Life and Liberty for Women
Abortion Safe & Legal - Today, Tomorrow, Forever
Volume 2 - Issue II - Fall 2001
From left to right: Colorado State University student and LLW volunteer Gretchen Otto, LLW board member Julie Maslowski, LLW volunteer Molly Loonan and LLW board member Annmarie Izuel Evans prepare LLW's Spring 2001 newsletter for mailing. Volunteering with Life and Liberty for Women is fun and rewarding! Call (970)217-7577 today to volunteer !
ARE YOU REALLY "PRO-CHOICE?"
When I founded Life and Liberty for Women I was more than aware of the shame women felt about their right to life and liberty and how the abortion rights movement plays the accomplice in cultivating that shame. Daily, as my board and I courageously go about trying to undo the stigma of abortion, we are reminded by our interactions with our own movement and supporters how pervasive and damaging that stigma can be.
Recently a local Democratic Party officer said that our material announcing our illegal abortion drama and our upcoming protest was removed from their display table at a summer outdoor event because they thought about it and they were "well, just uncomfortable" with it. "The party has some, not many, but some "pro-life" democrats," the officer said, and they were uncomfortable with displaying our material on abortion. Never mind that the national and local democratic party has a "pro-choice" plank in their platform. This was about shame. Shame surrounding the word abortion.
"Pro-choice" colleagues and legislators from any political party rarely, if ever, stray from the words "a woman's right to choose." One legislator told me that she speaks "in terms of 'a woman's right to choose,' and doesn't get into the other stuff." The "other stuff" is the reality of abortion and it includes saying the word "abortion."
The opportunity for access to safe and legal abortion for ourselves, our daughters and our granddaughters is because of the thousands of women like myself and my board members who not only fought for the legalization of abortion, but who continue the DAILY battle to keep it legal. The battle that was and continues to be fought is not just for the right to be "pro-choice." It is for the right to safe and legal ABORTION. Our anger boils over and our hearts are heavy with disappointment when you reward our efforts for the cause with a display of shame towards the word abortion. We are appalled that you will use safe ABORTION services when you need to, then hide from it every other day of the week!
You - "pro-choice" woman - "pro-choice" man - "pro-choice" democrat - "pro-choice" republican - "pro-choice" independent - "pro-choice" libertarian - "pro-choice" green party member are acting as hypocritical as "pro-life" women who picket and threaten our abortion providers and staff on Monday and then enter our clinics on Tuesday for an abortion, all the while displaying an arrogant, holier- than-thou attitude.
"Pro-choice." It means supporting a public policy that allows a woman the right to make a decision about her unintended pregnancy based on her own set of religious and moral values. It means that no matter which option a woman chooses, adoption, parenting or abortion, her decision is good and moral. If her decision is good and moral, then all the options are good and moral and none should be shameful. A person cannot lay claim to the label "pro-choice" without laying claim to abortion as a good and moral option. If you can't lay claim to abortion as a good, moral option then you can't be "pro-choice."
The term "pro-choice" allows the abortion rights movement and supporters to hide from the reality of abortion. The anti-abortion crowd is right. Abortion kills living human embryonic and fetal life. If you have a problem with that then don't call yourself "pro-choice." Killing living human embryonic and fetal life, before viability, under the guidelines of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects both the interests of viable fetal life and the life of the woman, is not wrong or immoral. If you can face that reality, then you truly are "pro-choice." If you cannot say the word "abortion" and cannot defend it, then you are not "pro-choice." Did you ever stop to think of the damage to the mantra of "pro-lifers," admitting and standing by the truth about abortion would cause? Just imagine, bursting their bubble, confiscating their argument, and then challenging them on the truths of illegal abortion. Life and Liberty for Women experiences the FREEDOM and POWER to smack the "pro-lifers" where it hurts them most because we admit and stand by the truth about abortion, a right that every single person and "pro-choicer" in the world enjoys, you included, but hasn't the guts to be up front about.
Why are you "pro-choicers" ashamed to say the word abortion? Admit that it kills human pre-viable life and is moral under the guidelines of Roe vs. Wade. Just who, besides yourself, do you think you fool about the reality of abortion with the "woman's-right-to-choose language?" What will happen to you if you stand by the truth about abortion? Do you think you might be labeled a "baby killer?" What do you think will happen to the right to legal abortion if you stand by that truth? There will be a mad rush to make it illegal? Already in many parts of the country it might as well be illegal with all the restrictions that have hurt the most vulnerable women of our sisterhood. The reality is that the fear of the "pro-choicer" to say the word "abortion" has affected every woman's access to it.
Why won't admitting the truth jeopardize our moral and legal position on abortion? Because of the undeniable existence, pervasiveness, and horrible consequence of ILLEGAL ABORTION.
Since the beginning of time, the genie of abortion has never been in the bottle and so it can't be put back into one. Just as "pro-choice" persons must admit that abortion kills human life prior to viability and stand unashamedly for the morality of Roe vs. Wade, so must "pro-life" persons admit that illegal abortion doesn't stop abortions from occurring. "Babies" are not saved by illegal abortion and it maims and kills women. They must come to grips with the truth that illegal abortion is not a viable workable solution. Both the "pro-choicers" and the "pro-lifers" must come to grips with the reality of abortion. They both want to ignore the reality of it but no longer can. What happens to public opinion about abortion when pictures of alleged aborted fetuses (that are designed to make women ashamed of their equal right to life and liberty) are placed side by side with the bloody pictures of women who were maimed and died from illegal abortion? Public opinion shifts from shame and legal abortion stops being a dirty word. The public comes to grips with the existence, truth and reality of legal and illegal abortion, demands it be legal and accessible to every woman and makes the prevention of unintended pregnancy the focus.
If we lose the right to safe and legal abortion, it will be "pro-choicers" who will have cost us that right. The Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP), based in New York, did some research in 1997 on young women's attitudes towards "choice." It found more young women consider themselves "pro-choice" than would be defined as "pro-choice" by activists in the movement. The PEP study voiced concern that if people who don't agree with the views of the "pro-choice" movement, but consider themselves to be "pro-choice," are embraced by the abortion rights movement; that abortion rights will suffer further erosion. The study also noted that strategy of the abortion rights movement may increase the movement's numbers by promoting the "you can be pro-choice and anti-abortion" message but it contributes to the negative portrayal of abortion and further erodes "pro-choice" support. In essence, "pro-choicers" are saying that they believe in a woman's right to choose but are ashamed of abortion. In light of such pervasive and overwhelming shame of abortion, what are "pro-choicers" fighting for? What difference does legality of abortion mean? Why bother? This finding also sheds light on why it is that more and more "pro-choice" persons, with each poll conducted, consider themselves in favor of any number of restrictions. They are more and more in favor of "a woman's right to choose" and more and more ashamed of abortion. To prove they aren't pro-abortion and mitigate their shame, they are willing to acquiesce to restrictions that hurt poor women and teenagers the most. Restrictions that harass abortion providers and give "pro-lifers" the ammunition and momentum they need.
Ironically, given that most revealing information to consider when developing messages, it's PEP'S own newly developed ads, which feature an abandoned car, a back alley, and a filthy bathroom all meant to depict "the perilous choices of women seeking abortion before legalization," but do nothing of the sort. As I reminded one activist, the effectiveness of the ad will be minimal at best because of what's missing from it. The woman, her tortured face, her maimed body and the blood she lost from an illegal abortion. Faceless, bloodless back alleys, abandoned cars and filthy bathrooms will not convince post-Roe generations that illegal abortion is to be feared and is something they never want to see or experience.
To abhor and fear illegal abortion is to unashamedly embrace legal abortion, not just a "woman's right to choose," and embrace the truth and reality of legal abortion. Abortion kills human embryonic and fetal life and under the guidelines of Roe vs. Wade, isn't wrong or immoral. Life and Liberty for Women has rounded that moral corner, we're better for it, proud of it, our conscience has been cleared by embracing the truth about abortion, and we've moved to the next level in the battle to protect safe and legal abortion. We'd be delighted if you'd join us. We challenge you to clear your conscience and shed your just "pro-choice" skin, before you cost us legal abortion. You will be welcomed with open arms into Life and Liberty for Women.
"Oh no, say it ain't so!!!" Abortion foes drive point home with moving billboard
By Jeff Collins
The Orange County Register
The fight to outlaw abortion moved recently to Southern California's freeways where a convoy of anti-abortion truckers is merging into rush-hour traffic and displaying graphic billboards showing aborted fetuses. The campaign, now in its fifth week, has provoked angry calls and obscene gestures, as well as a handful of freeway near misses and howls of protest from abortion-rights activists. But a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol said the commuter crusade appears to be legal, and local law enforcement lets convoys pass with little notice. "I guess it's a freedom of speech issue," CHP spokeswoman Nanci Kramer said.
Campaign organizer Gregg Cunningham of Yorba Linda said the month-old "guerilla marketing" effort is a uniquely California way to reach a captive audience stuck in rush-hour gridlock. "We're a car culture here," Cunningham said. "If people are going to live in their cars, that's where we'll go to engage them." Cunningham, director of the Southern California-based Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, is hoping eventually to take his freeway signs nationwide.
Before launching its campaign here, however, the group prepared by thoroughly researching traffic laws and by sending more than 100 "pre-emptive letters" to district attorneys and police chiefs throughout the region threatening litigation if anyone interferes with its free-speech rights.
The pictures, Cunningham concedes, are graphic, repulsive and impossible to overlook. And his group is girding to battle for their right to use them. They wear SWAT body armor and carry military-style ballistic helmets in their cockpits during convoys. Their vehicles are equipped with video cameras for and aft. And two-man contingents of off-duty police officers accompany them in unmarked police-style vehicles.
"If we're lawfully exercising our First Amendment rights and somebody assaults us, they're going to be arrested., they're going to be prosecuted and they're going to have a criminal record," said Cunningham, 54, a former Pennsylvania legislator and an ex-assistant U.S. attorney.
The convoy starts at 6:00 am daily at the group's 12,000 square-foot warehouse in Santa Fe Springs. The location is kept secret for security reasons.
Signs show bloody embryos and fetuses with fully formed limbs and chest cavities, saying they were abortions occurring anywhere from seven to 11 weeks of gestation.
"CHOICE." the signs say, along with the groups phone number and Web address.
One recent morning, the motorcade looped through Orange County along the Riverside (91), Costa Mesa (55) and San Diego (I-405) freeways before heading west into Los Angles, the heart of the Hollywood mind-set, Cunningham said.
Heads swiveled and jaws dropped open as the trucks rumbled past. People gestured and necks craned. At one point, a van hit the brakes to avoid a collision with rubberneckers. Some motorists waved to show their support. At least two made obscene gestures. Others called the number displayed after reaching their destination.
"It's very effective marketing campaign," one caller said. Another asked where to send a donation, adding, "I think what you're doing is great." But others exploded in anger, some complaining that the signs might give their children "bloody nightmares." What (expletive)…is the matter with you people?" one caller said. "Is that what people should be looking at first thing in the morning?" I found it personally offensive, " said a third. "I think your cause is worthy, but I think those trucks are disgusting. I also think it's a driving hazard."
Cunningham said he isn't afraid of making people angry. Every social movement in America, from abolitionists to the civil-rights movement, achieved change by confronting society with graphic images it didn't want to see, he said. "I'll put this picture in your head, and no matter how angry it makes you, you'll never get it out," Cunningham said. He said the multimillion-dollar campaign, funded by private donations, reaches about 400,000 people daily.
The reason: "The freeway system is the last place where you can't turn the page or change the channel." The 11-year old Center for Bio-Ethical Reform made headlines in recent years by taking graphic images of aborted fetuses to about 30 college campuses. The group has gone to court when public universities tried to block their right to be there.
Plans call for towing banners behind planes at beaches and sports events and picketing businesses backing pro-choice causes.
While placing anti-abortion signs on freeway trucks is new Orange County abortion-rights advocates say the pictures and tactics aren't. "It's distasteful and very inappropriate for children to see," said Linda Schwarz, co-chairwoman of Pro-Choice Orange County. "It's a low kind of tactic." Critics maintain that the images are distortions tremendously enlarged to cause greater impact, Schwarz said. Jon Dunn, president of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, said labels give inaccurate embryo and fetal ages to make the appear more developed. Cunningham denied that inaccurate ages are used.
Ultimately, critics said, the campaign is bound to offend more people than it persuades. "I certainly don't think it's an effective strategy," Dunn said. "It doesn't much matter to me whether they put (the pictures) on posters or on trucks."
FYI: Gregg Cunningham is a former Colorado resident and instrumental in the first successful voter referendum disallowing abortions for poor women to be paid for with state Medicaid funds. In 1997, Peggy Loonan debated him in Estes Park. Peggy wrote a Guest Commentary to the Orange County Register.
Taken from The Orange County Register 7/25/01
Arvada Hell House outlines the stages of sin
Church's Halloween event acts out 'truth' about evil
By Virginia Culver
Denver Post Religion Writer
A mother who kills her own son and a lesbian suicide are some of the features of Hell House 2000, a church display that aims to scare people out of walking the road to hell.
The controversial Halloween event, now in its seventh year, typically draws several thousand people with its lifelike scenes of gore, crime, and debasement.
Hell House, at Abundant Life Christian Center in Arvada, opens Oct. 13 and will be staged several nights for the remainder of the month.
The brainchild of the Rev. Keenan Roberts, associate pastor, Hell House will also feature "the domestic tornado" of family abuse and a "Cyberchick" who takes visitors through "Firestorm Laboratories," where sins are created.
At the end of the seven-stage Hell House show are heaven, featuring an appearance by "Jesus." and hell, featuring putrid smells writhing and screaming.
"It's a modern-day parody, both timely and timeless," said Roberts, who writes the script each year and directs the production which this year has a $20,000 budget. "The timeless truth is that sin destroys and Jesus saves. It's about people being brutalized by sin, based 100 percent on the Bible."
This year's show also has actors from the church in a skit about a teen drinking party that results in a fatal car accident.
The International Center of Post-Birth Abortion features a mother who no longer wants her teenage son and takes him to the clinic where she has the choice of having him shot, dismembered, killed, with a baseball bat or having his throat slit. She asks the doctor to shoot him.
"The point is, whether you're aborted or killed later by your mother, it's still killing," Roberts said. Scenes are changed each year to reflect news events that Roberts believes show the breakdown of morals in society.
He said he knows many people criticize Hell House "either for the message or how we stage it. But we have to reach the sight-and-sound generation, whatever it takes."
A demon guide, dressed like the devil, takes visitors to the various rooms of the church, where the scenes are elaborately staged with music and dialogue. This year, some are short films.
Hell House has attracted 33,000 people in the past six years and is now being exported to other cities. Roberts has sold 475 Hell House kits at $199 each to instruct churches on how to stage their own Hell House. Adults from Abundant Life now visit churches to direct and stage Hell Houses.
We Have Been On The Move
Since becoming a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) non-profit organization in March, 2000 we have:
• Placed an ad with our moral message in The New York Family Planning Advocates Legislative Conference Brochure in January 2000.
• Placed an ad with our moral message in the Feminist Majority Foundation Feminist Expo Program in March of 2000 where thousands of activists gathered.
• Placed an ad in the Fort Collins Rocky Mountain High School Newspaper in May of 2000 with a statement on the issue of parental notice.
• Placed an ad with our moral message in the 9 to 5 Working Woman’s Survival Guide due out any day now.
• Had our educational boards, brochures, and fact sheets at the Loveland, CO., 4th of July Celebration and Summer Festival.
• Made an Editorial Board appearance to introduce Life and Liberty for Women with the Fort Collins, CO Newspaper, The Fort Collins Coloradoan. Has resulted in their calling us for comment when RU-486 was approved in September 2000.
• Produced our 1st newsletter and mailed to about 1,000 people across the country.
• Engaged in coalition work with Protect Families Protect Choice, the NO on Amendment 25 Campaign in Colorado and contributed $400.00 to that effort.
• Put up a Web Site.
"Oh YES, say it is so!!!"
Prosecutor rules against anti-abortion signs
GREAT FALLS, MONTANA - A city prosecutor said an anti-abortion group's graphic pictures of mutilated fetuses were a traffic hazard and could not be shown at demonstrations along city streets.
Members of Pro-Life Great Falls reluctantly ended their regular Friday demonstration at a Planned Parenthood office when Assistant City Attorney Kory Larsen told them the signs had to go or be confiscated.
"He is trampling on our First Amendment and constitutional rights," Jonathan Martin said. "We were told by police that as long as we stayed within the law and did not scream at people, we were all right to be there. Now, all of a sudden, we're lawbreakers."
Larsen, accompanied by police, gave protesters five minutes to put their signs away. He cited a public nuisance statute and told them their protest was a risk to public safety because of rubbernecking drivers.
Taken from the Fort Collins Coloradoan 8/13/01
Moral Statement on Abortion Rights
Women have a right to life and liberty. Roe vs. Wade correctly and morally balances the right to life and liberty of the woman and fetus. Potential life is entitled to quality of life. Abortion is the right and moral option for a woman who determines that she cannot provide for or parent her child, or that she cannot give her child up for adoption.
Check out our new web page entitled
"THEY SAID…WE SAY…"
"They Said...We Say…" features actual letters to the editor written by anti-abortion extremists and our response to them. It's a great educational tool that shows abortion rights supporters how to answer anti-abortion arguments with cited evidence.
YOU WILL BE PROUD OF THE WAY WE ARE AGGRESSIVELY AND COURAGEOUSLY DEFENDING ABORTION RIGHTS!!
Pledge a "Hell House" patron
"Last year the anti-abortion Christian "Hell House" charged $7.00 per person to get in.
Help Life and Liberty for Women continue its post-Roe generation educational efforts and its aggressive radical counter-demonstration program
Pledge $10.00 to Life and Liberty for Women for every member of your immediate family!! (and include those beloved pets)
Please fill out the enclosed pledge form and mail it today!
Thank you in advance for your generosity,
Peggy, Julie and Annmarie
Attention Abortion-Rights Clergy:
Life and Liberty for Women encourages you to speak forthrightly and passionately from the pulpit to your congregations and encourage you to join us in great numbers at the Halloween "Hell House" silent protest in October.
We also would like to extend an invitation to you to share the stage with us on the evening of our rally.
Life and Liberty for Women Invites you to join us for HALLOWEEN HELL HOUSE SILENT PROTEST - 2001 at
The Abundant Life Christian Center
7100 Wadsworth Boulevard
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
We will not be present on Halloween itself, as our supporters wish to spend the evening with their children and friends. Our protest will be a peaceful, silent protest.
Our signs displaying graphic pictures of illegal abortion will speak louder and more powerfully to the public and to anti-abortion extremists than any words we might shout at them. We don't need to verbally engage anti-abortion extremists to make a powerful statement and send a powerful message. WE JUST NEED TO BE THERE!!
WE MUST BE PRO-ACTIVE ONCE AGAIN!
Based on the dates from last year's event, we will be holding a nightly vigil on the following dates:
Friday, October 12
Saturday, October 13
Sunday, October 14
Friday, October 19
**Saturday, October 20
**(We will we have a rally with speakers)
Sunday, October 21
Wednesday, October 24
Thursday, October 25
Friday, October 26
Saturday, October 27
Sunday, October 28
Monday, October 29
Tuesday, October 30
Life and Liberty for Women needs you
Applications for Board Members
We are currently recruiting for new board members. We have no paid staff which means board members are not only responsible for guiding and leading the organization but are needed to make the organization work. This is a great opportunity for anyone, particularly younger women and men, to learn how a non-profit board works, learn leadership skills, and make a difference.
We encourage men and minorities to apply. Life and Liberty for Women does not discriminate on the basis of religion, age, race, sex, or sexual orientation.
To obtain information and an application, call, write or email.
• To help with the October Halloween Hell House Protest...
• To work on our Data Base, Email Lists and Newsletters...
• To help write letters to the Editor and Website Issue Articles
Jan's Project of the Pro-Choice Coalition of Colorado Springs
The Pro-Choice Coalition of Colorado Springs is asking for your story, "Why I am Pro-Choice." Submit your story of 1,000 words or less to Jan's Project - The Pro-Choice Coalition of Colorado Springs P.O. Box 732 Colorado Springs, CO 80901-0732 All Submissions need to be received before Saturday, November 17, 2001 to be considered for reading at the January 2002 Roe vs. Wade event.While we encourage you to sign your name, stories may be anonymous.
The Freedom Fund uses its financial fund to pay for abortions for poor women.
Send your contribution to:
First Universalist Church
4101 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO 80222-7262
(303) 759-2770 x52
*Information provided here taken in part from The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy Newsletter, Sept. issue.
Copyright © 2002 Life and Liberty for Women All rights reserved.