Clicktivism

I’m usually very sceptical of clicktivism, it is a poor substitute for direct action, but I’ve decided to make an exception. For those who haven’t heard of the anti-abortion group, Abort 67, it’s worth checking out their site here.

Their protests outside the Wistons Clinic on Chatsworth Road are currently putting the wind up BPAS, who are so concerned that they have attempted to have the protesters, who are protesting legally, arrested on multiple occasions. No charges have been brought however. I spied various pro-choicers plotting some counter-action on Twitter, apparently today they were out “undercover” although sources tell me that Abort67 are well aware of the other side’s attempts to mobilise against them and are quite happy to engage in open discourse. In fact Andy Stephenson has offered to debate Clare Murphy of BPAS live on radio, after she denounced them, however she declined the invitation, despite the fact that BBC radio were happy to host the conversation.

All credit to Abort67, who are obviously managing to unnerve the pro-abort lobby, to the extent that they are attempting to have the group banned. They are a little bit stuck however, as they admit themselves on Twitter, these protests are legal, therefore they are getting their heads together to see how Abort67 may be stopped. How very democratic!

If further proof of their success were needed, sources tell me that pro-choicers now refuse to visit those schools who have been open-minded enough to allow Abort 67 in to show presentations to their (older) pupils, to offer a counter-opinion. Such is the effectiveness of the Abort 67 presentation, the pro-abort groups know that there is little they can do to counter it, other than attempt to lobby the church in Worthing in which members of Abort 67 worship. This has conversely resulted in an upswell of support for them.

Of course the usual accusations of harassment have been thrown about, I have not admittedly manned an Abort 67 demonstration, however I can testify to having met Andy Stephenson, the leader of Abort 67, a man who gives the impression of being overflowing with compassion and who possess all the aggression of a golden retriever on valium.

One of the things that the pro-choicers were attempting to crow about was what they presumed to be the relatively low site stats of Abort67. I am currently adding them to my blogroll, as well as a link to their video – warning it’s graphic.

I think it would be really helpful if ALL Catholic and pro-life bloggers could consider adding Abort 67 to their blogrolls, and/or sporadically linking to their videos. Even better get in touch with them, steel your stomachs for their material and see about organising local protests and rallies. Even better than that, give them some financial support if you are able. I really believe that they are worthy of our support, they seem to be the first group out there, along with 40 days for Life who are managing to seriously put the wind up the abortion clinics. This isn’t a plea to support them over and above any other pro-life group, that people may have affiliations or support for, I think Abort 67 are very different to other groups in that they are engaging in direct action, they are courageously going out there, risking the wrath and enmity of the public in order to confront people with the gruesome reality that constitutes abortion. Though many have their reservations about graphic imagery, it is becoming increasingly evident to me that in a society that wishes to sanitise abortion with pastel coloured logos and the vague language of social validation designed to subliminally influence and coerce women into believing that abortion is a simple clean procedure, people need to be aware of the reality, if hearts and minds are to change. What is interesting is to note that many women who have had abortions, actually thank Abort 67 upon seeing their displays, reporting that it has given them an increased awareness and a chance to heal or grieve. Many state that had they known then, what they know now, they would not have undergone the procedure. Others are resolved to protect themselves and their loved ones from ever experiencing such violence. No wonder BPAS and MSI despise them.

Abort 67 are passionate and courageous defenders of the unborn, who engage in direct action.They don’t impinge upon other organisations – their mission is not to provide counselling or assistance (although they will point people to organisations who will help), they are there to tell a story. They are prepared to do what many of us are not. For that they deserve our support and our prayers. Let’s give them the encouragement that they deserve, even if that is only a link on your blogroll. I do not care that Abort 67 are not a Catholic group. I do not care that they are Evangelical Christians. I care about the unborn and I give whole-hearted support to anyone, regardless of creed, race, gender or sexuality who is prepared to go out there and take action that pricks consciences and saves lives.

For those who will call us nutters or lunatics – what is that angers you so much? What is wrong with showing the procedure in all its reality? Would it be acceptable to abort a puppy or a kitten? Why is acceptable to do this to a human being? Name-calling makes very little difference in any event, in the words of Andy Stephenson:

We don’t care what you think about us. We care what you think about abortion and, the angrier you are now, the harder it will be for you to get the reality of abortion out of your head. If you have a functioning conscience and possess a level of intellectual honesty then you will eventually reason that you are right to be angry but you are just angry at the wrong people

The pictures are sick because what they portray is sick. We aren’t the ones killing the babies in the pictures, the abortionists are.

If people can look at the pictures and want to attack us that is the sure sign of a selfish narcissistic culture. When we look at pictures of the Holocaust, do we get angry at the teacher or the ones who committed the atrocity?

I think what surprised me most of all was the intellectual courage and honesty of the pro-choice feminist Naomi Woolf:

The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers’ practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics….[But] how can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real? To insist that truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy. Besides, if these images are often the facts of the matter, and if we then claim that it is offensive for pro-choice women to be confronted by them, then we are making a judgment that women are too inherently weak to face a truth about which they have to make a grave decision. This view is unworthy of feminism.

In the meantime do you have the courage to take a look at the video below? Here is how the abortion providers describe it.

http://www.abort67.co.uk/plugins/content/jw_allvideos/players/mediaplayer_4.3.swf

10 thoughts on “Clicktivism

    1. On-line action. It has its place but more to direct action than clicking ‘like’ on a Facebook page or re-tweeting something. It’s a bit like clicking “like” on a Catholic page and then not going to Mass…

  1. For that matter, in the age of Internet the currency of horrible images is fast being stripped of shock value. I watched someone get shot ten times in a fast food parking lot by police last week. The boys who recorded it said “WHHOOAAAAAA…” and giggled.

  2. What’s the intention with protesting couples and women directly outside clinics? Is the idea to guilt? I’m just putting myself in the position of the couples entering in traumatic circumstances and wondering what difference it would have made to me and how compassionate I would have considered that to be. At that point I needed help to look at other routes out, that work, not graphic images and ladles of guilt. I get doing this in schools to help posit the reality of abortion and avoid it but fail to see how this helps couples already in a mess of emotion or hurt.

  3. I think that the comments on the website about the abortion clinics wanting things both ways is a good one. Either this isn’t a life and is just ’tissue’ being removed and no harm is done to women long term, or it is a life and the people involved are suffering. The comment about ‘sensitively disposing of tissue’ summed up this strange thinking of the abortion clinics. Would someone who had a cyst be given the tissue to dispose of ‘sensitively’?

    If this is all OK, not a life being taken, not harming women, why would people feel guilty walking past these images, where ever they are?

    Women finding themselves in a position of being pregnant when they are not in the best circumstances or under pressure from family or partners need to be dealt with with sensitivity and compassion because taking the life of another is a terrible, terrible thing. It harms women spiritually, even if they feel OK about it psychologically (which I find difficult to believe).

    These pictures outside an abortion clinic are no different to say, the famous picture of twins, one who has died as a result of baby milk selling in the third world. The idea is to shown the consequences of the action of the baby milk company. Seeing that picture, maybe next time I buy Smarties (made by Nestle one of the companies who use these selling practices) I might feel guilty. After all I have just contributed to a company who make money out of babies dying. I think I should feel guilty if I do that.

    Some of the animal rights groups use very distressing images and under-cover footage. I found something on piglets having teeth and tails removed without anesthetic. It was awful. Next time I buy sausages, if I don’t find out the source and make sure it comes from the 20% of pigs that this isn’t done to then I will feel guilty. But then maybe that is something to feel guilty about.

    So if people going into clinics feel guilty when they see these pictures, when this is the reality of what they are about to do, should they be going ahead with it? Maybe their guilty response is an appropriate one. As long as they are not shouted at, abused, pushed I see no problem with these images being outside clinics. It shows the truth. Non-violent protest like this is part of a tradition of direct action. The bottom line is at the clinic this is the last attempt at saving a life.

  4. Maybe they don’t feel guilty – maybe they feel the same way that anyone being yelled at by a group of ranting people feels : let me get away from the scary people. I agree that this is not a good way to help anyone.

    1. Do we know that Abort 67 yells and rants and people? Or do they stand silently with a banner?

      They have not been arrested for a breech of the peace or harassment, which surely, were they ranting at people, they would have been?

      I’ve never been on one of their displays so I can’t comment as to the veracity of that assertion.

  5. I love the comment by allotmentgirl. It so very thoughtful and actually brings up very good points when contrasting graphic images of animals as opposed to babies or the “sensitive disposal of the fetal tissue”. It is so hypocritical and so absurd these arguments are even given credence by Pro Choice groups and how hateful they are toward those of us who espouse Pro-LIFE.

  6. I also agree with allotmentgirl’s sentiments which were very helpful. Certainly the truth would set these unfortunate women free.

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