The subject of abortion is a divisive one in the United States. It seems we hear about it non-stop during election years. Yet, despite the fact that it is discussed so often, there is something about it that remains secretive. We could think about the many terrible things portrayed on nightly television. Legal dramas deliver a steady diet of violent crime, sexual perversity, and murder, but abortion seems taboo. Why? British journalist Peter Hitchens, brother of the late Christopher Hitchens, says, “Abortion is the only event that modern liberals think too violent and obscene to portray on TV. This is not because they are squeamish or prudish. It is because if people knew what abortion really looked like, it would destroy their pretense that it is a civilized answer to the problem of what to do about unwanted babies.”

If we were to survey the American people and ask them how doctors perform abortions, what would they say? I remember one woman who told me, “Well, they go in there with a little suction device and suck up the tiny little cells. It doesn’t feel any pain.” Yes, that sounds rather humane, doesn’t it? I’ve always wondered what she would have said after viewing pictures of unborn children who have been crushed, dismembered, and removed from their mothers’ bodies. A variety of pro-life sites online have such pictures for those who are not faint of heart.

I remember the first time I ever saw the result of an abortion. It was a photograph of a cold, aluminum medical tray. Upon it laid a scattered assortment of tiny body parts. I saw tiny hands that would never catch a ball. Arms that would never give a hug. Little feet that would never skip across a playground. A little mouth that would never laugh, offer an encouraging word, or say, “I love you.” A tiny body that would not be afforded the decency of a common burial, and whose casket would be a plastic container marked “Medical Waste.”

Abortion isn’t a crime. But it is criminal.