The Power of a Story: Revisiting What I Saw at the Abortion

| February 8, 2017

Recently I stumbled upon the 1976 Esquire Magazine article What I Saw at the Abortion. In the article, Dr. Selzer tells the candid story of witnessing his first abortion. While he had always considered himself to be pro-choice, he had never actually seen an abortion take place. However, what he witnessed at the abortion changed him forever. He witnessed desperate and futile fight for life, as the baby struggled against the needles of the abortionists. Of the life changing experience he writes, “Does this sound like an argument? I hope not. I am not trying to argue. I am only saying what I’ve seen. The flick. Whatever else may be said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense may not vanish from my eyes.”

This powerful article reminds us of the importance of storytelling in the pro-life cause. At the time of its publishing, this article revealed to the public the extremely violent nature of abortion. Up until then, abortion was a vague idea supported by the women’s movement, but after this article, the world was introduced to what it actually is. In fact, because of this article, many staunch abortion advocates converted, including the author of the recent National Review article, When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense by Frederica Mathewes- Green.

What is most important about “What I Saw at the Abortion” is that it reminds us that abortion makes people uncomfortable. Even those who passionately support abortion do not want to talk about the procedure itself. It’s a natural human emotion to cringe at the idea of crushing a baby’s limbs. We are reminded by this article to continue sharing the truth of what abortion actually is, because supporting it theoretically is far different from supporting the violent procedure itself.