DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Daily Runner or Regent University.
On Monday, Thursday, and Friday, the pro-life group Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) was demonstrating by the major intersections near the Village and the Commons. They held huge signs picturing graphic images of aborted babies and read “Abortion is Child Sacrifice.”
On-campus students received an email from Student Services on Monday morning saying, “Regent University was targeted by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, an organization that uses graphic imagery and provocation tactics to promote a pro-life message. They demanded access to our students without their consent as well as additional demands on our curriculum.” The email went on to say how “Regent supports various pro-life initiatives on and off campus” and listed the organizations it is involved in. They denounced the tactics of CBR as ineffective means “to serve Christ and change the world.”
When students saw the signs outside campus, they were confused as to why a pro-life group was demonstrating at a conservative Christian college. CBR targeted Liberty University last week, which the college’s police department tweeted about. Like in Liberty’s case, CBR was not permitted to protest on University property, but that does not stop them from demonstrating on “City Property.” The intersections across the street from the Commons and the Village are technically not on Regent University property.
According to CBR’s website, they are “working to establish prenatal justice and the right to life for the unborn, the disabled, the infirm, the aged and all vulnerable peoples through education and the development of cutting edge educational resources.”
In an open letter to Liberty University dated July 21, 2011, the Southeast Director of CBR said that their “operating principle comes from the King family. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said ‘America will not reject racism until America sees racism.’ His niece, Dr. Alveda King, now says ‘America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.'” At the beginning of this letter, the chairman of the Liberty University SGA Christian Service Committee was quoted as he described how seeing the “graphic photos” that CBR showed helped “pro-life [mean] a lot more” to him than before.
CBR has demonstrated at several college campuses and public places such as the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., where they had been told to move lest they be arrested. The organization records officials who approach them to use in court. CBR has sued with the American Freedom Law Center representing them in these cases and won.
An article from the National Catholic Register includes various opinions from pro-lifers as to whether or not CBR’s “educational” tactics are effective or respectful. Some say the pictures of aborted babies are “disrespectful to the dead,” while others think that they should not be shown out in public but may be more effective when talking to someone individually about abortion. Still others think that some public places, like colleges, are appropriate venues to show the pictures whereas the March for Life would not be since children are around.
Whatever stance one may take on CBR’s approach to showing people the gruesome reality of abortion, a picture is worth a thousand words, and those are more words than an aborted baby will ever have the chance to say on earth.
Natalia Mittelstadt is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.