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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?

  • Michael Petek

    Yes, the images do save lives. I know the two pro-life campaigners, and one of them told me that they have a list of about ten women who decided to keep their babies after seeing the images.

    They also touch consciences. The two civilian (non-police) witnesses were men whose wife and partner respectively had either had an abortion or was preparing to have one when they sw the images. My impression of them in court is that they were men of guilty conscience.

  • JabbaPapa

    Graphic images of aborted babies basically constitute a form of pornography.

    I mean, do you think that exposing the evils of pornography could be achieved by showing pornographic videos and magazines to people ?

    No, all that you will achieve is to inure people to the evils depicted therein.

    Moral strength, not debasing and degrading tactics, is the only thing that can withstand evil.

    In my life, I’ve had many conversations with murderers, and psychotic mercenaries, professional criminal gang leaders, unstable violent schizophrenics, and the like (nothing special — I just used to live in central Paris) — and the ONLY thing that these people have any respect for whatsoever, apart from a similarly powerful capacity for violence (which I don’t have), is powerful moral grounding in the very basics of the philosophical ethics of society.

    When you can really LOOK a psychotic murderer in the eyes and tell him that no matter what he says or does, he cannot change your mind — after he realises that physical threats and etc cannot change this state of affairs, only *then* will he start to take your words seriously.

    And — most people seeking abortions are, in fact, psychotic murderers.

  • Michael Petek

    Pornography means the display of real or simulated sexual activity to outsiders. Do you think that images of piles of corpses at Belsen constitute pornography, or do you think they’re abusive or insulting to Nazis?

  • JabbaPapa

    Those images are too starkly clinical to constitute pornography, which means that you have a good counter-point, well-presented.

  • Michael Petek

    The judge decided the case on the basis that he could not be certain so as to be sure that the images were “threatening, abusive or insulting.”

    A just decision, seeing that the images convey information, are large and are unpleasant to look at. They have no other material characteristic.

  • Alexander VI

    “And — most people seeking abortions are, in fact, psychotic murderers.”
    Even by the standards of a Catholic Herald blog this is pretty loony…..but carry on speaking like this… will ensure no one will take you seriously……

  • Benedict Carter

    Yes, of course they do. Any normal human being needs to be revolted by the practice of murder committed against the little ones. 

    Jabba below calls it “pornography”. Would you say the same Jabba about the images of the Jewish and other victims of the Nazis in the camps? Or of the countless millions of victims of Communism?

  • teigitur

    Yes I think it does help the cause. Its education. I remember an “on the fence” friend of mine was horrified when she had a look at such images and it changed her attitude.

  • NewMeena

    “Do graphic images of abortion help the pro-life cause?”

    I think the answer can be both yes and no.

    If the image(s) show(s) a well-developed, baby-like late embryo then the answer may well be yes.

    If, on the other hand, the image is of an early foetus (in one of the earlier stages of so-called “Recapitulation”) then the answer would often be no.

  • John Gramstadt

    I really don’t know if they are effective or not. I actually think a picture of a healthy unborn baby in a scan picture would be better. My favourite tactic is to kneel and pray silently. I actually find it too difficult to do anything else in the face of such evil

  • NewMeena

    And — most people seeking abortions are, in fact, psychotic murderers.”

    You speak from the very deepest level of ignorance and willful cruelty.

  • paulpriest

    They are our slaughtered neighbours
    Therefore they should be treated with all the dignity and respect that affords.

    It is intrinsically morally disordered to scandalise their remains and photograph them in such a way – and is normatively gravely sinful.
    But within the negative double effect one may have recourse to perform such actions in moral dilemma in order to prevent an objective evil occurring.

    It is never good to do such a thing – it may only be ‘right action’ when confronting a situation where recourse may prevent a grave moral evil.

    But should one do it?
    Enter the principle of solidarity…
    All unborn should be afforded and treated with the worth, dignity and sanctity they intrinsically deserve.

    Therefore we would be using images of their mortal remains as means to an end – and not treating our murdered neighbours as ends in themselves.

    Now I’m afraid some of us have occasion to forget that we’re Catholics.
    We’re not utilitarians – we can never ask
    ‘is it an effective tactic?’
    ‘is the shock value working and preventing abortions’?

    …because we CANNOT go down that road…it leads straight to hell with its ‘good’ intentions..

    We have to ask is it deontologically morally right  and is the aim directed to the telos of virtuous good.

    So the answer is:
    In a pro-active way: Absolutely not – for reasons given above.
    In a reactive way: In the final recourse after all other avenues have been exhausted and the only alternative is a grave moral evil of a child about to be slaughtered?
    Then in that final juncture it is permissible.

    But placing them on billboards or as advertisement or as well-intentioned propaganda?

    We can’t!
    The price is too high.

  • JabbaPapa

    It is intrinsically morally disordered to scandalise their remains and
    photograph them in such a way – and is normatively gravely sinful.

    Thank you for saying what I could not bring myself to say earlier.

    That is basically a photocopy of my opinions on this question.

  • JabbaPapa

    OK –

    Most people seeking abortions are, in fact, psychotic murderers

    monsieur est servi.

  • JabbaPapa

    I do not have your own level of self-evident ignorance — nor do I have the sort of cruelty towards my fellow creature that I could possibly help or countenance destroying a baby in the womb and vacuuming its remains out to be disposed of in a rubbish bag.

    Abortion is murder.

  • NewMeena

    “Abortion is murder.”
    The question is: “is it” – is it murder, and ALWAYS murder?

    By coincidence Francis Phillips has a article, posted today 20th September, in which she quotes the Archbishop of Philadelphia as follows:
    “…. I have deep PERSONAL concerns about any party that supports changing the definition of marriage, [and] supports abortion IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES….”. (my capitals)

    I can well-understand his (apparent) views.   So far as abortion is concerned, it seems very clear to me that it is not a single well-defined concept. The removal (and killing) of an early foetus, following the process of recapitulation through earlier forms of life in the initial months of pregnancy, is very different from the abortion of a late, advanced embryo which is clearly a human being still dependent in utero on its mother.

  • paulpriest

    Do you know much about foetal development Meena?

    Or when a foetus feels pain , is aware of it and has the higher brain functions to remember every agonising second of the torture it’s enduring?

    If you did – irrespective of your position on the pro-life/pro-abortion issue I am certain you would be advocating anaethesia for ANY abortion – be they foetus OR embryo…

    Don’t believe me?
    Check it out for yourself

  • paulpriest
  • awkwardcustomer

    A picture tells a thousand words.  And the fact that the state prosecutes those who display images of aborted babies shows that the pro-abortionists are terrified of these images, knowing what a powerful effect they would have on the debate.  Hence their determination to suppress them.

    You said that using images of aborted babies ‘reveals to the opposition that by using these images as ‘tools’ we do not treat the slaughtered with the dignity and sanctity and worth they deserve.’  Meanwhile babies are still being aborted and their mortal remains placed in incinerators. At least these pictures make people aware that they once existed.

    What about images of Christ on the Cross, of His terrible wounds and His dreadful suffering? What about images of the suffering and martrydom of the Saints? Should we not contemplate those?  Are those images ‘tools’ which show that ‘we do not treat the slaughtered with the dignity and sanctity and worth they deserve’? 

    Come on.  Lives are at stake here.  Are you not just being squeamish?  I say good for Abort67.  This tactic of theirs might actually achieve some results, ie fewer innocent deaths.

  • NewMeena

    I do not attach very much significance to the views expressed on an orthodox RC website.
    One must keep in mind the fact that here the position with respect to abortion is pre-determined before any collection or analysis of data.   
    Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco reviewed dozens of studies and medical reports and said the data indicate that fetuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks old. 

  • awkwardcustomer

    Pornographic images are intended to stimulate desire and draw the viewer into the act.  Displaying images of aborted babies with the intention of showing the truth about abortion and discouraging the act just cannot be compared to pornography.   

  • awkwardcustomer

    We were all an early foetus once.

  • scary goat

    I don’t know….that’s a difficult one.  Where does the balance lie?  I certainly think the public need educating on what abortion really is.  A lot of people seem to be taken in by the “collateral damage” concept.  It’s just a bunch of cells.  I also find it most disturbing to see such pictures.  It is sickening. Unbearable. I’m not sure that displaying such pictures in public is a good way to go. It would give passing children nightmares….and someone might have to clear my puke up off the pavement. Respect for the dead babies? Yes that’s a point too, although somehow I don’t think the little angels would mind if their pictures could help save others.  Jabba, I don’t think calling people seeking abortion psychotic murderers is fair.  Abortion providers, yes, but the women? Some of the more extreme feminist “right to choose over my own body” types….that’s pretty nasty, but there are also a lot of vulnerable and ignorant women who have been misinformed about what they are doing or even are being pressurized.  Meena, please take a look at some scan pictures.  You said you have children….remember their scans at 10 weeks?  Google some images.  Even if the Catholic perspective of no abortion at all, ever, is particular to the Catholic view of things, at 10 weeks you can see quite clearly that it’s a baby, even if it’s a bit out of proportion. Isn’t the nervous system fully developped by about 6 weeks, meaning that it feels pain?  A woman is 2 weeks pregnant by the time she misses her first period.  Another couple of weeks before morning sickness or aversion to foods sets in. By the time she is sure she is pregnant, dithers about it and arranges for an abortion, you’re getting pretty close to 6 weeks.  Even from a non-religious point of view where aborting a bunch of cells is no big deal, by 6 weeks it’s too late…..isn’t it?

    I think I’m most inclined to agree with John Gramstadt.  Use scan pictures of healthy live unborn babies to make the point. Scan pictures at about 10 weeks show babies sucking their thumbs and wiggling their toes. How can anyone not feel that they are babies?  We need these pictures in sex-ed classes at school urgently.  Re-educate this generation of youngsters that it’s NOT a bunch of cells.  

  • paulpriest

     I don’t make the Catholic teaching: Holy Mother Church does.

    Please read what I say: I don’t say it’s banned – I say it’s only permissible in grave moral dilemma where as a last recourse the only alternative is the direct grave evil of the murder of an unborn child.

    Other circumstances gravely scandalise our neighbour’s dignity. We can’t use them in abortion protests or marches or political lobbying literature. We can use as much graphic artistry as we wish – BUT NOT photographs of the real remains.

    Outside an abortuary as a last recourse? It is permissible – but it it is not mandatory nor obligatory.

    Yes certainly what’s happened to the slaughtered is a crime which must be recognised and cried to Heaven for vengeance…BUT we must never use any of our neighbours as means to an end.

    Now there is a provision in the negative double effect – direct immediacy does not necessarily mean a short period of time – immediacy means within the time limit of opportunity

    ….therefore if it is known that a certain amount of Catholic adults will be in relationships involving abortions and there is a limited ‘window of opportunity’ to prevent this in the future by recourse to graphic anti-abortion education or showing a video of the silent scream in a Catholic School?

    That is covered…those few minutes may be our only chance to prevent a future event – universalised to help prevent a particular.

    As for your analogy of Our Lord’s and the martyrs’ suffering?
    The argument does not hold – they are symbolic artistic representations – NOT the actual corpses [or photographs of the real thing] which we are commanded to treat with the utmost dignity via the corporal works of mercy.

    We venerate the relics of our martyrs…

    …and as for the accusation of being squeamish?

    One of my most vociferous complaints against the present ‘Pro-Life’ strategies and initiatives is their refusal to take on the mendacity and scandalously deceitful  campaigns of the pro-abortion lobbies :
    Especially when it comes to embryonic and foetal development [a lack of such embryological knowledge led to a farcical, scandalous situation in Parliament during the last attempt to reduce abortion rates where Pro-Life advocates' ignorance allowed duplicitous MPs to misrepresent scientific facts uncountered]


  • paulpriest

    My embryological research was part of my degree into the ethics and moral theology of the beginnings of life – it was peer scrutinised and multiple-researched and audited.

    But if you question my credentials I’ll refer you to Cunningham’s textbook of anatomy where in its embryology section it goes into great detail regarding embryonic development – that the developing brainstem attaches to the neural cortex at 17/18 days after conception – shortly followed within hours by the development of the five brain vesicles – including the basal ganglia and telancephalon which deal with higher brain function – after which time there is NO WAY of being able to prove what level or degree of intensity of receptivity, awareness or mnesis to pain is experienced – BY THE EMBRYO – not merely the foetus….

    Of course you may wish to refer to the vast array of embryological information readily available online which will confirm this.

    Your appeal to abject unscientific falsity is incredible and to be frank?

  • awkwardcustomer

    I do read what you say.  But I can’t follow your arguments.  You say that the use of abortion images is ‘only permissible in grave moral dilemma where as a last recourse the only alternative is the direct grave evil of the murder of an unborn child.’  

    Well, in 2011 there were 189,930 abortions performed on women resident in England and Wales.  This is a rate of about 400 a week.

    Surely every protest, every piece of literature or poster carrying an abortion image is capable, as a last recourse, of preventing one of these murders from taking place. The verbal arguments, of which you give an example, clearly aren’t working.  Nothing is working.  The use of these images is clearly a last recourse. 

    As for the Catholic teaching you are referring to – what is it?  And was it formulated before the advent of cameras and mass abortion?

  • scary goat

     Meena…..please stop.  On the other thread I almost began to believe you might have a soul.  Never mind orthodox Catholic views, …..just think human, just think woman and mother.  Go and google some scan pictures of 20 weeks babies then come back here and tell me you would be quite happy to chop it up.  Stop talking drivel about reports and data and use your soul you told me you have.  Go on. I dare you!

  • paulpriest

    The timeless Catholic teaching is axiomatic – the dignity afforded our dead brothers and sisters in Christ. An end in themselves and we have a responsibility to neither scandalise nor desecrate their remains [and that includes deference to photos]. Need I remind you of the case in the late 80s of the dead embryo ear-rings? Or the feminist art-work of the 90s using aborted foetal photos to depict a ‘liberating broken chain of oppression’ – or the disgusting diabolical rejected Beatles cover of Yesterday & Today?

    Yes: Last recourse – and yes as I said – permissible where in prudential judgment and direct contributory discernment one is facing grave objective evil of actual risk of abortion.
    If conscience dictates then it countermands any objection when confronting evil – so 90% of all your appeals are already covered – it’s the pro-active use where one is not directly confronting abortion itself that we are expressly forbidden from using photos of our slaughtered brothers and sisters in Christ. Any other means are permissible – but not that!

    It must be reactive to that risk – not pro-active.

    I’m sorry but it’s Catholic moral teaching – we can only do what we’re permitted and prevention of evil is what’s permitted, not promotion of good.
    You can use at discretion equally graphic artistic representations at any time…but the technical violation of a corpse [and yes photos of it do count] requires grave reason.

    And yes I am sure there are ways round where one can find just reason to say ‘we are directly confronting evil and acting accordingly’

    But Church teaching is absolute: You’d better have a bloody good reason! You can’t go round indiscriminately violating the dignity and sanctity of the dead.

    Catholic moral teaching put that ‘intrinsically’ morally disordered there for a reason.
    The same way war and killing is intrinsically morally disordered
    We have recourse to it in self-defence against the grave objective evil of murder; but we can’t pro-actively go round killing murderers when they are no direct immediate risk to life.
    The same way homosexual activity is intrinsically morally disordered – we are permitted to submit to a rape when the alternative is the grave evil of being killed.
    A just war can only be actuated in defence against an unjust aggressor.

    …and you can only have recourse to the use of dead foetal photos when confronting a grave evil…otherwise their use is sinful in itself.

  • 1emanresu

    So from what you say the soul is not imbued at the moment of conception. But at what time? Do you have an answer.? A soul will make everyone human at the time of conception.

  • JabbaPapa

    One must keep in mind the fact that here the position with respect to /fill in the gap/ is pre-determined before any collection or analysis of data.

    You are one of the most deeply prejudiced and indoctrinated people I have ever seen posting in these forums.

    Your protestations to the contrary are just laughable.

  • LocutusOP

    The images are of real people killed before birth. How can sharing the truth ever be a bad thing?

    We don’t seem to mind graphic images on cigarette packets, and smoking is virtually harmless.

    There is a lot of misinformation regarding what happens when pre-born babies are killed, and getting the truth about the violence involved to the people who are about to be direct participants in it cannot ever be a bad thing.

  • LocutusOP

     I accept your argument in part, recognising that it does not accord the slaughtered with the dignity they deserve.

    Yet I find it wrong to say that we can’t therefore use these images. To do so would be to ignore the violence committed towards them, and in a way be complicit.

    We are in service to the truth first and foremost, and I suppose it is up to the activists to extend dignity while at the same time being truthful, but till then I’ll settle for being truthful. Whether it is effective is in my mind an entirely different matter, although I think we should always act on the assumption that the truth will lead people to do the right thing.

  • Lewispbuckingham

     Stepping back from this discussion may I suggest that just because someone does not know they are to be killed or are being killed makes the action some how more pleasant.
     BTW NM are you any relation to the old Meena?

  • Lewispbuckingham

     The ..killing..of an early foetus [following] through earlier forms of life is very different from the abortion of a late advanced embryo which is clearly a human being still dependent in utero on its mother”
     I am so pleased that you have made this point, because at an important level you understand embryology.It was at this point that I realised that the idea of quickening did not meet the current idea of what life really has become, something that is illuminated by evolutionary theory.
     The first realisation while I was doing embryology was that the developing embryo was duplicating the evolutionary path of tens of millions of years.That it alone demonstrates the high probability of our origins beyond that shown by the findings of paleontology and the fossil record.After all, how could a human embryo have gill slits unless this were true.
     The second was that the prevention of this evolutionary process seen by other human endeavours such as clear felling rainforest or the destruction of species, termed ecocide, was for the human individual the same in abortion.
     The fact that the death came at an early age did not prevent the outcome for life whatever the age that it were done. In all cases the possibility of life was extinguished.
     What was also happening was that the embryo was removed from its environment,a bit like clear felling destroying those plants and animals dependent on that part of the biosphere.
     Also from your studies you will know that each person is unique.Even if you were cloned that new person would not be the old Meena.
     So you may see from this that I sort of get the Meena cloned NewMeena joke.
      I am really pleased that you made it ,like all of us on this blog, so you may breathe the air and discuss many subjects.

  • awkwardcustomer

    For goodness sake.  The whole point of using abortion images is to confront a grave evil, and as a last resort, since nothing else is working.  There is no other intention.  None whatsoever. So please don’t compare this case with that of the feminist artwork you refer to.  

    Because by your own admission, according to Catholic moral teaching the use of these images is permissible to confront a grave evil as a last resort and in a reactive way, which by your own admission covers 90% of cases. So any dispute lies with the remaining 10%.  Fair enough.  Concentrate on those cases, then, without implying that the use of these images represents some kind of gratuitous and sinful act, when in fact the only intention is to counter the abortion industry which, incidentally, does everything it can to suppress these images. 

    Anyway, I’m glad you raised the subject of Catholic moral teaching since we now know that the use of abortion images, as a last recourse, to confront the grave evil of abortion, in a reactive way, does not contradict this teaching in any way.   

  • NewMeena

    I simply quoted what is probably the most well-known and in-depth study on his matter Please see: 

    for example.

  • NewMeena
  • paulpriest

     …and to clarify I didn’t say we couldn’t use them – but we require the grave reason of reactively directly confronting evil in order to justify using them.

    Now in regard to your position of utilising truth first and culpability via the potential complicity by selective silence regarding the violence inflicted upon them.

    It’s complicated – and I’ll tell you why

    In Holy Mother Church we have an interminable battle of wits between the ‘defence’ advocates of Canon Lawyers and the ‘official state prosecution’ of Moral theologians.

    Is a politician voting for abortion legislation automatically excommunicated on the grounds of conspiracy [1329#1] with the latae sententiae crimes of either a]judicial murder or b] procuring an abortion – or both? or neither?

    The [orthodox] Moral theologian [and they're rarer to find these days] will declare there is either formal co-operation or at the least proximate material co-operation,
    The Canon Lawyers [well at present the most vociferous and powerful ones] say no – there is only material co-operation; and that material co-operation is remote – not proximate – therefore the legislation of 1329#1 does not apply

    Canon Law always grants the latitude to the defendant.
    BUT Only latitude within what is legally permissible – when it comes to the law it will have a noose-tight grip.

    In moral theology we classify moral disorder in three ways – moral disorder, intrinsic moral disorder and objectively evil. The first may be used in the ‘positive’ double effect as a furtherance of right action in promoting ‘the common good’; the last may never be committed for any reason; but the second may ONLY be committed in a situation of moral dilemma by recourse to the ‘negative’ double effect where the only alternative is a furtherance of an objective evil.

    The use of foetal imagery – the actual representation of the mortal remains of our brother or sister in Christ towards its own end is alienation,desecration and profanation and is ‘intrinsically’ morally disordered

    Canon 2328 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law had the punishment of laetae sententiae excommunication for any who profaned or desecrated mortal remains [and yes this did include images because it was precedented by the dignity to relics and sacred imagery - the link is still there in the '83 code [1190] ]

    Now in the 1983 Canon #1269 applies in upholding the mortal remains’s dignity but the penalty is reduced to ferendae and adjudication of usage/abusage is at ‘the discretion of the faithful’ 1376 & 1355 [think grave reasons in time of war or disease pandemic]

    Now Canon Law will use every laxity when it comes to the ostensible crime of desecration or profanation BUT there are two types of reason for an action

    a] Just
    b] Grave

    Anyone who advocates that foetal imagery can be used at any time for any reason in the Pro-Life cause – even in a pro-active way – will be appealing to a ‘Just’ reason.

    Canon Law & Moral theology rejects this outright..

    The reason MUST BE GRAVE – it must be reactive – and it must be a critical direct usage ; recourse in confronting direct evil – otherwise it is sinful and impermissible.

  • paulpriest

     I’ll refer you to my answer given to LocutusOP.
    You do realise that up to 1983 the use of abortion imagery would have technically been an automatic excommunicable offence as it would be alienating, desecrating and profaning your neighbour?

  • scary goat

     Willful cruelty?  He might have inadvertently hurt the feelings of some vulnerable women as I have pointed out in my other post, but getting in a strop and having a rant and going OTT a bit from feelings of disgust and horror hardly qualifies as willful cruelty.  Go and watch a video of a mid-term abortion, which in your above post you attempted to justify, then if you’re not too busy throwing up, come back and discuss willful cruelty.  May I suggest that in your apparent dislike of cruelty, you have got your priorities in a fuddle.  I was nearly in tears at your post about abortion up to 28 weeks. I find it difficult to comprehend or stomach how someone can think like that.  I might have some sympathy for vulnerable or ignorant women, but defending it in cold blood? 

  • scary goat

     Ps.  Re previous threads, Catholic education (particularly our views on sex-ed)  where sex is seen as part of marriage, if followed through, reduces the chances of women being vulnerable, having an unwanted pregnancy, and resorting to abortion.  If you advocate sexual freedom the next logical step is that you find yourself justifying abortion.  What is more important, meena, the “right” to sexual gratification without responsibility or the right of helpless  unborn babies to continue on into life without being horribly murdered in the womb?

  • paulpriest

     and your links are obscene beyond all imagining – speculative, unscientific, contrary to the physiological, neurological and histological reality.

    Primarily there is ignorance beyond credulity in regard to the brain and nerve system’s activity in the second and third trimester foetus…and the vast amount of triggering neurons

    You do realise that a foetus below the abortion limit has an IQ vastly superior to anything anyone outside the womb will possess…that the average 7month old to which you allude has the sensory acuity per square centimetre of 40 x seven year old girls [yes they are THAT hypersensitive]

    Did you also know that the average foetal IQ at seven months is of an equivalence – wait for it – of the total IQ of the 2,500 genius-level staff members of Harvard!!!

    Your appeal to ‘recapitulation’ is beyond absurd and guilty of temporal prejudice – given of the 41 developmental stages of the human being – 37 occur within the womb – our life outside the womb is technically an extended Mayfly paradigm

  • NewMeena

    I am making no appeal to recapitulation.

    Here I am only drawing your (and others) attention to a most expert, serious and competent review of large amounts of data and the findings of many other researchers, carried out by one of the world’s most respectable academic institutions.

  • NewMeena

    I reply to you as I did to PaulP:

    I am only drawing your (and others) attention to a most expert, serious and competent review of large amounts of data and the findings of many other researchers, carried out by one of the world’s most respectable academic institutions. 

  • awkwardcustomer

    What I realise is that you repeatedly describe situations in which the use of abortion imagery is permissible.  And then you repeatedly threaten the dire consequeces of using that imagery in situations that bear no relation to that under discussion. 

    I have already accepted the conditions that Catholic moral teaching places on the use of abortion imagery and YOU YOURSELF have agreed that the use of such imagery, as a last resort and in a reactive way, to combat the grave evil of abortion, is permissable. 

    Your reply to LocutusOP included this:  ‘… I didn’t say we couldn’t use them – but we require the grave reason of reactively directly confronting evil in order to justify using them.’

    Yet you keep mixing the general with the particular.   And you raise the threat of excommunication in a wholly unjustifiable way. I really do not understand what you are getting at.


  • NewMeena

    In my opinion just as there may or may not be a God, human beings may or may not have supernatural souls.
    I don’t know the answers to these speculations, but I do have an open mind. This is why I am not an atheist.

    If human beings do have supernatural souls, I have no idea when, during gestation, they acquire it.

  • NewMeena

    We were all various inorganic atoms once, as well. Before that we were all hydrogen atoms. Before that we were all elementary particles.

  • awkwardcustomer

    Various inorganic atoms and elementary particles flying about, or doing whatever they do, cannot constitute a ‘we’ or an ‘I’. An early foetus is a recognisable ‘I’, because that’s how the recognisable ‘I’ that is me, and you, started. 

  • Kevin

    This is an impertinent question, and the association with “shock tactics” is offensive.

    In a murder trial jurors – whose service is mandatory – are obliged to look at pictures of the victim partly to establish that a crime was actually committed. To suggest that the truth of the victim’s suffering could be damaging to his own cause would be considered contemptuous.

    The existence of legal abortion in itself constitutes a denial of the crime, and that needs to be challenged. It is our responsibility to present the evidence only. If abortion continues to be legal it is because powerful people have chosen to commit an evil in the full knowledge that it is evil.

    P.S.: You need to amend the text to read “their alleged offence”. They did not commit an offence. The police and CPS need to be called to account for harassing anti-abortion campaigners in this way for at least a decade.

  • The Catholic Herald

    Thank you for pointing that out. We have added quotation marks to indicate it was not actually an offence.