By Ellianna Payne | Intern
As the first outreach of the internship began in a downtown square outside the Ohio Statehouse, I stood next to an abortion victim photo sign and began offering brochures to those passing by while trying to spark conversation with them. While it might have been a shorter outreach and not many people stopped to have a conversation with me on this particular day, I did have one encounter which brought me to some important realizations about the nature of our work as pro-life activists.
I noticed a mother with her two young kids and one of her friends. As they were initially walking past, I began talking with the mother and her friend. After exchanging a few words about our shared beliefs regarding abortion with the mother, the little girl asked, “What is this?”, and the little boy inquired “How did this happen?”
I began answering their questions by explaining that some babies are killed before they are born because they are unwanted, taking care to assure them of the fact that this would never happen to them. “Those little babies were never given a chance,” their mother remarked as I explained that over 2,500 abortions occur each day in America.
While this was a small encounter, it was important to me for two reasons. First, it was a fine example of children not being traumatized by viewing abortion victim photos as many opponents of the use of such imagery suggest. There has yet to be much evidence of this being true, and, in fact, I have yet to see such an occurrence take place when kids encounter a photo of an aborted baby. As with the young children I encountered at the outreach, it is typical for them to be more so saddened and curious about what happened than to be traumatized by the photos.
Even if this assertion were to be true, we should find it of greater moral importance that the signs save lives than that they cause discomfort (even severe discomfort) and hard conversations. The alternative is that we use less direct and persuasive methods of spreading the truth and risk innocent lives being shredded apart because we were unwilling to cause tension. Compared with the child being disturbed, the innocent human life being brutally destroyed is the far weightier matter.
The second reason why this encounter was important to me is because it gave me the opportunity to instill into these children’s minds at a young age what abortion truly was before they could ever be swayed into thinking otherwise by pro-abortion rhetoric. Young people coming to an understanding that human life is inherently valuable and should be protected in all circumstances is foundational to a successful future. If the value of human life continues to degrade in the minds of young people, what future can we expect other than further violence against the weak?
It is for reasons like this that we must be actively raising up the next generations in the belief that all human beings have an inherent and inalienable right to life. I hope my presence alongside the victims of abortion the little boy and girl whom I spoke with enough that they never forget the grotesque reality of abortion and always stand against this terrible injustice.