The American Family Association’s New Short Film Will Have You Regretting Your Abortion in No Time

The American Family Association just released a short film called “Aaron.”

If you watch the first three minutes of it, you see it’s about a birthday boy and a kidnapping. It’s disturbing and sad and emotional…

If you watch the last two minutes of it, you’ll realize the bait-and-switch pulled by the AFA. It’s seriously sick how the Christian group tries to manipulate your fragile emotions to suit their purposes:

That short video is supposed to convince you never to have an abortion. It doesn’t matter to the AFA if the women in question got raped, or if they were too young to be mothers, or if the pregnancies were unplanned, the message is clear: All women who have abortions will live to regret it.

It’s just not true. And it’s such a nauseating way to trick women into not having abortions. We never find out why the character in the video had an abortion in the first place, and the AFA doesn’t give a damn.

They’ll “fight for first birthdays” but they won’t do much of anything to help you past that.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Baal

    I really dislike these people. 
    Bad analogy or willful emotional abuse doesn’t seem to cover just how corrupt they are.

  • primenumbers

    If you can’t win an argument on reason, throw some emotion at it.

    • 3lemenope

      Considering that using emotional markers to make decisions is how the vast majority of people are wired (including lots of people who insist loudly that all their decisions are reason-driven), it’s a pretty smart approach. 

      If all you care about is results. Personally I think that emotional blackmail is a bad idea not because it doesn’t work (because often it does), but simply because it violates Wheaton’s Rule, hard.

  • Chris Kilroy

    I can’t even begin to explain just how much is wrong with this. The poor production quality for one (you can see her mic pack sticking out of her shirt.) 
    The delusion that her child is real and alive is a sign of a serious mental health issue. If that is continuing on for what? 7 years – she needs serious help. That has nothing to do with an abortion, it is a sign that she is severely mentally ill. Granted, it isn’t much different than the delusional nature of Christianity or other religions in general but still. Also, there is nothing I’ve seen to indicate this nature of emotional / mental instability associated with women who have had abortions. 
    Most abortions are done early, before a pregnant woman could know the gender of the fetus. So there’s no way she could know that’s her son, etc. I guess they might have an estimated due date, so should could mark what would have been the birthday but…I don’t know of women who had abortions carrying this kind of thing on and marking that date. This is just an insipid lie meant to further their irrational cause of trying to control women’s lives. It’s disgusting. 

  • Michael Koch

    Dispose of these people, like yesterday’s garbage…..

  • kaydenpat

    Abortion may be wrong for the women (and men) of the AFA, but they need to respect the fact that not everyone shares their religious beliefs and their anti-choice position.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

    No woman should be forced to remain pregnant against her wishes.  Funny how some people go on and on about wanting a small government, but want that same government to control women’s bodies as it relates to access to birth control and abortion.

    • Peekaboo

      Most women have the choice to not get pregnant though correct? What % of pregnancies/abortions occur due to rape? Everyone else, yeah….you have a choice in the matter. The fact that they chose to kill off a life rather than take their chance due to, health concerns (ironic that people who push so hard for science don’t trust doctors) or  rape makes me sad. I understand that pregnancy due to rape is tough. But again, what % of pregnancies happen this way? There is a choice as well, it’s called adoption. 

      What gives you the right to make the choice for that child?

      The one that makes me sick to my stomach is inconvenience. Seriously?!?! A person cannot get any more selfish than this: to kill life because that life is inconvenient. I bet you have great, long lasting relationships in your life don’t you? Probably nothing close that’s for sure. Why? Because people are inconvenient! They call you crying at 2AM when their mom dies. They call you crying with the diagnosis of cancer and need someone to sit and talk with when you’re at work or shopping. They come to you crying their eyes out during your planning period (teachers) because their parents are getting a divorce. 

      People are inconvenient. LIFE, is inconvenient. I guess it’s what you do with that inconvenience that defines who you are. Do you try to ignore it or do you put that person in your life first and yourself last? By getting a divorce because it’s inconvenience because it wasn’t “in your plan” shows your true colors. 

      I have never had the decision to make (abort or not). In fact my wife and I are on the other end of the spectrum. We’ve been married for 7.5 years and have been trying to have a child. We’ve been to doctors and specialists and it seems no matter how hard we try (short of surgery) it’s just not going to happen. So we are adopting. We’ve started that process. We though why spend money on the surgery when we could hopefully give a child an opportunity? But first, mom has to give the kid a chance. Give the kid a chance to have a life. We shouldn’t make that choice for other people. 

      As a teacher, my students have a choice from day one when they enter my classroom. They can either work and try to get a good grade, or they can not put in the effort and fail. (btw, my class is easy to fail). I on’t pump sunshine up their rears or try to externally motivate them all that much. If they want it, they’ll work for it. I don’t give away grades, especially since I teach arguably the #1 or #2 most difficult class in the world (IB HL Physics). They have a choice. If they choose to try for the grade it’s going to be tough. The easier route is to just quit. 

      It’s similar with the abortion situation. Rather than facing inconvenience or possible medical difficulties, it’s easier to just quit. And that’s what our generation has been converting to. Quitters. Quitters who say “I don’t want that on my plate, it’s too tough.” So they quit. 

      My neighbors have quit working and are now on government assistance. Great. Why? Because they have a medical condition. My dad is a master mechanic. He has a medical condition too. He’s almost blind (w/o any hope of surgical repair) and he has several vertebrae that have bee fused together. Each day he has a choice. Quit, because it’s too tough or keep pushing because it’s the right thing to do. The country is quickly becoming a bunch of quitters. 

      They called them the greatest generation because they were not quitters. They saw a difficult situation come at them and they met it straight on. Now the majority whimpers and whines and try to change the game because its too hard. Too bad. 

      My best friend just had their third and last child yesterday, despite some SERIOUS health concerns to both mom and child. He and his wife saw it as a non-negotiable. I asked him if they had considered an abortion. He said, “Of course not. That would eat us up alive, not knowing what could have been.” I think THIS is what the video is about. 

      • pagansister

         Though I imagine it is hard to try to conceive and not succeed, the argument that women shouldn’t have the right to terminate an unwanted or perhaps a dangerous (to them) pregnancy is null and void.   So far in my lengthy life, I haven’t found the world to have a shortage of children to adopt.  All children are not put up for adoption and many in some under developed countries die horrible deaths due to disease and starvation etc.   Those women many times do not have a choice to not get pregnant and if they want to obtain a legal abortion, it is not available.     Am glad you and your wife are going to  adopt. My mother was an adopted child—but to state that any woman should continue a pregnancy under all circumstances really is not your concern.  I wish you and your wife a short waiting period and from the passion of your article, I expect you will be wonderful loving parents to some very lucky child. 

      • Heidi

        That was the most offensive, dickish, self-centered thing I’ve read all day. Congratulations. I wrote a big huge reply to you, but you know what? You don’t have the capacity for enough compassion to understand that someone else’s situation might not fit in your neat little box of how the world works, and I’m not the jackass whisperer.

        So all I’m going to say is that you don’t get to make my medical decisions, period, end of sentence. And as an adopted person speaking to a prospective adoptive parent, I hope you don’t raise your child(ren) with your narrow, privileged view of the world.

        • Earl G.

          “I’m not the jackass whisperer.”
          Best quote of the day.

        • Peekaboo

          I don’t have the compassion? Are you serious? I am not the one slaughtering fetuses am I? I understand tough decisions. I really do. My friend who had their child on Friday, they had the choice. People have a choice. No one is pointing a gun at someone else’s head in this country and telling them to abort are they? 

          My “little box” tells me that life is difficult, messy and full of tough decisions. It also gives me a sense of right and wrong, and I know killing off a little guy or girl before their first breath of air is just wrong.

          Please tell me how fighting for someone else’s life is self-centered? Self-centered would be me saying screw it! If there is ANY possibility of life being too hard with a baby, then I should end it’s little life before it has the chance to do anything about it. THAT’S the definition of self-centered…uhm…focusing on self. I’m focusing on the life inside of the womb. See the difference? Self vs someone else’s life. Those are not the same thing are they? 

           I am trying to give them the chance others don’t seem to think they deserve. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/wcwalker1 William C. Walker

            Referring to zygotes & fetuses as ‘little guys or girls’  is ridiculous.  When you are having breakfast, are you consuming unborn chickens, or eggs ?

            • Peekaboo

              Okay, define fetus for me. Most pro-choice folks that I’ve talked to use the term for anybody up until the minute they come through the birthing canal. 

              When can we determine gender? 12 weeks? I don’t remember, but I know it’s pretty early on. So yes a fetus could be referred to as little guys or gals. Next argument please. 

              • LifeinTraffic

                Here, let me google that for you:

                fetus /fe·tus/ (fēt´us) [L.] the developing young in the uterus, specifically the unborn offspring in the postembryonic period, in humans from nine weeks after fertilization until birth.

                60% of abortions occur before the 9 week period (making it a zygote, not a fetus), and 88 before the 18 weeks mark. The rest are almost all medical in nature (life of the mother, etc.).

                Technically, you could find out the sex even earlier than 12-13 weeks if you use a DNA test to determine sex, though I am not sure what your point is here. The point I am pretty sure William was making had nothing to do with whether or not you know there sex of the fetus, but rather using intentionally emotion-evoking language to manipulate. Saying “a female zygote,” is not the same as saying “The little gals,” and they do not indicate the same thing. One is fact, the other is rhetoric.

                • Peekaboo

                  Okay then, does it offend anyone if I call them small, vulnerable, developing, fragile and innocent males and females? What’s the difference between that and little guys and gals? I’m confused and we’re getting way off topic.

                • LifeinTraffic

                  It’s not about being offensive, it’s about being hypberbolic and playing on emotions instead of dealing with facts. It is not off topic at all. In fact, it’s incredibly relevant given the original post, not to mention your continuing use of words intended to evoke a particular emotional response rather than to have a fact-based conversation.

                  The difference between your latest hyperbole and your former hyperbole is that he your latest is even more hyperbolic than your former. Do you routinely call ham and eggs “poor little pink piggies and tiny, innocent baby chicks?” One is fact, the other is an emotional play to evoke a particular response. If you can’t understand that, I can’t help you.

              • LifeinTraffic

                Here, let me google that for you:

                fetus /fe·tus/ (fēt´us) [L.] the developing young in the uterus, specifically the unborn offspring in the postembryonic period, in humans from nine weeks after fertilization until birth.

                60% of abortions occur before the 9 week period (making it a zygote, not a fetus), and 88 before the 18 weeks mark. The rest are almost all medical in nature (life of the mother, etc.).

                Technically, you could find out the sex even earlier than 12-13 weeks if you use a DNA test to determine sex, though I am not sure what your point is here. The point I am pretty sure William was making had nothing to do with whether or not you know there sex of the fetus, but rather using intentionally emotion-evoking language to manipulate. Saying “a female zygote,” is not the same as saying “The little gals,” and they do not indicate the same thing. One is fact, the other is rhetoric.

          • Peekaboo

            Still waiting to hear from Heidi about what makes me so “selfish” to fight for the rights of unborn children. I might as well stop volunteering at the animal shelter too while at I’m at it right?

            • LifeinTraffic

              Do you fight for more research into what causes women to spontaneously abort about half  of all pregnancies, and the prevention of those causes? This is a far, far higher number than are aborted medically.  If you really care about saving “tiny, unborn, innocent babies,” surely this is an area on which you must be very active in your campaigning?  Do you strongly advocate for effective birth control options to be available for all women, the use of which dramatically reduces the number of spontaneous abortions *and* medical abortions? Are you this loud about getting poor mothers good pre-natal care and nutrition? About getting post-partum care for babies of the underprivileged?

              If you’re not equally as insistent about all of these things, it’s no about “saving unborn children.” It’s about forced birth, and that’s a very, very different thing. If you are, then kudos to you, and you should round up more people in your movement and focus on those things, which cause far more unborn and recently born children to die than abortions. 

        • LifeInTraffic

          “I’m not the jackass whisperer.”

          Priceless. Laughing so hard I am crying, and I just know I am going to use that line someday. I’ll credit you, Heidi! 

      • TheExpatriate700

        That has to be the worst rebuttal I have ever seen.  Half of it doesn’t even have anything to do with the subject at hand. It just demonstrates that anti-aborts are over-emotional fanatics.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/VX3KXH7LAL3ENDVGWLHRUJHJSE Random

        Damn, looks like I have to have “The Talk” with the hubby tonight. You’ve convinced me totally that I shouldn’t be “sleeping around” with my husband if I’m not totally willing to give up both our lives, so celibacy it is! 

        Neither of us want children, and so we use two forms of birth control; but, that could fail. And, since I don’t get paid maternity leave and my job literally can’t be performed by a pregnant woman once she hits about 6-7 months, and we can’t afford to live (seriously–no roof, no food, let alone medical care during pregnancy or an infant later) if I can’t work, he would have to quite school and work more than that 50 hours a week he already works (at a minimum wage job, on top of his more-than-full-time school schedule) to keep us afloat. And, of course, to pay the school loans that will come due the moment he unenrolls. Though, really, he’ll have almost no chance of getting the kind of job that would allow him to ever pay those loans back because he’ll have lost his (currently really good shot) at being accepted into school for one of the most competitive  and most-needed fields in the world. Training for which will have taken him the better part of his entire LIFE thus far.  The goal of which, for him, is to use his education to improve food and food availability for the poor. 

        Those clients I serve in part of my job, which I happen to be uniquely qualified in a several-hour radius to serve, would suffer once I had to stop working if I got pregnant. Who do I serve?  Cancer patients, usually severe. My latest client has both bone and brain cancer, and what I do keeps him able to be in his home for his treatment. My elderly diabetes client. My youngest client, 19, with severe Crohn’s disease,  who is currently able to live a much better life. These people would lose my services, and there is no one in this area to take my place.

        Since my choices are to be celibate, or risk robbing many others who benefit from what my husband and I do, clearly, I am just a selfish slut  who sleeps around if I continue to have sex with the man I’ve spent the last 7 years with! Obviously, the choice to rid my body of a few cells (which has almost certainly happened several times naturally over the course of my life since I began menses anyway) is just selfish and reprehensible because…teh babies! I’m sure my husband will be thrilled to hear how unselfish we’re going to be in our celibate relationship, because it’s not like sex is bonding or important to our relationship anyway, right?

        Since you’re so pro-life, how about we just go on having sex (because even “The good book” says that’s required of ma and wife, right?), and if my birth control fails, you help put him through school, serve all my clients, pay for my medical bills, and for all the care and costs of having a child (childcare, education, medical costs, etc.)? Because pro-life is a whole lot more than pro-forced birth, and I am damn tired of the two things being confused.

  • Godlesspanther

    They really get off on this shit — pure fundie porn. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QPVVPRJ7QKLPU6TF5B4IZTENTI No

    That doesn’t even make any sense. The woman has a son of age…what, 5 or 6, and she has all these wonderful motherly memories, and then she notices the kid is gone and assumes he’s been kidnapped, and that somehow translates directly to this is what you could have had if you didn’t abort? What an incomprehensible non sequitur. It’s shot like a movie, it plays out like kidnapping scenes in movies, fade to black…abortion? WTF?

    I think Chris Kilroy is right in that they appear to be going after the you’ll-irreparably-F-up-your-psyche angle, which is BS. I know women who have had abortions (and not for the fun of it), and they are perfectly functional people that don’t require a lifetime of counseling to help them get over the sort of problem the makers of this video abuse for their purposes.

    Yet more disingenuous fear-mongering, disinformation, lies, and fabrications from the anti-choice crowd. Why am I not surprised?

  • TheExpatriate700

    This is really poorly argued. It can’t even be used to claim that abortion will psychologically harm women, as the woman depicted seems to suffer from some form of mental illness to the point that she actually has hallucinations. In the real world, the woman would probably be hospitalized or given anti-psychotics.

  • Marco Conti

    What birthday is she pretending to celebrate anyway? The anniversary of the abortion or the estimated date of birth from the pregnancy? 
    Because if it’s the abortion date even a make believe cake is more than a little creepy, if it’s the birthday even a sick mind would have a hard time construct a fantasy on a meaningless date that was originally several months in the future.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way. She is reading “The Essential C. S. Lewis” just as things go wrong.

  • Ibis3

    I wonder if she celebrates the birthdays of all the kids who could’ve been born if she had gotten pregnant with every egg her ovaries released over her lifetime.

  • Carmelita Spats

    Typical AFA delusion…The woman is upper middle class, white, with perfect teeth, possibly college educated…Contrast this creepy FANTASY with a nine-year-old Brazilian child who was raped by her stepfather, repeatedly, and ended up pregnant. The Vatican spit bile when the girl’s mother refused to have her nine-year-old go through a pregnancy, a C-section, and the child  had an abortion. The RCC excommunicated the mother and the doctors. The only one who was not excommunicated was the rapist, the icky step-dad….

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Trieger/100000865490192 Bob Trieger

    Apparently this chick was far too unstable to have kids in the first place.

  • Charity

    The problem with the whole fantasy approach – imagining what the child would have been like and presenting the abortion as the thing that stole that life – is that it can be applied to anything that doesn’t happen. It’s easy to romanticize something that never happened. I could make a similar movie about how awesome my life could have been had I not gotten pregnant at 19 and had the baby. It would be equally compelling.

    Jesus fucking Christ, I hate these people.

  • Guest

    “A way of tricking women into not having abortions?” That sounds like the view of men wanting to have their thrills and not taking any responsibility for it. Why don’t the men have ligation instead? Shouldn’t the men who want to sow their ‘wild oats’ be responsible instead of leaving women with the problem? I think young single women who want to sleep around should make sure that the men be ligated.

    • Guest

      Viscetomy should be more appropriate.

    • Blah

      It takes two to have a baby doesn’t it? If you sleep around there are possible consequences. Most people figure that out in elementary school right? So why are all of these people upset when they get pregnant? 

      I understand having a tough choice when certain circumstances like health and rap come up and those are discussions that have to happen. But how many abortions cite that as the reason? 

      Everyone else, well I hate to say “I told you so” but this is the process of procreation for our species. Did you expect a different outcome when you undressed?

      • pagansister

         Yes, it takes 2 to have a baby—and if there is a pregnancy from that then basically it takes 1 to decide whether to remain pregnant or not.   If one “sleeps around” then there should be smarts enough to have used BC —but if one either doesn’t choose to be smart with BC, then the morning after pill is a wonderful thing.  If the BC fails—my first statement  returns to a woman’s choice. 

      • Heidi

         It does take 2. But only one of them has to worry about “consequences.”

        • Blah

          Only if you hook up with a jerk in the first place.

          • LifeinTraffic

            See my reply to peekaboo (for some reason, it posted under the  “Random,” though I have no idea why).

            I am apparently a total slut who is just sleeping around. Because clearly, only unmarried women have to worry about having birth control failures,.  It isn’t at all possible that I am a married women who also doesn’t want children, who uses birth control, and who has excellent reasons (which are none of your business) for not wanting children. Hence, the birth control. But, obviously, I should make the choice to have a celibate marriage instead of continuing my whorish ways, because those are the only two choices that make me a good person. Anything else and I am just a loose, immoral, wanton woman with no regard for a life other than my own.

            Sorry. No.

      • Mazz

        Unforseen circumstances happen. Couple that with right wingers’ refusal to allow proper education in schools about contraception and you have WAY more instances of unwanted pregnancies than ANY of us would like to have in our society. There are reasons unwanted pregnancies occur, other than irresponsibility and promiscuity. Responsibility must be taught and sometimes birth control fails.

        Yes it’s true, one should understand the consequences of having sex but it’s not as cut and dried as you’d like to believe it is.

        A little compassion would go a long way in helping you to see that.

  • http://mamamara.wordpress.com/ Mara

    These people disgust me. I just…I can’t say anything useful here. I want to, because there’s so much to criticize in this video, but if I get started, I won’t be able to stop.

    This just makes me SO MAD.

  • Krissi_C

    I only half paid attention to the actual “conversation” between the couple (“We decided not to have him”), but it  sounded vague enough that it could be anti-child free individuals (i.e. people who decide  not to have children). Without knowing what AFA is, or if you don’t pay close attention to the exact wording, it could be offensive on multiple levels.

    Or I could be reading too much into it as a child free person.

  • pagansister

    I’ve known 3 women who had early abortions for various reasons—and none of them have regretted it.   It was the right thing to do at the time.  So, the whole BS by this group that all women will live to regret it is ridiculous.   

  • TheG

    You know, I could also do a video:

    Wide shot of a Southern college campus.  Frisbees being thrown, coeds canoodling on plaid blankets, a guy playing Dave Matthews on an acoustic guitar.
    Suddenly, a CRACK is heard.  Is it a backfire from an old truck.  No!  A pretty blonde girl screams!  Her chubby friend is laying on the ground, bleeding!  Another shot, and another, and then quick blasts from a machine gun.  Terror everywhere as gunshot after gunshot rings out!
    Blood everywhere on the quadrant.
    A scared looking young man sits on a roof of the library.  His stockpile of weapons are hot and smoking.  He puts a handgun in his mouth.  With his last bullet and his Glock streaked with tears, he slowly squeezes the trigger.
    Silence.
    Blackness.
    Rewind nineteen years.  A frightened teenager with a slight bump under a yellow sun dress stands in front of a Planned Parenthood in front of a group of protesters.  She has both a pamphlet in her hand showing graphically decapitated lab specimens and a contemplative look on her face.  A creepy old man with a bald head and a greying mustache smiles, puts a hand on her shoulder, and leads her back to her car.
    VOICEOVER: “If I had made a different choice that day, 37 college students (and one guy just there to sell hot dogs) would have made it to graduation that year… Choices can end a life; choices can also save lives.”
    END

    • TheExpatriate700

      Actually, this is a pretty good idea. You should see if you can get someone to make it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509794993 Orson Sedmina

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the mother in gay porn.  

    • Trailrunner

      I’m pretty sure you haven’t, and that’s just wrong to accuse someone of. Wow. Mature aren’t you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509794993 Orson Sedmina

        grow a pair of humor

  • kevs

    He only disappeared when she started to read C.S.Lewis. Let that be a warning to all.

  • stojadinovicp

    is it just me or does the abortion come off as the happy ending because we realize that the kidnapping never happened and that we just have a severely disturbed individual who needs psychological help?

    kinda makes me think that this video is actually sending a message not to have kids because then they will not get kidnapped…

  • Schnauzermom

    Talking fetuses from heaven. The woman obviously needs psychiatric help and probably needed it before her abortion. This is one of the most disgusting, twisted pieces of propaganda I have ever seen. 

  • decathelite

    I want to see the video where Aaron isn’t some cute little boy, but is a child in a vegetative state  with a congenital heart defect. No going to the park, unless in a wheelchair, no swinging on the swings, or eating cake, or the coherent speech necessary to tell the mom he loves her. While I can understand some parents might want to keep a child like that, the video would lack the emotional blackmail that they’re trying to achieve.

  • http://twitter.com/SharonLockwood8 Sharon Lockwood

    I had two abortions in my youth. One illegal and one legal. I also have a daughter. I do recall at one point thinking, if I’d had that baby he/she would be eight years old now. And all I could think was Whew! Dodged that bullet.
    So no, I have no regrets. There is no “pro-life” argument that doesn’t rely on religion. I’m not religious so talking to me about the “sanctity” of fetuses is pointless. But if human life is “sacred” from the zygote to the grave, you also must oppose capital punishment and wars of all kinds. I haven’t found that kind of consistency in the every-sperm(and egg)-is-sacred crowd.

    • Peekaboo

      Well, you’ve got it here Sharon. I definitely don’t agree with capital punishment for the same reason I am against abortion, because I, nor anyone else, has the right to terminate a life. 

      As for was, it’s tricky, but I am against it too. I am 100% agains the somewhat preventative wars that we seem to be taking on for the past several presidencies. 

  • Mazz

    Hehmant, if someone can be “tricked” into not having an abortion, they just might be just as unstable as this crazy lady is. The idea of her actually becoming a mother is what frightens me. Poor kid.


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