Gruesome photos do more harm than good

I walk out of the BB and head to JPL to find a mid-morning snack between classes. Directly behind Sombrilla’s fountain, I notice giant posters and small groups of people huddled together in what seems to be deep discussion. From afar, the images on the posters aren’t quite clear.

Upon closer inspection, what I find is horrific. A huge picture of a bloody, 10-week-old, aborted fetus is laid out on what looks like a marble surface. Its heartbreaking disfigured head is just larger than a dime; a picture of the coin is even placed on the right as a point of reference. Above this graphic image, in big white letters, is the question, “Why?”

Why?! Why did Justice For All come here and ruin my appetite?  People are eating only 30 feet away from this ridiculous presentation. Why should students be forced to look at these gruesome photos of death without warning or choice?

As I approach to inquire, I find a lovely young, obviously pregnant, woman seated before the exhibit. She is engaged in heated debate. I jump in. She explains to me that the purpose for the show is to spark conversation about the controversial issue and surface what many would rather have kept behind closed doors.

 It wasn’t until after speaking with members of this organization when I realized that they were asking me the wrong question. Instead of “Where does life begin?”, it should have been “When is it alright to kill?” Our society justifies killing every day with capital punishment and war.

My personal philosophy about abortion is actually quite simple. When people discuss the issue, the first question asked is usually “Are you pro-choice or pro-life?” The topic isn’t really that black and white. Most of us are well aware of the potential circumstances involved when a woman, or couple, is deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy.

Since 1973, American women and couples have three options when figuring out what to do when this often times unfortunate situation arises. The ideal option is to carry the child, birth and raise him or her for 18 years. If the future child is as lucky as the one growing inside of the woman I spoke to, his or her parents are married, in love and working. The second option is to carry the child and give him or her up for adoption. Adoption is a traumatic, yet more acceptable alternative to the third, abortion.

The problem is that many times when someone pro-choice speaks to someone pro-life, he or she hears “anti”-choice. People who are pro-life often hear pro-“death” instead of pro-choice. I am not pro-death or anti-choice. I believe that we all have a right to life – once we’re born. Before that, it’s none of my business.

I see the life vs. choice debate as blades spinning in a lawn mower. We try to eliminate the abortion problem like a weed infestation on our lawn. You can temporarily rid weeds with a mower, but eventually they’ll grow back. Our time would be much better spent attacking this issue at the root: lack of resources, poverty, lack of education, abuse, etc.

 If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. If you cannot have an abortion, why try to make the painful choice for someone else?