GAP Leader Responds to Post’s Barbara Kay’s Condemnation of Abortion Photos Strategy
By Steve Jalsevac
CALGARY, Alberta, February 5, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The February 4 National Post published the lengthy text of a December speech given by National Post columnist Barbara Kay to the "Live for Life" club at King’s College, University of Western Ontario. The speech text, titled, "Women deserve better than abortion", has generated controversy for its condemnation of the showing of photos of aborted babies and the Genocide Awareness Project’s comparison of abortion to the slavery and Jewish Holocaust catastrophes. Stephanie Gray, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, sent LifeSiteNews her detailed refutation of points made by Kay, who began her talk to the pro-life group admitting, "I am not opposed in principle to legal abortion."
The thrust of Gray’s response, titled, "A Warning to Pro-Lifers", is that following uninformed, and thereby flawed reasoning of the type given by Kay, is certain to harm the cause of ending the grave injustice of abortion.
Gray refers to history and notes that "Resisting activities which ruffle feathers and rock boats is reminiscent of the Alabama clergyman who, in 1963, wrote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., criticizing his peaceful but controversial efforts at social reform, claiming they were not only "unwise and untimely" but "extreme." History has shown who was right."
Dr. King’s response to such clergymen is quoted by Gray: "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."
Gray, whose full time mission is to develop well reasoned, factual arguments on abortion questions, adds, "Indeed, what is worse: those who cover up abortion while agreeing with abortion, or those who cover up abortion while opposing abortion?"
In her speech Kay accused GAP of exploiting emotions with its strategy and ignoring how this harms the public perception of the pro-life movement: "You must consider whether the emotional impact of your message is so important to you that it is worth burning the narrow but sturdy bridge you could be using to reach people like me."
Gray responds, "The idea that the pro-life movement needs to change its image by eliminating graphic pictures is rooted in the perspective that in order to achieve social change, we need to first be focussed on how we come across or are perceived by society." But that route is flawed according to Gray who claims that historically, successful social reformers did not transform their cultures that way. They "did not work to change how people perceived them. They worked to change how people perceived the injustices at hand."
As for Kay’s argument that the overwhelming focus of pro-life efforts should be on "the rights of women," Gray responds, "If pro-lifers allow ourselves to be distracted by arguments focussing primarily on why abortion is not in a woman’s self-interest, then we are implicitly reinforcing the pro-abortion position and not our own: we are legitimizing the pro-abortion principle that the woman’s interests take precedence over the child’s life."
She explains, "Abortion is not wrong because it hurts women. Abortion is wrong because it intentionally kills an innocent human being. That is why it hurts women both psychologically and physically."
Gray ends by encouraging those who reveal the harsh truths of abortion to "stay the course" and endure "short-term persecution in order to achieve long-term cultural transformation." In other words, serious cultural changes regarding such matters have usually only come about only when some have been willing to endure substantial personal suffering for the greater good.
Gray ends her rebuttal quoting Gandi, "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win."
Stephanie Gray is co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform
** See Stephanie Gray’s complete article:
A Warning to Pro-Lifers
** See the full text of Barbara Kay’s speech:
Women deserve better than abortion
See the LifeSiteNews Abortion Methods page