Words Are Powerful, But Not Enough

Depending on your position and the topic at hand, the beauty, or the weakness of words is that even the very most offensive arrangements of them are still just sounds upon our ears or abstractions on a page. With the exception of horrible, unexpected news about a loved one, it is not likely that words alone could make someone physically recoil, or become ill.

It is with words that we create labels to provide a “shorthand” if you will, to stand in for more complex concepts and positions. Some of these labels have deceptively attractive names, such as “pro-choice”.  After all, who could be against having a choices available to them? But we all know what pro-choice is meant to connote in our society today.  Those who subscribe to this position go to great lengths to rationalize it: “It’s not actually a person”…. “It’s just a zygote”…. “It’s just a blob of tissue”, all of these are “just words”.

Part of me understands these mental gyrations:  they must rationalize their position this way, because the absolute horror of the reality is an evil, so wicked at its core, so black in its essence, that one can scarcely imagine proclaiming support for it and not losing their humanity in some way.

At the end of this post is a link to a video. It is a private video that I became aware of through a pro-life resource.  For my pro-life friends, I implore you… do not watch it. I wish that I could “un-see” it. For my “pro-choice” friends, on the other side of this link is reality..not just “words”.

The video shows a fetus at 10 weeks gestation. It is moving its arms and legs. They are not spastic movements, like you might expect from a spider you’ve semi-smashed on the basement floor.  No, this baby’s legs and arms are moving in the same motions that you’d expect from a newborn infant.

Unfortunately, the video is not from an ultrasound or from a microscopic camera within the womb. Rather, the baby is partially enclosed in a blob of blood-red jelly, sitting on the palm of a latex glove-covered hand.

You’ve read these words…you’ve maybe even steeled your nerves a bit for what’s to come, but you’ve not yet seen the shocking evil. To continue to call it “not a person” is to know you’re a liar. To concede that it is a person is to admit you’re a killer.

You may feel revulsion toward me for being so uncouth as to post something like this. You may feel hatred toward me for causing you to face what it is that you say you believe. You may damn me for breaking some sort of social contract that says we don’t actually contemplate too deeply what abortion really is.

You’ve depended on the pro-life movement sticking to the realm of “words”, a realm where black letters on a white background fail to shock the senses, a realm where words like “choice”, “safe” and “legal” imply a sort of intellectual superiority. You’ve needed us to stick to this realm in our disagreement with you because it is there that we fight with one arm, reality, voluntarily tied behind our backs. I will not help you escape the reality of your position any longer. Do not be angry at me for these images. They’re what you believe in. They’re what you advocate. They’re what you call “safe and legal”. Who is it that is abhorrent; me, for merely showing the reality you advocate, or you for advocating it?

My pro-life comrades in arms, take off the shackles. Do not limit yourself to words. They fail to adequately communicate the horrific reality of abortion. If you have images, use them. Pro-choicers, don’t recoil and don’t hide from these images. Embrace them. Defend them. Laud them. This is the reality you want. Here it is. What now is your complaint?