The issue concerns the use of pictures of the aftermath of abortion and whether the pictures should be displayed on college campuses, which are obviously populated by scores of women who have, in fact, suffered through the trauma of abortion. Four years ago, I took the position that the pro-life movement should not be doing that. The publication of that opinion constituted a serious error of judgment on my behalf. Accordingly, I offer an apology to my readers as well as an explanation of how I arrived at that incorrect conclusion.
Liberals have a tendency to think in terms of problems and solutions, not in terms of tradeoffs. We see this all the time. A liberal will identify a social problem. Then, he will attempt to identify a solution. The bad news for the rest of us is that the liberal “solution” usually involves government intervention, not private initiative.
The “problem” I identified four years ago came from a survey on campus censorship – one that I gave in my Introduction to Criminal Justice class every semester. I simply asked which book they would like to see banned from the library and which person or group they would like to see banned from campus. I then moved into a discussion of how the growing tendency to censor (with government backing) threatens our campus environment.
For years, the KKK and the Black Panthers vied for first place among the groups my students would most like to ban from campus. Then, in 2008 I was hit with a shocking new development: students voted “pro-lifers” as the group they most wanted to see kicked off campus. Their reason was simple: they sometimes showed pictures of aborted babies.
I saw this as a “problem.” Therefore, I wrote suggesting a “solution.” The solution was that we, as pro-lifers, should voluntarily abandon the practice of showing such pictures on campus. I did not advocate government backed censorship – the kind of advocacy we expect to hear from liberals. I just thought that voluntary abandonment of the practice would be the best “solution.” In retrospect, the suggestion was more than just naïve. It was stupid. And I am very sorry I ever wrote the column.
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