22 January 2014

Its supposed to be about life...not death

Today marks the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the case that 41 years ago made abortion legal on demand in our country.  This is the first time in seven years I will not be attending or taking a group of young people to the nation's capital to peacefully march and pray for lives lost and affected by abortion.  I like to think I am there in spirit praying with those in Washington DC.

I am pro-life.  I have grown up spiritually adopting unborn babies, praying outside abortion clinics, raising money for crisis pregnancy centers, and supporting homes for women who help them keep their babies/get their lives on track.  I'm not trying to convince a pro-choice person to change their perspective, BUT rather I'm reflecting on my own experience in the pro-life movement and why I think one tactic I have seen regularly {the use of graphic images in public}over the years perhaps doesn't quite send the right message intended.

When I first learned what abortion was as a child, I remember my Mom explaining it very gently to me.  She was basic and didn't go into all the details but kept it simple and straight to the point.  She didn't show me images of dead babies or broken mangled bodies with parts barely attached.  I think graphic images used in public settings can scare children and force them at a young, vulnerable age to see something they really are not ready for. 

What parent would let their young child watch a horribly gruesome or graphic horror movie?  Yeah we know the blood is fake and the actors are pretending, and even though it is not real, does that mean you would let them watch/see the real thing?  Of course not!  The pro-life cause is about protecting all innocent human life, and that should include little ones who are not ready to see those graphic images.

Pro-life advocate Abby Johnson used to work for Planned Parenthood until leaving it behind to create a ministry to help workers in the abortion industry who wanted to leave.  As a woman who formerly worked for PP, she has an interesting perspective in a great article on why abortion workers actually love those graphic images.  Sound weird? Give a read, you may be surprised as I was.

Many studies on violent video games and movies have shown over the amount of times we see/are exposed to them, we actually become desensitized to them.  I would say that can be true of seeing graphic images of abortion.  When I first saw an image of an abortion for what it was, I was shocked and scared.  I cried, it was heart breaking; both for the mother and little one.  But the day I start to feel 'comfortable' or don't even flinch looking at that broken little body, that means my heart has become hardened; just as a person who constantly sees violent video games or shows becomes hardened to what they are watching.  We should never become hardened in hearts to evil, to death, to pain and suffering of the vulnerable. Yes, I believe people should see a graphic image of abortion as a sobering reality of what it is.  However, that needs to be done with prudence and thought as to the individual and what difference would this image make to help them understand...not just using it for shock value.

One hard lesson I have learned as a young adult is taking great passion, excitement, and zeal for something I love {my faith} and coming across as an unkind, not very loving Christian.  It was more about getting out my point and being right, than really thinking about my delivery or just talking things out in a calm, respectful manner.  I cringe looking back at my attitude as a 'baby' Christian, but am thankful for being humble enough to admit it and to have learned from times like that.  I have had to learn in more occasions than one that wisdom by Dad shared with me when I first got into youth ministry: yes its important to know your faith and be able to explain it logically, but you also have to be pastoral with people.  If you are not pastoral, you'll loose them.  And for me that has been SUCH a good lesson to learn not only for work in ministry, but just for the real world in general.

Today as hundreds of thousands of Americans are peacefully marching in the nation's capital, they will pass by sections along the way where very horrific images will be shown of what abortion is.  I pray people will not just casually glance at such horror.  I pray those who use graphic images in very public settings will be mindful of those who could/do see those images, and how it cause more harm than good.

The battle on abortion is truly a real battle, one of life and death.  Me personally, I find more value in focusing on life not death.  The lives of women affected in the aftermath, women have no help/resources when finding themselves in an unexpected pregnancy, and yes, on the lives of those human babies.

Its supposed to be about life...not death. 
So please leave your graphic images at home.


  1. I absolutely hate the concept of abortion, and I think your post is so well written. I will never know exactly what it feels like to choose to end the life of an unborn child, but I can imagine the feelings of guilt are with those who do choose to for the rest of their lives. It's just a heart breaking situation for all involved.


  2. Your post is well written Patty and the points you've made are well taken. It is definitely about life and the one who gave it in the first place. I agree with Chelsea also that those who choose to end the life of an unborn child have feelings of guilt.

    (I am visiting from SITS and is happy to be a part of your group. Look forward to future interactions and to know you better as you share.)


  3. This is a real battle, and one involving life and death. There are so many every so complicated situations...but that little baby is never the one at fault, never deserving of a death sentence. I've known several young girls who have had babies in some pretty tough situations--and I think what's really needed on the part of those of us who are pro-life is all the blessing and helping we can do for those little lives!

  4. I am absolutely prolife and I love how you laid this post out. Just two days before you wrote this post I was fasting to end abortion. It felt like such a positive time of women coming together to pray for mothers who were considering ending the lives of their babies. My prolife stance comes from love for the mother who consider it and not hate. I am in no place to judge just a place to encourage them and pray for them as they make a tough tough decision. Thanks for sharing a positive nonjudgmental perspective for us prolife people. It is all about life.


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