Dr. Monica Miller: “Not All Abortion-Victim Photos Are Equal”

In 2009, the New York Times photojournalism blog featured a photo exposé of the remains of aborted babies, focusing in particular on the work of our longtime friend, Dr. Monica Miller.

This was fitting, given the sheer volume of her work in the area of abortion victim photography.

In fact, if you’ve seen a picture of an abortion victim online, there’s a good chance that the photograph you saw was taken by Miller.

We’re now very pleased to tell you that in the current edition of the New Oxford Review, Dr. Miller has just published a robust and scholarly defense of the history and role of the use of graphic abortion pictures in the pro-life movement.

The article also contains a wealth of information that even many seasoned pro-lifers would be surprised to learn. For instance, in the early days of the movement, every major pro-life organization in the U.S. not only supported the use of graphic abortion images, but actually used them.

Miller makes a crucial point when she says, “Not all abortion-victim photos are equal”:

A difference exists between a graphic image and an image of an abortion victim — between a repulsive image and a disturbing image. They are not always the same thing. There needs to be a deeper appreciation for this distinction. Those who oppose the use of graphic images need not necessarily oppose photos of abortion victims per se.

She argues that the most effective photos of abortion victims are those that “focus on the humanity of the victim … [with] the blood and gore [being] at best secondary elements.”

A section of the article is devoted to how and when to use the photos of abortion victims, and in another section Miller says that there some situations in which the images should not be used.

It should perhaps go without saying that the article also emphasizes a point that simply cannot be made often enough: In modern history, showing pictures of the images of violence and injustice has been an indispensable part of successful social reform movements. Quite simply, nothing elicits sympathy in the minds of the average person like the pictures of actual victims.

Read Dr. Monica Miller’s Article, “Graphic Images: An Apologia”

Not to put too fine a point on it, Miller’s article is a must-read.

The article is currently available for a mere $1.50 on the New Oxford Review website, and it’s well worth it.

You owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.


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