As an anti-abortion activist, I’ve been asked to host the Genocide Awareness Project on campus, which is a large display featuring graphic abortion imagery. Although raising awareness about the truth of abortion is a top priority for me, I firmly believe publicly displaying graphic images is counterproductive.
I was on campus when this event first took place in November of 2017. All I witnessed were people standing firm in the beliefs they already held, arguing with more anger and fervor than I had ever seen. I did not witness a single mind change.
I agree with the event hosts that abortion is terrible and people deserve to know what it truly entails. I also know the lasting effects an abortion can have on a woman. According to the American Pregnancy Association, abortion can lead to bleeding, cramping, infection, organ damage, and even death.
Emotionally, women may experience grief, anxiety, depression, insomnia and suicidal thoughts. Imagine the reaction of a post-abortive mother, already guilt-ridden, upon seeing those images. Would she delve further into depression or even commit suicide? That’s not pro-life.
The bottom line is, abortion is dangerous for both women and children. Women deserve to know the truth about all of their options, including abortion. However, displaying images of bloody, dismembered baby bodies is not a winsome way to change a person’s mind, especially if they’ve had an abortion in the past.
Abortion is more than a moral and financial decision. It’s an emotional decision. Aggravating people instead of approaching them with compassion and understanding is the exact opposite of what I know the pro-life movement to be. I have changed minds time and time again, always through the use of genuine one-on-one conversations.
If the anti-abortion movement insists on using graphic imagery, I urge them to open with a conversation and only show those horrific, yet honest, images upon consent.
Brooke Paz is a senior at Cal State Fullerton with an interest in political and social issues. She is the founding president of CSUF Students for Life, an anti-abortion campus organization, which she presided over from 2015 to 2018.