The question is on Facebook, splashed across the fronts of newspapers, and crackling through on the radio--just like last year and the year before that and the year before that, every media outlet is asking the question: what about the children? I’ve come to realize that that particular question isn’t going anywhere.
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?”
People have said it so often they believe it’s true: restrictive abortion laws don’t actually reduce the number of abortions. In fact, pro-lifers have it all wrong. While they waste their time fighting for restrictive abortion laws that have little or no effect on abortion rates, they ignore or condemn the use of contraception as a more effective solution.
I don’t always know what to do with the question of pre-natal terminal diagnosis. Not because I believe that abortion could be permissible in these circumstances, but because I can’t imagine the shock, pain, and grief that would follow the news that the eagerly anticipated arrival of your child will not be what you thought it would be. In these cases people don’t have an abortion because they don’t want their child, or because they can’t care for her. In fact, many people focus on the fact that they don’t want their child to suffer.
I was nervous when I first took to the streets to discuss the issue of abortion with people. I studied the arguments. I read Scott Klusendorf’s Pro-Life 101three times. I went on CCBR’s Pro-life Classroom and watched all of the videos, some of them more than once. I practiced on my classmates at school and on my family at home. I was told that I was ready. And in many ways, I was. I was as ready as I could be.
If there’s one thing we hear everywhere we go; at “Choice” Chain, at Banner Project, at Highway Project, and post-carding, it is this: “What about the children?” While post-carding angry fathers burst out of their front doors, waving our postcards at us and exclaiming, “What if my kids saw this?” At “Choice” Chain people get right up close to yell that, “There’s a day care around the corner!” When we sit by the side of the road at Banner Project driver after driver rolls down the window to angrily declare that they have children in the back seat of their car.