Hamilton’s city council voted last week to complain to the provincial and federal government, asking for a ban of graphic photos of abortion victims. The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform is continuing its “Face the Children” campaign, which seems to be the latest use of graphic images in the area that has upset local politicians.
CBC posted a story on the matter, reporting “The CCBR distributed as many as 50,000 postcards to Hamilton Mountain homes in April that targeted NDP MP Chris Charlton. The campaign protested Charlton’s opposing vote on Motion 312, which called for a committee to reevaluate Canada’s abortion laws.”
According to the CBC, part of councillor Terry Whitehead’s motion reads: “That ‘city council respectfully request the Government of Canada through the Prime Minister and the Province of Ontario through the Premier to consider enacting legislation and/or regulations in all aspects of their particular jurisdictions dealing with advertising and communication such as broadcasting/telecommunications advertising or consumer protection advertising to prevent the use of graphic, gruesome and disturbing images of aborted fetuses in display materials, advertising posters, banners, and other mediums as part of any anti-abortion or pro-life campaign at least to the extent that such images are shielded from children and other vulnerable persons’.”
I can understand Whitehead’s sentiments. Of course, nobody wants to see – or show – a picture of a dismembered, disemboweled, and decapitated human being as they go about their day. Yet as well-intentioned as the city council may be, there are at least three major flaws in their reasoning.
#1 – If children of a certain age happen to see the pictures, they will probably be curious. We must be extremely careful when introducing our children to the abortion issue. For the most part, however, kids know that they are seeing the broken bodies of younger and more vulnerable children. They are seeking reassurance that they are loved and that this horrible act will never happen to them.
#2 – CCBR’s projects are aimed at adults and older teenagers, not children. Many of them have never taken the time to thoroughly examine the abortion issue, since it is not something most of us will willingly think about. Therefore, we must bring the truth to places they frequent. These include public sidewalks, highways, and now mailboxes. Even though we do not intend for children to see the photos, there are few places they could be displayed where we could be completely sure children are not present.
#3 – Again, we do not want young people to see these photos before they have reached a certain level of maturity, or without some preparation, simply for the sake of seeing them. However, we must ask ourselves which injustice is more devastating: that people are made temporarily uncomfortable after seeing photos of abortion victims, or that the victims themselves exist to be photographed?
Why are we more concerned about the legality of the photos than the act – the permanent ending of a unique human life – that enables them to be taken? If the councillors are going to complain to higher levels of government about anything, it should be the “medical procedure” that tears nearly 300 Canadian children to pieces every day.