After years of experience showing graphic abortion pictures out on the streets, we’ve gotten used to hearing complaints.
A while back, we posted a FAQ page on our site that addresses the most common objections we hear.
Recently, during our weeklong Face the Truth Tour held across the Chicago area, we had numerous opportunities to witness firsthand how the myths that underlie these objections are debunked.
More Harm than Good?
One of the most common arguments we heard last week during our Truth Tour was that displaying graphic abortion pictures out on the streets was in some way misguided.
“Crazy,” “extreme,” and “selfish” were some of the words passersby threw at us, along with numerous others I won’t be listing here.
But as one first-time Truth Tour participant—a young man named Paul—remarked last week, “It’s not about me.”
To be sure, when we go out on the streets and show pictures of aborted babies, some people are going to hate us, and call us nasty names, and tell us we’re doing more harm than good, and that we should spend our time doing Something Else instead.
And yet, at the end of the day, we don’t care. We realize some people aren’t going to like us, and we’ve come to accept that.
Because, it bears repeating: it’s not about us. It’s about abortion.
The very reason we are out there on the streets showing pictures of aborted babies is that so many Americans need this reminder. They’re not thinking about abortion. Much less are they thinking about the pro-life movement—when they’re not thinking of us as extremists, they’re not thinking of us at all.
A Face the Truth Tour raises the issue of abortion—which is, needless to say, all too often treated like an elephant in the living room—in a community in a way that nothing else can.
Local media outlets in the communities we visited during our Truth Tour weren’t talking much about abortion before we came. But our presence brought the issue of abortion out in the open, and they couldn’t ignore it.
What about the Children?
Following the last site of our Truth Tour this Saturday in Aurora, the League’s executive director Eric Scheidler told Tour participants about an experience he had at the site that illustrated why, contrary to the belief of some, the sight of graphic abortion pictures is not harmful to children.
Eric recounted how an irate father had approached him and another Tour staffer, screaming about the effects our graphic abortion pictures were having on his son in the backseat.
After speaking with him for a few minutes, Eric pointed out that the child wasn’t in the least bit upset, to which the man replied, “Not anymore, he isn’t, but he was a few minutes ago.”
Eric used this experience to illustrate that while seeing abortion pictures may hurt—as it should to all of us—children don’t allow themselves to be continually bothered by them.
Eric shared similar remarks in an interview with the Christian Post published last week:
I grew up looking at abortion signs; my children have all seen abortion signs. I have found that children are much more upset when their parents freak out over the signs rather than by the signs themselves. The signs should be disturbing, they should be distressing, and children should react in a normal human way when the signs bother them. But when they are told that people are showing those ugly signs because they want to stop babies from being hurt, that helps a great deal to reconcile any trouble that they may have with it.
Children are naturally pro-life. And I think that is what angers parents more than the signs themselves — the fact that the parent cannot justify their support for abortion to a child who has seen what it is.
Seeing the Reality of Abortion: A First Step Towards Healing
It hurts to see pictures of aborted babies. This is especially true of women who have had an abortion.
But the hurt caused by the pictures of aborted babies is not an end in itself.
Our purpose in showing graphic abortion pictures is not to condemn, but to awaken. For women who have had an abortion, yes, it’s going to hurt to realize the truth about the “procedure” that everyone up until now has lied to them about. But this hurt is a first step toward healing.
At one of our Tour stops in Aurora this past Saturday, a woman approached one of our longtime volunteers, Luann Bloom, and told her that she had had an abortion 12 years ago, and that at the time, she felt she had no choice.
The woman then walked away, but remained standing nearby for several minutes, and then came over to Luann again 20 minutes later and told her, “I keep looking at your picture, and I can’t believe I did that to my baby.” When she had had her abortion 12 years ago, she told Luann, “nobody told me it was a baby.”
Luann then embraced the woman, talked with her for several minutes, obtained her contact information, and promised to send her information on post-abortion healing.
Sadly, there is no way to spare women the pain of confronting the truth about their abortions: that they have been lied to about what abortion really does to an unborn child, and to themselves. Nor do we believe it is truly compassionate to delay this necessary first step of the healing process—a journey they might otherwise never begin.