This last weekend I led a Right to Life of Central CA sponsored Justice For All seminar and outreach at Fresno City College. We had a great turnout at the outreach but a lot of our volunteers wanted to listen in on other dialogues before trying it themselves, so I spent part of the morning doing one of my favorite things: talking to pro-choice people.
Allow me to show you the outreach tools we set up.
We had a poll table that asks, “Should abortion remain legal?”
We had another table that said, “Take our equal rights survey.”
We also set up Justice For All’s “Where Do You Draw the Line” exhibit, which holds a basic fetal development chart with a free speech paper underneath for people to interact with.
That’s the exhibit I was standing in front of while having conversations that morning. I was actually in the middle of a good dialogue with someone when I was interrupted. The woman I was talking to first, believed that women should have the right to do whatever they want with anything inside of their bodies. I was asking her about Thalidomide based on the thought experiment that Dr. Rich Poupard originally published and that my brother Timothy later expanded on, when an older man loudly interrupted that Thalidomide had nothing to do with abortion. I turned to engage him and the woman I was originally speaking with quickly left.
I tried not to show my annoyance as I put out my hand and introduced myself to this new person. He told me his name was Howard and that he was a biology professor at Fresno City College, and proceeded to go on a long diatribe about how misleading our exhibit was. (This was the first of many long rants. I probably did about 15% of the talking in this entire dialogue. He repeated himself a lot, so I’ll just relay the main points he made and how I responded.)
Howard’s first rant was about the fetal development exhibit. He dropped his credentials several times while complaining about our use of biology on the sign.
I asked, “As a biology professor, do you disagree with any of the biological evidence we’ve placed on the exhibit?”
Howard responded, “No, it’s all accurate. It’s basic 2nd grade biology!”
I smiled and said, “I agree with you about that.”
Howard’s concern was that we were turning a philosophical issue into a biological one.
I told Howard that I agreed that abortion is not merely a biological issue, and then I pointed to the “human rights” language on the top right corner of the exhibit.
I said, “There are biological pictures on the exhibit, but we’re asking a philosophical question. We’re asking when human rights should begin, and we’re asking people to draw a line to signify when they think those human rights should be recognized. It’s a philosophical question about rights and value, not a biological question about when an organism’s life begins.”
Howard complained that when people walk by, they will assume we’re only talking about biology….
Howard begrudgingly admitted that our outreach tools were obviously working because they not only had stopped a lot of people, (there were about eight conversations going on around us,) but it also stopped him when he had originally planned on ignoring us….
To read the entire story, click here.