I can’t imagine a more ironically titled blog post, “Anti-Choicers’ Callous Disregard for Children.” Apparently, pro-choice advocates are upset that some pro-lifers in Brookline, Massachusetts (pictured above) are displaying large images of aborted children near an elementary school in order to protest an abortion facility that recently relocated there. According to the author of the blog post, pro-life protesters, “often seem to care more for what’s in other women’s bodies than the needs of actual children.”
How would you respond if someone asked you if it was right to show graphic images of abortion in places where children can see them? You might offer a philosophical argument. You might analyze an analogous situation. Me? I use these opportunities to share with critics the plot of one of my favorite films, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
This 2008 film focuses on the story of eight-year-old Bruno, whose family has recently moved into a home outside of a Nazi extermination camp where his father serves as the camp’s Commander. One day, Bruno wanders off and discovers an unguarded portion of the death camp’s perimeter fence where he meets another eight-year-old boy named Shmuel.
Shmuel and Bruno begin to develop a sincere friendship even though Bruno mistakenly believes that the camp is really a “farm” with a fence that is used to keep animals from escaping. When Bruno eventually tells his parents about this “farm” they become very worried that Bruno will discover the camp’s true nature. Bruno’s parents proceed to argue over their decision to live so close to the camp and worry about how this decision might affect their children.
How morally perverse are Bruno’s parents!? Instead of worrying about the thousands of people being killed at the death camp near their home, they are instead worried about what would happen to Bruno’s “emotional well-being” if he found out about the killing. But . . . is this any less morally perverse than the fact that most people in America today are more concerned about children seeing images of abortion than by the thousands of children being killed by abortion every year in their own neighborhoods?
Although Justice for All doesn’t display abortion photos near elementary schools, there are times when elementary-aged visitors to college campuses do see our display (despite warning signs posted so their teachers can take an alternate route). As you might imagine, the same criticism leveled against the Massachusetts pro-lifers is leveled against us: “Don’t you care about the children who will see the display?” I usually ask my pro-choice critic to give me advice on how I should handle the reactions children have when they see our publicly-displayed images of abortion. As she leans in, ready to unload her “advice” I ask, “Do you know what most kids ask when they see pictures like these?” Rarely does the person have anything to offer. Our staff reports that many children have said: “Who hurt the babies?” I then offer this question: “Who would you suggest we tell them has hurt the babies?”
While Bruno’s parents wanted to protect his innocence (something all parents should certainly be concerned about), how far should we go in hiding injustice… not just from children, but from adults?
I suggest you rent The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, watch it, and then ask a friend if she thinks there any injustices happening now that we are more concerned about hiding than confronting. If your friend is pro-choice, you will have a great opportunity to share your pro-life views. If she is pro-life, you will have a great opportunity to ask if she is doing anything to end abortion in America. Whatever views your friend holds about abortion, I’m sure you will have an interesting conversation.
Written by Trent Horn. To learn more about Trent’s mission to train thousands to make abortion unthinkable for millions, please visit www.jfaweb.org.