As I was reading Maaike Rosendal’s new article about in vitro fertilization (IVF), it reminded me of a recent conversation I had with a student during “Choice” Chain. IVF has many troubling ethical implications, and I encourage you to read the article in order to understand how it harms and even kills many pre-born children.
While at a pro-life display with Toronto Against Abortion, I asked a young woman what she thought about abortion. The student, Sharon, told me that she was pro-choice. “Is there any particular reason that you’re pro-choice?” I asked, for clarification. Sharon said, “I think that it’s important for women to have a choice about having a child. Especially if they weren’t planning on getting pregnant.” She told me that she was not sure what she herself would do in an unexpected pregnancy.
Alex had stopped, curious at our images and at my question— “What do you think about abortion?”—as he was heading to class.
“I’m pro-choice,” he answered.
“Pro-choice for what?” I asked.
“Uh, just pro-choice. I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Sorry,” I replied, “I don’t mean to be confusing. I’ve talked to a few people today who said they were pro-choice, but they all had different definitions of it. What does being pro-choice mean to you?”
It’s a cold but sunny morning in Toronto. We set up for “Choice” Chain at various street corners around Ryerson University. I’m excited because we are there for a full day of outreach, and because there are so many of us—around 20 people spread across campus, with signs ranging from 3 feet wide to 10 feet wide. Most of our signs show first-trimester abortion victims, some show first-trimester ultrasounds, and some show second-trimester abortion victims. I know that we will reach thousands of people with pictures, hundreds with pamphlets, and dozens with conversations.
I felt like I was hitting a wall in my conversation with Danny at the Abortion Awareness Project. We had looked at pictures of aborted children, and we had discussed human rights and the difficult circumstances surrounding pregnancy. He would agree with my reasoning, and he even told me, “You’re really good at getting your point across.” Despite that, he kept reverting to his pro-choice position. If he understood the logic of the pro-life position, why wasn’t he convinced by it?
In late October, I was doing a campus “Choice” Chain with my local community group. I asked a student named Arjun what he thought about abortion, and he told me that he was pro-choice. “Where I come from in India, there are a lot of children who are homeless and living on the street,” he told me with a troubled look. “Sometimes I think, wouldn’t abortion have been better?
I’m standing on a street corner in Toronto, holding a sign with an image of a first-trimester abortion victim on it. Many passers-by tend to avoid my gaze and the pamphlets in my outstretched end. A few pause to vent about why my colleagues and I are atrocious human beings who should have been aborted. A man stops in front of one of my shortest colleagues, but not to talk. He spits. She’s an easy target. It covers her face, her hair, even her arm. My eyes go wide, I fumble for my phone to film, but he’s already passed on. I rush over to help her.