Why do we continue in the face of violent opposition?

There is no doubt that any controversial issue brings with it a certain amount of opposition, and the abortion debate is no different. When we bring our message to the public, and especially when working with our campus teams at universities and colleges across Toronto, it is not uncommon for people to come out and try to block our photos or conversations. We are used to it. However, despite our consistent peaceful and civil approach, our team members have faced significant verbal assault, theft and damage to our property and sometimes, things have even gotten physical.

Why then, would we continue? It’s because of the amazing conversations that we have with people, the hearts and minds that we see change every day. Sometimes the effect we have is far greater than we could ever imagine.

The day of my own assault, I was approached by a young man at Ryerson. I asked him what he thought about abortion, and he told me that he used to be pro-choice. I asked him what changed his mind. He said, “I reflected on the images that you guys bring here. It really doesn’t look like just a clump of cells. And besides, you are just a clump of cells, I am just a clump of cells. But more than that, the images made me change my behaviour. Women think they need safe and legal abortion, but what they really need is for men not to treat them like objects. It is unfair for me to treat a woman like an object and expect her to just go get an abortion. So my contribution to lowering abortion is that I’ve changed my behaviour, I no longer treat women that way.

This young man’s life was changed because he passed by our signs on the street. And his changing his behaviour will have a positive impact on the women in his life as well. Just this one mind changed will have a positive ripple effect on many, all the way down to possibly even sparing a pre-born child from a violent fate.

Our photos simply show what abortion looks like. It is up to each person to take from it what they will. The conversations like this one, that I was lucky enough for this young man to share with me, are what keep me going, they’re what keep our team going, and until abortion is unthinkable, we will do just that. Lives depend on it.

5 thoughts on “Why do we continue in the face of violent opposition?”

  1. Just saw you on a news segment a while ago. I’m not entirely against abortion (I support it on certain cases such as Yazidi women who got impregnated by Islamic State terrorists for instance and wants abortion or, in certain countries where rape victims had to marry their rapists, or a 10-year-old girl who got impregnated by a relative…etc) however, I am mostly pro-life. I don’t think women should get an abortion because they screwed up through carelessness (lack of safe sex practices (ie: condom, birth control)).

    I apologize for what you had to go through after seeing someone running up to you and violently assaulting you like that. I wish I could’ve come up to that person’s face and tell them that I wish their parents were pro-abortion so that despicable people like them won’t ever EXIST.

    1. Thanks for the support. It seems you’re against abortion in most cases, I hope we can discuss the others sometime. You do bring up horrific cases. Should the innocent child get the death penalty for the crime of those rapists though? Abortion from sexual assault only constitute 1% of abortion cases though, so it seems like we agree on opposing 99% of abortions.

      To be clear, though, we wouldn’t wish abortion on anyone. I’m glad that Gabby exists, We’re glad that she’s alive, even though we think what she did to us was despicable. We hope she learns and grows from this, and we do hope she faces justice for this. But we wouldn’t wish death on anyone.

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