Shattered oblivion

She stared at the Free Speech Board, reading.
I asked her if she agreed with anything she saw.
She said,
Well, yeah. Pro-choice. It’s a woman’s right. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.
It is safe, legal, and rare, right?

Safe? Debatable. Legal? For now, at least.
I chose to focus on “rare.”

22% of our generation was aborted.*
We looked around at all the young people on campus.
22% missing.
Is that rare?

I directed her attention to the exhibit.
We were facing the genocide panel.
She read the numbers for herself:
“40 million humans killed (and counting)”
“4,000 killed daily in the U.S.”**
That’s not rare.

I didn’t know…
But what about…
Is it really possible that…

The information was almost too much for her.
So I just listened to her talk through it.
Her sentences trailed off.
It was sinking in.

I gently shared that there were two more sides to the exhibit.
Her eyes told me she couldn’t handle any more.
But her mouth told me she didn’t want oblivion anymore.
So I handed her a brochure version.
Gave her my email.
Said if she wanted, she could process on her own time.
And if she wanted, I’d be available.

The truth can be painful.
But not knowing about it doesn’t make it less real.
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean no one’s getting hurt.

Open your eyes to another’s pain.
Take that first step to help them heal.
And protect someone else from the same fate.

*Page 6 of this paper from the Guttmacher Institute has a chart showing the number of abortions per 100 pregnancies ending in abortion or live birth from 1991-2011.

**JFA’s “What Are the Facts? paper accompanies the JFA exhibit and includes updated numbers that correspond to the most recent numbers from the Guttmacher institute. The number 4,000 referenced here was accurate at the time that the JFA exhibit was printed.


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