Pro-Lifers Are at Odds over Use of Graphic Abortion Pictures

The pictures, the pictures—ah, there’s the rub. The abortionists hate the pictures of aborted babies. When asked years ago what tactic the pro-life movement uses that most upsets and unsettled them, pro-abortion leaders said without hesitation, the pictures of aborted fetuses.

One wag said there were just three things abortionists can’t stand: Number 1 is the pictures, Number 2 is the pictures and, you guessed Number 3. So we at the Pro-Life Action League have from the beginning used the pictures on every occasion to bring the stark, ugly, violent nature of abortion to the pubic.

Pro-Lifers Debate Use of Graphic Abortion Pictures

There was a time when I would not accept an invitation to speak unless I could show the pictures. When a host asked me not to bring the pictures to a talk, I would tell him that was easy because I wouldn’t be coming myself. They usually relented, and I always showed them.

I bring up the topic because debate over use of the pictures is coming back into the pro-life discussion big time, as pro-lifers are being challenged once again to take a stand for or against the use of the graphic pictures.

Some leaders are expressing misgivings. Some are adamantly against their use. Some say the graphic pictures shock to the point of being counter productive. Some believe the time for showing hard graphics has passed, and that it is now time for compassionate use the soft graphics, like mothers holding babies or at worst, live babies in utero.

Parents of small children complain along our demonstration lines during Face the Truth tours, that the pictures harm their children, giving them nightmares. While studies shown that children are not affected by graphic pictures the way adults are, and are open to a simple explanation that we are trying to protect babies from being hurt, many parents do not want to broach the subject.

It is the parents who are traumatized by the pictures, not wanting to have to explain abortion and a government policy so contrary to reason, to their young children. They are angry at us for bringing the problem to them.

Controversy over Graphic Images Heats Up

Also, new methods of showing the graphics are being developed. Large reproductions of baby Malachi and Baby Choice are now being pulled by planes over town and villages, large trucks are plastered with graphic photographs of abortion carrying the pictures along the highways, blown-up photographs of abortion are now strung together like a midway show, on college campuses.

The large graphic pictures of abortion are showing up at resorts, public beaches, outside ball parks at game time, and outside football and soccer stadiums.

Is this acceptable? Should families trying to get away for a few hours of recreation be confronted with abortion pictures? Are church leaders right to condemn use of these pictures when prestigious members of their congregations disapprove of them?

We are finding that the question of the graphic pictures is coming back with a vengeance. A Catholic Bishop in Canada is even calling their public use of these graphics immoral.

Abortion Pictures Tell the Truth

Eventually each of us must decide where he stands, because the question is not going to go away. We have shown the pictures for thirty-four years, believing that what bothers the abortionists most is what we are bond in conscience to use.

We have seen the effect of these pictures on many women going to the abortion clinics, but reversing their lethal decisions once they have seen the picture of what will happen to their baby.

We have all seen the effect of other graphic pictures on society: the German people forced to look at what had happened inside the death camps after World War II, whites who were made to look at pictures of blacks hanging from trees.

In a 1985 PBS special on the Nazi death camps, “Memory of the Camps,” stacked corpses were shown over and over again, and the program concluded with the ominous warning that in terms of barbarity and brutality, the Nazis had traveled backwards twelve thousand years, and that unless the world learned the lesson these pictures were teaching, night would surely fall. PBS added: “But by God’s grace, we who live will learn.”

Graphic pictures, whether of Nazi victims or abortion victims, tell a true story of a society gone mad. That’s the truth they tell. So stay tuned. The fight over the pictures has just begun.

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