Graphic protest highlights abortion debate

Alexander Chang

Capital News Service

Tensions ran high at the 2011 Jefferson-Jackson Dinner hosted by the Democratic Party of Virginia on Feb. 19, as anti-abortion protesters demonstrated outside the convention center.

“We’re here because the Democratic Party in general supports abortion,” said Caleb Green of the Life and Liberty Ministries. “We’re here to show this is what abortion is. Children are torn apart limb for limb within our culture and society, and we’re not doing anything about it by and large. It’s a call of a nation to repent.”

Green, a self-described evangelical, said he believes that human life begins at conception and that it is immoral to have an abortion at any time during a pregnancy.

“It’s wrong because humans have value, and we’re made in the image of God,” Green said. “I’m living according to the laws of God, and God will hold us accountable one day for the breaches of his laws.”

While he continued his speech, Gail Gordon-Donegan, a Democrat attending the party’s annual fundraising dinner, asked if Green supported the death penalty. Green said yes.

Gordon-Donegan responded that Green’s views were inconsistent because prisoners on death row have the same value as other humans.
Abortion rights supporters say opponents like Green want to force their religious views on U.S. society.

“They are trying to impose what they believe is God’s law on all Americans,” Gordon-Donegan said. “He and I are both Christians, but we don’t believe the same thing because I’m Episcopalian. I believe life begins at first breath. God breathed life into Adam and he was man. So therefore, to me, abortion is not a sin, and it should certainly not be illegal.”

The confrontation outside the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner reflected the divide between “pro-choice” advocates like Gordon-Donegan and “pro-life” supporters like Green.

Last week, that issue continued to play out in the Virginia General Assembly, where legislators approved a bill saying clinics that provide abortions must meet the same standards as hospitals. The requirement may force many such clinics to close.
Dennis Green, Caleb’s father and a street pastor for Life and Liberty Ministries, said the issue is about the sanctity of life – not about politics.
Green said his family would protest at an event being held by Republicans if they supported a woman’s right to seek an abortion.

“There are some who oppose it and some who are in favor of it, but it’s really not often brought out in public,” Green said, holding his graphic poster. “Having a photograph of a baby that has been killed lets the baby speak for itself.”

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