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Old 05-07-2003, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ladies,

I am so appalled and disgusted that I am in tears. Twice now I have been subjected to enormous, horriffic pictures of aborted fetuses on trucks driving down the highway. These trucks are sponsored by an organization called The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform that believes that only by shocking the public with these images will the true "evil of abortion" become known. You can visit their website: www.abortionno.org

I do not want to initiate a discussion about abortion and whether it is right or wrong. What I'd like to know is what you think of these images. Is it ok to put such images in such a public space? Are these images obscene? Can they be stopped? SHOULD they be stopped?

Quite honestly, I am looking into the situation to determine if anyone has tried to file an injunction to stop them. I truly believe that they held me hostage: I was on the freeway, with no where to go to avoid these trucks; I had my son in the car; we drove right past our daycare (which the organization claims to avoid doing).

Please weigh in.

Sadly,

Melina

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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Old 05-07-2003, 08:20 PM
 
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i'm thankful i haven't been subjected to this - how horrible for you! no matter where one stands on the abortion issue, broadcasting that kind of imagery is obscene. it's totally exploitive. since i haven't seen the images i can only guess that they're photos of late-term abortions, which most women don't have - so it's also probably misrepresentational too. most women have abortions by around 8 wks. - which just looks like a lump of tissue. of course that wouldn't horrify anyone, so groups tend to use highly emotionally charged imagery :
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Old 05-07-2003, 08:26 PM
 
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I think they are horrific and should be stopped. My poor little dd saw one on these trucks while we were driving on the highway and she was extremely upset. Anything that hurts children, especially something done under the guise of "helping" children, is particularly odious.
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:48 PM
 
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>>>Anything that hurts children, especially something done under the guise of "helping" children, is particularly odious<<<

ITA.

I really hate stuff like this. Not that I think Birthright is *much* better, but at least you generally have to go into their booth (or can avoid it) and it can be educational. I looked at some of their graphics and I honestly don't know what group they are trying to reach. I would think most adamently pro-choice people wouldn't be swayed, and they would just turn off a lot of parents.

 

 

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Old 05-07-2003, 11:07 PM
 
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That's disgusting. Are the trucks driven by companies we can boycott? Could we call them and tell them they've upset our children?

On a tangent, here's something that happened where I live recently. Does anyone have any suggestions about this? I live in Texas. This is a letter to the editor of our newspaper:

Editor:

We recently handed out pro-life literature on the public sidewalk in front of the *** Campus.

It is not a job we like to do but a chore we are called to do.

We were threatened and challenged by the assistant principal, security guard, principal, a teacher and a police officer.

All the while, the students were gathering in numbers outside to see what would happen.

The authorities informed us that we would be arrested and that the school owned the sidewalk.

We stood our ground.

For their credit, they eventually realized that we had the law on our side and went back to their offices.

When the authorities left, the students rushed out to get more material.

Two girls who were pregnant and contemplating abortion received the truth.

Some students came to get material for their friends.

Moreover, we heard later that some students had their teachers read aloud to their class the terrible description of killing an unborn baby.

Overall, it was a perfect example for our youth, of our constitutional democracy at work upholding freedom of the press and speech.

But listen to this curious question I am going to ask you. Shouldn't our schools be teaching pro-life?

Our children deserve to know the truth about abortion, especially since Planned Parenthood tells them it is a blob of tissue. The material is not that expensive, and it would defuse future situations and make life easier for all of us.

WPT
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Old 05-08-2003, 02:00 AM
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Suggestions re what, Delilah? A response to the letter?

Melina, what state do you live in, if I may ask?
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by steph
i'm thankful i haven't been subjected to this - how horrible for you! no matter where one stands on the abortion issue, broadcasting that kind of imagery is obscene. it's totally exploitive. since i haven't seen the images i can only guess that they're photos of late-term abortions, which most women don't have - so it's also probably misrepresentational too. most women have abortions by around 8 wks. - which just looks like a lump of tissue. of course that wouldn't horrify anyone, so groups tend to use highly emotionally charged imagery :
I went to that site, which I found very disturbing

One thing I did notice was that the pictures said they were of first trimester abortions. It's amazing how the babies really are formed by 11 or 12 weeks, but so sad to see in those pictures.
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:08 AM
 
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I do not find it acceptable to subject the public, namely children, to such images.

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Old 05-08-2003, 10:48 AM
 
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I was wondering, Marlena, if anyone knows of any prohibition of teachers reading unrelated pamphlets to students or why outsiders are allowed on or near campus to disrupt school, but I guess there are too many gray areas here.
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Old 05-08-2003, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

According to the website, the photos are of fetuses aborted at 10-12 weeks. They have fully formed skeletons and you can see hands, fingers, toes, heads, rib-cages. They are extremely graphic and bloody.

Marlena, to answer your question, I am in California. I am currently taking a law class and plan to confer with the professor regarding protections under the law for this type of speech/expression.

I have put out some feelers to try to determine if there is already an injunction pending. If not, I am seriously considering trying to get one going. If anyone is interested, please PM me.

Thanks!
Melina

ex-Californian, making my way on the East Coast with DS (10), DS (6) and WAHDH. Former extended BF'er, co-sleeper, and baby-wearer. Remembering how to garden.

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Old 05-08-2003, 04:55 PM
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Cool. Talking with your prof sounds like a good idea. I'd offer to research it, but CA law is often a quagmire (at least for us simple lawyers who are used to practicing in states with more straightforward statutory and regulatory systems), and I don't have the time it would likely take to perform the search at the moment. Keep us posted!

Delilah, I only stuck my toes in school law once, a long time ago, so I don't know the answers offhand. If someone stuck a gun to my head, though, I'd guess that teachers have sufficient freedom in most states (TX included) to read material that's not directly related to coursework (as long as it's not advocating religion), and that a school has the power to evict unauthorized persons with little ado from campus. Anyone with genuine expertise on the issues?
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:11 PM
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It's not the message that one would seek to enjoin, but the manner of expressing it. We allow the KKK to espouse and advocate racial hatred, for example, but we don't allow them to burn crosses on people's property.

I'm no first amendment scholar, but my initial reaction would be that there may be a sound legal ground (not to say I suspect the law is well-settled, though) on which to seek to enjoin the display of enormous pictures of dismembered fetuses on trucks driving on public highways and roads. Anyone who's better versed in first amendment law care to step in?
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Old 05-08-2003, 07:59 PM
 
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Since the pictures are extremely graphic I think one could regulate it if there is no way to limit "accidental" exposure to children. The courts have upheld the exercise of government authority to protect children from various forms of potentially offensive "speech."

Also: "Pure political speech" gets the highest level of constitutional protection. But pictures are not considered "pure" political speech, especially if the primary intent is to shock people.
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Old 05-08-2003, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SummerLover
Since the pictures are extremely graphic I think one could regulate it if there is no way to limit "accidental" exposure to children. The courts have upheld the exercise of government authority to protect children from various forms of potentially offensive "speech."
How do the library internet porn cases fit into this, or do you not think they're relevant (re restricting the public's access to images on the ground of protecting children)?
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Old 05-09-2003, 12:54 AM
 
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One week I saw that F%&$ing truck three times! The third time was when my pastor was giving me a lift home from bible study and I let fly with a rather colorful stream of invective. I seem to remember reading a short paragraph in my local paper about them being in some legal battle about trying to fly over the local beaches dragging banners as well. (Yeah, that'll do wonders for the flagging tourism industry!) One of the times I saw the truck on the winding mountain road between here and Honolulu there was a very long break in traffic behind it and then an absolute snarl of cars. I wonder if aside from any free speech issues a case couldn't be made about a hazard on the road or something.
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Old 05-09-2003, 05:13 AM
 
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At an open mike event I attended recently a woman spoke about her fears about the dwindling access to abortion (she's a med student), and about seeing one of these trucks, and she said that she thought they were targeted at women who'd HAD abortions, to make them feel bad.

Even if they're not targeted that way, you know it's going to have that effect.

sigh.

extremism can be so ugly.
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marlena
How do the library internet porn cases fit into this, or do you not think they're relevant (re restricting the public's access to images on the ground of protecting children)?
The main problem I see with the library case isn't that it will restrict adult access to porn on library computers, but that the filters required will also remove access to sites that are not considered obscene. It will be interesting to see how the justices decide.

This site has interesting info. on what is and isn't considered protected speech. It doesn't look as though the trucks can be considered obscene, but maybe indecent? I think they could be stopped in the short term simply as a public nuisance.

http://supreme.lp.findlaw.com/consti...01/19.html#f12
Quote:
Non-obscene But Sexually Explicit and Indecent Expression.-- There is expression, either spoken or portrayed, which is offensive to some but is not within the constitutional standards of unprotected obscenity. Nudity portrayed in films or stills cannot be presumed obscene58 nor can offensive language ordinarily be punished simply because it offends someone.59 Nonetheless, govern ment may regulate sexually explicit but non-obscene expression in a variety of ways. Legitimate governmental interests may be furthered by appropriately narrow regulation, and the Court's view of how narrow regulation must be is apparently influenced not only by its view of the strength of the government's interest in regulation, but also by its view of the importance of the expression itself. In other words, sexually explicit expression does not receive the same degree of protection afforded purely political speech.60

Government has a ''compelling'' interest in the protection of children from seeing or hearing indecent material, but total bans applicable to adults and children alike are constitutionally suspect.


[Footnote 12] In Butler v. Michigan, 352 U.S. 380 (1957), the Court unanimously reversed a conviction under a statute which punished general distribution of materials unsuitable for children. Protesting that the statute ''reduce[d] the adult population of Michigan to reading only what is fit for children,'' the Court pronounced the statute void. Narrowly drawn proscriptions for distribution or exhibition to children of materials which would not be obscene for adults are permissible, Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968), although the Court insists on a high degree of specificity. Interstate Circuit, Inc. v. City of Dallas, 390 U.S. 676 (1968); Rabeck v. New York, 391 U.S. 462 (1968). Protection of children in this context is concurred in even by those Justices who would proscribe obscenity regulation for adults. Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 73, 113 (1973) (Justice Brennan dissenting). But children do have First Amendment protection and government may not bar dissemination of everything to them. ''Speech that is neither obscene as to youths nor subject to some other legitimate proscription cannot be suppressed solely to protect the young from ideas or images that a legislative body thinks unsuitable for them.'' Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205, 212-14 (1975) (in context of nudity on movie screen). See also FCC v. Pacifica Found., 438 U.S. 726, 749-50 (1978); Pinkus v. United States, 436 U.S. 293, 296- 98 (1978).
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Old 05-10-2003, 08:32 AM
 
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ok...maybe Im way out in left field but Im usually not alone here on this website <GRIN>

is it better to NOT show our kids and others what we are doing? I guess we arent allowed to show real live photos (war coverage) oh but we can sure as hello kitty fire show cartoons and graphic art visuals of murder, torture rape and other vilolence...
there are VIDEO GAMES all over the place depicting humans shooting humans maiming them doing all sorts of horrible things to other humans....
complete with blood spurting graphics,
granted the images are not photos but they are everywhere, WAL freakin Mart has the games...so
maybe its just that I havent seen these trucks, but I am far more concerned with images that people are trying to entice my children to PLAY with...than some one trying to make an anti abortion statement, I am not saying I agree or disagree with the statement,
I am saying
our kids have guns and blood spurting violence calling their names at most major stores and game places and that concerns me far more, but then...I havent seen the trucks...
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Old 05-10-2003, 06:52 PM
 
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marymom I get your point but disagree. In part because having seen these trucks I'm not sure someone who hasn't can really get it. I guess if you follow the link posted above you can see some of the images we are discussing. They are horrible bloody pictures and they are painted on the side of a huge semi, the same as how some grocery store trucks have lovely pictures of fresh produce cascading along the sides of their trucks. On both sides of the truck on the back, just HUGE.

I realize that many, probably most American children perhaps see images just as gory and just as violent framed as entertainment. That is a problem too. But the thing is that most of that is put out in such a way that you have to seek it out to some degree and as a parent you have an opportunity to keep it away from your child. Like many parents here I go to a lot of trouble to protect my child from violent images. And then this truck comes barrelling down the road. It is obscene.
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Old 05-11-2003, 07:22 PM
 
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I just went to the site
that is pretty sad that they would show pics like that, yeah, it would piss me off too
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Old 05-11-2003, 09:08 PM
 
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When you see the violent video games in the stores you might notice they are now rated. Children can not buy games with adult ratings. Walmart *does not* sell many games with violent or sexual content they sell some but some they refuse. The video game rating system is rather complex and based on *what* is being shown. Heads exploding on the game will get it an adult only rating, just blood will not.

While comic books are not rated I am sure a system is in the works as many shop owners won't sell certain comics to kids, regardless of the lack of a rating system.

I have refused to sell certain books to kids based on the content. One kid was angry at this and brought their parent. When I showed them the book they were appreciative of our policy.

But my point is, violent content is monitored. I feel that this is applicable and I do not wish my child to be exposed to this at such a young age. It *isn't* teens I am worried about seeing the abortion pics. It is kids younger than that whom I am concerned for.

We have all heard of the court hearings regarding the music buisness and the rating system that resulted, and I feel that it is hypocricy to say that exposing children to sex in music is not ok yet exposing them to images of aborted fetuses is.

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Old 05-11-2003, 09:15 PM
 
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I find this amazing.

On their homepage

Quote:
WARNING: Abortion is an act of violence that kills a baby. This site graphically depicts that reality.
They have a warning on their homepage. Too bad they can't warn people before they see their trucks driving down the street.

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Old 05-12-2003, 08:04 PM
 
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Well, most on here know I'm a huge pro-life activist, and I think that adults who are pro-choice should take a look at the pictures, I do not think they should be anywhere that children could see them. I also don't think anyone should be forced into seeing the pictures, I just think it helps to know what you are talking about, like the assumption which has already been dispelled on this thread that they are "late term abortions" and that an 8 week old fetus is a blob of tissue. I showed my 18 month old a 10 week old fetal model when I was pregnant with her brother and asked her what it was, and she said "a baby" I also showed her the famous picture which depicts a living baby that was "removed" from his mama b/c of an ectopic, I would never ever show her an aborted fetus, and I hope she never has to see a picture like that.

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Old 05-13-2003, 12:07 AM
 
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I do not think trucks should be allowed to show those pictures and not because I don't want to see the "truth" but because children shouldn't have to see sh!t like that. Not to mention I can imagine those trucks can be a rode hazard as well. I think it just goes to show that this organization and those who make and drive those trucks do not care about the children , they only care about being self-righteous.
I took a look at the pictures and I'm still pro-choice.
I do very much wonder how they got the pictures of the aborted fetuses, does anyone know?

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 05-13-2003, 12:53 AM
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My thoughts are much the same as most peoples. I don't think that they should be allowed to do that. Showing graphic bloody pics of aborted babies as a way to further your movement would be the same as a group against the death penalty having trucks made with pictures of executed convicts. It isn't going to convert anyone, but it may make them lose their lunch. And can you imagine the outrage if someone's loved one was an executed con, shown on one of those trucks? Well, these pictures of aborted fetuses, are related to someone too.
While I agree in the right to free speech, this is NOT free speech. This is forcing graphic bloody pictures on an unsuspecting public. I can turn off the TV if I don't want to see something, but there is not way to get away from a semi in rush hour traffic. I can prohibit my children from playing violent games or watching violent movies, but I can't put a blindfold on them while driving around town to keep them from seeing these trucks.

I am pro-choice and have taken three friends to get abortions. We looked at all the pictures and at all the research. It isn't about not wanting to see the truth, anyone in the situation has seen the pictures.

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