Residents of Chilliwack, British Columbia are rightfully pissed after graphic anti-abortion propaganda postcards were delivered, unsolicited, to their homes last week.
Kim Mallory, a mom and photographer, was home with her family when she received a postcard showing a Rwandan child hacked to death with a machete juxtaposed with the body of a fetus reportedly injured from abortion. The caption? “Butchered children in Rwanda and Canada,” complete with a quote from a Rwandan woman: “Abortion is worse. Because at least my family could try to run away.” (To see the image, click here. But beware.)
God, this kind of rhetoric makes my blood just boil. Comparing abortion to genocide is patently ridiculous, as well as offensive to those who are actual victims of genocide from racial, ethnic or cultural persecution (Hear that, Jim Bob Duggar?). A woman (or, in many cases, a couple or a family) making an individual informed choice about her body and her life is not the same as thousands of children being slaughtered violently because of their ethnicity. It’s not. It’s just not. It never will be, no matter how many slippery parallels anti-abortion people try to draw between senseless murder and the myriad of circumstances that might cause a woman to have an abortion. It’s insulting to the Rwandan people that their tragedy is being exploited for political gain. Honestly, I also think it’s insulting to the intelligence of the general public, that this virulent anti-abortion group believes they can scare and shock citizens into changing views on a woman’s right to choose.
Using graphic images for pure shock value is nothing new for anti-abortion groups, nor is offensive direct mail. This happens regularly in the United States, too; Most recently, the group in favor of banning 20+ week abortions in the city of Albuquerque, NM, sent mailings that looked they were were from the city clerk’s office. Because the way to get people to believe that abortion is terrible and immoral is by assaulting them via postal mail!
Chilliwack residents are, understandably, concerned about their children seeing these violent images. But the group that distributed the postcards, Valley Against Abortion, claims that the campaign is geared towards “adults and teenagers.” Leader Rachel Slootweg said:
“Our number one goal is to save these children, save them from being aborted. Feelings (of people who receive the cards) are less important than the lives of an actual person.”
The postcards were ordered from the group The Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform. Mallory, as well as several other parents, complained about the images, but were told groups have a right to produce and distribute them under the protection of free speech. Luckily, abortion in Canada is also protected; it’s legal and fetuses are not considered people until they exit the womb.