NECAC Debate: Bill Baird, WEEI News Radio, and His Celebration of Sexual Promiscuity
John C. Rankin
My final interaction with Bill Baird, the reputed “father of the abortion rights movement,” was on WEEI News Radio in the spring of 1990. My friend, Jon Rodman, was the news director. I had met Jon in 1984 or 1985 when I taught a pro-life seminar at South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham, Massachusetts.
Jon asked me to do a radio debate with Bill, and the radio on-air person who hosted it was quite nervous that it would turn caustic, but it did not. Bill came with a woman who proclaimed herself the publisher of the largest “feminist” pornography magazine in the United States. Bill and I had our interchange, live, then afterward left.
WEEI at the rime was on the 44th floor of the Prudential Tower in Back Bay, Boston. The three of us stepped into the elevator at the same time. And on the ride down, in the brief time for conversation, Bill said quite baldly: “I can have sex with anyone, anywhere, anytime I want.” The ethos of a male chauvinistically driven abortion ethos, I thought.
I invited the woman, whose name I now forget, to later join me on my weekend show on WEZE Christian radio. I have always sought to reach out to those most at odds with my biblical faith, and so I did with her. I thought I could engage her in a way to uplift her humanity in the midst of her pornographic world, but it was among the most difficult challenges I have sought out. We kept the subject free from prurient issues or language, but it seemed that her slavery to the porn world so tethered her soul, that she could not rise to the love of God, at least in that conversation.
So I thought I erred in my judgment, but by the same token, there are other times when I have been surprised to see that something I did that seemed, in immediate retrospect, seemingly unwise, ended up bearing fruit in the lives of others. I am a risk taker for the sake of the Gospel, and can claim no great wisdom so often. Thus, I pray that the seeds of the Gospel somehow touched her, and one day the fruit will be evident to her.