In addition to the claim that abortion restrictions do nothing at all to reduce the abortion rate, abortion advocates state that restrictions force women underground to seek illegal, unsafe abortions, resulting in a higher rate of maternal death. Legal abortion, they assert, saves lives. This assertion has often been touted by pro-choice activists as a completely factual claim. When the facts themselves, however, are brought to the table, results are not exactly what they are said to be.
Earlier in March, CTV News published an article about a decision by a judge regarding a man stabbing his wife, who was eight months pregnant. Her baby boy was delivered via emergency C-section, but died shortly after being born. Sofiane Ghazi is being charged with attempted murder for stabbing his wife and first-degree murder in the death of his son.
Another pro-choice myth that is widely circulated by pro-choice advocates is that abortion produces no adverse psychological effects. The media publicizes campaigns such as ‘1 in 3’ and ‘Shout Your Abortion’, where women are encouraged to proudly declare their abortion experiences as empowering life decisions. On the other hand, the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, where thousands of women and other relatives of abortion victims have told their stories of regret and heartbreak, is largely dismissed as more ‘pro-life propaganda’.
The photographic evidence of what abortion does to pre-born children is the most powerful tool the pro-life movement has in effectively exposing the brutal reality that it is. For too long, abortion has seeped into nearly every facet of society. What started in universities has become prevalent in high-schools, and is now making more regular appearances in middle schools as well. What was at first seen as a way to cover up infidelity or sex outside of marriage is now an accepted form of birth control and so-called family planning.
To pro-choice advocates, abortion is a sacred right, freeing women from their bonds of oppression. Because this is the position that many of them defend, abortion must only be seen as liberating and empowering. Women who ‘shout their abortions’ are celebrated, while women who try to speak out about how their abortions have devastated them are brutally shut down.
As evidenced by the previous posts in this series, the use of abortion victim photography is controversial. Using these images is not only contested by pro-choice advocates, but also by some members of the pro-life movement. The reason many are uncomfortable with the images is because they feel that doing anything that may upset others is not compassionate or loving.
“This isn’t love,” I’ve heard people argue. “This just makes people upset! How can you say that you’re reaching out in a compassionate way when this just makes women feel bad?”
As I watched the streams of people bursting out of the doors of Toronto’s Union Station, I was reminded once again of why I’m not a city girl. I don’t get a rush from being in the midst of crowds of people, with constant noise, strange smells, and dirty streets. But cities are important, particularly for us. The more people there are, the greater the need for the truth about abortion to be shown. There are more people to reach, which means more minds that need to be swayed and more babies that need to be saved.
Jonathon Van Maren’s new book explaining the use of abortion victim photography—Seeing is Believing—has been welcomed eagerly by many in the pro-life movement. Those who have been curious as to why CCBR and others feel that the use of abortion victim photography is essential for making abortion unthinkable and others who have struggled with unanswered questions have turned to this book for answers.
The importance of using effective pro-life apologetics is nearly universally acknowledged within the pro-life movement. Being equipped to respond to pro-choice arguments enables us to be influential advocates on behalf of the pre-born. However, we at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform don’t rely on pro-life apologetics alone. Our two-pronged approach as part of the educational arm of the pro-life movement includes the use of abortion victim photography (AVP).