They were everywhere. Lining the streets near the courthouse. About 50 in all. Manned by men, women and children. In addition at least three trucks circled the downtown streets. Panel trucks with placards of very graphic, some would even say grusome pictures.
The signs depicted aborted fetuses. As did the panels of the cargo trucks.
The presenters of the art was a group that called themselves Missionaires to the Preborn. Their mission is to shock the public with their graphic pictures into the conclusion arbortion is wrong.
Oddly, I've never heard of this group before. Locally, I'm familiar with a group that does similar work, the Midwest Chapter of the Center for Bioethical Reform. That group is located in the Columbus suburb of Westerville.
Maybe Missionaires to the Preborn figured that Mark Harrington and his Center for Bioethical Reform was not having the necessary impact in the area and needed a little help getting the message out?
My guess is both groups enjoy the media coverage that such displays generate. As of this writing, it appears that the news organizations either weren't given a heads up or found other things to cover. There was nothing on the television news nor anything mentioned in the local daily paper. Usually something of this nature draws the news media like moths are drawn to a flickering flame.
In addition to the media exposure, the other purpose with such an in your face display, is that groups who do this seem to enjoy "the fight" as much or more than the outcome they claim to hope for. It's almost as if they are itching for an argument, or someone to become so agitated with the displays to maybe throw a punch.
You know what I'm saying. Many conservative commentators believe the Jesse Jackson's and Al Sharpton's really deep down don't want the cause to be won because it would deprive them of their ongoing 15 minutes of fame. I've concluded it is likely the same with the groups who proudly display the graphic images.
I can't speak to their impact. The group was handing out pamphlets with more graphic pictures and writings explaining what they were trying to achieve. Some people readily accepted the pamphlets. Others turned them away. Who's to say how many agreed with the tactics and how many were being polite by accepting the handouts?
The people who knew me and spoke to me about the program were not impressed, even though they may agree abortion is a poor choice. Others were upset and dismayed that the demonstrators had involved children in holding the pictures and posters in place.
Were the folks from Missionaires to the Preborn sucessful in Columbus? While I'll never know for sure, I doubt they changed many minds to their way of thinking. My guess is more were repulsed than converted.
Sometimes God needs people representing Him with better public relations skills.