Written as a reflection to the New Abortion Caravan’s visit to Winnipeg as well as the article, Womyn’s centre protests pro-life event, here is the original of the most recent article by one of our executives, before the edits as shown in the Manitoban:
The pictures are bloody, disturbing, and seemingly unreal. The videos are even more horrifying and difficult to stomach. An initial reaction to seeing these images might be surprise, remorse, anger, or the pouring of chocolate milk on people who hold these signs, as happened just recently to pro-life activists in Thunder Bay. (See: http://youtu.be/uimAiN5fY4c) Whatever would induce such responses?
Perhaps it is the reality of it all; there is no denying the images. They are proof that abortion kills a child. Pouring chocolate milk on a pro-life activist is an understandable reaction for someone whose wrong-doing has been exposed in front of them. The shame that women who see the graphic images might feel comes from the knowledge that the choice they made was wrong. It is a natural human response to feel bad about doing evil.
So what can be done about it? Instead of ‘shooting the messenger’, why not address the cause of the bad feelings — the abortion that killed this person’s child? Protesting how offensive the message is does not eliminate the guilt. Healing resources such as the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and Rachel’s Vineyard are available to help women understand the reasons for these feelings of guilt, and show them how they can address them. A more fruitful course of action also would be to acknowledge our guilt and resolve to make better choices in the future as well as attempt to help others avoid making the same tragic mistake.
There would be no need for back-alley abortions if women exercised their right to choose by choosing the right thing — not killing their child by abortion at all. Women deserve better than abortion, despite what some abortion advisors may say. Abortions have resulted in physical complications for the women, but what are more detrimental and harder to heal are the psychological consequences which result from the knowledge that a woman has killed her child. Women in a crisis pregnancy must be offered compassionate, life affirming options, not ones that destroy life. No words are adequate to describe the injury done to the one whose life was taken away; this is why the photographs are needed. Women deserve better, as do their pre-born children.
It might seem disrespectful or extreme to use these images of children’s corpses to send a message, but it is through these signs, postcards, and trucks that the future brothers and sisters of these children are saved. The lives of their mothers would be improved instead of scarred, for whether or not they decide to keep and raise the child, they can have peace knowing that they chose life, not death, as shown in those devastating photographs. These images reveal to those who have survived that there is a need to defend the rights of those who are most vulnerable who cannot speak for themselves and have been denied the right to live. Women in crisis pregnancies are vulnerable as well, however violent measures should not be taken to help vulnerable people. We should not be promoting choices that we know have the physical and psychological consequences that abortion has. Women deserve the best, and abortion is not the best the world has to offer.