“There’s no way an embryo looks like that in the first trimester!”
“Guys, of course their pictures are fake.”
“Why do you set up this propaganda at our school?”
“I feel sorry for you, since you obviously have no sense of boundaries.”
This is just a sampling of the barrage of accusations that have been hurled at me through my time of doing pro-life activism. It never ceases to amaze me how quick people are to assume that the pictures we show them are fake—as if I am actually sweating in the hot sun subjecting myself to accusations and occasional vandalism for the sole purpose of traumatizing already hurting women with fake pictures. Maybe there are some twisted personalities out there who would do that, but I personally could find an infinite number of better ways to waste my time.
The fact that so many people believe our pictures are fake simply shows how completely they have shielded themselves from confronting abortion. Something a colleague of mine often says is: “What do you think the baby you see in a sonogram looks like after an abortionist is through with it?” It doesn’t take the world’s greatest imagination to get the idea. So why the loudly-voiced objections?
I think I know. Because if three hundred children are killed by abortion every day in Canada, that is a reality that’s just too horrific to confront. Surely, the bloody pictures we show cannot be accurate! Not in our freedom-loving, polite, and carefree country of Canada! Over one hundred thousand kids every year? Only in our country? That cannot be. And if so, surely these horrific pictures are not an accurate depiction of what goes on. There’s no way I can be happily on my way home from grocery shopping, or stressing about an exam, or making weekend plans like usual while three hundred more victims were taken today. Right?
Many pro-choicers deny it, and that’s bad. But many pro-lifers ignore it, and maybe that’s worse. Pro-choicers defend a woman’s right to choose and claim that abortion doesn’t really kill a human being. They are simply lying to others and themselves. But pro-lifers actually acknowledge the humanity of the pre-born and are sad about abortion when it happens to cross their mind, and then they go on with daily living. Perhaps they are not actively choosing to ignore it, but they are ignoring it all the same. We’ve heard the stats. We’ve seen the pictures. Maybe we’ve even seen a video. We feel sad, even angry. Maybe we go to the March for Life that year, and say an extra prayer for our country. Then we go on with life, and another 300 babies die. And then another. And another. Because really – who can live constantly confronting such an enormous injustice?
Except if injustice isn’t confronted, it continues. Putting our signs away doesn’t stop abortion, it stops us from having to see it. Putting our signs away could make all us survivors feel a little bit better while the victims are continually slaughtered. Putting my sign away might even mean I won’t be flipped off tomorrow. Putting my sign away means it might make abortion just a little easier to ignore. A little easier to stay patriotic in a country with no laws on abortion. Putting my sign away will allow that many more people to continue to ignore mass killing in peace. In ignorance.
Because ignorance is bliss.
Abortion is so easy to ignore. It happens behind closed doors and is talked about in private places in hushed tones. I had slowly begun to see abortion for what it is and had become more active throughout the school year last year, but it wasn’t until the Abortion Awareness Project in Florida this year that I was truly convicted about the gruesome reality of what is happening in our country. I saw a pair of forceps that had been created for the sole purpose of ripping apart a child, and I knew that I was no longer ignorant, and bliss was no longer an option.
I’m thankful to be in a situation in my life where I can dedicate my summer to activism, when I know there are many people who wish they could do more and are bound by responsibilities. I would challenge you though, not to live in blissful ignorance. No matter where you are in life, there is something you can do. Go to an evening dialogue training course. Talk to your neighbours about abortion. Talk to your co-workers. Share information on your social media. Volunteer in your local activism group. Donate to organizations that are dedicated to ending the killing. Ignorance may be bliss, but abortion is real. The hospital in your city is using your tax money to rip children apart while you go about your daily routine. Don’t be okay with that.