• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 2 comments on Undergrad’s UROP Project: Local Abortion Protesters Rely on Restraint, and Unexpected Help

  1. 10 reasons why abortion clinics attract pro-life campaigners

    1. Campaigners pray and work to try to stop the ‘lawful’ killing of small defenseless human beings, to stop lethal ‘treatment’ perpetrated behind the closed doors of that abortion clinic. True justice requires that selective abortions be recognized and treated not as idiosyncratic, personal ‘choices’ but as abusive practices, as human rights violations perpetrated by individuals and involving the complicity of politicians, judges and others.

    2. Campaigners in front of the abortion clinic quietly offer a listening ear, an understanding heart for the problems of distressed mothers, and an emergency lifeline to these mothers before they enter the abortion clinic to submit their little ones to an inhumane procedure that is touted falsely as ‘the only’ solution to their problems.

    3. Campaigners offer practical alternatives, assistance and on-going care for pregnant women and their children before as well as after birth for as long as is needed. Lethal violence against children is never ‘necessary’. All violence against children is preventable. Before as well as after birth, children should never receive less protection than adults. Their mothers’ personal and social needs can and should be met by non-violent means.

    4. Campaigners by their calm, non-violent, prayerful presence hope to penetrate the cone of ‘privacy’ behind which the abortionist attacks, abuses and exterminates his/her tiniest patients. Lethal child abuse of small defenseless human beings in the ‘privacy’ of an abortion clinic is everybody’s business. Privacy cannot be invoked to conceal human right abuse of children, including violations of their rights to prenatal care, survival and development. Human rights law has consistently rejected the right to privacy as a defense against human rights violations by adults in positions of power over children in positions of dependency.

    5. Campaigners hope that their presence and their prayer will reactivate from a state of denial the deep and certain knowledge in every pregnant woman intending to abort that she is carrying a little daughter or son to her/his ‘planned’ death.

    6. Campaigners by their public presence simply and wordlessly remind each mother that she goes into the abortion clinic with her little daughter or son and comes out alone. Genuine medicine does no deliberate harm to a distressed mother or her vulnerable unborn daughter or son.

    7. Campaigners make a stand outside abortion clinics to draw local and national attention to the mistreatment and mutilation of each tiny human being deliberately harmed, fatally hurt inside that clinic. By any objective standard, the lethal harm intentionally inflicted on a small innocent human being in the protected and nurturing environment of her/his mother’s womb is an act of violence, an unprovoked act of aggression on an utterly defenseless victim.

    8. Campaigners by their public presence remind us that all human beings, irrespective of their rights, have also duties to smaller more vulnerable human beings in their power and in their care. We owe a duty of care to the children in our wombs and our doctors owe a duty of care to both their patients, the mother and her unborn child.

    9. Campaigners by their very presence defy the propaganda and mindless popularity of an aging ideology that touts a crazy mixed-up anti-scientific dehumanization of tiny daughter and sons in their mothers’ wombs and then calls them ‘choices’. With the advent of ultrasound technology, this whole silly phenomenon of pretending to believe in childless pregnancies is rapidly becoming unsustainable. Ultrasound technology, together with biology, embryology, fetal surgery, and examination of the human remains of an abortion, all tell us that the victim targeted for abortion is a human being, belonging to the human family, a human being who can be identified as a daughter or son, a ‘who’ not a generic ‘thing’.

    10 Campaigners pray outside abortion clinics for conversion of hearts of mothers and their abortionists, for grace that will save at least some of these little ones targeted for abortion; for public recognition of this accumulative crime against humanity for which we all must share some responsibility.

  2. As a clinic escort as at the Boston facility, I found the article did not represent my lived reality when trying to keep clients safe while accessing Planned Parenthood services. I am sure some anti-abortion protestors exercise a certain kind of restraint. At the same time many others use a range of tactics to intimidate clients as they enter and leave the clinic. Some shout, some stalk clients and rail against the ‘evil’ of Planned Parenthood. I wished the researcher would have made at least a partial effort to have interviewed the escorts who volunteer their time throughout the year. Then, perhaps the conclusions he drew from his ‘data’ would have provided a more balanced and nuanced representation of the tactics and actions of the protestors.

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