I don’t think I’ve ever been cursed at quite so many times in a four-hour period as I was today. I lost count of the number of times I was called vile and vulgar names, flipped the bird, or F-bombed. I’m sure yelling obscenities to strangers – even strangers you disagree with – isn’t normal behaviour for you, the pro-choice individuals who walked past our abortion display, so I can’t help but wonder why our opposition to abortion stirs up such emotion in you.
I was on the streets of Hamilton, Ontario today as part of a training course with the Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform – an organization that uses abortion victim photography as a tool to educate the public about the human rights violation that is abortion. We use the images because they convey a terrible truth that cannot be rightly understood with words alone, and because victim imagery has been a proven tool of success in social reform movements across the centuries. Even more importantly, we use such imagery because when people see the violently dismembered bodies of the youngest members of our species, many of them change their minds about abortion – and their children’s lives are saved.
But many of you are angry when you pass by our signs, and I fail to understand why. After all: you’re pro-choice. The violence depicted in our pictures is the aftermath of one of the choices you support - so why does its reality upset you? Abortion takes a developing human fetus and tears him or her limb from limb. If you’re sure that’s a perfectly fine thing to do, why are you angry with us for showing others what that choice looks like? Surely it’s not merely that we disagree with you on this issue – you don’t curse at everyone who holds views different from yours, do you? I suspect it’s not really the bloodiness that bothers you either – how often have you cursed at the grocery clerk for having bloody animal parts on display in the meat department?
One of the angry individuals who approached me yesterday complained that children might see the images. I explained to him that while we’re not targeting children, we must prioritize the lives of preborn children over the feelings of born children. “Women are walking past these signs,” I told him, “who are pregnant and considering whether or not to do this to their preborn child.” A woman standing nearby said quietly: “Yes, and I’m one of them“. We were able to counsel her to leave an abusive environment for her sake and that of her child, and with our support she’ll be breaking the cycle of violence by giving her child life. Yell at us all you want; she and her child and the countless others we’ve saved are worth your abuse - and those pictures won’t go away until abortion does!
The next time you’re tempted to curse and shout obscenities to someone holding the image of a preborn victim of abortion, please ask yourself why that image bothers you so much. If these images are too disgusting and awful to look at and to accept as the reality of choice, then perhaps the procedure these pictures expose is too disgusting and awful to continue supporting.