DAY 1  DAY 2  DAY 3

Former ACOG Abortionist: “I was too chickenshit...”


Joshua Graff

(Christian Gallery News Service, May 10, 2005) The tension felt during the second day of protests seemed to have largely dissipated today, and there were also more protesters than either of the previous days.  The anti-abortionists were informed that this was the day most of the abortion related seminars were being conducted and they seemed eager to put on the best show of force they could.  The protesters representing Missionaries to the Pre-Born, the Truth Trucks of Operation Rescue West, Ron Brock’s original Truth Truck, Survivors, and various street preachers were now joined by a group fromSacramento as well as well-known figures Matt Trewhella and Jeff White.  The anti-abortionists received their reinforcements, but the pro-abortion faction made their largest showing as well.  Armed with their own bullhorn and signs calling abortionists “heroes”, the pro-abortion activists heckled and screamed at the anti-abortionists for about half of the day.

Above:  ACOG Abortionist who quit for fear of death explains to Matt Trewhella, "I was too chickenshit." 

Exchanges between pro- and anti-abortion factions are rarely civil, and today was no exception.  One pro-abortion woman pranced in the street and declared she was proud to have had four abortions, though she shouted and screamed at most protesters, she did end up speaking at a reasonable volume when confronted by the quiet but steadfast demeanor of Donna Holman.  An Iraqi pro-abortionist seemed more intent on telling of his hatred for the United States than specifically railing against the pro-lifers but shouted at Jeff White for quite some time.  Interestingly, most of the pro-abortion faction seemed to consist of a local Communist group.  Fielding about ten protesters, they were outnumbered at least 4 to 1, and for all their noise, they were no match for the much louder bullhorns and booming voices of the seasoned street preachers.  At times, the anti-abortionists even offered advice to the counter-protesters on how to prepare their signs and banners to better handle the severe wind gusts and other protest “tips”. 

Above:  Iraqi Abortionist-Enabler Argues with Survivors Founder and former Operation Rescue National Police Liason Jeff White.

In a day that seemed to spin out much like the others, there were several poignant moments that will long be remembered by these activists.  Drawn by the Defensive Action signs, an older Jewish doctor approached Matt Trewhella and they spoke for at least twenty minutes.  When the doctor left, Trewhella immediately approached several of the Defensive Action supporters and told the doctor’s story.  The older man had been a practicing abortionist for many years, and as the two men had talked the doctor assured Trewhella that he had quit performing abortions and that he had quit because he was scared he would be killed just like Gunn, Britton, and Slepian.  He was, according to Trewhella’s account, not repentant, he simply left that part of his practice out of fear; the doctor did admit that performing abortions did bother him because he knew he ‘was killing a human being’.  This testimony was quickly spread through the protesters ranks and several of the Defensive Action supporters felt this was a further validation of their support for the actions of the bombers and shooters who directly fought the abortion industry.  Previously, the Defensive Action folks did not have any hard evidence beyond a drop in the number of practicing abortionists to show that the use of force had an impact reaching beyond those immediately involved, this personal confirmation that those tactics had persuaded him to quit will certainly become an oft-used statement.  To quote the abortionist exactly, “I was too chickenshit to continue”.  

Above:  Woman who just admitted to killing four of her own children explains to Donna Holman why she doesn't want to shove her dirty coathanger into her cervix and dig around through her uterus to rip out the rest of her children when the laws change. 

While on one side of the street, a former abortionist was lending credence to the pro-force arguments, another personal drama was unfolding on the other side of the road.  A young, pregnant, African-American woman was seriously contemplating abortion and a friend had sent her, for reasons unknown, to the ACOG convention for information on the getting the abortion.  Because this young lady was not a doctor, vendor, or guest at the convention, she was turned away and ended up turning to the protesters outside.  She spoke briefly with Patrick Johnston and at great length with Sarah Reznik who explained the stages of pregnancy, fetal development, and abortion procedures to the troubled teen.  After spending time together, Sarah and the girl exchanged information and the girl decided against aborting and is now being directed to local pro-life resources who can help her.  Obviously, as this story spread, the protesters were greatly encouraged.  As Andrea Renaldo stated, “that one life saved makes the whole thing worthwhile”.

Above:  Missionary Sarah Reznik and Bud Reeves smile at one another.

In the midst of all this, a young man who recently moved to San Francisco from Seattle was strolling down the street and stopped to view the bloody pictures displayed by the protesters.  He spent a good deal of time talking with different activists on the street, and in the end, he joined in with the “radicals” and lent his support for the entire day’s protest.  Like the gentleman from the second day, this young man questioned the lack of involvement by the local churches, a seemingly recurring theme in the pro-life cause . 

At times the protesters preached fire and brimstone, at times a message of forgiveness, they sang hymns and prayed, and certainly provoked a response from the ACOG attendees.  While there was not the “action” of last year’s protest, there were several extremely meaningful moments.  The conference will continue until Wednesday, and while some protesters are leaving before the last day, there are others who came later who will hold the ground until the end.  As of the end of the third day, the anti-abortionists felt that it had been a good experience and that the event itself was definitely worthwhile.

My editorial wrap-up of the event will follow this story.  In the day by day pieces, I have tried to relay facts rather than expressing my own opinions; it is up to the reader to determine how well I have done this.  As I do feel the need to interject my own feelings on the story, I choose to simply inflict my opinions on the reader in a separate article.  Stay tuned to for my biased wrap-up!

Above:  ACOG Protest organizer Dr. Patrick Johnston and family

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