On August 8, Claire Lejeun wrote a moving article about how she was affected by a video of aborted babies. There is much controversy about whether or not pro-lifers should show pictures of abortion’s aftermath. I would like to take a moment to address this controversy.
When I was about 10-years-old, I overheard a discussion in my local church about abortion. One woman was saying that abortion should be illegal; another was agreeing, and they were talking about it is as if it were a bad thing. But what exactly was abortion?
I asked my mother that night. She told me, “Abortion is when a woman is going to have a baby and she goes to the doctor and he makes it so that she doesn’t have the baby.” My mom is, and was, pro-life. I don’t know why she explained abortion that way; perhaps she felt that I was too young to be exposed to the reality of it. I had only just learned where babies came from in the first place, and I digested this information and came to the conclusion that there was absolutely nothing wrong with abortion.
As time went on, I never thought about the issue much. It didn’t come up much in church, even though I knew that, as a Catholic, I was supposed to be against abortion. I recall getting in one conversation with a friend where I defended abortion, talking about how a woman should have a choice. But for the most part, I didn’t really think about the issue.
My freshman year of high school, I met another student who was pro-life. When we got into a discussion on abortion, she defended the pro-life position, saying that abortion would kill a baby. I told her that I didn’t believe it was a baby, and she told me that she would bring in something the next day to show me. I went home and forgot all about it.
The next day, she showed me a postcard sized piece of literature from Human Life International. The postcard was divided into 2 sections. On one side, it had a picture of an 8-week-old unborn baby. You could clearly see the hands and feet of the child; you could even count fingers and toes. It was a beautiful picture, but it was the second picture that caught my attention – and changed my life forever.
This picture showed what a baby that age looks like after an abortion. The head was missing; the arms were flung out and clearly visible, still attached to the babies torn and crushed body. The little legs could be seen, battered and broken, at the bottom of the picture. I was horrified.
This was a baby. This was definitely a baby. That was what this was. And these babies, my friend was telling me, were being killed at a rate of over 4000 a day. (The number of abortion today has dropped now to slightly over 3,000) I couldn’t get my head around it. All those little children – killed. It was shocking. Disturbing. Horrifying.
In that moment, a pro-life activist was born. That night, as I lay in bed, I said a prayer asking God to end abortion. I asked him to use me, to give me opportunities to speak out against abortion and help unborn babies. I prayed that I would always be strong and dedicated.
While I’m no longer a religious person, my prayer has come true. I now run a website that reaches up to 2000 people a day with the pro-life message. A few hours ago, a woman left a message on my website saying that she had been planning on abortion and changed her mind after seeing graphic abortion photos. She is not the only one.
I have had a number of women come to my website and change their minds about abortions they were planning on having. These women Googled information about abortion or abortion clinics and got my site. Seeing the pictures of what abortion would do to their children, they realized they couldn’t go through with it.
I also have had pro-life conversions. There is a survey on my site on a page that has a video of abortion procedures. The survey asks what the viewer’s feelings on abortion are, whether or not it should be legal, and whether their opinions were changed by the video. A lot of people who come to my site are already pro-life. Some are pro-choice, and stay pro-choice. I don’t understand how someone can see pictures of aborted babies and stay pro-choice, but I can’t judge them. They may be carrying pain in their hearts from an abortion they or their partner had; they may not be able to admit the truth to themselves or anyone else. Or their hearts could just be hardened to the point where they don’t care. I don’t know.
But it seems like every week, 3 or 4 people who respond to survey say that they have converted from pro-choice to pro-life on the spot after seeing the video. In other cases, they stay pro-choice, but choose the option that says “it hasn’t changed my stand, but I view abortion differently now.” I am hoping that some of those people, even though they still support legal abortion, will think twice before having one. I like to think that even someone who still feels that abortion should be legal, as long as they know the reality of abortion, can be an asset to the pro-life movement if they are willing to talk to their loved ones about how bad abortion is. It’s a process – people don’t always convert on the spot, but even with the pro-choice ones, I hope I’ve planted a seed.
People really don’t know. They really don’t. Most people don’t know what abortion does. They don’t know how human the babies are. They don’t know how violent abortion is. This morning I saw a post by a pro-choice woman on tumblr saying that pictures of aborted babies were “stillbirths or cat embryos.” Obviously, she has never seen most of the images. It is impossible to mistake a baby with developed hands and feet for a cat. And babies are not stillborn with their limbs torn off or their skulls crushed.
Yes, we need to show these pictures. There are times when it may be inappropriate, but in the vast majority of cases, these pictures can convert hearts and save lives.
To see what abortion actually looks like, visit HeresTheBlood.com.