“I hope you’re not going to show us any of those gross pictures!” exclaimed the high-school student as I entered a class to give a presentation.

Nothing else the pro-life movement does earns such derogatory comment.  To hear our detractors speak, you would think we do little else but hand out photographs of aborted babies.  The fact is that the pro-life movement uses such pictures only rarely.

When they have been used, I’ve heard abortion supporters denounce them as “pornographic,” and been told that they should be outlawed.  Obviously, a sensitive nerve has been touched.

Such extreme reactions are not limited to situations where pro-life people display pictures of aborted infants.  You may have seen the black pamphlet entitled “Would it be alright to take the life of this baby?” produced by Campaign Life Coalition.  It features stunning colour photographs of unborn children at various stages of development.  One always knows when a pro-life activist is out distributing the pamphlet door-to-door because there will quickly be a phone call to the office from someone wanting to denounce the “outrageous disgusting garbage” left at his or her door.  This pamphlet contains no aborted baby photographs.

When this pamphlet is handed out at a picket line, I have seen many copies of it get torn up as quickly as they are received.  The flamboyant ones rush back to tear the pamphlet up with a great flourish, directly in the face of the person who dared hand it to them.  A meeker kind does it at a longer distance while acting out a tremendous distain.

All of this tells us something essential about the pro-abortionists’ state of mind.  Supporters of abortion rights are neither monsters, nor are they stupid.  Because they are not monsters, they do not want to see harm done to others.  Because they are not stupid, they know that abortion takes the life of a developing child.  The death of a child is the price paid to solve the problems created by an unwanted pregnancy and a way to uphold values such as sexual freedom, career advancement and independence.  Their support of abortion creates a hidden yet powerful guilt for a vast number of people in our society.  Unmitigated wrath is reserved for those who would expose what abortion rights really involve.

Thus, I was not surprised by two recent developments.  The first concerns the Environics Opinion Poll (reported on in the January issue) which shows that the overwhelming majority of Canadians support a law requiring that women seeking abortion be given all information about the procedure, including facts on the unborn child’s development.  That story was not reported by any major media source in the country.  In effect, the news was blacked out – despite the fact that the survey results were released at a high-profile press conference on Parliament Hill.

Why was that?  Members of the media have enough human experience to know that information about the unborn child’s development is dynamite.  They are aware that supporting abortion requires elements of deception, denial and guilt.  In short, they know that focusing on unborn children, or even making such information an issue, represents a fundamental threat to the abortion mentality.

The same forces of guilt and conflict explain the NDP actions in Ontario.  The committee of pro-abortionists appointed by the government has recommended seeking a province-wide injunction against picketing abortion facilities and abortionists.  Such a measure would, by ordinary legal standards, be quite extraordinary.  Yet the Minister of Health,

Frances Lankin, applauded the recommendations as pre-eminently “doable.”

Why should picketing be the subject of such drastic measures?  The reason is simple.  Picketers, by showing pictures of the unborn and by offering help to pregnant women in distress, are the agents of guilt and touch society’s rawest nerve.

We will almost certainly see more of such draconian attempts to stifle freedom.  In fact, the efforts to stifle the truth will probably become even more extreme.  Many pro-life people will be disheartened by this.  I think, however, we should be encouraged by it.

The pro-abortion movement finds itself in the very uncomfortable position of knowing that the truth is the most powerful argument against what it promotes.  In the long run, they can only win if the truth about abortion is forever hidden and forgotten.

However hard they may try, that will never be accomplished, as long as there remains even a handful of pro-life people willing to carry signs, distribute pamphlets and talk to their neighbours.  Those activities create the winds of truth which herald the inevitable demise of the pro-abortion ethic.