I was a bit nervous for outreach outside the White House–not because the temperature was nearing 100 degrees, but because we would be set up in an area heavy with tourists. In my past experience, tourists tended to be angrier with us for ruining their carefree vacation time, making civil conversations rare. Also, many children were present, which often generates a strong negative reaction from parents. Thankfully, the responses I encountered outside the White House were just the opposite.
I was surprised by the honesty I encountered there. Nearly everyone I talked to was either firm in their conviction that abortion was wrong or willing to be persuaded, and many were strongly moved by the abortion images. One woman responded to my question of what she thought about abortion with, “What do you think I would think after seeing that?”, as if it should be obvious to me that she thought abortion was wrong after seeing images of dismembered babies. It should be obvious, but sadly, I don’t always anticipate this response. I watched as another intern explained the abortion images to a crowd of Chinese children, who were asking for brochures and peppering him with questions at the encouragement of their adult supervisors. At one point, I noticed a girl of about ten walking by our signs with her teary eyes lowered, a look of deep sadness on her face.
Later, I contemplated why these people, most of whom were foreigners, responded so differently than those I typically meet in outreach. From their outside perspective, they could easily see what most Americans choose to ignore: Abortion kills real, valuable human beings. They haven’t been brainwashed by a society that prizes personal autonomy above all else and normalizes the disposing of humans. They value the freedoms that Americans take for granted and want their children to be exposed to the truth while they have the chance. I have grown accustomed to seeing apathy or blatant disregard in response to abortion images, so to encounter such honest, genuine responses was beautifully refreshing.
– Lisbeth Nelson, Intern, Created Equal
I had never seen the White House, and I never imagined that protesting outside of it would be my first experience. Yet there I was, on a scorching hot day, standing beside a picture of a fifteen-week-old preborn baby who had been aborted. I engaged those passing by in conversation about abortion, and as I did, I realized that many were tourists from around the world. One such group came up to my sign, about 40 Asian students between grades six and twelve, along with their adult supervisors. Immediately, I felt myself tense up, for the most common objection I hear while on the streets is that abortion is too graphic for children to see. However, I asked the group what they thought about abortion.
“What’s abortion?” one boy asked. I explained that sometimes moms decide that they don’t want the baby anymore, so they pay a doctor to kill the baby before he is born.
“Why would someone want to do that?” the boy asked incredulously.
“That’s a good question.” I said, and the conversation began. Many of the children chimed in what they thought, and in the end, we all agreed that innocent humans should not be killed because they are different, whether that difference be gender, color, or in this case, age.
I was struck by two things. First of all, I was impressed by the children’s supervisors, who didn’t object but rather encouraged the children to talk with me and take the pamphlets I offered. The second was the innocent and heartrending response that the children had to the photo. “Why would someone want to do that?” Indeed, if only more people could respond with this empathy to the plight of the preborn as those children did, we would soon see an end to the horror of abortion.
– Isaac Longworth, Intern, Created Equal