Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, a pro-life group, recently staged a protest outside of abortionist Richard Agnew’s home, where they wrote messages on the street in chalk. The group wrote messages like Abortion is murder, Your neighbor is a monster, and Agnew kills babies. Agnew’s neighbors were not pleased about the protest, and wanted vandalism charges filed. Police also considered battery charges, but ultimately, the district attorney’s office chose not to file any charges.
The group began protesting Dr. Richard Agnew, an obstetrician affiliated with Hoag Hospital, after he objected to the hospital’s ban on elective abortions. Complaints from neighbors inspired the city council to pass an ordinance saying that protesters of a private residence must do so from at least 300 feet away.
On July 29 and July 1, members of the group returned to Agnew’s neighborhood and, while complying with the 300 foot limit, wrote phrases like “your neighbor is a monster” around the doctor’s home, The Daily Pilot reports. His family has repeatedly said that abortions are a pretty small part of what he does at work. His son said that the fetuses involved had “severe problems.” His wife has referred to the protesters as threatening, saying she was afraid somebody would “get killed if we don’t address the matter.”
Agnew’s neighbors don’t like the protesters either, and want them to be charged with vandalism. But the case filed by detectives the O.C. District Attorney’s office regarding the most recent chalking wasn’t about vandalism or free speech; it was about reports of a fight that broke out between the protesters and residents. Agnew’s supporter and neighbor Paula Durnian, 59, and Survivors founder Jeff White, 56, citizen’s arrested each other, both accusing the other of being hostile. That case was dropped today, according to D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami, due to lack of evidence.
The founder of Survivors says if it came down to it, they would sue over their First Amendment right to chalk up the streets, but that may not actually be something that’s protected as free speech. Just ask Occupy L.A. Defacing any property, even if you do it with something non-permanent like chalk, is still considered vandalism under California law.
Jill Stanek posted a poll about the issue, asking her readers if pro-life activists should write messages with chalk at the homes of abortionists — currently, about 65% have answered yes.
In a different case, notorious late-term abortionist Martin Haskell had chosen not to be present at the August 15th court ruling at which a judge ruled that his clinic must close. His wife, however, did attend. Mark Harrington of Created Equal and Bryan Kemper of Stand True also attended, and followed her out of the courtroom, telling her to repent and turn to Jesus, to close down her husband’s clinic, and to stop the killing of innocent babies. (Of course, a judge had literally just ruled that the clinic must close, so requesting that she close her husband’s clinic seems a little odd.) The video below shows the exchange.
Here’s an honest question for pro-lifers: do you really believe that actions such as these will change the hearts and minds of abortionists?
This kind of behavior is not going to endear abortion-minded people to the pro-life movement. It turns us into nothing more than a caricature, a living stereotype of what abortion advocates make us out to be. The pro-lifers in each situation didn’t break the law, but how does it help the pro-life movement to hover over the wife of an abortionist, chanting in her ear that she needs to turn her life to Jesus? Instead of changing her mind, those men have just confirmed in her mind that pro-lifers will harass her and her husband. Instead of seeming approachable and loving, they seem like stalkers peddling a hateful Jesus. Dr. Agnew and his family continue to fear pro-lifers, rather than feel that they are people who would love and accept them were he to renounce abortion. His neighbors, who have absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Agnew’s slaughter of innocent children, are more likely to rally around their neighbor than agree with the strangers who descended onto their neighborhood and wrote hateful messages all over the street.
Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. Winning this fight means winning hearts and minds — stalking and harassing people, even abortionists who commit the ultimate atrocity by killing unborn babies, is not going to do that. Rather, these actions will only serve to entrench these people even more in the pro-abortion movement. We cannot combat evil with hatred. The pro-life movement needs to serve as a counterpart to the abortion lobby, and we would be better served to act with love and compassion than with hate and hostility.