27 June 2012

On Graphic Abortion Images

                “You’re giving the prolife movement a black eye,” a male senior citizen angrily yelled out his open car window at me. It was a bright, but heated Friday afternoon at the bottom of a greatly-sloped hill on John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore City. As the loud motorist on Charles Street made the loud call, the vociferous Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) picture display of the Center for Bioethical Reform was being used to engage pedestrians — mostly students — and motorists that stopped at the red light nearby. (The GAP display used graphic pictures of various genocides, including abortion, to highlight the injustice of abortion.)
                It was the first time that I ever handed out prolife literature at a GAP display or engaged students on a college campus. It was to be expected that there would be counter-protesters and debates with many people along the prolife/proabortion spectrum, but how does the showing of abortion-killings pictures give the prolife movement a black eye? Doesn’t it open people’s eyes to the horror of abortion?
                A biology student at the display said that we shouldn’t show the gruesomely bloody pictures because young people might see the graphic abortion pictures, and it was also like displaying hard-core pornographic scenes. In a way, I always thought the same thing, but then I read about Lila Rose and others. Ms. Rose, the founder of Live Action (undercover investigations of Planned Parenthood’s racism and sex-abuse cover-ups), came to the prolife position at a young age from viewing a book in her parents’ collection that had graphic abortion pictures. From her eye-opening experience, she has become a strong advocate for showing graphic abortion pictures, especially on college campuses.
What the pictures are not is pornography. They are more akin to showing the aftermath of dehumanizing the women and men in the porn industry. If there were pictures of women with bruises, running mascara, and the like, they would more resemble the pictures of the GAP display.
                Really, abortion enables the cardinal sin of lust to run rampant which leads to the darkening of the heart and soul. What the widespread use of elective abortion does in reality is to allow the heart of the world to become lustful.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.” (Matthew 5: 27-29)
                In my Bible commentary, Gehenna was described as the place of “an idolatrous cult” where “children were offered in sacrifice” (2 Kings 23: 10; Jeremiah 7:31). So, those who are “thrown into Gehenna” go with those who sacrificed their children. Jesus is saying that if one continues in a state of sexual sin, especially with committing abortion in the GAP context, that person is thrown into the realm of those idolaters who killed their children, too. Those who sacrifice their sons and daughters in the womb for lust through abortion may have the same fate as those who sacrificed their children already born for idols.
What I think the GAP project does is to help “tear [an eye] out” of the world so that the world is not thrown into Gehenna. The aim of the pictures is conversion of heart and mind, that is, turning towards the truth that abortion kills a child that is loved and wanted by God, made in the image and likeness of God.
                As a Catholic Christian, I love my fellow man too much to not help him in, what some translations say, gauging out his eye with a graphic picture of what the results of his decisions look like.

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