The following post appeared on Jill Stanek's blog.
On one hand, a favorite punching bag of T. Russell Hunter is pro-life fundraising.
On the other, Hunter's group Abolish Human Abortion is incorporated, has a for-profit arm through which it sells t-shirts and other wares, and rents office space. (Regarding office space, click to enlarge screenshot right; the original post has been removed from AHA's Facebook page.)
It was these contradictory positions Hunter had to balance in his April 25 debate against Center for Bio-Ethical Reform's Gregg Cunningham.
Hunter contended ( on the video) that one reason Christians aren't actively involved in anti-abortion activism is because they donate money to pro-life organizations to do the work for them. (See also 1:14:24-1:16:26.)
Nevertheless, from timestamp 1:39:55-1:41:31, Hunter alleged he wasn’t opposed to fundraising per se.
But not only did this contradict Hunter's earlier statement, it contradicted a multitude of Facebook posts in which he and AHA have castigated pro-life organizations for fundraising, while two of AHA's leaders, Don Cooper and Todd Bullis, actively engage in fundraising under the AHA banner. Click to enlarge...
As it is with their own incremental bills, it seems AHAers agree with fundraising as long as it fits their own agenda and not that of the larger pro-life movement.
The problem is that some people can’t feasibly stand against abortion because they work, have families that demand their attention, and maintain other responsibilities. They simply don’t have the time to be out there “in the trenches,” as Hunter would say.
So, giving funds to pro-life advocates who have devoted their life's work to the cause is their way of helping.
Donations help pro-life advocates like myself, the organization I work for (Life Training Institute), Jill Stanek, Gregg Cunningham/Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, and all the other pro-life advocates keep doing what we do. As Scott Klusendorf reminds us, there are many more people working full-time to kill babies than there are working full-time to save them. As Gregg mentioned in his debate, a part-time movement of volunteers is not going to end abortion.
We also don’t receive billions of dollars in taxpayer funding, as organizations like Planned Parenthood do.
Pro-life organizations subsist on generous donations so we can continue to educate pro-life people on how to effectively and persuasively share their views, maintain pregnancy care centers, make a difference in the political realm, maintain full-time presence at abortion clinics, change hearts and minds in the marketplace of ideas so as to eventually convert our culture to a point where we can end abortion, and a multitude of other pro-life work.
Hunter, while decrying the fact that pro-life organizations fundraise, also uses the fruits of those organizations’ labor.
A prime example was the debate itself. With months to organize, AHA still produced a substandard video using substandard cameras and audio equipment. Had AHA decided to fundraise, they could afford professional equipment to make a high quality recording so arguments by both participants could easily be understood for posterity. (Fortunately, Cunningham has done just that and also recorded the debate with much greater clarity.)
In addition, AHA uses images of abortion victims that Cunningham's group has spent millions of dollars to acquire over the years. CBR was the first pro-life organization to compile an archive of broadcast quality video and still photographs.
At in the video, Cunningham astutely observed that while Hunter may not fundraise, he allows CBR to do the fundraising for him, because Hunter benefits from CBR's work. Click to enlarge...
As previously mentioned, Don Cooper, who holds himself out as AHA’s Executive Director, also fundraises (as well he should). Fundraising is an essential component of being able to work full-time to stop abortion, and activists are an essential component to ending abortion in the United States.
Pro-life people, like everyone else, have bills to pay and families to support. If they had to work full-time in another arena, they wouldn't be able to devote themselves single-mindedly to working to end abortion.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to fight to end abortion. But we do.
In the debate, Hunter not only failed to give any sort of plan for ending abortion under his immediatist regime, he failed to give any sort of a plan as to how we can end the fight for the rights of the unborn without fundraising and all just working part-time to speak out against it. This is simply an untenable view, and one AHA fraudulently claims to adhere to.