Abortion foes begin high school campaign
A three-month campaign to confront teen-agers with graphic abortion pictures
began Monday on a mostly low-key note, though the latest tactic of abortion
opponents may have alienated some allies.
Picketers bearing huge, color signs of bloody, dismembered fetuses showed up in
front of at least nine high schools in eight states around the country, hoping the
gruesome pictures would turn teens away from sex and abortion.
Operation Rescue, known for its aggressive demonstrations outside abortion
clinics, organized the campaign, scheduled to run through May. A spokeswoman
said picketers went to high schools in 100 cities, but that could not be
``We're at the schools because this is where the battle is for the hearts and minds
of kids,'' said Philip Faustin, who led a picket line of about a dozen people
Koehler said he hoped students were ``revolted'' by the signs. ``I hope they see
them and get sick and vomit, but that's the reality they must confront,'' he said.
There were no arrests, although one picketer reported he was beaten by five male
Scores of students said they resented the picketers; others said they supported
There also were reports of infuriated parents, even in conservative
headquarters for Operation Rescue.
daughter scooted past 20 picketers.
``This is pornography,'' Hillert said. ``I am the religious right, and I think this is
way out of line to show these . . . pictures.''
Some students weren't happy either. ``I can't stomach the pictures,'' said freshman
Emily Shamburger, 15. ``I'm pro-life. But I don't demonstrate with pictures.''
Teens are ``old enough to see the truth'' about abortion, said Jeff White,
Many picketers used the occasion to hand out Gospel tracts along with
anti-abortion literature as students arrived or left school.
``The main message is a Christian gospel message,'' said Terry Gensemer, pastor
a church in
Reporters and camera crews outnumbered picketers at some schools. As wet
snow fell over North Bergen High, for example, six camera crews and a dozen
reporters watched a half-dozen picketers.
calls from angry parents led Lincoln High officials to clear a parking lot in
advance, allowing students to avoid the picketers.
The protest didn't faze student Selena Cordova, 16. ``People are going to do what
they want to do,'' she said. ``These (picketers) aren't going to change their
``a good thing. Abortion is murder. More kids should know about it.''
unacceptable. ``We're not even old enough to vote for or against abortions; we're
not even old enough to have sex legally.''
Contributing: Mark Potok in