The Real Face of Abortion…What Would It Take to Change Your Mind?

I have wrestled with whether or not to post this. Just a warning…this is not for the faint of heart. All I ask is that the comments not get into political wrangling but stick with what is really going on here.

Last week I saw something I hadn’t ever seen before. I saw a picture of an aborted baby. It was graphic. It was gruesome. It was bloody. It was sickening. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Is this really what is going on? I went to google images and typed in “aborted baby” and hundreds of equally disgusting pictures filled my screen. There were pictures of dead babies next to tubs of bloody water. Tiny dead babies that could fit in your hand. Big babies that looked like they were asleep in a pool of blood…almost like they would have been just fine if someone hadn’t killed them. It was too much to handle. I hesitate to write this here. It is nasty but it is real and it happens every single day.

How can we create a society that can advocate and support for more of what I saw in those pictures? The answer is easy. You create a new reality for people that they can more palatably buy into. Here is how you do that…

Change the language
Language is powerful. Language shapes the way we view things. The media and politicians know this very well. That is why the debate is about “Woman’s rights” and not about “The Right to kill unwanted babies”. The first makes a better bumper sticker than the second. The first sounds better on the evening news than the second. As I looked at those pictures there was one word that I kept hearing over and over. It wasn’t “Choice” or “Rights”. It was the word “NO!” How can you see that and say “YES!” with big smiles on our faces like we are the champion of someone’s rights and we are demonstrating how progressive we are by killing the innocent and helpless? We have sterilized our language and we have pushed the graphic truth of what is happening behind closed doors (the next point on the list). It is tempting to say I saw pictures of “abortions” because that sterilizes things or maybe we call it a picture of an “aborted fetus” because fetuses don’t really sound human. If I say “fetus” it all sounds like it is no big deal, no harm done, right? But if I say I saw a dead baby it might almost make you feel sick or at least deeply saddened. People don’t support things that make them sad so put a happy face on it by turning the issue from killing babies to rights and choices of real women who have real struggles themselves.

Put it out of sight
We condone this sort of thing because we put it out of sight. You will never see the images on the news or in a political ad because it is too disturbing to even look at. Yet we condone it?  If someone walked up to you on the street and said they just saw a dead baby or a pile of dead babies in a dumpster down the street you would be scared. You would call the police. When bodies of dead babies are in public it is gruesome. It would bring you to your knees in tears. So we push it behind closed doors where no one has to see because if you did, you wouldn’t ever want another baby to go through that ever again and the agenda would be DOA. How can something be too disturbing for the general public to see and yet accepted and legitimized and repeated tens of millions of times?

What we celebrate and punish
But it gets worse. There is a gross distortion of reality in this discussion that goes beyond language and space. You can see it by the discrepancy of what we celebrate and what we punish. Kill a baby outside the womb…even just one…and you can get the death penalty or life in prison. You destroyed a life and you deserve to be punished severely. We can’t let people go around destroying life now can we? Heaven forbid if it was a mother who killed her own baby. Society would treat her as if she was less than human and her civil rights are removed as she goes to jail as a monster who killed her own baby. Her face would be all over TV. But have a “standard medical procedure” by a skilled doctor who kills them in the womb and then delivers the dead baby and it is just a doctor helping a woman exercise her rights. She isn’t a monster. It is just being pro-choice. Same baby, same thing done…one is murder and one is just “an abortion” performed on a “fetus”. Carry on…nothing to see here. But there is something to see here. It is gross. It is brutal. It is happening every day all around us behind closed doors. In fact, it has happened over 50 million times since Roe vs. Wade. Sorry to say this but can you imagine how large a pile of dead babies that would be?

What does and doesn’t disturb our society
That sounds terrible but it is reality. We have gotten to the point we are at because people don’t want to talk straight about what is going on here. I can understand why. These things are not easy to talk about. It is all very disturbing…but to some it isn’t disturbing in the least and that is what bothers me the most. What distrubs some more than the killing of babies is that some wouldn’t support a woman’s right to choose. They support killing babies but don’t support abortion and you are a monster who lives in a cave.

You have probably seen countless discussions about abortion on television and the internet. What would you think if in the middle of one of those live broadcasts someone said, “I have brought a few pictures of aborted babies with me. We are going to put those up on the screen for everyone at home to see.” Someone there would stop them. They wouldn’t let that be shown. That is too nasty, too grusome. Too terrifying to show people that. But it is reality. Which is worse…killing 50 million babies or showing a few of their pictures on TV. Why is it that showing pictures of it is too terrible to do but actually killing the babies is no big deal? One would be allowed and praised but the other wouldn’t be proper for television.

Two classes of babies
The gross distortion of reality goes beyond what we celebrate and what we punish. It is also evident by the way we treat these two classes of babies based on where they die. If they die postpartum they have a funeral. If they were murdered, the baby murderer is a monster and their face is splashed all over TV. Meanwhile, aborted babies are treated like garbage. Their bodies are often incinerated as medical waste. Brutal. Nasty. Happens all the time.

What would it take to change your desire from a woman’s right to chose to saving real babies?
So here is the deal…logic and political posturing won’t change people’s minds on this. What is going to change your mind is experience. Since I can’t walk you into the room where an abortion is performed and see the dead baby be delivered and incinerated you aren’t going to get the full  experience. But there is one way to see the real face of abortion. Go to google images and search for “aborted babies.” As you look at those pictures see what words come to mind? Do you hear the words “Choice” and “Rights” or “No, no, no!” What are you going to do about that?

I wish there wasn’t even a need for a post like this but after seeing what I saw I feel the burden of helping others put a real face on this…or, sadly, 50 million faces. I know there are strong opinions on things like this. Even if you disagree with me I hope you really read through this post and considered what is really going on here and not just form your opinions based on whitewashed versions that are meant to distort our sense of what this is really all about.

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

16 Responses to The Real Face of Abortion…What Would It Take to Change Your Mind?

  1. The needle has already been moving on this issue. Check out the Pro-Choice/Pro-Life graphic of the number movement over the last 15 years:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx#1

    And according to policy & political analysts, it’s not about looking at pictures of aborted babies. It’s the technology that’s developed that allows people to look at high-resolution pictures of their children in the womb. And people are being won over by those moving pictures. That you can call it whatever you want to call it (“fetus”), but that’s a human life in there.

    Thus- the great controversy over pro-life activists pushing for compulsory trans-vaginal ultrasounds. The belief that if people see pictures of what’s growing inside them it will compel them to not end that life.

    • mattdabbs says:

      There is a proactive side of this and a reactive side. Proactive/preventative…show them there baby is in there, alive and kicking around. Reactive…see pictures of the results of your decision. Thanks for the link.

  2. Paul Smith says:

    Matt, I too had a similar experience, although mine was quite by accident. I can’t get those images out of my mind. We as culture will pay for this some day. I pray the earlier post is correct – that the pendulum is swinging back. Repulsive that we have a first lady praise a man who proudly supports the murder of innocent lives. But politics is not the answer – we must change hearts, not votes!

    Paul

  3. jenni0310 says:

    As a teenager, I might have considered myself Pro-Choice. I’m not sure because I never really thought about it until I found myself pregnant and unmarried at 18. Suddenly everyone I knew was “Pro-Choice”, assuming and urging me to terminate “the pregnancy”. They would say, “YOU have your whole life ahead of YOU!”, or “THIS will ruin YOUR life!” Some even offered to drive me to have “IT” taken care of. Scared out of my mind, I went to a clinic to find out how far along I was.

    • jenni0310 says:

      The clinic was very sterile. White walls, no artwork and certainly no pictures of children. They asked me nothing more than the basics, name, birthdate, social security number, and did I have insurance. They hooked me up to a machine with the monitors facing away from me. They informed me that I was in my second trimester, (I didn’t know what that meant.) and because I was in my second trimester, “The Procedure” would require me to be in the hospital for 2 days. My head was spinning! “What procedure? And what are you listening to? The…the heartbeat?” “Yes.” “Can I listen?” I could tell that the nurse or technician was hesitant, which scared me even more. She finally said, “Are you sure?” At first I said no, then yes, I wanted to hear.

      • jenni0310 says:

        When I heard the swish swish of my daughter’s heartbeat, that is when I decided I was Pro-life! Sorry for taking up so much room on your wall. Your article moved me and I couldn’t help myself. Thanks Matt.

    • Thanks for not terminating me!

  4. mattdabbs says:

    Wow Jenni! Thank you so much for sharing that. You and your family mean so much to us and I am so proud that God helped you through all of that. I pray that God will use your stories and others like them to help people open their eyes to what is really going on.

    • jenni0310 says:

      Oh, and BTW, “IT” has not ruined my life. She, my beautiful daughter, has made my life 100 x better. 22 years later and I am still thanking God for the decision to listen to her heartbeat!

  5. Paul Smith says:

    Matt, can I reblog on my site?

  6. Paul Smith says:

    Reblogged this on Instrument Rated Theology and commented:
    This is the first time I have “reblogged” someone’s post, but the subject is so important. You may not want to view the images, but Matt makes some valid points in his suggestions as to how we can change the debate.

  7. emily says:

    thank you for this post. human life is human life, and it breaks my heart to see this practice of murder so readily accepted in our culture. especially when there are so many families willing and ready (and waiting!) to adopt these precious babies who were made in the image of God. you made some excellent points.

  8. jack Jones says:

    A friend of mine – A Medical Dr and strong pro life advocate wrote this insightful piece titled “Can God forgive my abortion?” As a student nurse I found it relevant. WHilst I am pro life we also need to think about the extent of depression and suicide that goes on after abortions amoungst mothers. That percentage is the highest of any female group.

    http://www.thechristiannetwork.com/can-god-forgive-my-abortion/

  9. Luke says:

    Great post on an incredibly important issue, Matt.

    I am convinced that the legalized genocide against our own unborn is the greatest evil of our society. It is all too often discounted as ‘just another political issue‘, but it far transcends politics. I sometimes wonder how long a nation that shows such little value for life will be allowed to continue.

  10. Janet Kotowski says:

    I would encourage people to become a part of the 40 Days for Life Campaign in your area. This is not a a what can we do to change things activity, it is how can God work through us to change this. By praying and standing vigil outside clinics, we are praying that God will open the eyes of people in the community and women going to the clinics to abort. This is a peaceful activity that people hold signs saying “Pray to end abortion”.

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