Two weeks ago, two opinion pieces were published about our outreach on April 12 at Ohio University when we partnered with OU’s pro-life group, Bobcats for Life. One piece, written by Karinne Hill, was published by The Post, the independent student newspaper at Ohio University, and the other piece written by Emma Kennedy, was published by The New Political, a paper dedicated to independent coverage of politics and political issues for Ohio University students and in the Athens community. Among other things, both these pieces claimed that the abortion victim photos used in our outreach were either “unrealistic” or “false.” We would like to respond.
The only criticism Ms. Hill offered was that “the images blatantly misrepresent abortion,” because 80% of abortions occur at or before 10 weeks of pregnancy. Ms. Hill failed to inform her readers that our signs do indeed include humans at 6 and 8 weeks gestation. To claim that the number of our signs must be in exact proportion with how many humans are aborted at each age is unreasonable and misses our point. For the sake of the argument though, even if we only used our signs displaying humans killed by abortion in pregnancies dating 11-20 weeks, there are still over 500 abortions performed at and above these ages every single day in America. If it is legal and accepted by our society to dismember hundreds of humans at these stages each day, then those humans deserve to be seen, whether younger humans are shown or not. Ms. Hill’s six paragraphs also begged the essential questions of whether abortion is killing innocent humans. This question is foundational to the conversation as it decides whether abortion is right or wrong to begin with. If abortion is indeed legally killing thousands of innocent humans every day, then it should not matter the stage of development of the victims displayed on our signs.
Imagine the implications on other injustices across the world. For instance, who would object to showing the image of the migrant child who washed up on a beach because he was not the age of most refugees? Considering that it is a fundamental aspect of the pro-life argument that age does not matter, it should be noted that from our perspective the victims displayed and the ages of said victims should not matter either. If they are valuable at 25 weeks, why not 10 weeks, or 1 week, or 2 seconds? The only difference between later term abortion and earlier term abortion is that the humanity of the child can be more clearly seen. The way the babies look doesn’t affect their value to us, but it would seem the humanity seen in these later term victims has struck a cord with Ms. Hill. We would note that such an objection to seeing these victims seems to betray her “pro-choice” stance. She is “pro-choice” in taking the life of these victims but not in seeing them?
Ms. Kennedy went even further from Ms. Hill’s statements in her article to assert that our photos are “false images.” There were many other question-begging claims that she made in her article; but to keep this blog concise, we will only focus on her claims about our photos. She stated that we used “pictures of perfectly formed babies and saying they are only six weeks old.” By comparing our “false” photo of an aborted human at 8 weeks gestation to an animation (not even a real photo) of a human at 6 weeks gestation, Ms. Kennedy thought she had proven her point. Instead, she proved her comparison false. For Ms. Kennedy’s benefit, I should explain to her what is explicitly stated in her own resources that there is one dating system for pregnancy and another for embryonic human life. Pregnancy is dated from the last menstrual period (LMP). The gestational age is dated from fertilization, the beginning of human life. LMP dates the pregnancy two weeks more than the gestational age, because a whole, distinct human is fertilized and starts living about two weeks after the last menstrual period. Her own source, the Mayo Clinic, makes this very clear when it states, “Eight weeks into your pregnancy, or six weeks after conception, your baby’s arms and legs are…;” and then, “By the 10th week of pregnancy, or eight weeks after conception, your baby’s head has…” Our signs use gestational age; her animation used LMP. Therefore, any apparent discrepancy is explained by the fact that our photo is of an 8-week-old human in the 10th week of pregnancy. Her animation is of a 6-week-old human in the 8th week of pregnancy. The animation of the correct age comparison to our photo from her source, Baby Center, can be easily compared to our photo of a human killed by abortion at that age. Before you publicly declare our photographs as false, Ms. Kennedy, please be sure to read and understand the sources you use.
There is one essential question that both Ms. Hill and Ms. Kennedy are avoiding. Does abortion kill innocent human beings? If this is true, then none of their points or arguments matter. Without answering this, they are begging the question. They avoid this question because they know that science and reason are not on their side. Embryology has proven that human life begins at fertilization. Humans are killed through abortion. Yes, they are different in their size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. Born humans can differ in these ways as well. We do not strip value and personhood from born humans or justify killing them because of these differences. Because of this, we can’t logically justify the killing of preborn humans based on these differences. In the end, abortion is age-based discrimination.
Our position is that all humans are equal. All humans have value from the point they begin to exist. Our stance is the only one that believes it is always wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human. This is true whether these humans are black or white, male or female, rich or poor, born or preborn. This is true despite our differences. I hope that soon Ms. Hill and Ms. Kennedy will believe in true human equality and value the lives of every human, not just some.
If you would like to learn more about our stance that abortion is wrong in all circumstances or have more questions, visit our website.