I was driving through Kansas last Tuesday night, wondering how I could avoid the anti-abortion signs “gracing” I-70, most of them between Hays and Russell.
I decided to drive south from Hays on Wednesday and go through Great Bend. That way I could get a coffee drink at Java John’s in McPherson, Kansas, a town I had enjoyed on my 2007 birding trip.
At first it seemed to be a good choice. I had to turn around and go back to photograph this sign. Don’t we all want “experienced” equipment? I know I do.
But then I realized the sign craziness extended south of I-70, all the way to Highways 96 and even 156. I’ve heard that one person funds these signs, but I think there is more to it. They’re spread out over a large area. So even if 1 person is paying to rent those billboards, all the landowners go along with it.
Here’s a note to the sign maker: your signs are not having the desire effect on me, a pro-choicer since age 16. When I pass a sign that reads, “Abortion stops a beating heart,” I think, “Well, so does running over a squirrel in your car.”
Then I begin to wonder if insects have heartbeats. Do I stop a beating heart when I swat a mosquito?
Another sign I passed asked, “What is the cost of abortion? 1 human life!” And I think, “Well, a back-alley abortion kills the baby and the mother. That’s two.” If that woman had been able to obtain a legal abortion, only 1 human being would have died.
This sign made me laugh. Note the orca and bald eagle representing “protected” life.
There are nearly 7 billion people on this planet. We are not in any danger of going extinct. (And neither is the bald eagle, recently removed from the Endangered Species List. Please update your sign.) If I had to choose between saving 1 human life and saving a species, I’d go for the species every time.
I know my responses are not “proper” or “kind.” But then, neither is a sign imposing religious views on me as I drive down the highway. I would not feel any better if the sign said “Death to rapists” or “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” The only signs I want to see along the highway are “Rest Area 1 mile” or “Food Gas Lodging” or something about quilting stores.
I don’t want to see ads for adult bookstores either, but apparently the state of Kansas and Lions Den can’t leave well enough alone.
I’m forced to conclude the people sponsoring these signs don’t want dialogue. They don’t really want to change my mind. They want to preach to their own choir, or they want to make pro-choicers feel bad.
Does anyone out there know if other states have collections of anti-abortion signs?