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Hiding the blood on our hands through censorship

Printed in the Indiana Daily Student, February 19, 2014

To the Editor:

Sarah Kissel called for a "common-sense approach to defending decency" in response to the Center for BioEthical Reform's display at Florida Gulf Coast University. While Kissel may believe that the graphic photographs of aborted babies are indecent, the real indecency is that our legal system allows these innocent lives to be exterminated in the first place.

Kissel is both right and wrong to object to the Genocide Awareness Project's comparisons of abortion to the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. She is wrong, in that the abortion industry has killed over 55 million unborn babies since 1973 in the United States alone. Whether done as part of some nefarious conspiracy or as 55 million individual choices, the death toll is still the same and deserves to be considered in the same light.

Kissel is right, though, that abortion is not the same as these other atrocities - because far more innocent lives have been extinguished by the abortion industry than were extinguished by the Nazis or the Soviets.

Turning the signs inward is an illegal, unconstitutional violation of free speech. Neither the government nor a state-supported institution are permitted to engage in content-based censorship of "offensive" speech. The sole purpose of the free speech protections in the First Amendment is to protect speech on divisive political and cultural issues. Turning the images inward amounts to a cover-up to protect the abortion industry and to protect supporters of abortion "rights" from inconvenient truths.

Kissel may have read about GAP display here at IU in the Fall of 2001. In the twelve years since, local pro-life activists have stood at the corner of Kirkwood and Indiana with signs purchased from CBR. I have seen minds changed and I have seen people shocked by the images of what really happens in an abortion.

I hope the day comes when the graphic images of aborted babies are never seen again, but as long as babies are being ripped limb from limb (including every Thursday right here in Bloomington) those images are needed to expose the truth about the reality of "reproductive choice."

Scott Tibbs.