As I sat in one of my high school classes, my teacher told the class that she would show us an eye-opening image, something I didn’t think would change my life. With the click of a button, the horrors of abortion were engrained in my memory. That was the first time I saw what abortion does to pre-born children, the first time I realized that abortion is truly inhumane.
As years passed, I continued thinking about the injustice of abortion, prompting me to go to the March for Life, the first pro-life event I had ever been to. While trying to find my way through a crowd of fellow pro-lifers, I witnessed abortion victim photography (AVP) for the second time. This time, however, felt very different. Instead of seeing the inhumanity of abortion, I saw the humanity of the pre-born child. Specifically, I saw the humanity of my pre-born brother, Christopher. See, right before travelling to the March, I learned that I was not the oldest child in my family. My older brother, Christopher, was aborted several years before I was born. Seeing AVP allowed me to put a face to the name; a face to my brother. In that photo, I saw my brother, torn to pieces with no hope, no future, and definitely no love. With tears in my eyes, I thought of how horrible it was to be so unloved that your own family wanted you dead, and made sure you would be.
I remember thinking about why I had to be the one to experience such emotional pain. If only I hadn’t seen this image, I wouldn’t have to think about the painful death Christopher had to go through. I convinced myself that the people holding the signs were the ones to blame for the pain I was feeling. They were the bad guys. I assured myself that I would never be the kind of person that would hold a sign like that. Never.
After the March, I definitely became more convicted in my pro-life views, excluding AVP, of course. While going to university, and after joining the pro-life group, I met a friend who told me about how she strongly supports the use of AVP. Why? Because without AVP, she would not be the amazing pro-life ambassador she is today. Without AVP, she would not have been as convicted as she is now about the injustice that is abortion. Without AVP, she would not be the awesome leader, friend, and role model I aspired to be.
Although still hesitant, I began to understand where she was coming from. As fellow students and friends convicted in the pro-life movement, we travelled to Florida together and participated in CCBR’s Abortion Awareness Project (AAP). It was there I learned that it’s okay to be horrified, because abortion is truly horrifying. I learned that showing the images was an effective way of starting the controversial abortion discussion. What inspired me the most was hearing testimonies that showing the images, showing abortion victim photography, changed people’s hearts and minds on abortion.
It seems as though I was completely fine with the use of AVP after going to Florida. Although that statement is mostly true, there was still something that I felt was missing, something that hadn’t convinced me 100% that AVP was the best approach. A few weeks after starting the CCBR internship, I spoke to a high school student at “Choice” Chain. She told me that she was unsure what she thought about abortion, but said that maybe it was okay to have one if the parents were not financially ready. We talked about human rights, and if it would be okay to kill the born child when her parents faced financial struggles. She came to the conclusion that abortion was not okay and that no child should be killed due to difficult circumstances. Before she left, she thanked me for being here and sharing the truth about abortion. It turns out, her sister recently saw abortion victim photography and knew that she could not kill her child. Without AVP, that child may not have been alive today.
There’s something really powerful in hearing a story like that, and directly communicating with someone whose life and family life was saved by AVP. I think about this every day. What if my family had seen AVP? Maybe then, I would be able to hug my brother Christopher.
Unfortunately, it’s too late for him. However, it’s not too late for the hundreds and thousands of pregnant women and their families, whose hearts can be changed, and whose babies' lives can be saved by their witnessing the injustice of what abortion does to pre-born children.