Common Sense | Mark’s Remarks

My students recently learned about freedom of expression, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press as we examined early pioneers of citizens’ rights. We talked about people like John Peter Zenger, Phillis Wheatley and Thomas Paine.  It is my hope that my students realize how powerful someone’s written opinion can be.

Zenger’s trial changed the way people viewed freedom of the press. Wheatley’s poetry influenced people in many ways.  Paine urged a nation to unite, many of them choosing to do so after reading his powerful words. People read and re-read articles, speeches and stories over the years and it changed their minds about many things.

Our students also write opinion pieces during the school year. Beforehand, we examine articles and videos, discussing the pros and cons of zoos. It’s amazing to me how strong the opinions of these children can be, only to be influenced greatly by a video or an article regarding the poor treatment or beneficial care zoos can provide.

At the end of our unit, students have taken a firm stand on which “side” they have chosen. Some are adamant that zoos are good places for animals, while others can provide ample reasons why zoos are not good. It’s always an interesting and wonderful experience for me as a teacher. Seeing children form an opinion and be able to back it up with information and intelligent response is rewarding as an educator.

Something I’m always amazed about is this: when students gather information on any topic and choose to take a stand, they ask a very powerful question. It is a question I am not always prepared to answer:  Why don’t more people know about this?

Sure, I can answer some of the questions 10-year-olds ask, but in my own observations, I often ask the same question: Why don’t more people know about this?

I got a lot of backlash over my column a few months ago. I  mistakenly called people who are “pro-choice” “pro-abortionists.” One of my readers made a very good point: people can be against the government telling a woman how to treat her body and still hate abortion. Point taken.

There’s something else I also wonder about. I wonder why people don’t call abortion what it is: murder. Right now, there may be people reading this who shudder and who might want to stop reading. But that is what it is. That little baby inside that womb, with a beating heart is able to feel pain. The abortion doctor sticks an instrument in there and kills that child.  That’s it.

Every year, Michelle and I attend the Life Network banquet. This year, Abby Johnson was the speaker. Her speech was disturbing. It caused people to recoil and tears streamed down the faces of many present.

Johnson was once an award-winning advocate of Planned Parenthood.  She worked at one of the nation’s largest abortion clinics and was one of the “higher-ups.” Every day, she saw protesters. Many of those days, she mocked those people and yelled at them.

One day, she was asked to assist a doctor during an abortion. She told about how mothers are immediately sedated so they won’t see the baby on the ultrasound, ask questions, or even pay attention to the heartbeat. She told about seeing that little baby on the monitor; how it winced and flailed its arms as it was being disposed of.

She told about how the dismembered remains of that baby were reassembled in a bin after it was suctioned out of the mother, just to make sure there were no pieces of the child left inside the mother.

Later, she told about how the goal of the clinic was to have the mother in and out in five minutes. The clinic wanted to move those mothers in and out as fast as possible, collected at least a $500 fee each time.

Sure, we can turn a blind eye and say this is all a bunch of hype. This can’t be going on, can it? This woman was there.  She saw it. There are others who will back her up.

Again, I ask you; why don’t more people know about this? Maybe we do and choose not to act.

Johnson said she wanted to act that day. She wanted to wake that mother up and show her what was happening to that baby. But all she could do was stand there.

Later that day, she walked away from her job and is now a nationally acclaimed proponent of the pro-life movement.

You may ask why she got involved in the first place. According to her, and much like the rest of us, she was either lied to or not fully informed.  When she learned the full truth on that day, it rocked her world

She reported driving away from her job that day, and watching a pro-life protester in her rearview mirror as he dropped to his knees with his hands to the sky, thanking God this woman had seen the light.  Powerful. I supposed those protesters had prayed for her numerous times.

There are so many more things you need to know. I urge you to look up Abby Johnson on the internet and read everything about her. Listen to her speak. I also urge you to research Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.  You’ll be surprised at her views on Adolph Hitler and African Americans. As a bit of added information to this whole search, I’d urge you to look up past recipients of the

Margaret Sanger Award, especially the recipient in 2009. I’d love to hear from you if something you read changes your opinion.

I’m in favor of all of us having rights, and I get aggravated at the government for a lot of things. However, it always amazes me that we can talk and talk about citizen’s rights when it comes to abortion, yet no one is speaking for that little one.

Imagine if we could all see that image Abby saw on the monitor. I have no doubt it would be an image we would never forget. Abby says she can’t forget it; nor can she forget that over 20,000 babies were killed before she walked away from her job.

Abortion is murder, folks. I make no apologies for my stance.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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