I am unashamedly pro-life. Given my history, I think any other choice would be hypocritical on my part.
I was in junior high when I published my first article on the topic of abortion. In high school, I spoke publicly on several occasions (including at meetings for the National Right to Life) about abortion and adoption. My heart beats for children who are unwanted, perhaps because I was unwanted at one time (yet wholly wanted, go figure).
Please don’t misunderstand. I do not share any of the above in hopes of earning accolades or even your respect. Believe me, I am well aware that many have pounded the pavement on this issue in ways more productive than I. Each time I read a Facebook status or receive an e-mail about an effort someone is making on behalf of these precious little ones, I am overwhelmed with appreciation because I am reminded in every instance that someone went to bat on my behalf.
So with that in mind, I arrive at this blog post carefully.
I know that most (if not all) who share photos of aborted babies on Facebook have at their core a desire to liberate these innocent children. Truly, I share that desire in ways I cannot adequately express. But I do not think posting photos of these babies is helpful for 3 basic reasons.
1. I believe sharing photos of butchered babies actually desensitizes people to the horror of it. I remember the first time I saw one of these photos. As a preteen, I grieved. I mourned the child in the image that didn’t get the same opportunities I was given. But I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve seen since that time. Where I should weep at each image, I am prone to gloss over it with too much ease. Seeing a photo of an aborted baby right alongside someone’s vacation plans or weather commentary doesn’t create in me the kind of sobriety the photo deserves.
2. I believe sharing gruesome photos of aborted babies makes us feel like we are accomplishing something (when ultimately we are not). I would venture to guess that the majority of people I interact with on Facebook are people with whom I agree about pro-life matters. Not entirely, of course. I have some long-suffering friends and co-workers who haven’t dropped me yet. But for the most part, the only thing I accomplish when I post photos of aborted babies is a satisfaction that I have done something good for the cause. If I am honest, I would be better served praying for the unborn or pursuing meaningful conversation with those who would seek to end life than I would posting a photo for shock value.
3. I believe sharing photos of aborted babies is, at the least, not showing dignity for the dead. I would never dream of posting photos of an adult who died a horrific death, so why would I post photos of a child who died that way? If–as I say–life begins at conception, why should matters of dignity in death be any different? If the only thing I can give that child is respect after death and the promise that I will do what I can to prevent abortion from happening to someone else, let it be.
I am pro-life. I believe there is much to be done. I think dialogue should happen at every opportunity. I think pictures have their place in the right context. But, at least in my opinion, I do not think that context is Facebook.
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