Earlier this week, vice.com published an article about the new anti-abortion movement in Canada.
According to the article, this new wave of Canadian activists display graphic abortion pictures on the street, just like the previous generations of protesters but they are not as vocally religious or as aggressive as their elders. The young activists say that they want to show people what abortion is; they want to make people confront abortion.
Let’s be clear: graphic abortion pictures and videos, as educational materials, have their place in Pro-Life activism. They prove that we are not crazy; that abortion is violent and most importantly, they show that it’s a human being that is being killed. But I think that the viewer has the right to be warned and to consent to what he/she is going to see.
While there is a time and place to share graphic abortion pictures, I completely disagree with putting them near a high school or driving large trucks that show huge graphic images at traffic peak time.
Abortion images don’t exactly say: “I care about you. Come to me if you are pregnant and scared.” On the contrary, an abortion-minded woman would most likely run faster to the abortion clinic.
Also, trying to confront post-abortive women with a graphic depiction of their sin doesn’t say: “I understand that you are hurting. You can confide in me and I can refer you to an abortion recovery program“. Instead, it says: “I’m judging you for what you have done. There is a huge, irreconcilable difference between me and people like you.”
Keep in mind that PTSD is real. Children and some other people, for a variety of reasons, can be traumatized by those pictures. Why would we want to be the cause of anybody’s trauma? Sure, we weren’t the ones carrying out the act but we would be the ones responsible for showing it without warning or consent; without any sense of potential harm. If we wouldn’t expose children to images of porn or torture, why would we want to expose them to an abortion picture?
I also think that when one makes those images a big part of his/her life and activism, there is a danger of being desensitized to violence.
But, some might say, you don’t understand that Canada is a very liberal country where abortion is available through the nine months of pregnancy and people need to wake up!
Yes, I do understand. In France, my home country, you can be fined €30 000 ($34 254) or spend two years in jail if you are found guilty of “obstructing” a woman’s sacred right to abortion.
It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures. When babies are destroyed in the womb in an assembly-line manner, it is tempting to do something drastic about it. However, I think it’s best to resist the urge to put on the street visuals of that scourge that shocks and angers us.
Those who promote and profit off of abortion are very pleased when the population is divided into “us” and “them“. Let’s not play along and put people in boxes: “the ones who are like me” and “the ones who are lost and need to be shocked so they finally wake up“.
The truth is, we are all human and we all have sinned. It’s possible to understand the horror of abortion and the urgency to do something about it without putting horrific pictures on the street. A wise Pro-Lifer once said: “shock values don’t win hearts“. Compassion is always the better option.