“Religious leaders didn’t pull the trigger on Dr. Slepian or bash in the skull of Matthew Shepard, but their blood is dripping off the hands of religious leaders who have, with vitriolic language, incited zealous followers to murder abortion doctors and gays and lesbians.

“We must hold accountable the Pope, the bishops, local clergy, conservative Protestant leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson, and the Christian Coalition for making hatred blossom among their followers. We can’t forget that Cardinal O’Connor likened abortion to the Holocaust, equating Jews and fetuses. Without leaders spewing hate, there would be no anti-abortion and anti-gay movements.”

Polly Rothstein, President,
Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion,
October 1998.

Thus is the nature of the debate before us. Some time ago, I was contacted by a leader of a small pro-life group with the suggestion that perhaps it was time that we in the pro-life movement stopped showing films such as The Silent Scream to the general public, because if it was not inciting folks to violence, it was at the very least leaving us open to the charge.

I’m sure each of us did, this past fall, take an account of our words, slogans and positions in the light of the Slepian shooting.

We could do no less, as each of us, even those who perform abortions, are created in the image of God, and as such their life has value.

Is it really time to “tone down” our message? Do Life Chain signs such as “Abortion Kills Children” give the okay for individuals to take matters into their own hands?

I’ve thought long and hard on this one, and I am sure there are those of you out there who feel that it’s time the signs went and we tried to “sanitize” our public image.

But it does raise some new questions.

In a Life Chain, what are we to say? “Abortion hurts women”? That’s just as judgmental as saying it kills children. How about, “Abortion gives an unborn baby a headache”? How’s that for toning down the message?

We will, of course, need to soften other lingo and jettison other projects as well.

Michele Landsberg wrote in the Toronto Star: “Will none of them repent of their excesses, will none call a halt to their sickeningly manipulative campaigns of ‘precious little feet,’ their fake ‘documentaries’ about screaming fetuses?” Well, Michele agrees with the pro-life leader about The Silent Scream, but she also makes a further point that needs consideration.

It only stands to reason that the “precious feet” pins have to go as well.

If we are to abide by the calls to “tone down” our message, then consistency has to rule. Anything that offends, or anything the abortion industry feels might be used against them, must be purged.

But while we cleanse our thoughts and actions of anything that might be misunderstood, let’s keep in mind one unforgettable reality in the abortion battle: Abortion does kill a human being.

As sure as you and I are alive and breathing, as sure as night follows day, abortion is the deliberate act in which the life of a innocent human being is ended.

It has nothing to do with rhetoric. It’s just plain, biological reality – reality that none of us should dare to hide.

This was well articulated in the Ottawa Citizen by columnist John Robson: “How can the wife of an abortionist object to people thinking they can do as they wish with children? Her husband makes a living sucking unborn babies’ brains out so the head can be collapsed, snipped free of the dismembered body, pulled out and tossed into a steel pail along with the severed limbs (What did you think abortion was? Did you think the baby floated off, cooing, on a lily pad?).”

If you are rethinking the use of the words “abortion” and “kills” in the same sentence, please remember one further reality.

What right do you have to “sanitize” the reality of a baby’s deliberate death? After all, it’s not your life scheduled to be terminated by an abortionist’s knife.

We all want to be liked. But you and I get to sleep in our own beds tonight. The babies … who will rock them to sleep? Who will nurse them? Who will love them?

Do we dare say anything that masks the barbaric truth? Or is being popular more important than reality?

Think about it. Truth doesn’t kill. Abortion does.