NECAC and Abortion Advocate Bill Baird, June 26, 1985
John C. Rankin
In four of my other posts here, I have written about my encounters with Bill Baird, abortion center owner, and leading abortion advocate from before the 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalizing abortion. Click here (1), (2), (3) and (4) for these posts.
Very many times over the years I sought to engage in debate or public conversation with lead advocates of abortion or other positions that had some measure of conflict with the Gospel. Only in a minority of instances was I able to succeed — do to a range of variables, Below is a letter I wrote to the board of Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL) with such a proposal. I served on the board myself for this season, but rotated off when the time commitment became too much in concert with my own pro-life work. They were good people to work with, always swimming against the tide.
It turned out that Cardinal Bernard Law was already booked to be the speaker, and thus my idea would not work alongside the rally. We then spoke of booking a debate with Bill at a local university in conjunction, but it did not come to pass (I forget why, but I am sure it was simply the work required in making such an initiative happen, and how to coordinate logistics in so doing between MCFL and the NECAC; it probably fell between the cracks).
June 26, 1985
Board of Directors, Massachusetts Citizens for Life, 313 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02158
Dear Board Members:
As you plan for next year’s annual rally in January, I would like to submit the following proposal. Each year, it seems, Bill Baird makes it his duty to carry on his protest outside in the cold. Let’s invite him inside this time.
I debated him at North Adams State College last March [the local chapter of MCFL sponsored me to do so], and am eager to do it again. Would MCFL consider the possibility of sponsoring a debare between Bill Baird and myself at the annual rally? I believe there are three advantages to this proposal.
1) The media will be there, and a debate with Bill Baird will increase interest.
2) It will give Bill Baird no excuse. If he accepts, it will be our gain, for his folly is easy to expose in formal debate. If he refuses, his folly will be exposed, for we can publicly advertise his opposition to true liberal arts inquiry. And if he were to exercise the temerity to protest the MCFL rally, his folly would be magnified. Either way, we are in a position of strength to silence his folly and to have the media witness it.
3) We can advertise the debate and encourage pro-abortion people to attend also, giving us a forum to directly challenge them there. I believe it would also bring out more of our own constituency (i.e.,MCFL), and I know that hundreds of NECAC supporters would also attend.
Altogether, I believe such a debate will be perceived as a positive action on our part, above reproach in its appeal to true liberal arts inquiry, and will exacerbate the defensive posture of the pro-abortion forces.
Yours for the unborn by the grace of God,
John C. Rankin