[Editor’s Note – This ad was produced with Jane Roe by Andrew Beacham and Randall Terry. In the interests of full disclosure Andrew Beacham is a friend of mine.]
The Weekly Standard has a piece about the production of this video.
Dead babies. There you have it. It causes discomfort, but I said it outright. Terry would approve, since that’s what he calls them, mirroring his conviction. It’s my conviction too, I suppose, since I’m a pro-lifer when I think about it, which like many of similar stripe, I mostly don’t. But if we’re being honest, I’m not as convicted as the kind of people who use formulations like “dead babies” in polite conversation. It’s the kind of talk that causes even many pro-lifers to nervously scan the horizon for avenues of escape from the barking mad guy who thinks he’s an Old Testament prophet.
“Dead babies” are words that arrive weaponized. You’ll notice Terry doesn’t call dead babies “the unborn,” or frame their plight in the context of the “right to life” or “reproductive choice.” He will often call a Planned Parenthood center an “abortion mill,” but otherwise rarely even uses the word abortion. “You abort the takeoff of a rocket,” he says mockingly. “You murder a human being.” He prefers calling abortion “baby killing,” and abortionists “baby killers.”
I dwell on the words “dead babies” because they animate and illuminate every corner of Randall Terry’s large and often messy life. They undergird his credo, which is elegantly simple, and it goes like this: If you believe abortion is murder, then act like it. He seeks not to persuade, but to offend. Or to persuade by offending.