September 13, 2013 (Life Issues Institute) - It’s a decision you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. It’s a procedure that will affect your body. The implications are so serious, health officials believe regulations are necessary to ensure your safety and proper state of mind. What is it that requires such careful restrictions? The answer is… getting a tattoo.

In the latest act of hypocrisy, the District of Columbia may soon mandate a 24-hour waiting period prior to a tattoo or body piercing. The Health Department declares it’s necessary so people in our nation’s capital don’t regret getting tattooed or pierced. One spokesperson said, “We’re making sure when the decision is made you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning saying ‘What happened?’”

However, the same concern for one’s wellbeing is not shared when it comes to abortion. In fact, this move is being made in one of the most abortion-friendly areas in the nation. The District of Columbia has no waiting periods and no limits on abortion. Abortions are legal for any reason throughout pregnancy, even the third trimester. The result is shown in the District’s grave abortion statistics. A staggering 41 percent of pregnancies end in abortion, which is twice the national average. Consider how many of those lives might have been saved by a waiting period.

Tattoo artists are obviously concerned about the impact this restriction will have on their business. The abortion industry has the same reason for opposing waiting periods—it’s bad for business. Abortionists oppose any measure that might impact their bottom line. They even oppose parental consent for minors.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other instances where laws are in place to protect minors. In 45 states, minors cannot get tattoos. More than 30 states have age limits or parental permission provisions in place to prevent tanning by minors. In many schools, teens can’t even take an aspirin without having a parental consent form. Why is abortion treated so differently?

Many want to deny the reality of abortion and the harm that it brings to women and babies. Images of abortion and even fetal development are widely censored. It’s hypocritical. We’ll see graphic images of war on the nightly news. Take for instance, the current atrocities in Syria. They broadcasted images of children’s bodies that were killed by chemical weapons. This moved many to want to take action. Congresswoman and abortion supporter, Debbie Wasserman Schultz stated, “As a mother, to me, I have an indelible searing imprint on my mind after seeing the pictures of those babies lined up. We have a moral responsibility to respond.” I wish those words would also be said for the children killed by abortion.

No one wants to see graphic images of any kind, but there are times when they’re effective. For example, there have been graphic anti-smoking campaigns with explicit images of real people—a man blowing smoke out of a hole in his neck, the cancer inside a smoker’s mouth and a deceased man. At one time, cigarette manufacturers were required to have the photos and a warning printed on every package. The images were awful to look at, but they were effective at discouraging many from smoking. The Centers for Disease Control reported it caused at least 100,000 people to quit smoking as a result of the effort. What if we could do the same for abortion? Imagine a commercial that features images of the unborn and a plea for protection. Would that be as effective as the commercials calling for an end to animal abuse? What if all abortionists were required to post warnings about the risks of abortion? If women were exposed to the horrible reality of abortion, how many would then choose life?

Unfortunately, there are those who’re so loyal to abortion, they don’t want women and men to see the truth. Pro-abortion groups, such as Planned Parenthood, have a vested interest in abortion and the money it brings in. They and their cohorts will stop at nothing to suppress the facts. There are many in our society who’ve been conditioned to think of abortion as something legal and acceptable, rather than to see it for the atrocity it is. This underscores the importance of us to continue in pro-life educational and outreach efforts. Because when the truth about abortion is revealed, lives are saved.

This article originally appeared on Life Issues Institute and is reprinted with permission.