Thursday 11 December 2014

The Imagery of Abortion

The beauty of human life in the womb
A few years ago, I stood outside an abortion clinic with Abort 67, the group featured in this video on Channel 4 News. I couldn't help but think, at the time, that the group were 'brave'. I admired their ability to stand up and  be counted for the truth.

The longer time goes on, I cannot help but think they are brave, but stupid. Their idea was clear - if only ordinary members of the public could see what abortion is, then abortion would be ended.

Oh, how naive we can be. In a sane world, this would be true. In a sane world, just one picture of an abortion should convince the whole world that it is wrong and evil, but it hasn't worked yet because people are blind to the truth and hardened against God and against the love and protection of human life. Yet at the same time, there is no reason why graphic pictures of abortion need be used to get your point across. I know a couple who live on a street near an abortion clinic in Brighton who are vigorously pro-life but who simply can't stand walking past this group on the way to work when they are present there. They have a child and walked him to school when Abort 67 were outside the clinic. Is it fair on this couple to have to shield their child's eyes from a dismembered aborted baby on the way to school?

Original material

The imagery Abort 67 use is original material. Of course, it is faithful to what abortion is, but it is also both shocking and disgusting imagery of life needlessly and callously destroyed. And, of course, the great sin lies with those who commit this crime - for a crime it is, in the sight of God - the imagery is faithful to the truth, but is the imagery of murder of the unborn in broad daylight necessary to get your point across? Definitely not. You can hardly blame 'local residents' from hardening their opposition to the group when Abort 67 stand there with a huge photograph of a dismembered corpse all day long. I am certain that for passers-by, while some will express positive views that the campaign has 'educated them' on what an abortion is, the psychological tactics can easily backfire because those who pass by might not immediately associate the clinic itself with the imagery of brutal murder, but instead associate the campaigners standing in front of the images with palpable horror.

The beauty of human life outside of the womb
I must say I am no expert on pro-life vigils, but I cannot help but think that there is a reason why Good Counsel Network and other pro-life movements involved in, for example, 40 Days for Life, do not go in for this 'shock' tactic. It seems to be a strategy so ill-thought out, so lending itself to an angered response, that it is almost inviting Governmental repression of the pro-life movement and peaceful vigils for an end to abortion.

Our Lady of Guadalupe: Patroness of the Unborn

After all, the strategy of one group - and it appears that it is this group in particular who provoke reaction, could bring down upon the whole pro-life movement greater repression so that not just Abort 67, but all pro-life groups suffer. I cannot help but feel that the beauty of life in the womb - because we have so many beautiful images of life in the womb now - and the beauty of new life - babies - is more apt to broad day light vigils. At least, then, you do not give Government and those who think child sacrifice should be kept 'legal' a giant stick with which to beat you.

Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and imagery is an important feature of this Feast. For it was with an image that Mexico and other parts of Latin America were converted to faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mexico was converted from a form of paganism that most likely involved some kind of child sacrifice, some kind of human sacrifice to the Catholic Faith through a miraculous image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an image painted by God Himself. The image is completely beyond scientific explanation. Even NASA have admitted that...

'...the image’s colors are not made from any material found on Earth. A laser that scanned the image even found that the colors float three tenths of a millimeter in front of the Tilma surface, without touching it.'

The sheer breadth and depth of the details in this miraculous image is stunning. By all rights, the image should convert the whole world to the Catholic Faith and to love and respect for God and the unborn. 'Original material' it certainly is, crafted by the Almighty.

Would huge replicas of this image, outside of abortion clinics, convince more people that abortion is wrong? Would it win souls to the Lord Jesus Christ and to Our Lady? Would it bring down abortion clinics? Perhaps no more or less than the imagery of Abort 67. Abortion is endemic in this country, a huge aspect of a spiritual war in which all of humankind is involved.

I cannot help but think that there is a vast array of inspiring imagery available to the pro-life movement to 'get the message across' without giving the enemies of that movement great excuses to put an end to the whole thing. The unborn are babies, beautiful babies crafted by God, each one precious in His sight. We can show people the beauty of human life. We can show people the beauty of the Woman clothed with the sun who crushes the head of the Devil.

The Abort 67 strategy, while successful in some ways, in educating people about what an abortion is, has not and will not turn popular opinion against abortion but will likely lend itself to turning popular opinion harder against the campaigners. From the beginning, Abort 67 deliberately wanted 'maximum publicity' - hence the images. The Good Counsel Network do incredible work providing help and assistance to those who need help, providing spiritual support and practical assistance to mothers presented with the choice presented to them by the United Kingdom Government.

In a sane world, the Good Counsel Network would be provided funding by the Government to support the poor who need help in times of crisis. The UK Government might always urge women to choose death. It's what Governments are good at after all. It would be a great shame - a terrible and awful tragedy - if those pro-life groups who offer real help, real compassion to those considering abortion, were banned from holding a presence near abortion clinics just because Abort 67 couldn't give up their logic that murderers will stop murdering when everyone has seen a snuff movie.

The Good Counsel Network always need more donations and prayers. Everything they do they do on a shoe-string, with very limited resources. Why not pray for them, pray for an end to the horror of abortion and donate to them today?

It feels so good not to write a blog post about Pope Francis!
With God's help, anything is possible!

Update: I'm getting a couple of comments from people saying I am wrong, so wrong. Well, I don't mind being wrong. What I mind is that the deliberately provocative actions of one group gives the Government a perfect excuse to clamp down on all, even those who do not use these tactics.

Just to illustrate my point...

SPUC Displays


WomenDeserveTheTruth said...

I heartily disagree with you. The couple shielding their ONE child from photos of abortion are actually shielding themselves. IF they hate to walk by the photos, how come they never hated to walk by the abortion clinic without the photos? I live in a town that has had an abortion clinic for over 40 years. They have a 40 days for life campaign since 2009 -- all the contraceptors and pro-divorce stand around supposedly 'praying' while babies are slaughtered inside. All those who protest the CIA torture and the righteous rage of the black people setting fire to businesses in their communities need to look again at their own TOLERANCE for the slaughter of 100,000 babies a day. Think about it as you prepare for the coming of the Christ Child -- most protestant churches don't even have a service on Christmas day anymore (it is the evening before). Most Catholic churches have their 'children' and 'family' masses the evening before also -- and only one mass on Christmas Day -- what are we all shiedling our eyes from? The destruction of the family came about when mom and dad were told it was up to them (their choice--not God's) how many children to have. These parents are shielding their child from the real world --also why aren't they home-schooling instead of sending child to learn that homosexual sex reproduces children?

The Bones said...

So why is it only Protestants who do this kind of campaign?

Anonymous said...

Laurence, you've broken my heart. Even you have been infected by the false, evil reasoning which the statist propaganda has been continually subjecting us to for decades.

I wrote a long response but could not publish it as it was "too long" even though I cut it down several times.

Do not succumb to the evil ideology that we have been bombarded with by the tyrannic statist, atheistic overlords. Do not allow your reason to be infected by their lies. They aim to outlaw the truth in the public square formally, as it has been informally suppressed for decades. Do not collude with them in their evil aims.

This has been achieved to a great extent when some Prolife people have been infected with a false rationale for the suppression of truth. This is the effect of their decades-long control of the public square.
People are being jailed and otherwise persecuted for speaking and showing the truth of baby-killing around the world. The thinking you describe comes first, to enable such unjust criminalisation.

As Priests for Life never tire of repeating: "For America to ban abortion, America must see abortion."
Of course, Prolife efforts encompass many different methods according to the different situation. I have taken part in 40 Days for Life and numerous different Prolife and baby-saving activities. All have their place. When one speaks to a woman about to have her baby killed by abortion, it is in a very different way than when one speaks truth to power against the evil, atheistic, tyrannical and eugenic regimes of despotic state and interstate government.

Anonymous said...

So why is it only Protestants do it? Because Catholics have been told over and over by apostate, heretical or cowardly bishops and priests, not to speak (in words, pictures, deeds) the truth against this slaughter of the innocents, or the truth against many other evils, but rather be quiet - as they are. We can go to hell for sins of omission as well as commission.

On the side of the angels said...

Oooooh Laurence you could not be more wrong...

Read the end of my blogpost and please watch the Gregg Cunningham Video - it IS important...

The Bones said...

Why should children have to look at these images?

Why should images of murder be shown in public during broad daylight?

Why not just show the unborn child in the womb and not the aftermath of the murder?

I just think if you want to harden opposition to you, then that is the right way to go about it.

If you want to convince people of the humanity of the unborn child, then you don't have to show the murder itself.

You show the unborn child.

Anonymous said...

from Mary
Yesterday I saw some photos of the Christian children that are getting beheaded by ISIL and it made me cry. It really brought the evil home to me and made me realize how vitally important it is to pray and fast to do penance in these days. The photos were key to my waking up to the sheer horror of what the Christians in Mosul are going through.

Terry said...

Laurence, you are so right. Thank you.

On the side of the angels said...

Invoking hostility is the point.

It's showing people what it is.

It's preventing the lie that it is anything other than what it is...

So to answer your questions:

a] An abortion clinic is a slaughterhouse - why should a parent take a child past one? They live in a world where this happens - would they take their child through a red-light district or an area with sex-shops? The same applies...

b] Why should genocide be hidden in broad daylight? Those who support abortion in any way , shape or form should be reminded 24-7 EXACTLY what they support. They agree with it - so what's the problem? Truth hurt? Is it offensive to remind someone that they support child-murder?

c] Because it's not a maternity clinic promoting the life of a child but its murder...yes live foetal imagery works to prevent some women going through with aboortion - but we are talking about critical recourse to preventing a grave evil - and the prevention of a murder permits the greatest latitude in strategy in order to prevent that evil - some means would be considered distinctly criminal but would remain moral under the negative double-effect in Catholic teaching - and I mean very extreme recourse in that prevention - the graphic representation of a child shredded or torn limb from limb might be viscerally provocative - but it is the least one can do amidst the extreme gravity of the circumstances.

d] Laurence you're thinking like a consequentialist utilitarian - the act is there in an attempt to prevent a specific, direct, immediate grave moral evil - the repercussions or consequences upon anyone else outside that single act in those specific circumstances - are irrelevant in regard to the morality of the act.

e] No you don't have to - BUT I repeat - and I did say all this on my blogpost - one has further recourse to using aborted foetal imagery in any attempt to prevent the imminent grave evil of a child's murder.

You're asking about whether it is ever right for someone to do such a thing - the answer is that it is morally permissible to do it - one is never morally obliged to commit an intrinsically morally disordered act to prevent a grave evil one from occurring - but one is permitted to do it in full conscience - one has a right to do that which may prevent an evil - whether it is 'right' to do it is of course debatable - but you may only appeal on 3rd font grounds of circumstantial inappropriateness - you may never condemn the 1st font objectivity of the act or the 2nd font motive of the act towards the specific end intrisic within the objective.

i.e. you can neither forbid nor prevent someone from doing it nor subsequently condemn someone for doing it - one may only suggest a hypothetical disagreement over the recourse were you the proponent - and potential 'counsel' using your discernment of the circumstances - that in this situation it was not the right way to go about it....but that can only be adjudictaed post-facto.

I'm sorry but this is what you simly aren't seeing - it might be bad taste or in other people's estimations counterproductive and alienating and have consequences detrimental to the pro-life movement - whatever...but frankly none of that matters. Someone is permitted to use such a recourse in an attempt to save a life - and that they have tried and possibly failed is an irrelevance to the actual morality of the act itself.

I explain it better at the end of my linked blogpost - you're not as comprehensively wrong as Peter Williams is [I doubt you could ever be like him] but in this case you are still looking on things from a nasty utilitarian outlook - that has to stop before it infects other parts of your moral thought - sorry to seem so callous but I am serious - cut every consequentialist thought out of your ethical ethos - NOW!

Konstantin said...


please consider this: TV shows the most heinous crimes, both real and acted, and people watch it for the thrill of it. And how many children watch this garbage, how many children play the most disgusting video games as a hobby? How many children, yeah children, watch pornography? There is a German neuroscientist who has written various books about the negative influence of TV on children. He states that by the time they turn 18, they will have watched 18,000 murders on TV. I hope the parents you mentioned shield their children against this as well.

I think pictures of abortion are really the last thing we have to worry about with regard to children, since 99 % of the world's children will never walk past an anti-abortion demo.

People will never believe that it was "a life" that was brutally ended if they don't see the slaughter. I hate these pictures, too, but they are necessary.

The Bones said...

'People will never believe that it was "a life" that was brutally ended if they don't see the slaughter.'


You really think people don't know?

You really think an image of a fetus inside the womb doesn't give an unborn child enough credibility?

You think people have to see the corpse, because they won't accept the humanity of the child?

You think people are that unintelligent?

blondpidge said...

My children (10,5,3 and 2) understand that there is a baby in my womb. My 10 year old knows what abortion is and finds it abhorrent. Even my 3 year old worries about the welfare of the baby in my tummy, because she knows that it isn't good for mummy or baby if any of the children come and sit down hard on me or that lifting them could cause harm.

The 3 year old cried when I accidentally trod on a woodlouse, the other day. I do not see why they need to be subjected to enormous, unmissable banners displaying the macerated corpse of what is unmistakably, a baby.

There are some beautiful children's pro-life resources out there, which have really brought home the reality to the children, that life begins at conception.

For those of us who live and work and go to school in the Brighton area, we have little choice other than to drive past the Wiston's clinic, given where it is situated.

My husband finds the images particularly triggering/upsetting as they remind him of the baby we lost last year and whose body we were forced to take home and store in our fridge prior to burial. I found them especially usetting upon learning that the baby inside me had died.

Rachel's Vinyard has some extremely pertinent things to say about graphic images in terms of healing and recovery from abortion, basically that sidewalk images do not help foster the environment of protection, safety and love which women need when confronting and coming to terms with a past abortion.

Do these images displayed in a confrontational fashion create an environment free from judgment, condemnation, and point to the mercy and compassion of Christ?

Damask Rose said...

This response is kind of brutal and graphic so brace yourselves...

I think that Laurence is right to some extent but I think the Pro-Life movement should use both methods.

1. If you have a whole row of graphic abortion pictures on display I think it's overkill. Some people, will turn away even knowing what it means. It's like some people can't bear looking at a Crucifix.

2. Choose your abortion pictures well. It's like a business, you want to sell a product, the product being saving a life.

3. What are you actually looking at? What would cause maximum effect? (I do have some Spuc abortion literature/pics I've had for over 20 years and I barely looked at the literature the first time. It's too awful - so does a message get lost?)

The suction method leaves a gellied, bloodied body part mess, a pic of the cutting-up method is better because you can see the body parts. I think it's easier for the mind to process a pic of this type of abortion method. A lot of women have heavy periods and sometimes there's jellied clotting/pieces with it (forget what it's called clinically). Basically, women are used to seeing a bloody mess.

4. The psychology of it. Abortion is easy to commit because you can't see the baby's death. (You might here the suction.) What is more shocking? Seeing a dead baby in a black bag waiting for incineration or a bloodied mass? Remember a while back there was outrage because that poor Chinese woman had a forced abortion and her baby had been put in a bucket. People are shocked when some poor girl maybe has a stillbirth and puts her baby in a bin. People think of new-born babies wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a matching woollen hat, outfit and booties in yellow, pink or blue. Perhaps use this type of pic with a caption saying "It's going to be OK"?

5. "It's all about me." Make the woman centre-stage. It's about lifestyle choice, my body, yada, yada. So put up a pic with a lovely mummy and her cute gurgling baby. Some women suffer mentally after an abortion, but would you show a pic of a depressed woman? Put up cheerful-looking contact details of where women can get help.

The women themselves. Some women want abortions because maybe a} they want to carry on drinking on a Friday night and get f****d, b) career woman, says it all, c) upper middle class, don't want any more kids, need to get the stainless steel kitchen, 4x4, skiing holiday. I did read a sad article that abortion is now happening increasingly in older married couples, even if the mother wants the baby because the husband just doesn't want it for the same reasons as selfish women. I used to work with a woman whose mum was a nurse and the hospital was quite near where prostitutes plied their trade and a by-product of the job was aborted babies. Russia, 7-8 abortions per some women, a form of contraception.

Konstantin - films and horror films are getting so increasingly graphically violent and cruel I think people are becoming numbed.

6. The baby itself. I have watched 'The Silent Scream' and was horrified. Why not put a big still of the baby moving away from the knife as it's inserted into the womb to show the baby is scared - and thus human? You can get 3D pics of babies in the womb now.

Perhaps the Pro-Life movement needs to change tack. It always bugs me how people/medical profession who want their baby call the baby, er, a 'baby' and if not, it's just a foetus.

Perhaps the Pro-Life movement should show pics of the happiness of motherhood? Be more positive- make it prettier/happier? I don't think people can handle the raw emotion of it - the baby gets in the way of their ego - what they want. You need to get past the selfishness.

Martina Katholik said...

As always, I agree with Lynda.

And I think people have to see the corpse, because otherwise they won't accept the murder of the child.

It is my personal experience that most are really so dumbed down.

BTW the way, you think the same. You wrote: ...those who pass by might not immediately associate the clinic itself with the imagery of brutal murder, but instead associate the campaigners standing in front of the images with palpable horror."

There you describe classical conditioning, the most primitive form of learning by mere association without using reason.

BetterAMillstoneThanToLeadOneIntoSin said...

Yeah, show happy babies - that will make people realize slavery is wrong!! Show well-fed babies, that will make people give money to feed the starving! Show happy prisoners, that will make people realize torture is degrading! Show happy Jews at the Holocaust museum--not emaciated corpses stacked like cordwood; bull doze the gas chamber and show a picture of a garden! You all are so full of bad conscience -- it's time to get off your arses, stop supporting the murder state, and STOP STOP PLEASE STOP hiding behind children - you are full grown adults. Babies are being murdered every day in our communities because WE ADULTS allow it. Are the kiddies complaining? Or are the husbands (it reminds him of the baby we lost last year -- really? What about the 100,000 babies dismembered today? Sucked up in a vacuum? Are those lives less important than your hubbies feelings?). A priest said the purpose of evil is so that the good people can distinguish themselves by standing against it. You want to cover up evil so you can keep doin' nuthin -- or your 40 day prayer vigil where you might take 1 hour a week or 1 hour per 40 days! GET REAL PEOPLE! GET REAL. I thank God for those people showing the pictures. It's getting those like us who think we are so pro-life coming out to fight on the side of Planned Parenthood -- cover up these pictures of slavery so the slave owners can keep ownin' slaves. If one woman changes her mind and turns away from that clinic -- who cares about YOUR pain? One saved soul (not to mention one saved life) -- one mortal sin prevented -- PRICELESS!

Bipted Chapels said...

"What I mind is that the deliberately provocative actions of one group gives the Government a perfect excuse to clamp down on all, even those who do not use these tactics."

Women are interrupting church services to jump on altars topless - they are going into St. Peter's square topless and doing line dances using crucifixes to simulate anal sex -- men are marching around naked in gay pride parades (and sado mashochistic garb also), engaging in oral sex in tents -- and Cardinal Dolan invites them to march in the St. Patrick's day parade; planned parenthood hosts slut walks, but, oh showing the truth about abortion is going to cause the government to CLAMP DOWN ON YOU!!!!!!

What about the right of free speech? You won't defend the babies being slaughtered and now you are going to give up the right of free speech so that YOU can't be shown what you are permitting to go on in your BOOOTiful CATHOOOOLIC NEIGHBORHOOD! Such a nice park for the kiddies -- and right down the road is Elton John sodomizing or prostituting or taking dirty pictures for all you know of the children he 'adopted'. And a few miles in the other direction, the science lab is growing those 'frozen' IVF embryos so they can 'harvest' the organs (and kill the babies).

But don't show us the babies being dismembered -- the government will clamp down on that!

WE are the reason the slaughter continues! Be worried that God is going to clamp down on you at your judgment.

P.S. A woman going into have an abortion is not going to be convinced by a sign "pray to end abortion"; nor by a picture of a fetus --when she thinks her baby is just some cells. A real pic of an aborted baby w/the # of weeks gestation is factual information the abortion clinic and OUR SOCIETY denies parents. They deserve to know. They need to know. Their souls depend on it -- and also their children's lives.

I think all crucifixes need to be removed from churches - and replaced with resurrexifixes! Why don't you post some pics of those! What kind of message of love and mercy and compassion is a bloody crucifix? What was God thinking? The government is going to clamp down on all of us for these bloody crucifixes! My God, we need to abolish Good Friday before freedom of religion is taken away from us!

Deacon Augustine said...

I can see arguments both ways on this one. Everybody should be exposed to the reality of an aborted baby at least once in their lives in order that they can understand the reality of what is taking place in an abortion clinic.

However, the danger of having such images constantly on display is that people will get desensitized to them. Just like they get desensitized to horror movies and porn-addicts get desensitized to "normal hard core" porn, there comes a point where the images of abortion will no longer have the desired effect. What is so horrific that its use is intended to shock and provoke, can end up provoking the response of "So what?"

The human heart hardens so easily. Is it a good thing or a bad thing if we co-operate in the hardening of hearts even more?

I used to go into the local state school once a year to talk to the philosophy and ethics class about Thomism and the natural law. As part of my presentation I would show them pictures of the development of a child in the womb so that they could get an idea of how quickly it becomes recognizably human. Although this was a healthy growing baby, rather than an aborted baby, it provoked incredibly strong reactions in the 14-15 year-olds who saw it. It all came to a head when one girl ran out of the class crying - she had had an abortion a few months earlier and this was the first time she had actually been confronted with the reality of what "had been got rid of." They asked me to stop bringing those pictures after that, to which I responded that if they weren't interested in truth, then they were infringing the rights of their students to a proper education - end of my unofficial teaching career.

However, I recount these events to illustrate that even the picture of a healthy baby in the womb can have significant impact on people. Sometimes it can be more effective to let people's imaginations extrapolate the horrors of murder, rather than shove it in their face. Imaginations can be far more gruesome than reality.

On the side of the angels said...

why not ask those who have had abortions and regret it - do you wish you had been confronted by someone trying to stop you? would that graphic imagery have shocked you into not going ahead?
If not - why not?

lion said...

Mr Bones, I believe you are correct. If one is speaking to a room full of people then perhaps the graphic pictures would be helpful. But on the sidewalk outside the abortion clinic is not the place. I have been on a sidewalk for years and years. I only use the happiest and most beautiful baby pictures I can find. I don't even display the word abortion or killing on any of my signs. My signs normally say something like "Choose Life."

We are trying to get the women walking into the clinic to come over and talk to us before they go in. The graphic pictures would have them running into the clinic and away from us. They would just dig in deeper.

A kind word and a sign with a photo of the most darling baby have a profound effect on these women. We don't always change their minds, but they know that we are not a threat to them.

The graphic photos may have their place, but in my experience that place is not on the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I think I disagree Bones. I have heard people justifying abortion saying "it was just a bunch of cells" or "it was just a foetus and not a baby". Witness the discussion I have been having on the Catholic Herald with "relatively-speaking" who accepts that the conceptus is life and is human but then says is it not a human life. They need to be shown the reality.

We seem to love fiction but not reality. If I turn on the telly to watch a film I will be warned that there will be foul language and scenes of violence and sex. And so there is ruining many a good film because they do not understand that the obscene should be obscene i.e. off the set. On the other hand when it comes to reality like some terrible accident or soldiers fighting in Afghanistan the whole thing is sanitized. There is no foul language and no blood as it is all edited out with blips. Why do we tolerate the fictional obscenity but shy away from real horror?

As to Abort67 they have succeeded in getting the subject aired on a major TV channel. It will have provoked discussion instead of the usual silence that surrounds this subject. The Government may try and clamp down on them but I think that if they do there will be more discussion of the issue and that surely is a good thing.

Damask Rose said...

Deacon Augustine

That's very interesting what you said about going into the classroom with the 14-15 year olds. People don't really know the 'gentler' side of pregnancy and a baby. People sometimes can't get past certain realities, for instance, like a woman's pregnant - so what?

Reminds me when I was in the Sixth Form (c 17 yrs old at the time) and we were having an "abortion discussion" with a couple of teachers as well. Of course it was left to me to do the pro-life talk and people knew I was Catholic. All I said was that I was born about 2.5 months premature and I survived but other babies may have been aborted at this stage. Some of the girls went really quiet and the kid's attitude softened. The teachers were impressed because I spoke up.

We're all trying to say the same thing but different ways produce a different impact.

The Bones said...

So OTSATA, how regularly do you stand on street corners with large pictures of aborted babies?

blondpidge said...

As someone who did have an abortion, being of a squeamish disposition, I imagine that I would have recoiled in horror, closed my eyes and run into the refuge of the clinic. Which is what, incidentally, Abby Johnson reports as happening when she worked for Planned Parenthood.

Abby reported that when women rushed in frightened & distressed from this imagery, it enabled the clinic to cast themselves into the role of guardian angels protecting women from these pro-life demons. The clinic would also lie to the women and say that the photos on display bore no relation to their "foetus".

I do know of many pavement counsellors who I won't name on a public blog who do use graphic images but the difference is that they have them on a postcard or prayercard size piece of paper and will only use them when engaged in a conversation if they feel it is appropriate or could move the discussion on. These are people with years of experience who know how to guage it and when to make the call. Typically it is the men who are most likely to be influenced, especially those strong-arming their women into abortion or believe they are being supportive,

Graphic images do have their place, they can change hearts and minds but in the right context only.

When I had an abortion, the Internet was not available. I was lied to and of course allowed myself to be lied to. I only realised what I had done once confronted with the bloody corpse of my baby which came out complete in his/her sac. The clinic only told me I would experience labour pains and would pass a sac, once they had administered the medication.

These days women have access to the Internet and therefore opportunity to look up the gestational age of their baby. Those who don't do this, avoid reality for a reason.

What would have changed my mind? Difficult to know for sure with the gift of hindsight, but I think it would have been the combination of knowing what the baby looked like at 9 weeks, either by ultrasound or foetal model or photograph. Also someone to make me realise that I could say yes, I did have a choice and a baby would be a joyful thing and I would cope.

Marie Stopes warned me there would be protestors on the doorstep. There was no-one and I remember feeling almost disappointed, I wanted to have a conversation where someone would oppose me, rather than blithely nod. That, I think, is very telling, but anything gory and I would have done a runner.

It's only when you are healed can you face these images with any kind of honesty and even then, it still hurts and doesn't drive post-abortive women to seek forgiveness and help.

Netmilsmom said...

There is a time and place for everything. The gory pictures work on college campuses and places where children are not going to see them.

We are "Crusaders for Life". We have balloons and pictures of Ultrasounds. We cheer and dance singing "We love babies yes we do. We love babies how about you?"

The Pro-Death people hate us the most because the group is made up of teens and young adults, all happy and singing. THAT my friends is effective.

Gregg Cunningham said...

This well-intentioned blogger over-generalizes and over-simplifies when trying to determine what changes people’s minds about abortion. Some can be converted to a pro-life perspective through the written and spoken word. Others through exposure to prenatal development imagery. Still others through love and support. But a significant percentage of the population will not reject abortion unless they see it. Women often tell us they would have killed their baby had they not been shown an abortion image. Many post-abortive women tell us they would never have killed their baby had someone shown them the full horror of abortion. We will not forsake these women or their children. It would be absurd to argue that abortion photos can save every baby. It is equally preposterous to say they can save no babies. There is a reason BPAS never attempted to ban anti-abortion campaigners from sidewalks outside its clinics before they began to display abortion photos. The “stupidest” thing Abort67 could do is to abandon the only tactic that drives baby-killers to hysteria.

And since Abort67 posts parental notice signs along avenues of approach to its abortion photos, the number of children being upset is minimized. We should care about the feelings of born children – but we should care more about the lives of those unborn children whose mothers will choose abortion if they don’t see it.

Anonymous said...

Abortion images are important and necessary.

This blog post contains many errors.

Watch this debate:

It's a nonsense to think about the reputation of pro-lifers, when hundreds of thousands of babies are being aborted. The abortion issue is not about pro-lifers, but about abortion. Like the good samaritan, let's continue to remember the victim rather than ourselves.

I've spent 3,000 hours organising pro-life vigils outside abortuaries and this blog post contains many assumptions which are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Im Catholic and im pro life. Ill encourage the pregnant mother to save their unborn baby. Im very moved by grife for all the lost souls. Not only does it go against Gods word but its down right wrong and i consider it murder.

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...