Anti-Abortion Groups Plan “Welcome” to White House for First Family

anti-abortion activists announced a plan Tuesday to chalk the sidewalks
near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with "pro-life messages and pictures" to
greet the new first family as they settle into their White House digs.

The scheme by the Christian Defense Coalition purports to be a
modern day civil rights tactic in the vein of Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr.’s historic "Letter from Birmingham Jail" that advanced nonviolent demonstration strategies against racial discrimination.

According to a written statement by the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, the
not-your-mother’s-hopscotch- art-project will be part of a "major pro-life witness":

As part of ‘The Birmingham Letter Project,’
we are inviting the pro-life community from around the country to the
‘front yard of President Obama’ and leave a message of change, hope and
compassion. As we sidewalk chalk on Pennsylvania Ave in front of the
White House, we will be publicly asking President Obama to follow the
teachings of Dr. King and end the discrimination and violence against
these innocent children.

Equating abortion opposition with the nation’s epic struggle for
racial equality has been a long-held but recently intensified tactics
in the "personhood" movement. Proponents raise the specter of the
infamous Plessy v. Ferguson case that denied equal protection to blacks as evidence of the lack of inalienable rights for the unborn.

Except, at least in Colorado, that political maneuver was thoroughly
repudiated when Amendment 48, a controversial state ballot measure to
confer constitutional rights on fertilized human eggs, failed by a 3-to-1 margin.

Despite the crushing loss, Colorado for Equal Rights and its allies vow to fight on by mounting personhood campaigns in 16 states over the 2009 election cycle.

Meanwhile, the Christian Defense Coalition organizers are sure to be praying for dry weather in Washington, D.C., during presidential inaugural week lest the chalk art be swept away by rain or snow.

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  • invalid-0

    Isn’t defacing public property illegal? I work in Washington, DC, and I can’t help thinking that if I scribbled pro-choice messages on the sidewalk outside, say, the headquarters of Concerned Women for America, I would be in the slammer before I knew what hit me.

  • invalid-0

    Isn’t taking an innocent human life immoral?

    Shouldn’t one be more concerned with protecting innocent human life than, say, chalk painting on a sidewalk?


  • invalid-0

    Well, Anonymous, I was trying to make light of the situation. I do not seriously care whether a bunch of buffoons chalks up Pennsylvania Avenue, and I am quite sure President-elect Obama doesn’t care, either. I am not an attorney, and I do not claim to know whether chalking the sidewalk meets the legal definition of defacing public property or not.

    Since you have increased the ante, however, isn’t subverting our Constitution by insisting that the government send people to prison for the crime of not sharing your religious beliefs about when life begins immoral?

  • invalid-0

    they aren’t chalking the sidewalks with pro-life messages protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the death penalty right now for Shrub.

    Oh wait.

    “Pro-life” only applies to fetuses.

    My bad!

  • invalid-0

    The question of when life begins is certainly not a religious belief… It’s found in just about every biology textbook. I would think it was obvious as of when a human life begins. You can try to deny it of course, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

  • sayna

    Any biology textbook that hasn’t had it censored out will tell you that human life began millions of years ago and that the process is ongoing.

    A fetus is exactly as alive as a tree. Does that make lumberjacks mass murderers?

  • invalid-0

    In my opinion, none of these goons can appropriately call themselves “pro-life” unless they’re completely against abortion, war in all forms, the death penalty, animal cruelty, animals as food, and are willing to contribute substantial time and effort (at least as much time and effort as they spend planning and carrying out their protests and internet arguments) to battle not only abortion, but child abuse, and put as much time, effort and funds into providing for the unwanted children that women are forced to carry to term, and caring for the women that carry them through the pregnancy and beyond. Until then, they’re not truly pro life, they’re just anti abortion, and anti women’s rights.

  • invalid-0

    I am sorry if you find this inconvenient, but you cannot make up your own facts. The statement that it is a scientific/biological fact that life begins at conception is simply, unambiguously, and irredeemably WRONG. Forgive me for speaking bluntly, but if you do not understand why it is wrong, you shouldn’t be discussing science in public. Somewhere in the community of practicing biologists, there are probably a few who think life begins at conception for biological reasons, but they are few and far between. Do you not think it possible that people whose life’s work is biology know something about the subject that you do not? Tell me the name of a professor of embryology at an accredited medical school who has stated in writing that it is a biological fact that life begins at conception.

    Philosophically, I think the entire premise that life begins at some definable moment in time is wrong, but that’s just my opinion. At what moment in time does a computer or an automobile or a building or any other complex entity become that entity rather than the parts of which it is composed? The question makes no sense. It is like asking, “How high is up?”

  • invalid-0

    So what if someone is all or most of those? I can only say that I do not hold to bourgeois pacifist beliefs because, as Peter Gelderloos put it, “non-violence protects the state.”

    Would that mean I’m still subject to the “anti-woman/goon” hate speech? Or am I worthy of being considered equal in your eyes?

    PS are you vegan, because if you’re not, you’ve got zero ground to stand on. Zero.

  • invalid-0
  • invalid-0

    I think we should be more concerned with saving innocent human lives than painting on the sidewalk, but I think you might be missing the point. Yes, we want to end abortion. It goes against everything I believe in and I was nearly a victim of it when I was an unborn child. But what you need to understand is that we are not doing the paintings just to put pretty pictures on the sidewalk, they are merely symbolic. The chalk paintings are a means to the end. We have to show the First Family that we will never quit and that we are serious about pro-life. We can’t back down in the face of adversity or even under the threat of prison or death. There are millions of innocent children out there being killed, according to statistics, one every two seconds, and if I have the opportunity to save even one of those 46 million babies every year, to be imprisoned for one child’s life…pass the chalk, please…

  • mellankelly1

    I wasn’t aware that sidewalk chalk could bring with it the penalty of death.  Drama Queen much?

  • invalid-0

    I was nearly a victim of it when I was an unborn child

    And clearly it affected you deeply.

    Being a glass-half-full sort of person, I tend towards thinking that the fact I was born after abortion was legalised in the UK means that my mother was able to make a *choice* to have me. On learning she was pregnant, she didn’t *have* to go through with it… nonetheless, she decided to go ahead and bring me into the world.

    I guess I was “nearly” the victim of a miscarriage, myself; 1 in 4 fertilised eggs never even implant in the first place, after all. Oddly, though, I don’t spend my life having existential crises over the fact that I might have ‘died’ before I was even aware I was ‘alive’ – I mean, if I had died, it could hardly bother me now, could it? – or trying to force all women to conform to a particular religion’s standards on the matter.

    46 million a year? How big is the population of the US, again? And how do you reconcile all the other unborn deaths – see previous paragraph – that happen each year? Should a woman be prosecuted for, say, negligence if her zygote doesn’t implant? Should she be wrapped in cotton wool and kept locked up the instant she conceives, just in case?

  • emma

    So, what about the fact that abortion rates aren’t lower in countries in which abortion is illegal? Instead, women die from unsafe abortions. In other words, you’re pushing for government policies that a) won’t save any foetal lives; and b) will kill women.


    Seems to me that you don’t care about saving lives, but are intent on using women as pawns in your fight to make a political point and force everyone to live according to your religious beliefs.


    Also, Anonymous, *are* you protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the use of torture by the US government? Or are you only concerned about American foetal life?

  • invalid-0

    I am a proud omnivore. I am not anti-choice, I believe life begins at viability outside the womb. I am for the death penalty under certain circumstances, and I believe there are times when war is necessary. By this, I am not a hypocrite on any of those matters, because I do not claim to believe that all life is sacred, and then refuse to protect any life outside of the womb. My question for you is, at what point does life no longer become so precious to you? Do you support welfare programs that support the women that choose not to have an abortion and the children they produce, or do you, like many pro life supporters believe that not only should a woman be forced to carry to term a pregnancy that she never intended, is not prepared for, and is not capable of handling the product of, but she should be forced to do so without assistance of any kind. Do you adopt unwanted children when the mothers that never wanted them or were unprepared to care for them give them up or neglect them so that they’re taken away, or do you believe that it’s your job to force these women to bear these children, but someone else’s job to take care of the children once they are here in the world.
    My problem is not with pro lifers in general. My problem is with those who would rather children live in poverty and abuse than have those women abort so that they can choose to have children later in their lives when such children as would be born from them would greater benefit, and therefore live happier, healthier lives for it.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you, Anonymous, for posting a sanely moral take on this issue. I’m pretty sure you thought about it without any influence from me, so now I know other people out there subscribe to the pursuit of “happy, healthier lives.” A conscious world-wide effort to reduce the amount of unwanted children would have manifold benefits. We, as a species, would advance by leaps and bounds by adopting a less-is-more attitude. The religious demand for procreation was practical in the days when the average human’s life span was thirty but now we see a need to revise the concept because religions are not nearly as powerful as they were when they were also nations and we will go the way of the dodo if we don’t stop overpopulating the planet. Anonymous may not “get” all of me, but getting the idea humanity must care for each one of us beyond the maternity ward is the best Christmas gift from cyber-space I could hope to receive. The best gift we can give future generations is lots more open space.