Images of aborted fetuses put on public display have sparked controversy lately — but the man behind them has no plans to remove them.
Lori Saunders shielded her 8-year-old daughter’s eyes as the trio of trucks left the Westgate Mall area.
“Our children shouldn’t be subject to these graphic images,” Saunders said. “Nobody should have to see this.”
Neither the billboard trucks nor a plane toting a banner featuring images of aborted fetuses appear likely to leave Amarillo soon.
Even though the Rev. Frank Pavone, the priest they’ve been brought in to support, disagrees with the tactic.
“As ill-advised as what we’re doing is, it’s much better advised than the alternative, which is to allow the bishop to make false claims and misstatements of fact,” said Gregg Cunningham, executive director of The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, an anti-abortion group based in California.
Controversy has swirled around the Roman Catholic Diocese of Amarillo since Bishop Patrick J. Zurek earlier this month ordered Pavone, who leads several prolife nonprofit groups, to return here to sort out questions over finances. Pavone is a priest in the Amarillo Diocese and a board member of The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Cunningham’s group last week launched a protest on Pavone’s behalf. It features the billboard trucks and airborne banners that have riled Amarilloans such as Saunders, who isn’t Catholic and wasn’t aware of the dust-up between the bishop and his priest.“I’ve lived in Amarillo for eight years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Saunders said.
Pavone did not return a call for this story, but he said during an Ave Maria Radio interview last week that he’d asked Cunningham not to picket. He called it “very, very counterproductive to put a bishop of a diocese in a position where there’s going to be this kind of public protest.”
Cunningham heard the interview, but declined to confirm whether the conversation with Pavone took place.
If you’re wondering what sorts of images we’re talking about, click here.