Fr. Frank Pavone
Longtime pro-life activist Randall Terry is running for President. He is running as a Democrat against President Obama in the primaries.
No, he does not expect to win the primary, but neither is that his motive for running. Whatever one thinks of the man himself or his history, what he is doing in this election deserves some attention from every pro-life person humble enough to realize that there is something to be learned from everyone else.
Many organizations — including my own — have produced pro-life ads for television and have had some success in running them. Two major issues arise. One, of course, is money. The other is censorship. Many times have we and others been told by television outlets (and print and radio, for that matter) that, although we had the money to buy the ad time, they did not want to air something against abortion, because it would be too upsetting and controversial for their audiences.
I have been told this regarding ads that do not show anything graphic, but simply talk about abortion, and in some cases, show a beautiful, living child.
But there is a way to bypass the censorship: run in a political race, and create ads under the auspices of your election campaign. Randall Terry is currently a federal candidate. By virtue of that fact, he has the law on his side, permitting him to run ads that are both controversial and graphic. The Federal Communications Commission requires stations it has licensed to run the ads of federal candidates within 45 days of a state’s primary election or caucus. He is ready to run ads in 17 states and 40 markets including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Honolulu and Salt Lake City.
And it’s not just about Randall Terry. There are four candidates for the House of Representatives who are using the same approach: Missy Smith, Angela Michael, David Lewis, and Gary Boisclair. They are utilizing election-related law to communicate a message to large segments of the public, a message which under just about every other circumstance would be censored without recourse.
The ads show the American public what an aborted child looks like. As I have always said, America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion. What pro-lifers have in mind when they say the word “abortion” bears little or no resemblance to what many have in mind when they hear the word. We know abortion is dismemberment of a living human child; others think of nothing but “freedom, choice, and women’s rights” — important ideas and realities, indeed, but which do nothing to help one understand what an abortion actually is.
And if people debating abortion cannot even agree on what abortion is, much less whether it is right, then the debate cannot even begin.
Once again, this is not about Randall Terry, nor about endorsing him. It is, rather, about encouraging more pro-life people run for office, and use the law to their advantage to expose the reality of abortion.