Warning: Graphic images of aborted babies appear at the bottom of this article. Sensitive people or those personally affected by abortion may especially wish to not view them.
With the pro-life movement fighting to strip federal tax dollars from Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain, and Planned Parenthood and its allies fighting just as hard to hold onto that funding, the abortion issue has remained in the headlines. But too often forgotten in such battles are those most affected by it: the unborn children whose lives abortion takes 2,537 times a day—35 percent of them by Planned Parenthood alone. Or about 60 million since Roe v. Wade.
It’s understandable that Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry are eager to keep the focus off their unborn victims. Employing euphemisms like “choice” and “reproductive rights,” and demonizing the pro-life movement at every opportunity, abortion advocates are desperate to keep Americans from thinking about the children who are being killed.
Also contributing to our tendency to forget the unborn victims of abortion is the fact that these children are hidden. In the earliest stages of life, they can also appear quite different from the adorable babies they will soon grow to be, and whom we all recognize as members of the human family.
To humanize these hidden children, my organization is launching a new campaign this summer, dubbed “They Were Our Brothers and Sisters.” At busy intersections, Pro-Life Action League volunteers will hold large signs featuring carefully selected images of abortion victims, with new messaging that appeals to the hearts of passersby.
Of course, the public display of abortion victim photos is nothing new, and the Pro-Life Action League is one of many organizations that have displayed such images for years. We’ve seen the power of these images firsthand, inspiring long-overdue conversations on abortion, changing hearts and minds, and even prompting women to cancel abortions they’d already scheduled.
But this new display is different. My staff and I combed through hundreds of abortion photos to find those that would most highlight the humanity of abortion’s unborn victims. Rather than emphasizing the blood and gore of the abortion procedure, these images focus closely on particular features of these children—a face, a foot, two hands. They are intended to evoke sympathy.
The first of our new signs focuses on the face of a child aborted at 15 weeks, with a caption reading, “His only baby picture.” Even in death, the beauty of this little boy is striking—his delicate mouth, his perfectly formed eyes and nose. Another shows the tiny foot of a child aborted at eight weeks old with the caption, “She’ll never learn to walk,” while a third states, “Ten perfect fingers,” beneath the image of the dismembered arms of a child aborted at 11 weeks.
This new campaign will debut in Pro-Life Action League’s home city of Chicago from July 7-15, with plans to take the campaign national in the months ahead. While the images in our new display remain disturbing, the emphasis has been shifted to the lost lives of these children, rather than the shocking ugliness of abortion. They invite viewers to consider abortion not just as a political controversy or moral question, but as a real, human tragedy, with victims who deserve our sympathy.