by Rosalyn Mitchell
Rosalyn currently works with the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform. She has also served as an intern for the Consistent Life Network.
A rose is never just a rose. As Mother Teresa said, “How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” To me, a rose is symbolic of the struggle of each person to secure their God-given dignity. Liberation begins in the womb. Abortion ends the life of 300 Canadian “roses” daily, denying their right to life. Countless born roses wither, struggling to secure bread and shelter. Our common struggle is God’s struggle. He died on the cross so we can bloom through His perfect love.
What we believe about those unlike ourselves reflects how we treat others. In the culture, the pro-life movement is stereotyped as old, white, rich Christian men who want to control women. We pro-lifers know that isn’t true, but it would be a lie to say it doesn’t hurt. Worse still is when we stereotype the pro-choice movement as angry white secular feminists.
Today’s blog post doesn’t share my testimonies of pro-life conversions. Instead, I choose to share stories of two pro-choice women. My goal in sharing Katia’s and Lindsey’s stories is to show the culture, and pro-choice people, that we care about them. I hope, by engaging their humanity, they re-think abortion. How can they see the humanity of aborted children if we deny pro-choicers’ humanity?
While the reality of abortion cruelly ends the life of a child, women who support abortion should not be vilified. Abortion, a socially accepted ending of human life, starts with the dehumanization of the born. The Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) seeks to win people, not debates, by touching hearts through seeking to understand, love, and inspire. How can we defend human rights for all human beings if we dehumanize pro-choicers?
Katia gripped her bike handle, her slender frame standing in the distance, observing me with curious brown eyes. Developing the courage to approach, she began to tell me her story, deep brokenness becoming apparent. In some conversations you teach others, but today, she taught me the heart-breaking reality of mothers abandoning their infants in trashcans. Of a mother who lost her war with depression, committing suicide as no psychiatric treatment alleviated her pain. Committing suicide, she orphaned her children by throwing herself out a window.
Katia shared her story of being raised in Russia. Arriving in Canada as an immigrant, she navigates her teenage years as a stranger in a foreign land. How would she face an unexpected pregnancy? Fully aware of the child within, yet hardened by life, she thinks abortion is a kinder fate than life. Abortion to her is an exit from an endless cycle of generational trauma passed between parent and child. Dear Katia. If by grace you are reading this, I want you to know that life is cruel yet worth living. Your past does not define your future. This cycle continues unless each child has an opportunity to live. Abortion denies this opportunity. If you or any pregnant woman needs help, please visit choice42.com amongst other resources like pregnancy care centres. I care and see you.
Lindsey contrasted with Katia, with her infectious energy making the absurd seem joyous. Amongst counter-protesters, she stood out by creatively vying for attention. She held a cardboard sign engaging traffic to honk, “If you are horny.” Her message was not hostile, unlike other protestors whose objective was to shut CCBR down. She is a filmmaker who tells stories from the perspective of the “other.” The outcasts, the forgotten ones. Dear Lindsey. If by grace you are reading this, please know that there is none more othered than abortion victims. Children who are denied their humanity.
You have a quick wit and bright intellect. You asked why photos are used to expose abortion. As a filmmaker, you know the power of media to “other” people as our culture reduces children to a clump of cells. The graphic images we display are armour to protect against the lies that deny children their humanity. Yes, abortion is shocking. The reality of a brutal act that ends a child’s life. The photographs pierce through the mask of choice to ask what choice is abortion.
Society’s moral consciousness calls for justice. It becomes personal, as reflected by your shirt calling to end police brutality. Black Lives Matter challenged narratives like the American dream as flawed due to the systemic denial of freedom. Today I challenge our collective moral consciousness for the 300 Canadian roses killed daily through abortion. I challenge us to question the narrative of choice, which creates a grave of bloody roses.
For more of our posts on personal journeys, see:
On Being a Consistent Chimera / Rob Arner
Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty / Destiny Herndon-de la Rosa
My Personal Journey on Veganism, War, and Abortion / Frank Lane
Off the Fence and Taking My Stand on Abortion / Mary Liepold
Sharon Long: My Personal Pro-life Journey / Sharon Long
Nukes and the Pro-Life Christian: A Conservative Takes a Second Look at the Morality of Nuclear Weapons / Karen Swallow Prior