One of the most powerful actions pro-lifers can take is showing the victims of abortion in the public square. Watch the two-minute video below on the Pro-Life Action League’s “Face the Truth” campaign which we have held every summer for the last 16 years:
This tactic is controversial and must be handled carefully, but lives are saved when people are faced with the images of the horror of abortion that they may never have sought out on their own.
When to use abortion victim photos
There are many circumstances where showing the victims of abortion is especially appropriate. If Planned Parenthood or another abortion group are holding a fundraiser, it is vital that their donors see what they’re supporting when they fund these groups.
If a pro-abortion politician is holding an event, their supporters should see the victims as well. Or if they’re supporting a piece of pro-abortion legislation, a protest featuring abortion victim photos would be appropriate too.
There are also large scale public awareness projects like the League’s Face the Truth Tour, Center for Bioethical Reform’s Genocide Awareness Project (G.A.P.) and other similar outreaches which bring the photos to major intersections or college campuses to bring the violence of abortion to light.
Whatever situation prompts you to use these images, be sure to use them respectfully and in an orderly fashion. Signs that are evenly spaced and displayed in a thoughtful manner, for example in the order of the age of the children depicted, will make for a more impactful display than if people just hold signs haphazardly.
When holding abortion victim photos, we encourage our volunteers to spend their time in silent prayer, letting the pictures speak for themselves and projecting an image of peace rather than haranguing the public.
When not to use abortion victim photos
There are also some situations where we would discourage the use of abortion victim photos based on our years of experience using them in a variety of contexts.
First, we would discourage the use of abortion victim photos in close proximity to sidewalk counseling efforts outside your local abortion facility. It can be very difficult for counselors to get women to stop and talk to them at all, and if someone is holding a photo of an abortion victim close by it can be nearly impossible.
Such use of these images often drives women into the clinic out of fear or revulsion rather than making them want to find out about the help that sidewalk counselors have available for them.
A strategic use of the images further away from the sidewalk counselors can sometimes be helpful, and at some clinics where reaching out to abortion-bound women is logistically impossible, victim images can be the only outreach available.
Also, avoid using abortion victim photos in close proximity to pre-schools or elementary schools. While in our experience children can handle seeing the photos much better than most adults think they can, it can cause a great deal of unnecessary anger when people believe children are being targeted with the photos.
On the League’s “Face the Truth” tours, we employ large signs reading “Warning: Abortion Victim Photos Ahead” placed in advance of the display to give people an opportunity to find another route if they don’t wish to see the photos or are concerned about their children seeing them.
In some circumstances, this is simply not viable. For instance, we frequently use the signs outside Chicago’s Union Station when commuters are leaving work to catch their evening train home. In such a situation there is really only one route they can take, which makes the signs superfluous. Also, in that situation, the crowd is almost uniformly adult and does not need the same warnings that may be appropriate where children may see the photos.
But if you can spare the manpower to employ them in contexts where it makes sense, it can go a long way in cutting through people’s anger at the images to be able to point to the warning you gave them that they chose to ignore.
Where to get images
You can purchase abortion victim photo signs of your own from our friends at the Center for Bioethical Reform.