By Jonathon Van Maren
I was stopped in my tracks today by a photo I had never seen. As a full-time pro-life activist, sometimes I think I have seen all the abortion victim photos there are. But I had never seen this one before, and the awful power of the photo grabbed me by the throat.
The photo is of a child’s severed head. The eyes are closed as if in sleep, the perfect lips pressed together, the face coated with crimson blood. The baby’s face abruptly ends at the forehead, which has been cut away, exposing the tiny brain. The back of the head has been reduced to a bloody smear, crushed by the forceps that killed this beautiful child. And yes, despite the fact that the small, peaceful face is framed by gruesome carnage, it is still obvious that the child was beautiful. I wonder, as I stare at it, what those closed eyes would have looked like gazing out at the world she never got to see. All I can think as I take in the little nose, her dainty ears, the mouth that never got to smile but almost, somehow, seems ready to, is that She’s so perfect. She’s so perfect, and we destroyed her.
I find it almost impossible to describe this photo in words. It simply hurts in a visceral way to look at it, as if the impact of the awful juxtaposition of blood and baby carve out an emptiness within that makes me inexplicably miss someone I have never met and never knew. That is why we must show people photos such as these: To strip away the soothing and insidious excuses for this slaughter and see, really see, the soft, severed face that was torn from the body of a beautiful baby with a silent scream. It is hard to look at this photo. It feels almost impossible. But look at it and let her broken head break your heart. Look at her face, on the only baby photo she ever had, and promise never to forget her.
And while you remember her, remember that this horror is yet unfolding. There are more forceps grasping at more beautiful children, and they are soundlessly slipping out of our reach forever one at a time, in the towns and cities where we go about our lives. We must do something about it. We must speak out. Look at her beautiful, broken face.
We really have no choice.