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Debate: Do graphic images of abortion help the pro-life cause?

Do they close minds, or open them?

By on Thursday, 20 September 2012

A pro-lifer protests outside an abortion clinic

A pro-lifer protests outside an abortion clinic

Two British pro-life campaigners were in court this week charged with public order offences. Their “offence” was to display graphic images of aborted children outside a BPAS clinic. The judge threw out the case, saying it should not have been brought to court. Andrew Stephenson, one of the men charged, called it a “victory for free speech and the pro-life movement”.

Their group, Abort67, now plans to expand its activities across the country. Its protests usually involve graphic pictures. Its website has shocking images on its homepage.

They are distressing to look at. Outside a clinic, they will be seen by women who may be about to undergo an abortion themselves and may be very vulnerable. It is not kind to subject them to such disturbing pictures.

On the other hand, these pictures may save lives. And they show people what abortion actually is. Shock tactics have worked for charities in the past (Peta has for many years changed public opinion on animal welfare by shocking stunts – pouring bloody money on audiences, disrupting fashion shows).

So, do graphic images of abortion help the pro-life cause? Or do they close minds rather than open them?

  • Caroline Farrow

    The issue is not “is the use of graphic images permissible according Catholic doctrine” rather “does it harm the pro-life cause”. 

    On balance I think it does, for a variety of reasons, as outlined in my latest blog post. It would be awful if the sterling work of The Good Counsel Network, 40 Days for Life or Helpers of Gods Precious Infants was constrained as a result of new legislation which is being lobbied for by pro-choice groups in order to prevent all abortion clinic vigils.

    One has to salute the work of Abort 67 nonetheless: they have done much to put abortion back in the public consciousness and regardless of whether or not one approves of their tactics and campaign, it takes true courage to stand outside an abortion clinic in one of the most liberal and permissive cities in the UK, risking abuse, loss of liberty and livelihood on a daily basis, come rain or shine, for five years. 

  • NewMeena

    Oh yes, it’s more “recognisable” than its components – but so what?

    I could truly imagine a “Church of The C12  Isotope”.
    As the most significant single basis for all life perhaps it deserves some honour. C14, a much less-abundant isotope, could also find a place, as being chemically and biologically identical to C12. 
    Perhaps a trinity might be formed with either O16 of H1? 

  • paulpriest

    No – the issue IS  “Is it morally permissible? And if so in what circumstances?”

    We’re not Preference Utilitarians nor are we Situationists nor Pragmatists nor Intentionalists.

    ,,and I notice your priorities:

    Not “does it save lives?” but
    “does it harm the Pro-Life cause?”

    45years of unmitigated disaster seems to indicate that an abrogation of coherent ethical and fundamental moral theological arguments hasn’t been very fruitful..so maybe a return to the actual morality of the issues involved might be called for?

    Given you’re not even asking is it right?

  • Julie

    The case is strong that the pics do help people really see and understand the truth about abortion: that it is killing a defenseless human being, a heinous act with no conceivable justification!!
    That is the whole reason for the pictures, not to hurt anyone or offend anyone, just to help to wake them up to reality!! I think it is worth the risk of offending, to save lives in the end!

  • JabbaPapa

    Not every termination of a pregnancy for medical reasons is an abortion, no.

    An abortion is the killing of the baby, for no other purpose than to end that baby’s life.

    It’s willful, deliberate murder.

  • JabbaPapa

    I think that something like this will defend our Faith far more strongly against the false modernity than any quasi-pornographic imagery :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaWma3taEEE

  • NewMeena

    “It’s willful, deliberate murder.”

    Well that’s your opinion, if you mean it’s always murder.

    The law does not agree, and early abortions, virtually on demand, are permitted. All murders are not permitted.

    It would help your thinking and ability to communicate if you stop (like Humpty Dumpty) making words mean anything you want.

  • http://twitter.com/blondpidge Caroline Farrow

    Forgive me but isn’t the title of the debate “does the use of graphic imagery harm the pro-life cause”?

    That is the question posed by the title of the debate and to which most people are responding.

    The ins and outs of moral theology are all very fascinating and tangential but not actually the question that was being posed by the article. 

  • scary goat

     The above quote from Archbishop Chaput is misleading.  The full interview can be found on http://www.ncronline.org.  There is a link to it on Francis Phillips article.  He is talking about voting for a political party.  He is in no way saying that he supports abortion in any circumstance, which clearly he wouldn’t according to Church teaching. He is talking about secular politics, where Church Law has no jurisdiction, and in that context it would be preferable to vote for a party which has limited abortion availability rather than one which accepts abortion on demand.  Having concerns about a party which supports abortion in all circumstances is not the same as accepting abortion in any circumstance. Jabba is correct.  Abortion is murder.  The fact that we may feel compassion towards people who make a very difficult decision in extreme circumstances, does not alter that fact.  Abortion incurs automatic excommunication on all parties concerned.  There is, however, the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

    It’s a bit like, if you (as a non-Catholic) came here questioning abortion in extreme circumstances, for example if pregnancy is life threatening to the mother, I am sure people would be quite patient with you.  On the other hand, defending abortion up to 28 weeks is likely to cause a few heads to explode.

  • scary goat

    It would help your thinking and ability to communicate if you stop (like Humpty Dumpty) making words mean anything you want.

    Please see my comment above regarding Archbp. Chaput and what his words DIDN’T mean.

  • scary goat

     Isn’t related moral theology always relevant?

  • paulpriest

    No it isn’t. You’ve obverted the question.

    And far from being tangential – the morality of the use of slaughtered foetal photographs is both enthymemic and intrinsically imperative to the issues.

    Indiscriminate use for pro-active promotion of the common good is automatically prohibited by Church teaching [as I explained to LocutusOP the reasons for their use must be grave in directly confronting evil] – therefore some of Abort67′s activities are automatically negated before we need to even consider their efficacy or ‘acceptability’.

    So regarding certain Abort67 tactics we don’t need to rely on ‘personal feelings’ or ”matters of taste & decorum’ or ‘socio-cultural insensitivity’ or ‘self-justifying shock & awe tactics’ or ‘wishful thinking’ or justification on grounds of utilitarian/pragmatic appeals…

    …or inexperienced, uninformed, unqualified opinion on what’s right

    Holy Mother Church does that job for us already – and stops us screwing up trying to justify immoral means with ‘moral’ ends.

    Once we’ve clearly confirmed can we? [and eliminated when we can't]

    We can then authoritatively answer those who say
    ‘it’s obscene/pornographic and they must never be used’
    with
    “in critical circumstances to prevent an objective evil – when all other means are exhausted? Yes we can”

    We get to ought we? [and the critical permissibility - but its being an intrinsic moral disorder it is never mandatory nor obligatory]

    So we can answer those who say
    “we’re morally obliged to use them to prevent a furtherance of this evil”
    with
    “we have no such moral duty – we have a right to do it – but it does not necessarily make it right to do it – that is a determination and deliberation which may be made after an informed conscientious discernment”

    and this is where we get to the crunch of the issue – which ironically those commenting on it don’t seem to get!!!

    a] When Abort67 use the photographs ‘pro-actively’ when not directly confronting those provisionally potentially going to engage in the abortion process – the usage is forbidden. [but equally graphic artistic representations can be used]

    b] When Abort67 use the photographs reactively in confronting either those about to abort or those politically endorsing potential legislation…

    [IF - and ONLY IF - we adhere to the Orthodox Moral Theology position of the conspiracy in legislation being at minimal - material proximate co-operation...
    ...do you get the problem now?
    This puts the mockers on the incrementalist/restrictive legislation Finnis position...because Finnis argues the co-operation is material and remote!!
    So use of aborted foetal photographs would be forbidden when confronting legislators - unless we conform to a Harteist Solidaritist position]

    …it is SOLELY a matter of informed conscience on utilising what is already permissible.

    So do you get it yet?

    a] Where Abort67 are using the photos indiscriminately and pro-actively and for a merely ‘just’ reason rather than a grave reason – they are to be condemned.

    It is not an issue of personal opinion – The Church has already informed us it’s not allowed.

    b] When Abort67 are using the photos reactively when they have a grave reason it is at their moral compulsion of reacting towards an informed conscience regarding what is already permissible and discretionary…
    ….an action upon which we are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN to judge!!!

    Thus again it is not an issue of personal opinion – The Church says they can – they are acting upon an informed conscience…

    …and the Church ABSOLUTELY forbids anyone to be judged – let alone condemned for acting on their informed conscience.

    So now we get back to the original question:
    Do graphic images of abortion help the pro-life cause?

    …and once we have ‘morally unpacked’ the actual underlying [hidden] questions and moral precepts involved

    The question – which seems quite sensible – is actually absurd!!!

    Because the only time graphic foetal imagery is permissible is in a critical, and fully-informed conscientious reaction to a direct grave evil…where they are SOLELY DIRECTED to the Pro-Life cause…

    actions which we are forbidden from questioning

    when they are not used to that end the Church already forbids it

    so yet again we’re forbidden from questioning

    So personal opinion – whether it be certain individuals on here saying ‘of course it’s not wrong’ and those opining ‘I think it does harm the pro-Life cause’…

    …are irrelevant!

    So the REAL debate has nothing to do with the pictures themselves but the tactics involved behind their usage…

    The Pro-active ‘militancy’ of Abort 67?
    The passive resistance ‘availability’/actual physical support of the Good Counsel Network?And by default the Winning Project & the Sisters for the Gospel of Life? And consequently Life?
    Or the simple presence and prayerful solidarity with the unborn [and prayers for those misguidedly/deplorably engaging in the culture of death] of 40 days for Life/HPGPI?

    …and of course then there’s spuc ? [present company excluded]

    ..but the tactics are mere manifestations of an underlying strategy grounded upon principles which invariably fall back upon that interminable moral war of co-operation [i.e. is it remote material and permissible? or immorally proximate material?] and the Solidarity principle…

    The questions this debate really asks have very little to do with the original question…because it’s all about the morality of it all – not opinions on efficacy.

  • JabbaPapa

    The law does not agree

    So what ?

    The law therefore does nothing to prevent hundreds of thousands of these murders every year.

  • paulsays

    Its a dishonest way of making a point – thats my objection. It doesn’t go into the complex issue that is abortion – rather it is simple shock tactics. 
    Something can be dishonest but effective, and perhaps for people that disagree with abortion, they can justify it.

    Perhaps an anti-war campaigner can justify protesting using photos of dead civilians, or a animal rights group can show photos of experiments on animals. All muddy the water, and don’t address the issues in a logical sense – but simply via gut human disgust, which does not help.

    For abortion campaigners that believe abortion is morally wrong, perhaps this can be justified. However, it is only in a utilitarian sense that I believe they can justify it – as essentially these images are a form of mild deception – and for the greater good perhaps permissible.

    Unfortunate for Catholic anti-abortion protesters – as the Church rejects the idea of greater good’ or the ‘lesser evil’, as it rejects utilitarian thinking wholesale. Where this leaves Catholic anti-abortion protesters in regard to such images – I have no idea….

  • paulsays

    You know in the same way as utilitarianism ‘leads to hell’ (lol), supposedly, so does almost any other moral construct. 

    All ethical structures have flaws, on that basis alone you cannot simply dismiss its ideas out of hand – that is far too superficial.

    Just think about the Catholic point of view, that things are moral or evil, full stop. No grey areas here! Like for example that it is always wrong to kill someone. This equally has countless examples where most any-one with a brain cell would realize the immorality of either keeping someone alive, or not killing someone.

    A good example of this is the thought experiment of the out of control train. You are the train driver of an out of control train, and ahead of the train you see 6 workmen on the track working, (for the purposes of the thought experiment) you know that continuing on your present path that you will kill all 6 workmen. In the same split-second you also notice that to your right is a alternate route for the train, on this track there is a old man right in the middle of the track – going down this track you also are guaranteed to kill the old man.

    The trains current path is down the main line, and if left will kill 6 men, in order to take the alternate path you must actively pull a lever in the train to move it onto the new track – thereby killing the older man.

    In Catholic moral teaching you must not change tracks, as that would be intentional killing, an active decision to pull that lever – that results in death.

    Under utilitarian thought, you must way up the consequences, and decide whether it is better that 6 young men die, or 1 old man dies. Which will cause less pain and hardship – and leave behind the best state of affairs possible.

    In this case it takes a committed mind to side with Catholic teaching. I would argue even a self-delusional streak. As it is clear that the Catholic point of view (in this case), is not morally correct.

    Not to say that utilitarian thinking is not flawed, for sure when pushed through another thought experiment it can be made to look very bad indeed. So I’m not arguing that.

    Also did you do Philosophy at Uni or something, or are you just interested in it? Been meaning to get into things more properly in that regard. :)

  • paulpriest

     Four years of moral theology, eight years of ethics, plus I lectured in ethics in f.e. but frankly that’s beside the point.

    Re Your Utilitarian argument you’re somewhat remiss in not ‘completing the circle’ of arguments:
    Supposing one has five patients in intensive care – one needs a new heart, another lungs, another liver..kidneys, pancreas etc…while in another ward there’s a perfectly healthy man with locked in syndrome, or another man who has attempted suicide with treatable pneumonia whom in his mental instability is demanding a No Treatment/DNR? Or there are five people in intensive care with an incurable brain disease who each only have six months to live meanwhile there’s a teenager wired up to all manner of machines because he needs a new heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and if he had them could live another 60/70 years?

    There’s also the classic utilitarian argument which would impose the death penalty for speeding on principle of utility and saving lives – say speeding kills 200,000 a year but executing 1000 caught speeding leads to a reduction of deaths to 2,000 a year – that’s a utility of 197,000!!! But is it right?

    Now I’m sorry but moral theology DOES have grey areas – that’s the point – we deal with the ethical quandaries in every day life. A lot of people will tell you that many activities are morally neutral or morally ambivalent – they’re wrong – virtually all our
    activities are dependant on their nature, the end and the underlying or overriding motives.

    Most of our day-to-day existence involves ‘pale grey’ activities – what’s known as the positive double effect where we do things which if committed solely to their own ends they would be wrong but if committed as a secondary part to an overriding action they are mitigated and justified. The actions aren’t ‘good’ – they are merely ‘right’ in the circumstances. Think of killing an animal gratuitously versus killing an animal for food?

    Now there are times when we face evil we have to engage in ‘dark grey’ activities of the negative double effect in moral dilemma – supposing we have an invading army at our borders and in order to defend our land we have to fight and consequentially kill some of that direct unjust aggressor army – fighting and killing are intrinsically morally disordered acts and if performed to their own ends would be gravely sinful – but when facing an objective evil we have recourse to it. The mad axeman about to kill you and your family – that kitchen knife in your hand and the only available action is killing not disabling?

    Now moral theology rules that we may only apply ‘morally disordered’ acts in pale grey areas to promote a personal or common good
    When it comes to ‘intrinsically morally disordered acts’ we can only use them in ‘dark grey’ scenarios where the only alternative would be allowing a grave objective evil to occur.
    But we are expressly forbidden from using an ‘intrinsically morally disordered act’ in a pale grey scenario irrespective of how much it might potentially promote a common good.

    …and that’s where most of the moral arguments between orthodox and ‘liberal’ Catholics takes place; or even Orthodox and calcified draconian ‘traditionalists’…

    Artificial Contraception – intrinsically morally disordered so we can’t utilise direct contraceptive commission for the pale-grey ‘common good’ but we can resort to the ‘morally disordered’ [strictly remitted] Natural Family Planning which is indirect contraception by omission

    Capital Punishment – killing is intrinsically morally disordered but we have a self-defence recourse to a death penalty in that we can shoot a terrorist just before he triggers off a bomb or a sniper shooting citizens from a rooftop – but what of a non-risk incarcerated serial killer in a maximum security prison? We’re not confronting an immediate direct evil of unjust lethal aggression therefore recourse to killing them would be expressly forbidden.

    These pale grey/dark grey issues involve what’s permissible – in other words we don’t have to do it…we have no moral obligation to ever do what’s wrong…

    That might seem utterly incredulous and anti-’common sense’ or practicality – but it is solely at a discretionary informed conscience discernment level when we make any attempt to rectify personal or society’s fallen nature to promote a personal or common ‘good’ or when we confront evil head-on…

    If we were really against abortion why don’t we as Catholics burn down every abortion clinic, collectively refuse to pay taxes or perform massive acts of passive resistance like a massive sit-in in parliament refusing to work or four million of us sitting in the middle of town and city streets
    or railway tracks or airport runways? Or breaking the banking system by withdrawing all our money or stopping banks from working by paying in our wages at the counter in pennies? Or knowing there’s a vote on banning abortion in parliament we kidnap every pro-abortion MP until the vote goes through? Or if the abortion limit is 24 weeks how about kidnapping every pregnant woman until she is beyond that limit?

    I’m sure there are some Catholics out there who would think these are fantastic ideas but we live in a society of mutual ‘social contract’ – laden with human laws [and yes we have no right to adhere to intrinsically unjust laws - but the merely unjust ones? We can't use dark grey tactics in a pale grey scenario] – which if we seek to tear down? well there are consequences and what we might attempt to destroy or thwart for the force of ‘good’?  They might very well be used by the unscrupulous in exactly the same way to engage in a reign of terror…

    Actions have consequences – which is why when it comes to all those things which are ‘permissible’ in Catholic moral teaching – we have a moral duty to discerning and deliberating according to an informed conscience. we don’t merely have to assess the right action and the right motive towards a right end – we have to assess the potential consequences for ourselves and others of that actual end.

    Sometimes we have to work within a morally disordered corrupt system which we can’t beat – and the only possible way of winning is to actually break the system – but if we can break it for a good reason – what is to stop the unscrupulous repeating the action for an evil reason? And hell might follow….which is why we are called to understanding, prudence and wisdom in all we do.

    That which we have a right to do does not necessarily mean it is ever right to do it.

  • JabbaPapa

    In Catholic moral teaching you must not change tracks, as that would be
    intentional killing, an active decision to pull that lever – that
    results in death.

    Rubbish — not changing tracks is also an active decision.

  • Zerox

    We should hold a middle ground, display ultrasound videos of living babies moving in the womb and invite people into a closed area to see the more shocking images themselves, with maybe something a bit less shocking on the outside.

    We need to use these images because of the real reason people do not want to see them, not because they are graphic, but because they are of dead babies wilfully murdered out of, most often, nothing more than convenience. Or because the baby has a split lip or some other easily correctable thing.

    The fact is that the reason they don’t want to see these babies is because they don’t like thinking of them as babies. That is why they always call them ‘foetuses’ – because they don’t want to think about them being alive, or the fact that the abortion kills them and prevents the birth of a new person. And that is why they try to cover up ANY pro-life message and prevent it being heard.

    Because, deep down, they KNOW it’s wrong.

  • paulsays

    I would agree that not changing tracks IS an active decision. And I would argue that in this case using utilitarian principles to determine who to kill is the best thing to do.

    The Church’s position would be, as far as i know, that to make the decision to kill the lone man by changing the tracks would be akin to murder, so you must let the train carry on and kill the 6. It treats the track to the right as a decision, whereas allowing the train to continue, as not a decision.

  • paulpriest

    you can’t commit an evil act for any reason

    why not swap the 6 and 1 around with other attributes like age or mental capacity or parenthood or gender and see if you’re not really understanding what’s at stake here…

    you can’t decide to kill someone because six other people are going to die if you don’t…

    There are some prices one cannot pay!!

    I’ve answered this elsewhere on here but here’s the gist…

    Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor contains an argument:

    Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happyin the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature … and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions?

    William James  in The Moral Philosopher and the Moral Life

    [If] the hypothesis were offered us of a world in which [proposed] utopias should all be outdone, and millions kept permanently happy on the one simple condition that a certain lost soul on the far‑off edge of things should lead a life of lonely torture, what except a specifical and independent sort of emotion can it be which would make us immediately feel, even though an impulse arose within us to clutch at the happiness so offered, how hideous a thing would be its enjoyment when deliberately accepted as the fruit of such a bargain?

    Ursula Le Guin [who herself had aborted her child] wrote an allegorical short story “The Ones who walk away from Omelas”

    In the story, Omelas is a dystopian city of happiness and delight,
    whose inhabitants are smart and cultured. Everything about Omelas is
    pleasing, except for the city’s one atrocity: the good fortune of Omelas
    requires that a single unfortunate child be kept in perpetual filth,
    darkness and misery, and that all her citizens should be told of this
    upon coming of age.After being exposed to the truth, most of the people
    of Omelas are initially shocked and disgusted, but are ultimately able
    to come to terms with the fact and resolve to live their lives in such a
    manner as to make the suffering of the unfortunate child worth it.
    However, a few of the citizens, young and old, silently walk away from
    the city, and no one knows where they go. The story ends with “The place
    they go towards is a place even less imaginable to us than the city of
    happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not
    exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk
    away from Omelas.”
     

  • scary goat

     I think I would be far too busy panicking to make any decision at all and would probably settle for beeping the horn loudly to warn anyone potentially in the way.  :-s

  • paulsays

    Hmmm well I do see where your going with this one. And obviously you have a great deal more knowledge of philosophy.

    However, I have heard a few of the above objections against utilitarianism before. Specifically Ursula Le Guin’s short story.

  • Jonathan West

    It seem tto me that if you are going to be against all abortion, then you need in addition to producing “shocking” pictures of later-term abortions, you should also produce pictures of newly fertilised eggs and say “look you’re killing a human”. I suspect that as a result some people will laugh in your face. But if you’re going to use pictures rather then reason, then that’s the price you pay.

  • scary goat

     If you beep the horn like I suggested, wouldn’t the younger men have a better chance than the old man of jumping out of the way?

  • scary goat

     Why is it dishonest?

  • Parasum

     “On the other hand, these pictures may save lives.”

    ## That doesn’t make such methods any less immoral.

    A test: if a group with strong convictions about evils in the Church disrupted a Catholic function – say, a Papal visit – would you, the reader, approve ? If not, then don’t treat others as you would rather they did not treat you. 

    That such tactics & such pictures may stop a few abortions does not mean they do not cause more harm than they prevent. If anti-abortionists get as name as people who show their respect for others by using shock tactics, public sympathy for the anti-abortion position is likely to be even less than it is already – those who try to persuade others of the worth & force of the anti-abortion position already have to cope with news of anti-abortion vandalism and anti-abortion murder; being suspected of belonging to something resembling a terrorist group  is quite enough, without being thought to favour tactics more often associated with insufferable jerks. 

    If anti-abortionists don’t want to be mistaken for insufferable jerks, it is passive aggressive of them to behave as insufferable jerks. Regardless of the excellence of their position. One would hope that Catholics were wiser than members of PETA,which unlike Catholicism does not make transcendent theological assertions about itself. Should Catholics really behave no better than members of PETA ? Talk about a debased morality :( !

    A far better example is that of Jesus Christ, who addressed people as individuals. Using shock tacttics is disrespectful, and too easy for the anti-abortionist – it ignores all those tiresome, difficult questions about why women, these particular women, have abortions. The anti-abortionist doesn’t have to waste time confronting these women as unique individuals, each with her own reasons for needing or wanting an abortion. One is saved from having to take a close personal interest in them. This wholesale, heavy-handed blunderbuss approach was not that of Jesus.

  • Parasum

    That sounds like “timeless teaching” which has been revised. What happened in 1983 for the Magisterium to decide that God had revised His (timeless ?) position on the morality of using such pictures ?

    If the earlier doctrine was right, it is still right. Otherwise the Church’s doctrine is no more stable or certain than whatever the current Magisterium feels like saying is true. And that issue of discipline is based on doctrine. No Roman smoke & mirrors or other misdirection can change this. 

  • paulpriest

     No – timeless teaching where the legal penalties for committing an infraction alter over time – like the rules for cremation etc

  • paulsays

    hello troll :)

  • JabbaPapa

    The Church’s position would be, as far as i know

    The Church’s position would in fact be that, given no choice but to commit a grave mortal sin, that person has therefore been forced to commit that sin, and though he would be automatically excommunicated for *whichever* action was undertaken, the mortal sin would be automatically considered as reduced to venial due to his entire lack of choice in the matter, and would be automatically forgiven after Confession and repentance.

    The Catholic Church would teach that this man should make whichever subjective moral choice seemed most apt to him at the time, bearing in mind the casuistic impossibility of not killing somebody.

    If you really want to know more about this sort of thing, just read up on the Catholic medical ethics, for doctors who can be forced into this sort of dilemma on a regular basis.

  • scary goat

     Excuse me?

  • scary goat

     I was unaware that this was a private discussion and I am not allowed to join in.  Not everyone is a moral theologian nor a philosopher.  And given a situation like that I doubt whether one would have the time nor the concentration for philosophy anyway.  I was applying common sense and gut-feeling to the same scenario, which is what people would do, and the conclusion is the same as PPs.  You wouldn’t decide to run over the old man, nor would you jump out of the train.  You would do what you could to avert any harm. ie beep the horn to warn of danger in the hope of not killing anyone. 

  • paulsays

    Firstly, where did you get this from – would you mind pointing me to some source of information. Because (no offense) for all I know you are just telling me what seems most plausible to you.

    Secondly, what would the person in question have to repent and confess to? Its hardly his fault he finds him self in the situation. Surely he should be treated as more of a reluctant hero? What on earth does he have to apologize for? The situation was not of his doing whatsoever.

  • Raymac_97

    The images can work or not as the persons perception of what they have been taught by the corrupt media sways them one way and then the next. They and their children will see far worse in the local vidoe store DVD-video cover or in their nightly TV. What is offensive is the way the children are being killled by aborting them when they should live. God is the God of Life!

  • Andy Stephenson

    We know they work because women tell us they work. Women who were about to get an abortion see the picture and then change their minds. Everyone would feel more comfortable about using beautiful pictures of embryos in the womb but I don care what makes us feel okay, I care about what will save the most lives. A nice picture will persuade some women but we want to save the children of women who can only be convinced by seeing the true violence of abortion. – Andrew Stephenson, Abort67.

  • http://www.abort67.co.uk/ Andy Stephenson

    Caroline, it is not our intention to protect the pro-life “movement”.  Our work is about protecting unborn children.  The fact is there has been no movement in terms of changing public opinion.  Pro-lifers who do the same thing over and over and expect a different result are wasting precious resources.

  • http://www.abort67.co.uk/ Andy Stephenson

    Jonathan, our abortion image banners are of 7,8,10 and 11 week unborn children.  Besides what the unborn child looks like at whatever point you kill him or her is irrelevant.  People may laugh in our face as you claim but that is a reflection on their ignorance and hardness of heart rather than a justification for killing innocent human beings.

  • http://www.abort67.co.uk/ Andy Stephenson

    Pornography dehumanises human beings whereas abortion photos humanise human beings otherwise considered potential medical waste.

  • Anon45

    They 100% do NOT work. Abortion rates in the clinic where Abort 67 display these images have remained the same. What has changed is the time that a woman seeks the abortion – they go later. Extending the trauma of carrying an unwanted pregnancy, and the obvious trauma of walking past those images. This tactic is cruel, offensive, distressing, harassing, alarming, thoughtless and most importantly ineffective. 

  • Ajackofalltrades78

    So it is A-okay for these young and impressionable women to go into abortion clinics and to not receive this information? If abortion is such a good thing, then no one should have any issue with looking at it. After all it is just such a good thing, right?