Operation School Choice

Every large city in America has dozens and dozens of high schools in it. And in these schools the students are taught a great many things across a large number of subjects. Of course, schools are where the young go to get educated; they are where various views and perspectives are openly discussed and where adolescent minds begin to form opinions that will likely stay with them throughout their entire lives. But what do these same students know about the grim reality of abortion? What open discussions are they having in their sex education classrooms about the fact that 1/3 of all teen pregnancies end in abortion and that teenagers account for over 20% of all abortions in America annually? The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform knows the sad answer to these questions and that is why it has developed “Operation School Choice.”

A typical “School Choice” operation will focus on a high school for an entire week. In the mornings, as the students arrive by foot and by car, we continually loop the campus with our 22 foot billboard truck displaying large images of aborted fetuses, while our volunteers are stationed on the ground at the major points of entry with smaller 3×4 signs and literature/videos so that we are assured that a good percentage of the student population will have a very hard time missing our message.

This type of operation has a large number of positives going for it. First, our weeklong presence creates sustained contact within a usually inquisitive student body. Second, this operation is relatively inexpensive and is not overly time consuming for the director or the volunteers. Third, the entry points of most high schools are usually very few and this offers us a great opportunity to condense where our message gets delivered. And fourth, because these students still live at home, the tension these signs create brings more of the community into the discussion of whether abortion should be a legal choice.

In the end, the statistics tell us that it is very critical that we reach these impressionable high school students with the pro-life message before they go to college, where their views tend to become more “pro-choice” and where the pro-life perspective is even more openly ridiculed and disdained by tenured educrats. We must not fail to educate these sexually promiscuous students about a life and death topic that almost nobody else is willing to reach them with. In all truth, these graphic images can cut through years of mis-education in a single moment.

Jason Walsh

Southwest Region Director

Center for Bio-Ethical Reform



Answering the Rape Question

What about rape?  It’s one of the most popular questions they ask us.  Often, its an attempt to prove that we pro-lifers are either (a) insensitive “fetus-lovers” who don’t care about women, or (b) ethically inconsistent, allowing abortion in some cases and not in others.

When addressing the question we should be aware that not all people are trying to trip us up.  Some who ask the question are victims of rape themselves.

Others believe they have a trump card and they intend to play it.  Their trump card is the “obvious fact” that abortion should be allowed in the case of rape (less than 1% of all abortions).  They will play that card and then try to extrapolate that justification to include all abortions (including, for example, the one that he purchased or might want to purchase in the future).  It’s a logical fallacy, but given the lack of sophistication characteristic of most college students, it’s not a surprising one.

Many are sincerely trying to understand the public policy consequences of our proposition that the lives of all children, including all preborn children, should be respected.  Many people agree with the position that abortion should not be allowed generally but should be allowed in the case of rape.  CBR does not hold this position, but many people who consider themselves to be pro-life believe that although abortion should not be allowed for parents who consent to sex (because it is murder), women who were victims of violent crime should be given every opportunity to mitigate the consequences of the crime against her.

Normally, when rape is not part of the question, we should try to steer the discussion, as quickly as possible, to the humanity of the unborn child and the horror of abortion. But in this case, if we don’t address the horrible crime committed against the woman, we run the risk of reinforcing the stereotype that we ourselves are inhuman, incapable of feeling compassion toward a woman who has been terribly brutalized.  If we do that, we have lost our audience.  Therefore, this question requires special treatment. May I propose a 6-point response to the rape question:

  1. Do you know someone who is a victim of rape? (As a pro-lifer, you are an empathetic and caring person. If the answer is “yes,” you need to show compassion. Sometimes, the person will say that she herself has been raped and had an abortion.  This person doesn’t need an argument or a debate; she has been victimized twice, so procede with understanding.  We will address this in a future article.)
  2. I’m wondering if there is anything we can do more to prevent rape and to punish the perpetrator. What do you think? (You want the person to tell you what is on his or her mind.)
  3. Some people say it is appropriate to respond to this terrible act of violence by committing a second act of violence, this time against the woman and the child she is carrying. But is that really helpful to her? Will it unrape her? Will it remove the memory of the rape?
  4. Let me tell you where else they do this. In some parts of India and the Middle East, when a woman is raped, she is seen as unclean. The family is so ashamed that she may be sold into prostitution, or male family members may even try to kill her (an innocent victim) to get rid of the embarrassment. We recoil in horror from that practice, and then we turn around in the U.S. and do the same thing to the other innocent victim, the baby, and we do it for reasons that are very similar.
  5. Think about our position that the preborn child is equal to the born child. Would you ever say that the born child that is the product of rape is less of a person than the born child from a loving relationship? Would you say it’s OK to kill an infant whose father was a rapist, but protect an infant who is from a loving relationship? Of course not. We don’t discriminate; we treat them equally.  So how could we discriminate against some children before they are born?
  6. Some people seem to believe that abortion somehow mitigates the harm that rape does to a woman. Would it surprise you to learn than many rape victims themselves disagree? In his book, Victims and Victors, David Reardon surveyed 164 women who had been raped and became pregnant. Some aborted; some carried to term.  Of those who aborted, only 1 expressed no regret about her decision to abort.  Over 90% said abortion had not been a good solution and would not recommend it to others in the same situation. Many aborted because they were pressured to do so.  Of those who carried their babies to term, none expressed regret for that decision.  To summarize, those who aborted wished they hadn’t; those who carried were glad they did.  This was not a rigorous statistical study, but the numbers are so overwhelming that they cast doubt on whether abortion is a compassionate response to rape.
  7. This is Point 7 in my 6-point answer. At this point, the question is answered, but I try to go on the offensive at this point.  Most people are totally unaware that sexual predators routinely use abortion to cover up their crimes against minor children.  I talk about this and send them to ChildPredators.com and LiveAction.org.  It blows their minds, and the proof is so overwhelming, the abortion industry has no defense against it, other than to ignore it and hope we don’t bring it up.

Well, that’s my 6-point (or 7-point) answer.  Let me encourage you to read it, study it, learn it, and use it.  Let me know what you think!

Fletcher Armstrong, PhD
Southeast Director
Center for Bio-Ethical Reform

Persecution from Within

“Stand on the line if you’ve lost a friend to gang violence. … Stay on the line if you’ve lost more than one friend. … Three. … Four or more.”

Those were the instructions from a teacher being taught, from a woman getting a glimpse into the life of students considered “unteachables.”  Her name is Erin Gruwell, and her true story is dramatized in the inspiring film Freedom Writers that I watched a few weeks ago.

As a first-year teacher at an inner city school in Long Beach, California, Gruwell inspired a group of students—many of whom were involved with gangs, drugs, and other criminal activity—to abandon racism, to respect their fellow human beings, and to embrace education; in short, to transform their lives for the better.

It is a remarkable film and while many aspects struck me, one in particular stood out as it relates to recent CCBR experiences: Gruwell was having a positive impact on her students’ lives, yet received resistance from some fellow educators who had never given the troubled students the attention they deserved.

Gruwell took the time to understand the plight of these students: where they were coming from, what they had experienced.  She got to know them.  The educators critical of Gruwell, on the contrary, did no such thing.  They did not understand the students’ experiences and thus failed to address the students’ needs; beyond that, they even worked against Gruwell’s laudable—and effective—efforts.

CCBR also encounters opposition, in our case from some pro-life and religious leaders.  Recently, individuals have not only been critical of our well-researched strategy, particularly our use of graphic visuals, but at least one has gone so far as to make and spread the erroneous claim that what we are doing is wrong.

As I reflect on the persecution we’re experiencing from those who should be supportive, I realize that none of this is new.  It is a cross that must be borne by all who would fight the good fight against injustice.  The most obvious example is that of Jesus Christ who was opposed by the religious leaders of His day, by scribes and Pharisees who should have recognized the truth of His teachings.  Instead, the Pharisees plotted how they might kill Jesus when He cured a man’s withered hand on the Sabbath (Mark 3:6).  They even considered Him guilty of blasphemy (Luke 5:21), a charge reiterated by the high priest Caiaphas at the trial prior to Christ’s crucifixion (Matthew 26:65).

Jesus made it clear that those who choose to follow Him will also face persecution: “‘A servant is not greater than his master.’  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you” (John 15:18, 20).

And indeed they do.  In April 1963, a group of clergymen, including Catholic and Methodist bishops, criticized Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s peaceful civil rights demonstrations as being not only “unwise and untimely” but even “extreme.”  Although today Dr. King is credited as playing a significant role in transforming the culture for the better, these religious leaders of the time argued that the local black community should not support his demonstrations nor press their cause in the streets.

Not only did Dr. King eloquently defend his tactics in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (www.kingpapers.org), he also expressed his heartfelt disappointments:

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; …Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.  Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.


“…I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church.  I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church.  I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church, who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

“When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church.  I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies.  Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

“In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure.  I had hoped that each of you would understand.  But again I have been disappointed.


“…In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities…

“I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi, and all the other southern states.  On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South’s beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward.  I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious-education buildings.  Over and over I have found myself asking: ‘What kind of people worship here?  Who is their God?’…

“…In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church.  But be assured that my tears have been tears of love.  There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.  Yes, I love the church…”

We at CCBR share Dr. King’s concerns about the indifference and even persecution from within.  That is not to say a religious belief should be abandoned because of some of its leadership.  Nor is it to say that if a strategy is being criticized that the criticizers are always wrong; there are certainly inappropriate methods and approaches just as there are appropriate ones.  The point is this: when individuals endorse or oppose a strategy, people must carefully examine the reasons behind that position and then test its merits by examining the other side of the argument.  This is the due diligence which CCBR takes in adopting the use of graphic images.

We know that what we are doing is effective; furthermore, we have well-reasoned responses to our detractors’ claims.  We find it bewildering, then, that our critics continue to object to CCBR’s use of graphic visuals.

But, once more, Dr. King’s response to the clergymen who opposed him provides insight we can apply to our present-day struggle:

“Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, ‘Wait.’  But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; …when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: ‘Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?’; when you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; …when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next…—then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.


“…I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action.”

As I grieved over the opposition we have faced from within, I realized that perhaps there is another reason for grieving: could it be that our detractors don’t really understand abortion, don’t really comprehend the oppression of the unborn?  Just as it is possible for someone to hear but not listen, it is possible for someone to know yet not understand.

Perhaps it is easy for those who have never been aborted to say graphic abortion photos should not be shown.  Perhaps it is easy when you are not the one being dismissed as a “blob of tissue” and disdainfully viewed as a “clump of cells”; it is easy when you are not subjected to dismemberment, disembowelment, and decapitation; it is easy when you aren’t the one to endure poisoning by saline that will burn your skin; it is easy when potassium chloride isn’t injected into your heart to induce cardiac arrest.

But when you imagine that baby being attacked but unable to escape; when you comprehend a baby being in a safe place only to have it invaded by a stranger who will kill her; when that baby cannot defend herself; when you catch a glimpse of her body parts being ripped off piece by piece; when you realize that what you know about this baby’s plight, most people do not—then you will understand why we use pictures.

This is the story of the aborted unborn.  This is the story that must be told.  Their cries cannot be heard—their screams are silent.  But their victimization can be seen.  It is the images of their terrible suffering that give voice to their cries and pierce the heart of anyone with a functioning conscience.

The story of the unborn, while unique in many respects, is a story that bears far deeper similarities to that of any group that has suffered brutality and mistreatment:

“[t]he real story is the universal one of men who destroy the souls and bodies of other men… It is the story of the persecuted, the defrauded, the feared and detested.”

These words were penned in 1960 by John Howard Griffin not regarding abortion but describing the evil of segregation in the United States.  But, for those with eyes to see, his words readily apply to the story of the unborn.

Recognizing that it is now the unborn who are the persecuted and defrauded, we at CCBR carefully study historical injustices and learn from the brave men and women who responded to them.

The aforementioned writer, Griffin, authored a compelling book, Black Like Me, which recounts first-hand how he underwent treatments in 1959 to darken his white skin and experience “what it is like to be a Negro in a land where we keep the Negro down”.  Through his subsequent experience, he gained critical insight into the universality of persecution and oppression: “The Negro.  The South.  These are details. … I could have been a Jew in Germany, a Mexican in a number of states, or a member of any ‘inferior’ group.  Only the details would have differed.  The story would be the same.”

We are moved by The White Rose, a book about university students who were killed for resisting the Nazis and for encouraging others to do the same.  One of the students perceptively asked the following:

“…Isn’t it preposterous that we sit in our rooms and study how to heal mankind when on the outside the state every day sends countless young people to their death?  What in the world are we waiting for?  Until one day the war is over and all nations point to us and say that we accepted this government without resisting?”

The book also reports about the cover-up of injustice by German newspapers:

“They made no mention of the fact that day after day not one but dozens of executions took place.  God knows the newsreel cameras never got inside the prisons which were crowded to bursting, though the inmates resembled ghosts and skeletons rather than human bodies.  They did not film the pale, drawn faces behind the bars…”

One of the students, Christl, had conviction and insight that all people of good will should heed:

“Then it is our duty by our behavior and by our dedication to demonstrate that man’s freedom still exists.  Sooner or later the cause of humanity must be upheld, and then one day it will again prevail.  We must gamble our ‘No’ against this power which has arrogantly placed itself above the essential human values and which is determined to root out all protest.  We must do it for the sake of life itself—no one can absolve us of this responsibility.”

We are inspired by the film Hotel Rwanda, which tells the story of one man who risked his life many times to save over a thousand refugees from the Rwandan genocide.  We are emboldened by the efforts of Oskar Schindler, who saved more than twelve hundred Jews from the Holocaust, and by the example of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian Independence movement who confronted British colonialists regarding their mistreatment of Indians.  We draw strength from the determination of those who fought to free the slaves of the British Empire and from the courageousness of Lewis Hine, who photographically exposed the plight of child labourers in the beginning of the twentieth century.

Our studies have taught us unmistakably clear lessons: victims always want their sufferings to be known.  And the people who respond to their plight do so because they have become intimately aware of the injustice.  They know about good and they know about evil.  Their knowledge of evil convicts them; their knowledge of good motivates them.  Having seen both life and death (Deuteronomy 30:19), they fight for the lives of the oppressed.  It is through the exposure of injustice that they and others are convicted to respond.  Dr. King expressed this very point as well:

“…we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension.  We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive.  We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.  Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

Today there is no debate about the use of graphic imagery to convey injustices from the past; it is a “no-brainer.”  People pore through history textbooks that contain graphic images; they flock to museums that show images of yesterday’s injustices; they line up to watch movies that convey the mistreatment of peoples by previous generations.

Why, then, is there a debate today about the use of abortion imagery?  For the simple reason that such imagery shows a present atrocity not a past one.  The guilt of historical crimes lies with our ancestors, not us.  The guilt of present-day crimes lies with no one but ourselves.  It is easy to say, “Shame on them.”  It is difficult to admit, “Shame on us.”

It has been eleven years since I was in grade 10, yet I remember a poignant story one of my teachers told: when he himself was in high school, an outcast student was grabbed by a group of bullies.  They stripped him naked, put him in a net, and hoisted him up the school’s flag pole.  Another student, outraged at the injustice, stood up in defense of the frightened, victimized teen, only to have the same degradation inflicted upon him.  A crowd of other students watched this evil play out; my teacher was one of them.

As he told us this story, he asked, “Looking back, if I could have taken the place of anyone there, who do you think I wish I would have been?”  He answered himself, “The student who was mistreated for standing in defense of the victimized boy.”

Whenever an injustice occurs, we have one of four roles to play: the victim, the persecutor, the bystander, or the defender.  We may not have a choice about the first role, but we certainly do about the latter three.  We can be guaranteed that if we follow our consciences and become defenders of the weak and vulnerable, we too will face mistreatment, not only from persecutors but even from bystanders who are being put to shame.  Enduring this we must contemplate, “Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God?” (Galatians 1:10).

Written by Stephanie Gray with Brendan Huang

Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform


March 2007

Eternal Security for Infants: Illogical Indifference for Pastors

One of the most common heresies committed by pastors who attempt to evade responsibility for defending life is to trivialize abortion on grounds that “aborted babies go to Heaven anyway.” Pastor Rick Warren, one of America’s most outspokenly pro-life clerics, made repeated resort to this argument when I challenged him to do more to fight abortion at Saddleback Church. Steve Douglas, now head of Campus Crusade for Christ, said the same thing in precisely the same words when I pressed him to do more to stop abortion. This bizarre theory is now endemic in the Body of Christ.

When we repeat Satan’s lie that a child’s assurance of eternal life diminishes the church’s responsibility to protect his mortal life, we are doing the work of the devil. “The Son of God appeared for the purpose of undoing the work of the Devil.” 1 John 3:8.

Not all theologians agree that every deceased child goes to Heaven (Romans 9:13-15: “Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’”) The Bible doesn’t address this issue in doctrinaire terms. But there are many passages from which we can reasonably infer that aborted preborn children will spend eternity in Glory. For instance, in II Samuel 12:15-23, a Heaven-bound David says of the death of the child who resulted from his illicit relationship with Bathsheba, “I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

In Luke 12:48, Christ explained that “… the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows.” Little children are obviously among those who do “things deserving of punishment” but do “not know.” Notwithstanding the sin nature imparted by the Fall, preborn children are obviously even more innocent than toddlers. Christ’s promises make clear that children will be treated with mercy.

Scripture abounds with testimonies to God’s great love for children. Such passages offer at least circumstantial evidence of a child’s eligibility for eternal fellowship with his Father. Matthew 18:2 says that Jesus “… called a little child and had him stand among them.” In Matthew 18:10, still speaking of that child, He said, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of my Father in Heaven.” In Mark 10:14, we read, “When Jesus saw this [the apostles preventing children from approaching Christ] He was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’”

The notion that God’s mercies cancel our obligations is deeply Satanic and not least when used to minimize our accountability in response to genocide. Christ warned in John 8:44 that Satan always lies and Satan always kills. He cautioned that Satan “was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth.” The truth is that God hates baby-killing and Satan loves it.

Satan tried to kill the baby Moses by inspiring Pharaoh’s attempt to annihilate every male Israelite child in Egypt (Exodus 1:15). 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 (Matthew 2:16). Satan would kill God if he could. Since he can’t, he grieves the heart of God by provoking the slaughter of children created in God’s image. God signaled His regard for life in the womb when He chose to become man at the moment of Christ’s conception, not the moment of His birth.

But if the horror of baby-butchering were mitigated by the fact that butchered babies go straight to Heaven, why would God say of child sacrifice in Jeremiah (7:24-26, 30-31), “… they burn to death their little sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods – a deed so horrible I’ve never even thought of it …”?

In Isaiah 59:2-3, He says, “…[B]ut your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood ….” The blood of which He speaks is the blood of murdered children.

In Ezekiel 16:20-43, He says that His own people “… have enraged me …” with child sacrifice. In Psalm 106:37-42, He says that because of their child sacrifice “… Jehovah’s anger burned against His people and He abhorred them. That is why He let the heathen nations crush them.” In Jeremiah 19:3-11, God says that because of child sacrifice, “… will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended.”

I have actually had pastors tell me that child sacrifice enraged God because it involved idolatry, not because it involved baby-killing. Did they mean that baby-killing would have been okay if it weren’t a sacramental element of some pagan ritual? There can be little doubt that any worship of pagan deities would have provoked God’s wrath but not the wrath He reserved for worship which involved child sacrifice. The enemy of our souls claims the same victory whether a child is slaughtered at the altar of Artemis or Baal or the altar of selfish “choice.”

But despite the virtual certainty that an aborted baby inherits eternal life, God’s will for his mortal life has still been thwarted. God could have created man, as he did the angels, to remain with Him in Heaven. But instead, He intends for man to be born, attain the age of reason and choose whether or not to be reconciled to God and serve Him, for which choices he will be judged.

Satan, who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10), kills a baby to destroy the good God intended for that child to eventually confer on His Kingdom. Multiply that loss by the roughly 50 million babies the World Health Organization estimates are aborted globally each year. That is 100 million babies every 24 months. A billion is a thousand million. At current rates, that is a billion babies every 20 years. Can our indifference to such unfathomable carnage please God?

Rationalizing that “babies go to Heaven anyway” could argue for abortion and even infanticide as a means of preempting any possibility that a child might reject Christ after reaching the “age of reason.” This sort of thinking calls into question the wisdom of caring about the mortal peril in which any born-again believer of any age might find himself. Immediately upon their unjust or preventable death, every believer will go “straight into the arms of Jesus” so why intervene?

Taken to its logical conclusion, this illogical assertion compels the absurd belief that we are doing Christians a favor if we actually hasten their departure, either passively or even actively! In John 16:2 Christ warns that “… in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.” That time seems to have arrived!

This heresy is beyond lunacy. It is demonic.

Gregg Cunningham, Esq.
Executive Director
Center for Bio-Ethical Reform