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Man With Abortion Sign Targeting Route 50 Commuters

by ARLnow.com August 11, 2011 at 11:05 am 3,953 141 Comments

A man holding a huge “Abortion is Murder” sign has been targeting Route 50 commuters in the Rosslyn area this week.

According to tipsters and police dispatches, the man stands along Route 50 during the morning and evening rush hours, holding the graphic sign for all to see.

“You may have already heard about this, and the police knew about it when I called the non-emergency line, but there is a hideous Abortion is Murder banner right before the Rosslyn/Key Bridge exit on Rt. 50 Eastbound,” a tipster told us this morning. “It’s about 10 feet wide, maybe 3 feet tall, and incredibly graphic.”

Another tipster had a few more details.

In the past week, I have seen a white male in his early 30s standing near the Marine Corps Memorial on 50E/50W (Rosslyn exit) holding a large sign of with grotesque pictures of supposedly aborted fetuses at 10 weeks. I have twice seen Arlington or U.S. Park police escorting this man away and asking him to take down the sign. I assume he does not have a permit or it is illegal to protest on federal grounds or in areas that may cause traffic disturbances. But today he found a better hiding place. I really don’t want to give him any publicity, but I don’t appreciate being inundated with those images on my morning and evening commutes.

  • normal

    Anyone who has lived here long enough has already seen guys like this on the roadside.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    Any resemblance to the guy hanging out near the Naval Observatory?

    • y8s

      You mean the “the catholic church touched me when I was a boy” guy??

  • MC 703

    What a sicko. I wonder if he is the same guy who used to come to my college campus. Some whackjob used to stand in the middle of my campus with huge graphic poster boards of aborted fetii. Even worse than that was he had his small children with him holding equally graphic posters and shouting at the tops of their 8 year old lungs.

    • not_an_expert

      I am strongly pro-life, although my stance on actual government banning-regulation on abortion is much more complex and nuanced. That said, whatever this guy’s motivation is, I sure hope he realizes he’s not really making that much of a difference. There are highly graphic images of cancer and whatnot on cigarette boxes in many countries, yet it doesn’t measurably decrease smoking. I think there are better ways to engage in a conversation.

      • Don Ager

        Actually you’re wrong about the effectiveness of graphic warnings on cigarettes:
        According to the World Health Organization: “Taken as a whole, the research on pictorial warnings show that they are: (i) more likely to be noticed than text-only warning labels; (ii) more effective for educating smokers about the health risks of smoking and for increasing smokers’ thoughts about the health risks: and (iii) associated with increased motivation to quit smoking.”

        Which is why the U.S. is now requiring them.

      • normal

        Nuanced, huh?

        • not_an_expert

          @normal– Finding it hard to believe not everyone in the world has a black or white view on everything, huh?

          • normal

            No, just surprised to see someone say they’re “strongly pro-life” and then say they are nuanced. Doesn’t sound like there is much room for nuance there.

          • not_an_expert

            I hope it’s not too hard for you to believe there are those of us who, while believing abortion is absolutely wrong, don’t necessarily think banning it outright is the best for society when constituent issues such as mother’s health, rape, incest, underground/illegal abortions, attack on abortion clinics, women’s health, adoption, the morning after pill, etc., are involved. When the issue is framed only as “ban/permit abortion” regardless of one’s viewpoint, everyone loses. Personal belief and the real world mechanics do not necessarily have to overlap 100%. See Tea Party for exhibit #1.

  • Rosslynite

    Me thinks this pro-lifer needs to get a life.

    • normal

      Let’s get him out of Arlington County. Send him over to Donaldson Run.

    • disggy

      He has a life because he wasn’t aborted 🙂

      • Rosslynite

        And thus becomes a walking billboard for the Pro-Choice side.

  • Chris

    Get over it/ignore it. By complaining about it in a public forum he gets what he wanted.

  • Kim

    Those grotesque images are children. I do not know this man nor have I seen him before. I just wanted to make sure you understood what you were calling grotesque.

    • Chad

      Sorry, but at 10 weeks that is not a child. Don’t be dramatic.

      • At what point in time does it become a child? Conception? Birth? 14 weeks? 6 months? 5 months, 3 days, 16 hours, 4 seconds? Do doctors not take the “child” out of the womb sometimes very prematurely when there are risks to the fetus? Since it isn’t yet a “child” why should they do that????

        You get my point? Your opinion of 10 weeks not being a child is as ridiculous as anybody else’s opinion on this issue. What makes your opinion correct?

        • normal

          A child is already born.

          You can argue that a fetus is still something worth protecting from abortion, but calling it a child is like calling a child an man or woman. It’s not, yet. It is what it is. Calling a fetus a child is a lame shortcut to making an anti-abortion argument.

          • I’m not arguing any point, normal. I am saying it is ridiculous to take your opinion on this topic as fact. I think that was lost on you.

          • Chad

            If you have no point, why do you keep responding? Seems counterproductive to argue you aren’t arguing?

          • You are like an ebay bidder who hops in with one second left in the auction.

          • “I’m not a child!”
            “You are a child! You’re MY child!”
            Exchange between Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger in “The Patriot”

            Child is a state of being having to do with having parents. Everyone is someone’s child, regardless of their “state of development.” My 75 year old mother-in-law was her 93 year old mother’s CHILD!

            The multiple of “Child” in English is “Children.” So they are, technically Children – they had both a mother and a father.

        • Joe

          Who cares. Chad doesn’t think a 10 week old embryo is a human yet. Kim does. Neither is right or wrong. How about you let Chad make the determination for himself in his own situation, and let Kim do the same.

          Your contempt for Chad, but not Kim, IMO shows which side you are on.

          How about this for Nuanced…..If abortion is murder, at 10 weeks, then how about we start charging woman who miscarry with involuntary manslaughter?….

          Really, If the purposeful/planned/chosen death of a fetus is murder, then isn’t the accidental death of a fetus something to be investigated? The police investigate accidental deaths all the time, and people get charged with crimes when responsible. Maybe we should start looking at the diets and health histories of women who’ve lost a fetus.

          • Joe – how is a 10 week old fetus NOT a HUMAN BEING?

            Chad doesn’t think a 10 week old fetus is a PERSON, and is therefore not eligible for the rights and privileges we give other persons under the law.

            Of course, the constant drumbeat of dehumanizing (depersonizing?) your target is common when waging deadly warfare against someone. Krauts, Nips, Gooks, Savages….fetuses….

      • disggy

        dead things don’t grow.

  • G Clifford Prout

    Y A W N

  • KalashniKEV

    FTR, I’m Pro-Choice… but how is it that a “Man with a Sign” exercising his first amendment rights gets the police called on him when these wretched vagrants on every corner go un-policed?

    • y8s

      first amendment doesn’t protech ALL forms of speech.

      some obscenity, yelling fire when there’s no fire, threats, hate speech, etc. aren’t considered protected speech.

      • kevin

        y8s, you’re right, there are limits to free speech, specifically when it impedes the limits of others or causes harm. However, this man appears to be doing neither. You _might_ be able to make an argument that he’s a traffic hazard, but that’s quite a stretch.

        • KalashniKEV

          The only way to attack this behavior would be to declare the sign to be obscene… I personally feel that would be unwarranted persecution of a person engaging in free speech, but then look at what they did about the dog painting at the dog park…

          • LOL. Maybe Arlington will declare his sign to be an advertisement and then they will fine him.

      • novasteve

        If his sign is obscene, then abortion is obscene, is it not? Or do you need to be protected from reality?

        • Will.Rubin

          “Protection from Reality” … isn’t that the new Fox News slogan?

          • KalashniKEV

            Not relevant.

        • Flying Spaghetti Monster

          Is consensual procreative sex between married couples obscene? No? Well then maybe we can show graphic photos of it on Route 50. That would sure liven up the morning commute.

          • It is depicted on TV daily.

          • married couple

            Sometimes, when we get really freaky. 😉

          • Chad

            Oh, Great FSM. Will you please reach out and touch me with your noodley appendage?! I need your divine inspiration!

        • Jennifer

          It’s about the same amount of ‘obscene’ as if someone were holding an anti-smoking poster with a giant hairy tumor on it. I don’t want to see blood and guts on posters any more than I want to see some pervert exposing himself to the public.

      • normal

        Gee, thanks. But unless this guy’s a hazard to traffic, his speech would appear to be protected.

      • KalashniKEV

        True, we should apply the test for hate speech here:

        “Does this person’s view run counter to the social engineering efforts of the regime?”

    • kevin

      KalashniKev is right – I disagree with the abortion guy, and don’t take any pleasure in the images, but the first amendment gives him the right to be there. Personally, every time I see someone who strikes me as a kook sharing his opinions like that, I feel a little better about our country. There’s not many places in the world where you can say pretty much whatever you want.

    • +10. I don’t have a strong opinion on the abortion issue one way or another. But, as long as he’s walking and not just standing around loitering, I doubt he is breaking any law. As far as making people uncomfortable, I think that is what he’s shooting for to get his point across. If he was just walking around with a T-shirt on that said “abortion is murder” nobody would pay him any attention with police calls and on an internet blog.

    • Josh S

      Probably because being poor isn’t a crime.

    • ArlForester

      Its too bad he isn’t out there burning a flag so the offended people would actually be supporting his right to free speech. Free speech is limited to only one side of the aisle.

      • normal

        I have yet to see a single poster here claim that freedom of speech is for only one side or one viewpoint. I’ve heard lots of wild accusations of that view, but nobody actually saying that.

      • Maria

        You mean like how, if he was burning a flag, the non-offended people would be screaming “traitor” and calling for his imprisonment?

  • kc

    He was there on Memorial Day also. Obama’s motorcade went by on the way to and from the cemetary. I don’t know if the man with the sign was guessing Obama was going to use that route to get to the cemetary or if it was just happenstance.

    • JamesE

      The sign just made Obama crave Ray’s Hell Burger

      • normal

        Oh, man, that took guts. So to speak.

    • steve85

      I guess you don’t have spell check. LMAO

      • Josh S

        Then again, maybe steve is an experiment.

  • I like the use of “targeting” in the title, as if he is throwing tomatoes at cars or something. LOL

    • Tabby

      Aborted tomatoes.

      And don’t LOL at your own yoke, yokel.

      • CW

        I think he was expressing that he was continuing to laugh out loud at the silliness of the title, not at his own similie.

  • Jon

    I’ve always thought it would be hilarious to surround these people with giant signs depicting raunchy gay man-on-man sex (censored so as to comply with the law, of course), or something these people would find equally stomach-twistingly abominable. You could caption them “sex is beautiful” or something, so that you’re doing what he’s doing, albeit concerning a different topic, and to the same effect. Might make these nut-jobs realize what they’re really doing.

    • I think it would just make other people think you are a nut job!

    • KalashniKEV

      I think you’re making the false assumption that all nutty Pro-Life activists are radical right-wing Christian moralists…
      A whole lot of them are hippy, earthy, life-is-beautiful types who would probably tell you rock on with your namaste self.

      • normal

        Nice try, Kev, but no, not all bad things are “liberal.”

        • KalashniKEV

          I wasn’t passing judgement as to whether Pro-Life or Pro-Choice was “Bad” only pointing out that Jon might get a surprise if he actually engaged them in conversation and learned that they are made up of people from all walks of life and all ideologies.

    • Maria

      I was going to say, “yeah, but who would think gay sex is as awful to look at as an aborted fetus?” but then I realized a lot of them (no, not all) probably would.

  • novasteve

    You seem like this man is doing something wrong exercising his free speech rights. Libs only like certain free speech?

    • normal

      Is everyone you disagree with a “lib?” Don’t you get tired of flinging that term around until it’s meaningless?

      • Maria

        Don’t engage him! I’ve learned that lesson the hard way 🙂

  • roquer

    Sure, it’s ok to express views about abortion RIGHTS, homosexual marriage, and every other kind of tripe on bridges, but the REAL world bothers some folk, so we call the POLICE? Waste their time fighting crime to come tell that bad person to please leave. You folks that are so bothered need to readjust your views of reality. Maybe feel as bad for babies as you do dogs.

  • LifeorLiberty

    human child = air breather
    abortion protesters should be post-natal aborted

    • disggy

      too bad your mother didn’t abort you

      • Maria

        That type of argument helps the pro-life position about as much as LifeorLiberty’s silly comment helps the pro-choice position.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          @Maria, exactly!

    • Andrew

      Yeah! Life or Liberty! Unless you disagree with me! Then you should be killed!

    • Maria

      LifeorLiberty: That type of argument doesn’t help the pro-choice position, but thanks anyway.

  • Pablo Escobar

    I have noticed this man down by Thompson’s Boathouse, he has perhaps a few marbles missing.

  • BerryBerryCold

    I hope the police are not harassing this guy. By that, I mean even making “contact” with him.

    His speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

    • Andrew

      Apparently the First Amendment only applies when people agree with what you are saying.

      • Burger

        That is the sense I get from this post and anyone that complained to the police.

        Hey, everyone has free speech unless it disagrees with me.

        If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. ~Noam Chomsky

  • SomeGuy

    What would a person even say when calling the police about this?

    “Hello, dispatch? I looked at a sign some guy was holding, and it turns out I didn’t want to look at it. Please help!!”

    Did they think it was a traffic hazard? Would they do the same about those guys who stand on corners twirling condo/apartment signs, or was it motivated by a different agenda?

    Frankly, I could do without all of the above-mentioned signs, but I just don’t feel motivated to bother police about something I can so easily ignore.

    • novasteve

      Liberals need to silence opinions they don’t like. and this guy shows in your face what abortion is, and that’s a no-no to liberals.

      • normal

        You have no idea if the person who called the police is a liberal. And you’re making mindless unfair generalizations – and really unoriginal ones too. Lame.

    • novasteve

      I can easily see someone with a Prius and an Obama sticker calling up the cops saying the sign offends them. I bet you the call was like “I was driving on 50, and I saw this mean person holding up a sign which offended me! Do something about it!”.

      I do give them props for not using 9-11 though..

      • normal

        Anyone can make up fantasies based on their own ridiculous political biases, novasteve. Nobody’s impressed.

    • V Dizzle

      He stands (when I’ve seen him) right at the bottom of the on-ramp from Iwo Jima…I have seen accidents there cause by people looking at the marines (on Thursdays?) due to distraction, at that same spot. He’s almost on the street when I’ve seen him and a definite distraction, and a danger to drivers. I don’t care if he protests (even without a permit), but get the hell away from the traffic at an already dangerous merge. The sign is tasteless, although I do end up having a snack once I get to work for some reason.

      • SomeGuy

        Right. But if it were truly about the traffic hazard caused by any generic distraction, the same people calling the police about this guy might do the same about those Marines you mention (on Tuesdays), or any attractive girl/guy walking through Arlington, etc.

        If he’s on the road or dangerously close to it, that should be addressed by police.

        But I suspect people are actually calling police not because of any generic distraction, but because they looked at a sign they didn’t want to see. Just my hunch. Hence my saying that I just don’t feel motivated to bother police over such a thing.

        • V Dizzle

          The Marines are like 100 feet from the road. The dude with the signs was less than 5. If I wasn’t so lazy, or even remembered by the time I was at work, I would have called the police. The graphicness of the sign will make people look longer. If it was just text, it might not be so distracting. He could be performing abortions for all I care, just don’t do it right on the highway in that precarious spot.

    • Guesty

      Actually, I saw it, and it was incredibly distracting. There was a long backup to exit the highway there, and I was tensed up waiting for someone to plow into us because that caught his/her eye.

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

    Problem solved.

    • Ricardo

      Exactly!

      And if you don’t believe in slavery, don’t own slaves. Problem solved.

      • charles

        cynical

    • Fatuous

      Don’t like murder? Don’t murder anyone.

      Like it? Murder away…

    • novasteve

      If you don’t like smoking in bars, then don’t go into a smoking allowed bar, but instead, people like you get smoking banned, rather than you avoiding it. At least smoking doesn’t kill everyone exposed to it, unlike abortion.

      • normal

        True, smoke doesn’t kill everyone, just lots of people.

  • Skeptical

    With everything else that’s a problem in the US today you have to ask why anyone is standing out in the sun with a picture of fetuses. Answer: he’s nuts. So pity him, ignore him, or watch to see if he’s passed out from the heat (humanitarian aid is just a 911 away), but ho hum, we live by the nation’s capital and these people do come out of the woodwork.

    • Tabby

      And that should be the final word. But it won’t be.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    I wonder if he also expresses his 1A right with truck testicles.

  • NomNom

    Maybe this is a ploy to distract the police, and commit another bank robbery?

    • Bluemontsince1961

      It is getting to be about that time of day, isn’t it? Which will it be today? Wells Fargo, BB&T, Sun Trust, Burke & Herbert?

      • Theakston

        BB&T but it will be foiled when the cops show up en masse to rescue fido chained up outside.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          That’s sounds about right, Theakston!

  • suzy

    Oh come on, people, don’t any of you have children? Do you really want your 4-year to see that sign???

    • No, I wouldn’t. I would not want my 4-year old seeing a bum sleeping on a grate. But that’s there. I would not want my 4-year old seeing drunk people in flip flops staggering around Clarnedon. But, that’s there. I don’t want my 4-year old to see lots of stuff that occurs in every day life. But, I have no power to control everyone else and what they are doing legally (or illegally for that matter).

      • normal

        Shhh, don’t tell Kev about the bum thing.

      • Chad

        I want my child to grow up in a bubble, so when he gets older he is naive and posts on message boards about hating everything he doesn’t understand. Did you breast feed until your child was like 12?

      • suzy

        So you’re equating bloody fetuses with homeless people? That’s nice. Maybe we can stand up and ask for a little civility around here. I think that is the point some people are trying to make. It’s not as simple as a knee-jerk reaction to something people “hate.” It’s saying, ‘hey, that’s really not appropriate, maybe you could send a message more productively another way.” Have some respect for other people, that has certainly been lacking in the ArlNow comments section.

        • KalashniKEV

          Are you more offended by a photograph of a clump of cells formerly adhered to the uterine wall carried by an activist, or a filthy, disgusting vagrant loitering around public places in a state of intoxication, begging for money and menacing people???

          • V Dizzle

            Pay attention, it isn’t a picture of a clump of cells…it’s a smashed fetus magnified.

          • KalashniKEV

            OK… but isn’t a fetus a baby shaped clump of cells, and you’re telling me it’s smashed into a “clump?”

            Yeah, clump of cells. NEXT.

          • LysolDan

            At least the abortion sign isn’t stinky an urinaiting on Lyon Village lawns.

        • billy

          Kev equates every evil in the world with homeless people.

  • DD

    Maybe the county board was miffed that his signage did not meet their size/shape requirements.

  • Cate

    Nobody has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body, men in particular. That this fool thinks he does is disgusting.

    And FWIW, a ten-week-old fetus is just a clump of cells, it wouldn’t be recognizable as anything resembling a baby-form.

    • V Dizzle

      You’re gonna burn! Now respond to this post. (I dont disagree, but I just wanted to tell you what to do 🙂 ).

      • Cate

        Clever (that merited a response)!

    • Shows how much you know….

      • KalashniKEV

        Yeah, I acknowledge that the picture only shows a clump of cells and not something I would assign a public personality to, but at ten weeks the clump is starting to take on the shape of a baby. Cate messed up there…

        • Cate

          (Ok, I admit, not being one to ever want to welcome any potential offspring in my uterus, I messed up on the non-shape thing…)

          But what I meant is that I highly, HIGHLY doubt the photos that he’s showing are of actual aborted fetuses (fetii?), much less 10 week old ones. The (quite grotesque) photos the anti-choice advocates use are of stillborn babies or miscarried fetuses, not the results of an abortion.

          • KalashniKEV

            Ummm… Cate, we’re on the same side of this issue, but I’m afraid you’re wrong again…

          • normal

            Why do you say that, Cate? You think an aborted fetus comes out pristine and clean in a sealed plastic bag? Do you know what is involved in an abortion?

            I’m on your side too but don’t dig the hole deeper.

    • Ricardo

      What if the woman is only two inches tall and lives inside another woman?

      • Food Baby

        Your depiction of me is uncanny.

      • Chad

        Inception (pun not intended) fetus?

      • Cate

        Unless she’s paying rent, she can gtfo.

    • John Fontain

      “Nobody has a right to tell a woman what to do with her body, men in particular. That this fool thinks he does is disgusting.”

      Yeah, but he is telling you what to do with your body because god told him abortions are a sin. And whatever religion he follows is the religion you have to follow.

      • novasteve

        No, I’m an athiest, and it doesn’t take believing in God to realizing killing your own offspring becaues it’s inconvenient to you is WRONG.

        • John Fontain

          Like I said, “what I believe you too must believe.”

          If a vegetarian talked to you about eating meat the way you talk to others about abortions, you’d blow your lid and tell them they have no right to interfere in your business. And yet…

          • Josh S

            Careful there. You seem to be implying that everyone is free to think that what they think is the truth and that there are no shared truths. This is a dangerous argument to make and doesn’t generally lead to any really attractive or productive world views.

    • Maria

      A 10 week old fetus is not just a clump of cells, and it’s pretty recognizable. They actually move beyond the “clump of cells” form pretty quickly. Google it.

      • Maria

        Whoops, somehow did not see the other 150 responses to that. Sorry!

  • Clump of Cells

    I, too, am just a clump of cells, I suppose. And I’m not recognizable as anything resembling a baby-form.

    But I can tell you that If I knew a young woman who was planning to do great physical or emotional harm to herself through drugs, prostitution, or mutilation…

    …well, right or not, I’d feel the obligation to try to expose her to something “better.”

    Oh. You were talking about abortion. Nevermind.

    • KalashniKEV

      You should mind your own business.

  • Jennifer

    I’m not sure which side of the highway this photo is depicting as sign guy’s spot, but both exiting 50 to Ft Myer when coming up GW pkwy, and entering 50 from Ft Myer are notorious for accidents due to a) blind curves or b) having to cut across all lanes of traffic within about 200 yards. I don’t know why this guy would choose that spot to stand, unless his mindset is that he’s waiting for a car crash so he can say, “Yay, someone noticed me!”

    • V Dizzle

      I’ve seen him (see above) immidiately after the merge when entering Rt50 towards DC. Yes, dangerous as hell as it is.

  • brendan

    I just want to stop all abortions immediately and cut funding for WIC, Headstart, Medicaid, TANF and public education.

    That’s my vision of the world being a better place.

  • Joe

    Tell you what. You take away his Abortion is murder sign. And you take away the left wing and Democrat dingbats that always feel the need to show up at the Columbia Pike Farmers market and hand out their nonsense………….A deal?

    • V Dizzle

      I don’t think many of us have a problem with pamphlets or leaflets…that’s not the situation under discussion here, sorry.

      • atown

        “Whenever I walk people try and hand me a flyer. And when someone tries to hand me out a flyer, it’s kinda like they’re saying, ‘Here, you throw this away.’ “

  • Carol_R

    To me it’s appalling that the police were called for someone exercising their right to free speech.

    Whether or not I like the message he was adovocating, I don’t see that he did anything wrong. I don’t see any difference than someone picketing and holding up a sign, or a panhandler holding up a sign, or the many sign twirlers advertising events that seem to be popping up.

  • Brandon C

    If I had the time (which I don’t), I’d gladly stand next to this guy with facts about abortion and what science has determined to be in degrees of sentience of a fetus.

    But if anything, I’m interested in less abortions, but a whole lot more birth control and access to it. I’m tired of seeing families with 4 or 5 kids they can’t afford or pay attention to because their priest told them condoms are against God’s will.

  • Abortion

    Abortion stops a beating heart…
    If performed properly.

  • unimpressed

    wow. i was going to start following/reading this blog until i saw the post on a man “targeting” drivers with a sign. targeting? really? then this total digression of a comment section. so much for having a fun, informative, blog to objectively inform residents of community happenings. DISLIKE.

    • Josh S

      Good riddance…..

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