“This Is My Abortion,” and It’s Much Worse Than I Think
Last week, The Guardian ran an anonymous editorial by a photographer from the United States who secretly photographed her abortion. She posted those pictures to a website she set up called thisismyabortion.com. "This is My Abortion" primarily consists of four images of glass collection jars. Two were snapped before the abortion and two were taken afterwards. In the first two pictures, the jars are empty. In the second two, one jar has what looks like blood in the bottom. The photographs were taken with a cell phone and are not particularly sharp.
The headline of The Guardian editorial reads, "I took secret photos of my abortion to empower and educate women." The subtitle continues: "Thisismyabortion.com shows that the reality of abortion is far from the vile and grotesque images used by the pro-life lobby." I don't know of any national, pro-life political group that uses abortion pictures as part of their lobbying efforts, but certainly the author is correct in asserting that the end result of her abortion bears little resemblance to the abortion pictures sometimes held outside abortion clinics and displayed on the Abort73 website.
Does this mean the use of such abortion pictures is fraudulent and inappropriate? No, and yesterday's update to the "Abortion Pictures" section of Abort73's Case Against Abortion helps explain why. The abortion chronicled for "This is My Abortion" took place at 6 weeks LMP (Last Menstrual Period). That means the aborted embryo was roughly 4 weeks old. According the Centers for Disease Control, 30.7% of all U.S. abortions occur at around this point in pregnancy. At four weeks from fertilization, a human embryo is only 4mm long. It has a beating heart. It has hands, feet, eyes and nose, but it is less than a half centimeter in length. A body that size is difficult enough to photograph when it's whole. It is impossible to photograph when suction curettage has shredded it beyond recognition.
The only reason the pictures taken by this anonymous women are less "vile" than pictures taken of older embryos or fetuses is because the destruction was far more complete. When you look at pictures of the aftermath of United Flight 93, they don't look particularly vile, despite the fact that 44 people died in the crash. All you see is a patch of scorched Pennsylvania earth. The fact that there were no bodies left to photograph does not mean their deaths weren't violent and horrific. It just means the destruction was so complete that there is nothing left to photograph. So it is with early abortion, which is why you almost never see abortion images of embryos younger than 7 weeks from fertilization. The pictures of older embryos and fetuses may look worse, but that is only because their bodies haven't been so thoroughly annihilated by the violence of abortion.
Despite her purported affection and support for legal abortion, the author's insistence upon remaining anonymous is a telling one. She even goes so far as to register her domain name anonymously. She further insists that the only comments she will allow to be posted to her page are ones that affirm her decision to abort. So despite her best efforts, it seems clear that she is not as comfortable with abortion as she thinks she is–and for good reason. Her pictures may seem unremarkable, but they mask a terrible reality. Violence against the small is still violence–no matter what the pictures look like.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.