Trucks displaying graphic images of fetuses circled Downtown streets July 12-13 as part of a "Key States" initiative launched by California nonprofit The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform. The campaign targets large cities where abortion is hotly contested and expected to play a role this election year, according to the center's Web site, www.abortionno.org.
The trucks could be seen along Hennepin Avenue and South 7th Street, near Nicollet Mall. The campaign also includes a fleet of planes carrying aerial billboards that will be doing flyovers later this summer.
Stephanie Gray, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit who was in town for the event, explained the purpose of the campaign before heading to Duluth for another pass-through.
What has local reaction been?
We see people staring. ... Yesterday we had about 14 calls [to the office] from people who wanted to comment on what they've seen.
I know the first [comment] was positive. I know there were several people upset with the images. If you look at the history of social reform movements, there are always people that are upset by seeing an injustice that they've been complacent about, complicit with . . . So we expect people to be upset, but we always ask, 'What's more disturbing -- the images, or the fact that what's in the images is happening every day in America?'
Can you describe the truck and the images?
There are three panels that have images on them -- two side ones and the rear panel. All are pictures of first-trimester aborted babies varying from 10 to 12 weeks. It says the word 'choice' with the image next to it, along with our Web site, which is www.abortionno.org, plus our phone number.
We've put the word 'choice' next to the images is to shift the debate away from the abstract notion of choice, which sounds good, and put it into concrete reality into what is being chosen -- mainly an act of violence to kill a baby.
There's a lot of people of walking around and our whole goal here is to reach the masses -- to get people to see the reality of what's going on behind closed doors. So the Downtown area, which is very busy, particularly at noontime, is ideal to get all those eyes looking at what so many have ignored for so long.