Flower

Debate over graphic images.

If prenatal development photos were enough to teach people about abortion, this photo of a Jewish family would be enough to teach people about the death camps.  I don't know about you, but looking at this photo tells me nothing about Auschwitz.

If prenatal development photos were enough to teach people about abortion, this photo of a Jewish family would be enough to teach people about the death camps. I don't know about you, but looking at this photo tells me nothing about Auschwitz.

I was pleased to a speaker at the Students for Life of America (SFLA) conference in DC yesterday.  There were four of us on a panel discussing the use of graphic images.  I spoke first and used some of that time to talk about the history of social reform.  Successful reformers have always used pictures to help people see (1) the humanity of the victims and (2) the horror if the injustice they sought to correct.  Here are my slides.

Two of the speakers who followed me raised objections that easily could have been rebutted, but I was given no opportunity to do so.  I had actually anticipated their objections and addressed them fair adequately in my opening statement, but I still wanted to reemphasize some of the main points in the face of factual inaccuracies and logical fallacies advanced by my debate partners.  Some of their objections:

  1. Because some people who use pictures are not compassionate to women, then showing pictures is not compassionate — An obvious logical fallacy.  Further, Dr. Alveda King, who has had 2 abortions, said she is glad photos are being shown so that other women won’t have to experience the pain that she has endured.
  2. Pictures hurt children because it upsets them — Violent photos are routinely seen on magazine covers that children see at the supermarket.  Schindler’s List was shown on NBC and PBS during prime family viewing hours; few people complained.  An emergency siren will terrify young children, but we still put sirens on fire trucks.
  3. Some people see the pictures and think we might be violent — Racists and civil rights moderates tried to associate Dr. King with the violent tactics of the Black Panthers.  CBR condemns violence and will not associate with anybody who fails to condemn violence.
  4. Other methods can save babies — True, but many women have reported that they didn’t have abortions because of abortion photos and that nothing else but those pictures had dissuaded them.  Also, our goal shouldn’t be just to save a few, but to get rid of the whole bloody mess.
  5. GAP was a failure because some people objected to the genocide comparisons and used it to change the subject — Pro-aborts always try to change the subject, no matter what you do.
  6. GAP was a failure because a lot of people didn’t stop to talk and therefore didn’t learn facts —The pictures convey at a glance the facts that matter most: the preborn child is a baby and abortion is an act of violence.
  7. Most people like arguments more than pictures — Most people don’t care about philosophy, arguments, etc..  They are trying very hard to ignore or trivialize abortions, and pictures don’t let them do it.  We have show pictures and be prepared to debate.
  8. There was more but I can’t remember.

I hope we get to do this again.  I am going to ask for more opportunity to rebut arguments.

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2 Responses to “Debate over graphic images.”

  1. January 24th, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Bryan McKinney says:

    Solid work yesterday Fletcher, something to consider as well… a quick statement of the sum of all of the saves, changed minds, healings that CBR has on their website. Unfortunately the one anti-image speaker was able to trivialize CBR a little by saying only a “handful” of successes was seen instead of the countless stories CBR has posted, although most specific numbers don’t really matter in the debate to prolifers they need to learn how many really occur because of the images.

    It also would do well if you mentioned that just about everywhere we go post abortive women are volunteers with us on campus who support using the photos and if they aren’t physically there then they aid in housing or other support when the GAP team comes to town and although they all usually say it is hard to see these images that they know they work and don’t want other women to have to suffer as they have.

    What is also of note is that you could spend a whole day in the lobby of the Holocaust museum in DC and count hundreds of small children who were taken there by parents who are against some forms of historic injustice but are too often apathetic or supportive of the injustice occurring today in this country.

  2. January 24th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Fletcher says:

    Children in the Holocaust Museum? Surely not.

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