any kind of conscience should be able to understand that, but you didn’t. Shame on You.

Maybe I’m the only one who feels that way. Maybe one person would tell me how abortion is murder and that young children need to understand and not be protected from it. That they need to learn right and wrong. That they need to understand the rights of the unborn. Maybe another person would tell me that even kids need to understand that they are not alone and that they have somewhere to turn if they are in trouble. That it’s important for them to know that no one can tell you what to do with their body, and that they need to understand the rights of women.

Well, I’m here to say that I respect the rights of women and the rights of the unborn, but it’s the rights of the existing children that you have forgotten about. They have the right to be children and not be forced into complex, adult, scary discussions like abortion. They have the right to have their parents decide when they are ready to learn about it. They have the right to a nice, sunny spring morning without graphic, bloody images and screaming old men. They have the right to be children, unburdened with adult problems. Regardless of the views parents plan to teach their children on the topic of abortion, the fact that they use discretion and compassion when deciding if their kids are ready shows far more conscience, good judgment, and just plain intelligence than you have shown us. You put your need to spread your opinion before the rights and needs of those kids. Shame on You.

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PSU Mom said...


Gwen said...

I agree. Exposing children to graphic images and complex issues like that is unacceptable. There is a time and a place for teaching our kids about things like abortion. And there is a way to frame those complicated issues so that it's easier for children to grasp and handle psychologically. For instance, it's appropriate to teach kids about sex at some point. But I wouldn't teach my kid about sex by showing her a porno. Some people are just ignorant and selfish. I realize that people feel passionately about abortion, on both sides of the debate, as they should. But kids should be protected from that. I remember seeing a documentary a while back. Jesus Camp, I think? Anyway, the camp counselors had these kids all riled up about abortion. They were showing them pictures of aborted fetuses and calling abortion murder. The kids were crying and shit. It was brutal.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Oh, I am SO with you on this one!

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...


I had the same thing happen to me a little while ago.

Those images are frightening and they can give a little child nightmares, heck they give me nightmares.

Doesn't matter what your stance is on the issue, no one should be forced to see the brutality.

Allison Says said...

well said. I can't even begin to express the anger I feel when I see those people, those signs. I have driven by them in squirrel hill, right onthe busiest corner. Shame on them is right.

meno said...

It reminds me of the guy who murdered a doctor who performed abortions because abortion is murder and murder is wrong.


Karen said...

While I have a very strong opinion on abortion, I do not enjoy talking to my kids about what it involves. And my children are older. Shouldn't this rank right up there with sex ed? And who stands on street corners with graphic signs of that?!

ClumberKim said...

They used to be right at the corner by my daughter's day care, where lots of faculty and staff walk with their kids. Last time I saw them was by Magee and I was so glad I didn't have my kids with me.

Thanks for putting this issue out there and expressing it so well. It is clearly something that those of us who disagree on the underlying subject matter can find common ground.