Caution: the contents of this post may sicken you and will no doubt offend you. Reader discretion is advised.
The debate over abortion in the United States is not news, nor is the fact that there are very strong opinions on all sides of the debate. What may surprise you is that there is a woman in the United States who actually believes that “abortion is a gift from God” and that abortion is a “life-sustaining act.” Yes, you read that correctly.
The woman is Heather Ault, an activist and artist. Ault claims that she just assumed that there was only illegal abortion prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. She began to dig into the matter, though, and, according to an article in On The Issues magazine, said, “I found a lot of information, along with illustrations, about birth control and abortifacient products going very far back in American, and world, history. I was shocked to see these practices, some advertised on the back covers of women’s magazines throughout the 1800s and others dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians.” Ault had an abortion herself in 2001 and that “unwanted pregnancy” drove her to want to understand “the idea of controlling pregnancy.”
Ault began to share the information she was acquiring with the other students in the women’s studies course she was taking and then began looking for ways to communicate the information in artistic form. Her first effort was a series of four posters “depicting the history of the condom and showcasing herbal abortifacients like silphium,” which sold almost instantly. Ault decided that posters was the way to go since they were easy to create and to reproduce. She has now developed a 50-poster collection entitled 4000 Years for Choice. Ault has designed the posters to include information about “reproduction control” and to each include one “large word.” Since she wants to “empower and affirm” the pro-death movement (my word choice, not hers) she chooses to emphasize words like “affirm, cherish, discover, love, unite.” She also chooses to use “bright, lollypop colors so that the posters are cheerful and inviting.” It is bad enough to think that it is possible to create “cheerful and inviting” posters celebrating death, but there is simply no way to rationally believe that there is any correlation between words like “cherish” or “love” and the act of killing an unborn baby.
It will not surprise you that Ault’s theology is a bit warped. Her poster claiming that abortion is a gift from God uses the Venus symbol, the gender symbol for woman, for the “o” in “God.” Still, it is difficult for me to understand how she can think that it is possible to celebrate abortion. Yet, that is exactly what she wants to do. “I feel like the most important thing we can do to defend clinics is to show up with big, bold, positive messages that say ‘we’re here to celebrate choice,'” she said. She continues, “I’d like to see prochoice activists come to clinics for events, celebrations and parties, to create something positive between the health center and the community.” The only comparison I can imagine to this line of thinking would be Nazi Germany–and I do not make that statement lightly.
In January Ault delivered a speech at the University of Michiogan and her posters were displayed there through May. When Students for Life America asked the university to remove the display a spokesperson said that the display was not about the political issue of abortion, but rather “about the history of women learning to abort their fetuses in order to gain control over when they are pregnant.” (So aborting “fetuses” is not about abortion? Huh…what was I thinking?)
In an article on ChristianPost.com, Debra Schwartz, senior public relations representative for UM’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender, said, “Contrary to what they are saying, this display is not about pro-choice or even pro-abortion. This is about the history of women learning to control their reproductive system. Heather [Ault] is trying to get past the hanger and the idea of back ally dirty abortions and celebrate the ways women, and men for that matter, can control their reproductive system through birth control and even by aborting a fetus.” The reality, though, is that is really does not matter what you call it; the simple fact of the matter is that Ault is celebrating and promoting the taking of innocent life as a convenient means of “controlling the reproductive system.” There is a huge difference between birth control and abortion, or at least should be. There is a huge difference between using medication (or some other method–Ault’s poster series highlights some very bizarre ones from ancient history including the use of crocodile feces or wild cucumbers) to prevent pregnancy and using a hanger, a pill or a pair of scissors to end the life of unborn child after conception occurs. Those of us who hold to the sanctity of life must not allow anyone to change or re-frame the debate on this.
Some of Ault’s posters read, “”Abortion Providers Are Heros!,” “Everyday Should Be Abortion Providor Appreciation Day!,” and “Calm And Peace Radiate From This Space. Celebrate Abortion Clinics!” One of the messages on notecards that Ault sells reads, “I didn’t see it as killing a baby–I was simply giving the life with in me back to God to protect and hold onto until the right time.” I am not making this up…and it just sickens me that Ault…or anyone feels this way! Notice, however, the wording in that notecard message–what was it being given back? “The life within me” it says. Interesting, is it not, since those who “celebrate” abortion almost uniformly deny that the fetus is a life? After all, if it is a life being taken when abortion is committed there is very little way to defend the practice.
Here is how Ault describes herself on her Twitter account: “Artist, activist, creative thinker, dreamer, and idea maker. I’m passionate about abortion rights and reducing the stigma though empowering history and images.” So despite the fact that Ault is “passionate about abortion rights” the University of Michigan expects intelligent people to believe that her poster display is not about the political issue of abortion. Sure… And those people carrying signs in support of the legalization or marijuana are not referring to the use of illegal drugs, either.
We need to pray for Heather Ault and for those who “celebrate” the culture of death that is called pro-choice. And again, we must refuse to allow Ault or anyone else to use semantics to recast the abortion debate into anything other than what it is–the taking of innocent lives. Anyone who celebrates abortion is celebrating murder.