Blood on the streets

"Blood on the streets" Continued...

Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013

Gomez says it’s better to tell a pregnant woman “about the changes in her baby’s body so we can make her conscious of how the baby is developing.” Giving women ultrasounds shows them the baby growing inside “so they see that abortion erases that life.” She also doesn’t like using the photos because she believes that disrespects aborted babies: “I don’t know who that baby is, and it’s not respecting the baby’s life to show it everywhere. That baby is a human and deserves a proper burial.”

Others defend the use of bloody images. Brian Godawa, screenwriter of To End All Wars and a member of Biola’s Studio Task Force, says “the most powerful way to get truth out is through pictures. … People should be shocked into the reality of the situation.” CBR cites a website commenter with the screen name “Precious Life” who said she’s a 20-year-old Biola student and was on the way to a Planned Parenthood abortion appointment until she saw Jimenez’s sign: That “made me realize there is a human life in my womb. … I went to my dorm room got on my knees and asked that I would have the strength to be my babies [sic] mom.”

We have not been able to verify that story, but Cunningham says CBR’s photos have saved the lives of five babies he knows of. 

For some, the main issue isn’t the debate over the photos but how Biola responded to Jimenez’s actions. Last fall at Westmont College, which doesn’t take a position on abortion, student Seth Gruber stood on the school lawn with handheld signs showing bloody pictures along with Scripture. For three years Gruber, who also worked at CBR, had wanted to exhibit abortion photos on his campus, but school administrators kept saying no. When he finally took individual action, school officials tried for two hours to get him to walk away, but in the end conceded he had the right to exercise free speech. Gruber came back with signs twice more that week, then once a week for the five weeks after that.

Gruber says his signs upset some but informed others. When he heard that Jimenez was facing official opposition at Biola he accompanied her to the campus with a CBR staffer. They planned to hold up signs, but he said campus security pulled over their car and told the two non-Biola students to leave, claiming they were trespassing on private property even through they had visitors’ passes. 

Jimenez then went on to confront campus security alone with her sign. She said the question for her was, “To what extent do I obey authority and disobey God’s calling?” Gruber says he was surprised that Biola made her leave and the nursing director issued a no-recommendation order: “Westmont is typically more liberal-leaning, whereas Biola is known for being more conservative and even has a pro-life stance, yet obviously the way they treated Diana was different.” 

La Verne Tolbert, a former Planned Parenthood board member and now a leading pro-life advocate, says CBR is treating Biola unfairly. Tolbert presented two pro-life talks at Biola in February and March, and notes that when she initially planned on showing a graphic abortion video, Biola did not stop her. In the end she decided to show a different video. She opposes CBR’s tough criticism of Biola’s administration: “Why not attack Planned Parenthood? Aren’t they celebrating that Christians are biting and devouring one another?”

Jimenez told WORLD on June 11, “I don’t want people to believe that Biola’s not a Christian school, but they’re not doing enough. My biggest hope is that Biola would remove the restriction” on recommendations. On June 13, Dean Walter Stangl wrote to Jimenez, “I have decided to rule in favor of your appeal. … I have therefore directed Dr. Elliott to communicate to each of the Nursing Department faculty that her request is no longer in effect, and to clarify that each faculty member may write letters of recommendation for you as they feel is appropriate.” 

Late in June the Biola campus was peaceful. A few students in summer session walked along the school’s tree-lined walkway, while others filmed a promotional piece under the school’s iconic bell tower. But when the fall semester begins on August 28, CBR is planning to greet returning students with large abortion posters at every campus entrance, along with aerial images pulled by planes flying over the university. Cunningham’s goal is for Christian schools to be radically pro-life, with programs and majors devoted to training activists: “It’s not going to happen until some china gets broken. We don’t wish it to be that way, but some china will get broken.”

Angela Lu
Angela Lu

Angela is a reporter for WORLD Magazine who lives and works in Taiwan. She enjoys cooking, reading, and storytelling. Follow Angela on Twitter @angela818.


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