Anecdotal evidence and other objections to GAP

We are often challenged by pro-lifers who resist our efforts to expose abortion.  We recently met with a group of students who offered a series of objections to our work.  Here are their objections and our answers.

Objection:  We will be disliked, hated, criticized, etc.

Response:  MLK, Lewis Hine, William Wilberforce, and Thomas Clarkson were all disliked, hated, criticized, etc. … and more.  If we are serious about ending abortion, we need to be as strong as they were.  In Dr. King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, he was very clear that reformers must expose evil, in spite of the inevitable negative reaction from those who support the status quo.  Please take a few minutes and read his letter.

Objection:  There is nothing but anecdotal evidence to say that pictures work.

Response: We have ample independent evidence to prove pictures work:

  1. We have the verdict of history that says pictures always work to educate, change public opinion, and ultimately public policy.
  2. We also have the history that reformers who don’t use pictures never succeed.
  3. At Middle Tennessee State, 15% of passersby said the GAP display changed their minds.  That was in addition to the sizeable percentage (40-50%) who said the display made them even more sure of their pro-life beliefs.
  4. Typically, about 10% (range: 5-15%) of the respondents to our informal polls tell us that the GAP display changed their minds.
  5. At the U of Louisville, 65% of an independent group of students said the display was effective at changing minds.  That included 29% who said GAP changed their own minds.
  6. Here is another statistic that is not anecdotal.  At 100% of the venues at which we have displayed GAP, multiple people have told us that our pictures changed their minds.  Others changed their minds but didn’t tell us until later.  Here are just a few examples:
      1. University of North Florida (mind changed 3 years earlier)
      2. University of California Irvine (baby saved 3 years earlier)
      3. University of California Riverside (mind changed 1 year earlier)
  7. The following comments came from just one philosophy class at the U of Louisville:
      1. Student B:  I had always believed in choice … but the pictures were too convincing.   I’m not sure why the relationship between abortion and genocide has never crossed my mind, but the display was surprisingly convincing.  … Abortion is a form of murder and genocide.
      2. Student I:  … it truly changed my perspective on abortion …
      3. Student L:  I had only a few cheap glances over at [the pictures], but what I did see I wish I would have not. … [The photos] made me think about this and I think that the pictures woke me up … and gave me a reality check. … The pictures said enough for me.
      4. Student O:  The first picture stuck in my head and I just stared at it in total shock. It was a picture of a tiny little embryo/baby, its head the size of a dime, lying dead in blood with all its organs visible … They are murdered because of the selfishness of others.
      5. Student P:  I think these photos were used to prove the point that abortion is still murder and in mass numbers, should be compared to genocide.  I didn’t think of abortion in this way until viewing the exhibit.
      6. Student A:  It definitely make everybody not just stop and look, but to really think about the message … It worked!
      7. Student J:  They made the presentation so that you didn’t want to look but you couldn’t help but look.
      8. Student Q:  It was a clear illustration of how a well-planned … [the] project could reach hundreds of people in a very short span of time.

Objection:  This approach is not compassionate to post-abortive women.

Response:  Many post-abortive women have told us to please show the pictures so that others won’t make the same mistake they made.  One such woman is Dr. Alveda King, who had 2 abortions.  Others have said that only by seeing abortion pictures were they able to come out of denial, confess, repent and heal.  One such woman is on this video.  We always try to bring a team of post-abortive women who can reach out to women on campus who wish to discuss their experiences.  Pictures don’t hurt women; abortion hurts women.

No reformers have ever stopped an injustice by covering it up.  Reformers like Dr. King, William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Lewis Hine, and others have always used horrifying images to educate the public and create a forum in which the purveyors of injustice were forced to defend the indefensible.  The purveyors of injustice had never had to do that before.  With abortion pictures, we create a forum in which abortion apologists are forced to defend the practice of decapitating and dismembering little human beings.  They can’t do it.  But only the display of abortion images forces them to try and thus exposes the frivolity of their arguments.

If we don’t expose injustice, history is clear that the killing will never end.  There is nothing our opponents fear more than pictures.

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