Document Preview
  • Full Text
  • Scholarly Journal

The Anti-Abortion Stealth Campaign: Human Life International makes Operation Rescue look like child's play

On The Issues; Long Island City Vol. 5, Iss. 4,  (Oct 31, 1996): 20.

Full text preview

THE ANTI-ABORTION STEALTH CAMPAIGN: Human Life International makes Operation Rescue look like child's play.

IN THE POSH BALLROOM OF CINCINNATI'S OMNI Netherland Plaza hotel, a 69-year-old man with a white, wicker cowboy hat and tanned, leathery skin announces that he is a "human poster" for God. To prove this, he thrusts out his fists. Tattooed in blue across the back of his hands is his legal name: Pro-Life Anderson. A Nevada native who changed his name in 1987, he takes out his wallet to show an array of identification proving that Pro-Life is indeed his first name. Anderson, who has been arrested 11 times for picketing abortion clinics, says, "They can take away my signs, but they can't cut off my hands."

Anderson is just one of the nearly 2,000 activists who flocked in April to the Fifteenth World Conference on Love, Life and the Family, a four-day event packed with workshops, speeches, and prayer vigils. Sponsored by Human Life International (HLI), an anti-choice organization that promotes conservative Roman Catholicism, the conference attracted pro-life activists of all stripes.

Elderly women in nun's habits mingle with denim-clad college students. Young women wearing pearls, pastels, and wedding rings sit beside grizzled veterans who boast of their lengthy arrest records. Virtually everyone is white and most are American, though almost 60 hail from foreign countries, including New Zealand, Guatemala, and England. Participants pick from a list of 75 workshops, ranging from one that shows a video of severed fetus parts - "The Black Plague of Abortion" - to another that preaches premarital abstinence - "Chastity: The Pearl of Virtues." In a vast exhibit hall, vendors peddle multicolored rosary beads, plastic fetus necklaces, and a paperback book by Operation Rescue leader Randall Terry titled How Does a Nice Guy Like Me Keep Getting Thrown in...