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Only graphic images will really change public opinion on abortion

In every successful campaign for social reform – from slavery to animal rights – images have been essential

By on Friday, 28 September 2012

Rival protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in America (Photo: CNS)

Rival protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in America (Photo: CNS)

Graphic images have always been an essential component of successful campaigns for social reform. The maxim that injustice that is invisible will remain tolerable (and vice versa) is just as true for abortion as it was for slavery.

Edmund Burke described William Wilberforce as the greatest orator of his time. But despite his skills in conveying a message to a people who were arguably more patient in listening and skilled in critical thinking than today’s general public, Wilberforce had little success in talking people around to the immorality of the slave trade.

Slavery was unseen in England. It was unreal to society. It was only when the abolitionists exposed the brutality of this evil that public opinion began to shift, with public policy eventually falling into line. Images of disenfranchised and abused Africans were used to prove the humanity of those stolen from Africa and the inhumanity of slavery.

The same was true for the civil rights movement and child labour reform. We are of the generation that has seen a shift in attitudes and behaviour in animal rights, environmentalism and so on. All use graphic images to convey a complex message in an instant.

Abortion pictures establish the facts before we engage in debate about abortion. To those with a functioning conscience and a degree of intellectual honesty, abortion imagery proves directly the humanity of the unborn child and the violence of abortion.

The abortion industry is hiding the truth from women who would reason their way to a life-affirming decision should they see the truth. Abortion pictures empower women. Concealing the facts and assuming that women are too inherently fragile to understand abortion is misogynistic.

Abortion is so horrific that words fail us when we attempt to describe the horror it represents. The slave trade tried to put an embargo on anything that would shed light on their work and today the abortion trade is trying to criminalise the showcasing of their work.

  • http://twitter.com/CCFather Ben Trovato

    I have some sympathy with this line of argument, as the truth about abortion needs to be proclaimed clearly and fearlessly; but I have more concerns.

    One is that the dignity of the aborted child is not respected by using his or her image in this way.

    A second is that graphic images may tell the truth about later abortions, but reliance on them may work against us with regard to early abortions.

    A third is that the use of these images may be traumatising of existing victims of abortion: a key issue in this campaign must be how we reach out to women who have been sold the lie that abortion is a solution.

    A fourth is that this approach could easily backfire on the pro-life movement, politically.

    Finally, while graphic images tell the truth, or at least some of it, we must always bear in mind the need for caritas and veritas in harmony.

  • paulpriest

    UNTO US…

    Somewhere at some time

    They committed themselves to me

    And so, I was!

    Small, but I WAS!

    Tiny, in shape

    Lusting to live

    I hung in my pulsing cave.

    Soon they knew of me

    My mother —my father.

    I had no say in my being

    I lived on trust

    And love

    Tho’ I couldn’t think

    Each part of me was saying

    A silent ‘Wait for me

    I will bring you love!’

    I was taken

    Blind, naked, defenseless

    By the hand of one

    Whose good name

    Was graven on a brass plate

    in Wimpole Street,

    and dropped on the sterile floor

    of a foot operated plastic waste


    There was no Queens Counsel

    To take my brief.

    The cot I might have warmed

    Stood in Harrod’s shop window.

    When my passing was told

    My father smiled.

    No grief filled my empty space.

    My death was celebrated

    With tickets to see Danny la Rue

    Who was pretending to be a woman

    Like my mother was.

    Spike Milligan


    Respect our dead neighbour – if you are to use their image it must be treated with the utmost dignity – never as a tool – a means to an end…they are an end-in-themselves. The reasons for their usage must be critical and grave – not exploitative or merely for a shock-value where habituation will ultimately desensitise and prove counter-productive.

    A picture may paint a thousand words – but only when one’s words aren’t good enough – notice how ‘harsh’, cruel intolerant language is always condemned;  but what’s infinitely worse is when one relies on unemotional trite rhetoric or euphemisms…or pondering, posturing pious platitudes from those claiming to be pro-Life but show they’re not by the way they refer to this genocide in a sensitive positively reframing ‘dignfied’ way…

    …and I’m sorry but this faux nouveau-feminist Pro-Life scenario where no woman who has an abortion ever did anything wrong but were victims of circumstance and they aren’t guilty of anything, merely victims of a personal and social tragedy – is sentimental melodramatic pornography.
    Abortion is murder – and there are murderers.

    No Pro-Life campaign is going to get anywhere without its supporters being trained – knowing every ethical argument inside out – knowing embryological development like the back of one’s hand – and knowing how to recognise every fallacy and sophistry used by the enemy. The worst enemy to the Pro-Life movement are the aspiring amateurs who rather than wishing to serve the cause for the unborn  merely wish to opportunistically take the lead or grasp the limelight when they are utterly uninformed and inexperienced of the arguments and the reality of the issues.

    But there is also one crucial ethical aspect in all of this – the principle of solidarity in that there is not one – not one embryo or foetus – no matter how tiny,incapacitated or brief, no matter how they came into being…who isn’t an entire cosmos in themselves and worth more than the riches of the world…
    No exceptions: No compromises…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PTKN2NO47JJJJKXYN3DDJNVH6I charles

    So what are you suggesting?

  • http://twitter.com/CCFather Ben Trovato

    What am I suggesting?  I think use of graphic images is probably a flawed strategy (morally and practically) though I am open to persuasion that my judgement is wrong on this.

    But if I am right, what should we be doing, faced with such an evil? Here’s an extract from a recent blog post I wrote: 

    ‘a political solution will only be possible if we can convert hearts and minds of the medical profession, of the caring professions, and of the public at large; then the political solution will become a possibility, and an enduring one, that won’t be reversed at the next change of government.

    As long as we have a culture of recreational sex, of abusive sex, of contraceptive sex, of sex without commitment or consequences, abortion will always be required (licitly or illicitly) as a backstop.

    That, of course, is a much larger problem, effectively the re-evangelisation of society. But as a Christian pro-lifer, that is the only solution that I can envisage.

    Is it possible?  In human terms, probably not; but to God all things are possible.

    And as Mother Teresa reminded us, we are not called to victory, but to faithfulness.  If we are faithful, God will deliver the victory in His way.  

    So our task becomes building a Civilisation of Love: educating and converting society by our lives, example, prayer, and charity; as well as by our outreach, our campaigning and so on.

    For me, the caring and educational work have always been at least as important as, and possibly more important than, the political battles.  Here at least we can point to lives saved with no others sacrificed.  And here we are operating in ways that command respect and demonstrate that our concern is human well-being, not the various motives attributed to us by political opponents.  Moreover, here we are directly contributing to building the Civilisation of Love.’

  • Damon

     Is that a “yes” or a “no”?

  • paulpriest

     Think Abort67 will say fine Ben – you fire ahead and we’ll support you in all that – but meanwhile they’re resorting to extreme measures in desperate attempts to save lives…

  • paulpriest

     It’s neither – but what I won’t accept are claims from certain aspiring pseudo pro-Life commentators that aborted foetal imagery alienates and closes minds…

    Alienates whom?

    …and arguments normally contain a reason why something is wrong.

    Otherwise they are personal unsubstantiated and provisionally ‘arational’ opinions.

    When these people condemning Abort67′s actions can give a reason why these images ‘alienate and close minds’ – I might start listening to them…

    But so far there’s been no explanation as to
    a] whom they alienate
    b] how they alienate
    c] why they alienate

    On another thread I wrote at extreme length regarding the morality of their use – so i don’t think I need to repeat myself – but when people say it’s wrong and shouldn’t be done?

    I like to hear a reason why…not tens of thousands of garbled words full of trite anecdotes and narcissism and hyperbolised life-stories of friends/relations/friends of said with gallons of syrup and melodrama…attempting to misdirect and obfuscate the fact that they have not provided a reason why – in fact no cogent argument about the foetal imagery use at all…just an appeal to grounds of taste and a stated ‘counterproductivity and alienation-invocation’ which is never justified!

    If one has an opinion – fine!
    But it’s intellectually deceptive to claim it’s an argument!

  • Cestius

    Images of healthy unborn babies work just as well IMO. The widespread use of ultrasound scans has undoubtedly helped our cause – I’ve noticed secular people more often referring to unborn babies as babies rather than using the term “foetus” beloved by pro-abortionists. Gradually hearts and minds are being changed in my opinion and we need to keep promoting the awareness that the unborn are babies, not things. Of course it will be a long time before the “liberals” and hard-line pro- “choice” in the Houses of Parliament will change their tune, but in the meantime we can undermine them little by little.

  • am-s

    If a graphic image of an aborted human being upsets you, it should. There is nothing pretty about it, abortion kills human beings. Let’s not be coy. I don’t think there is anything undignified or disrespectful in showing the body an aborted baby on a placard. It would be disrespectful to treat it as a curio, or to never acknowledge it’s existence.
    I can understand that people don’t want to be confronted with a placard with a dismembered 20 week baby on it. I don’t either. But the world at large sweeps the bloody reality of it under the carpet with no problem whatsoever. To dispose of human beings by abortion and be shy of seeing the results is disingenuous in the extreme.

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    I support the use of images to show abortion as it is.
    Otherwise, people can convince themselves that this is about “reproductive justice”.

  • South Saxon

    Agreed. And never underestimate the power of prayer.

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

    I think it’s great that Andy had the opportunity to respond directly to last week’s debate. 

    Ben really nailed it with his points.

    Pro-life really needs to show that it does care about women – I attended the kick off rally for 40 days for Life on Tuesday night which was gate-crashed by the pro-choice lobby. What was very telling was that the majority of slogans were aimed at men, as was the most obscene and blasphemous abuse. To be fair the men outnumbered the women, I would guess by 4:1

    I was standing in the middle of the vigil and due to having my newborn baby in a sling, I was unable to kneel during the stations of the cross. When all the men in front of me knelt down, the screaming mob were left with the sight of a woman holding her newborn baby. All of a sudden their cries of “kneel down if you hate women” (oh the irony had I been able to kneel) fell silent. I guess it’s difficult to accuse a mother with a young baby of being an evil misogynist woman-hater.

    My point is really, that whilst it’s all very well using cold hard logic, we need to remember, as Ben pointed out in his third point, that it is primarily women who we need to reach out too. Many report being very distressed if not angered by the graphic images on display in front of the clinics. 

    Andy is spot on when he says that if people had any intellectual honesty they would ask themselves why they feel so angry and upset. The point is that not everyone is able to articulate or wants to explore their feelings. The photos do provoke a very visceral response that takes quite a bit of unpicking. Women do tend to be more visceral and though many feminists would disagree, we do react very differently to men and our responses can often be more emotional or intuitive in their response. That’s no bad thing – we’re not lesser creatures or necessarily less logical or intelligent, it’s just we will respond in a different way. 

    When women are expressing fear, anxiety, distress, contempt and anger as a result of viewing these images, we have to ask whether or not this is winning hearts and minds? I’d be interested to see some research on the number of women who have been positively affected compared to those who have been traumatised and alienated. 

    Why are women alienated – it’s partly the gore or squeamish factor and for women about to have a surgical abortion, the bloody images ratches up the inevitable fear, as I don’t believe for one moment that women aren’t scared about the forthcoming procedure. There is naturally an element of trepidation, a surgical abortion is intimate invasive surgery and the photos are a reminder of what is about to happen. It’s the conflict between caritas and veritas. Many post-abortive women do find these photos difficult as do those who have suffered miscarriages. I am not sure that the photos are effective as other methods of outreach. 

    Ben also mentioned how this could backfire on the pro life movement politically. I think that there is a real danger of that – I’ve seen how the pro-choicers deliberately conflate 40DFL with A67. They are currently pressing for legislation to ban ALL clinic protests, including prayer vigils, which may well hamper some of the incredible work carried out by the Good Counsel Network and other such organisations who provide practical help and education/outreach.

    Abortion is, unfortunately, seen solely as a womens’ issue,(despite the fact that men are equally affected)  therefore the pro-life movement needs to show that it is able to respond compassionately and act in the best interests of women. Why do women need to vocalise or rationalise the reason behind their upset? This is a concrete realisation as to the different approaches. The fact is that many women do report being upset, angry and traumatised. A female response is to empathise with a victim of trauma, where as man will want to rationalise and therefore solve the problem. Women suffering from miscarriages find the photos traumatic, I saw the photo of the dead 24 week old baby on the Abort 67  leaflet in March and it haunted my nightmares when pregnant for weeks. Telling a woman that her distress needs to be properly explained, or is irrelevant or saccharine, shows a total lack of empathy, compassion and care. If we want to care for the unborn, we need to make sure that we don’t alienate women, whether they be pregnant now, or in the future. 

    I do believe images have their place, such as in Hyde Corner for example where there is due warning and also in schools, but to put them in front of abortion clinics is too confrontational and inflammatory. Most people don’t want to engage with the contents of a snuff movie. 

    When it comes to early abortion, realistically most women entering the clinic will be at least 6 weeks pregnant, so there is an identifiable human being/foetus, but yes, it does make the case harder to win when talking about early abortions or abortifacient contraception. 

  • paulpriest


  • Adiutricem

    I think the premise that there are women who really don’t know that abortion is killing babies, and that showing them graphic pictures is somehow going to grant them a moment of clarity and conversion, is wrong. Women know that the baby is a baby. At that time, they feel that the baby has to die anyway. Showing them pictures isn’t going to change much of that. And women seeking abortions aren’t typically in a good place in their lives. Perhaps showing them pictures of happy futures with full cupboards and paid gas bills would work, if activists were also willing to make those things happen for the poor dears.

  • JabbaPapa

    Excellent post.

  • Laurence England

    If these images are to be used, wouldn’t they be best deployed outside of Parliament or the medical associations?

    If you do it outside abortion clinics it looks like you are targetting not just the clinics but the women walking through their doors for emotional shock therapy.

    It may be that it changes some minds of some women, but what we need to do is target the British establishment itself, since it is they who oversee this horror and they who have the power to change it. This is also more likely to bring public opinion onto the side of the new Wilberforces since they will see that this is the harrassment not of women, but of those who have the power and influence to change the law.

  • paulpriest

    You think?
    Did you read it closely or get duped by what it seems to be saying?

    a] Many report being distressed if not angered by the graphic images on display in front of the clinics.

    Many who?
    Vociferous Pro-Choce advocates?
    Women who didn’t appreciate being reminded what they’d chosen to do during and after their having an abortion?

    b] “I’d be interested to see some research on the number of women who have
    been positively affected compared to those who have been traumatised and

    Traumatised and alienated? [I'm not sure if CF understands the meaning of alienation]
    Doesn’t Mrs Farrow mean compared with those NEGATIVELY affected?
    Are those euphemisms for implying that on seeing these photos women who were previously undecided on proceeding with their abortion actually made a determined decision to continue? That Abort67′s tactics are actually responsible for more deaths?
    So Mrs Farrow wishes to perform some utilitarian calculus on how many lives Abort67 saved versus how many women they angered enough to change their mind[?] and go ahead with an abortion
    and [according to CF's 'argument] – how many deaths are thus directly caused by Abort67′s intervention?
    [I'm a bit confused about that position too - but CF's the one saying it - once one 'unpicks']

    c] Why are women alienated – it’s partly the gore or squeamish factor and
    for women about to have a surgical abortion, the bloody images ratches
    up the inevitable fear, There is naturally an element of trepidation, a surgical abortion is
    intimate invasive surgery and the photos are a reminder of what is about
    to happen.

    [again - alienated from what? and why is it axiomatically bad? and isn't this alienation possibly a good thing?]

    The fact is that many women do report being upset, angry and
    traumatised. A female response is to empathise with a victim of trauma,
    where as man will want to rationalise and therefore solve the problem…Telling a woman that her distress needs to be properly explained, or is
    irrelevant or saccharine, shows a total lack of empathy, compassion and

    Could someone please explain to me what this means?
    There seems to be an argument in there somewhere – but really it’s a cycle of
    “women are distressed at seeing the photos because women get distressed at seeing the photos and shouldn’t be condemned for getting distressed at seeing the photos”

    …but where are the factors of how this might affect the woman about to abort’s decision?
    They’re absent!

    In fact the only real argument present is the highly questionable argument that women are the visceral ones who are so intuitive and emotional – THAT THEY ARE AFFECTED by the photos – and that they empathise with the victim of trauma…

    Ironically according to Mrs Farrow’s [kind-of] argument the Abort67 strategy of using dead foetal photographs is wrong – because IT WORKS.

    If you actually look at what Mrs Farrow is saying beneath all the floridity – and I’m not sure she realises she’s done it – she is basically arguing that because showing foetal images to women about to abort can affect them and possibly change their mind – it shouldn’t be used because it’s going to upset those who won’t or didn’t change their mind!

  • Kevin

     the dignity of the aborted child is not respected by using his or her image in this way

    I would not agree with that. Images of murder victims are shown to juries as a matter of course. it is a simple question of evidence, and the expected response would be one of profound sympathy for the victim and anger at the murder. Anything else would be undignified on the part of the juror.

    I do agree with the logic of re-evangelisation.

  • JabbaPapa

    You think?

    I do in fact say what I think, you know.

    Did you read it closely or get duped by what it seems to be saying?

    Sorry, your analysis of it seems to be informed by some sort of non-constructive negativity — your notion of what Mrs Farrow is saying beneath all the floridity – and I’m not sure she realises she’s done it seems to be both unhelpful and presumptive.

    The fact that images such as these are inherently disturbing is in fact a negative, whatever your abstract rationalising might produce.

  • Caroline Farrow

    Sighs. It’s the targeting of those entering the clinics in such a confrontational way, that is designed to shock and distress them, that I find highly questionable. As I said, it’s not just the vulnerable women entering the clinics who find the photos distressing.

    Also I suggest Paul comes to Brighton and witnesses the seven foot displays for himself. They are quite difficult to avoid and manage to upset and alienate the local population who then find themselves undisposed to listen to any pro-life arguments. 

    Even as someone who has enormous sympathy with what Andy and A67 are attempting to achieve, I don’t like my children having to see this, which is the view of many other local residents. 

    If this material were a movie it would be x-rated. Do I want my sensitive 8 year old (and no I’m not projecting, she ran out of the cinema during Brave as she found it frightening) seeing dismembered babies – absolutely not. She knows what abortion is and can’t comprehend why women would do it and feels its a tragedy. That’s more than enough information.  Other locals feel similarly. The photos force people to engage with this issue with their children, whether they want to or not. 

    The fact that people are upset by these, does not mean that the strategy has worked at all. Many people just put their head down, try to get the images out of their head, disengage and then misdirect their anger and rage at being forced to look at huge images of dead and dismembered bloody hands and feet. 

  • paulpriest

     Sorry Laurence but the use of dead foetal imagery is covered by canons and moral theological precepts regarding respect for the dead. It is an intrinsica moral disorder to use them – and therefore one can only utilise them for a grave reason – i.e. when directly confronting an objective evil.

    They are expressly forbidden from pro-active use for merely a just cause for promotion of the common good.
    The are only permitted in reactive cases for grave reasons in the prevention of an objective evil.

    Now – yes one can argue that fighting proposed legislation may be a direct evil
    But ONLY IF
    Legislators are either formally or proximate materially co-operating in this evil.
    In other words what Colin Harte says they are doing…
    but John Finnis says they aren’t – hence because they aren’t they can adopt an incrementalist – non-solidaritist [compromise and exception] scenario…..

    in other words our Pro-Lifers can’t have their cake and eat it…

    they can’t make attempts to adopt a moral high ground in one regard while selling out on the same principle elsewhere….

  • paulpriest

     I’m sorry but what part of the previous Debate on the issue where I stated Catholic moral teaching didn’t you get?

    …and I am stunned – yes stunned – at your comment, because you condemn their use in the only circumstances which your repeatedly stated moral principles – permit their use!! :

    It’s the targeting of those entering the clinics in such a
    confrontational way, that is designed to shock and distress them, that I
    find highly questionable.

    …because you’ve appealed to the affect they have on women who are so much more visceral, empathic & intuitive.

    So I repeat – why are you saying that they’re wrong?
    Because these tactics – on occasion -  work?
    And irespective of the lives saved…
    Other women who actually go through with the killing of their child – are distressed, traumatised and alienated?

    [and I repeat the question - from what? and is being alienated from this 'what' axiomatically wrong?]

    Abort 67 are engaging in a specific activity to prevent the murder of the unborn.
    And you’re complaining about that direct tactic because it works???!!!
    And I’m sorry you can’t argue it doesn’t sometimes work – because you’re the one claiming women are the ones more deeply affected by these images….

    …and I’m sorry but you make the suggestion that these images might be used outside Parliament or at Hyde Park Corner etc
    But you’re an incrementalist!
    You defend the Finnis position.
    According to your stated beliefs legislators are only guiilty of remote material co-operation while voting…

    Therefore it expressly morally forbidden to ever use dead foetal imagery in such circumstances – because it’s not an intrinsically unjust situation – only an unjust one [and you MUST say it's only unjust - because you're the one arguing for gradualist reductions in the abortion limit]

    Maybe you need to withdraw and have a re-think?
    Because at present you’re contradicting yourself at every turn, justifying your self-declared unjustifiable, then condemning an action as wrong on the grounds that it’s preventig evil – and condemning Abort67 for using an effective affective strategy which saves lives – on grounds those about to kill their babies are getting upset about it!!!???

    Less Cognitive dissonance..more cognitive cacophony!!!

  • paulpriest

    Non- constructive negativity?
    If Mrs Farrow were the most evil woman in the world I would defend her arguments to the hilt if they were cogent, coherent, sound, orthodox and morally licit…

    But they’re not…rather they’re banal, circular, antinomial , fallacious…and just plain BAD!

  • Hannah

    Hear hear Andrew!

  • http://twitter.com/marstrina MarinaS

    – “I support the use of images to show abortion as it is.”

    Then why lie about what it looks like? The images and puppets of A67 don’t show what real foetuses look like at 6 weeks, 10 weeks etc. They actually wildly misrepresent what abortion really is, especially early medical abortion.

    Here’s a chart of what foetuses look like at different stages of early pregnancy, for reference: http://feministphilosophers.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/cst800.jpg

  • Fides_et_Ratio

    Pro-lifers love the Truth. Pro-lifers are the one demanding mandatory ultrasound before abortion.

    Pro-aborts are the ones fighting tooth and nail against mandatory ultrasounds and trying to gag Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

    And don’t expect me to follow a link in a blog of feminists.
    Hearing about babies from the mouth of feminists is like hearing about Jews from the mouths of Nazis.

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

    To argue that we shouldn’t show what bpas do inside their clinics because it is disrespectful to the dead is as problematic as it is dangerous.  I am unaware of any biblical justification for such a view but would be happy to address such if you can provide it.    I don’t hear the same argument being made for pictures of the bodies of Jews being shown to educate about the Holocaust or indeed the remains of saints being on display. 
    To prevent savable
    babies from being killed because of a notion of respect being
    diminished is simply legalistic.  Matthew 23:23 says:
    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of
    mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the
    law, justice, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not
    to leave the other undone.”

    Regarding positioning of our displays.  We stand outside abortion clinics because that is where they are killing the babies.  Proverbs 24 tells us to hold back those staggering towards the slaughter.  We also hold displays outside Parliament and have plans for University displays very soon.  I don’t see this as an either/or scenario.  We want to save the babies that can be saved once their mothers understand the true nature of abortion as well as change the more broad public opinion about abortion. 

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

    Marina, your argument isn’t with us at Abort67 it is with embryologists and ex-abortionists who verify the ages of our imagery.  Please see http://www.abort67.co.uk/content/where-are-images
    and then give me one example of where we have misrepresented the truth. 
    Our earliest abortion picture is 7 weeks from conception.  I’m not calling you a liar, I am simply saying please research your facts before accusing others of lying.

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

     They have worked with some people but not for others.  Some people may be persuaded by a T-shirt but many women have told us it was the abortion pictures that changed their minds. We very much want to save their babies too.  Why not use everything we can?

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

     Regarding your concerns Ben:
    Our oldest abortion image on a banner is 11 weeks from conception.  During our trial, a prosecution witness who was outraged by our banner said he thought that we were showing a picture of a 6 month baby when in fact it was a 10 week baby. 

    Our pictures don’t traumatise victims of abortions, their abortion experience traumatises them.  We have post abortive women stand with us who tell us they would not have aborted had they seen our pictures first.  We have actually had women come up to us and thank us for showing the images because they recognise that we are taking their pain seriously rather than trivialising their experience.  The abortion clinics tell them they have nothing to feel guilty about but our pictures acknowledge their pain. 

    I am unsure how this strategy could backfire on the pro-life movement.  I have never heard someone say “I thought abortion was wrong until I saw it” but I have heard many people say they thought abortion was the lesser of two evils until they saw it.  We are not working to protect the pro-life “movement” we are working according to the principles of social reform to protect unborn children.

    What could be more charitable than preventing women from the tragedy of abortion.  A lot of people miss this obvious point but abortion is bad for a woman because it kills her baby.  Until she is more horrified of abortion than she is terrified of her crisis pregnancy, and all the time the abortionists are telling her “we can take your problem away in your lunch break” she will abort every time.

  • paulpriest

    Because foetal photos demand respect for their inherent dignity and sanctity – their lives are what you’re there for – and you MUST let the world know how much they deserve respect…

    I’m not going to deny you have every justification to use them in the extreme critical circumstances as a last resort – the desperate final plea to prevent an objective evil…

    BUT…if you’re going to use them in other circumstances – and be able to justify it – you MUST categorise that thing which you fight – be it pro-abortion propaganda or legislation AS objective evils – you can’t accommodate any of it or equivocate or attempt to justify any of it

    You know the Colin Harte Solidarity position?
    If you don’t – contact me…

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

     Thanks for the reply.  Embryoscopy and foetoscopy pictures are powerful at directly proving the humanity of the unborn and indirectly the brutality of abortion but abortion pictures directly prove both.  

    In a post-litereate and post Christian age we can’t allow (as far as possible) for people to fill in the blanks.  When we show abortion pictures the objective evil proves itself as just that.

    I would say that every circumstance where we have the opportunity to
    educate people as to the extreme and critically evil nature of abortion
    we should take it.  We never know if that will be the only time someone
    will get the chance to know the reality before making a decision or
    influencing another person’s position..

    I am unaware of Harte’s position so please do fill me in.  I will check in again soon.

  • Jerome

    How is standing outside an abortuary to prevent murder, NOT confronting an objective moral evil?

  • paulpriest

     when did I say it wasn’t?

    BUT you can’t say that gradualism/incrementalism – co-operation with abortion legislation – that utilitarian exceptions and compromises IS acceptable…

    ….then argue the use of foetal imagery to fight this legislation is permissible.

  • Jerome

    …when you say its not right to use foetal imagery…

  • Jerome

    Perhaps I’m not understanding your point… you seem to be arguing that its wrong to use dead foetal imagery unless one is confronting an objective evil…? Surely preventing murder by being outside an abortuary with photos of aborted foetuses is confronting an objective evil? Isn’t it?

  • Guest

    Marina – your pictures convince me that it’s certainly a human baby in there that we shouldn’t rip apart.  And the little hands and feet are what I most remember from graphic abortion images–and those are present in the images you provided..

  • Guest

    Marina – your pictures convince me that it’s certainly a human baby in there that we shouldn’t rip apart.  And the little hands and feet are what I most remember from graphic abortion images–and those are present in the images you provided..

  • paulpriest

     Yes it is.
    Plus when campaigning against proposed legialtion changes or demanding abortion’s abolition in politicval demonstration…
    ..but ONLY IF legislation change which includes abortion is intrinsically unjust…

    Gradualist/incrementalist ‘Pro-Lifers’ adopt the Finnis position that involvement with abortion legislation is remote material co-operation and is only an unjust act – not an impermissible intrinsically unjust act.

  • Jerome

    Well I’m all for 100% abolition of abortion by “choice” [i.e. when not medically necessary]  and support the use of the images to drive the point home.  

    The “gradualist/incrementalist” approach is certainly cooperation – but to my mind with an objective evil – an “impermissable intrinsically unjust act”.

  • paulpriest

     Abortion is never necessary.

    Abortion is frankly the ultimate evil…

    …and frankly I’m sick of those supposed to be Pro-Life advocates screwing up at every turn…