Eight reasons to use graphic images

We convert more students at the March for Life than at any other event.

Catholic school chaperones tell us that the pictures of abortion we show had more influence on their students than any other speaker or event.

If Simcha Fisher shows up today for the March for Life in DC, she’ll be sorely disappointed when she passes E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse on Constitution Avenue.  That’s where we will be with our billboard-sized photos of aborted babies.  In her blog at the National Catholic Register, Ms. Fisher advanced “Eight Reasons Not to Use Graphic Abortion Images at the March for Life.”  We beg to differ.  Read her blog here.  Below, FAB resonds to each of her assertions.

There will be children at the march.  First of all, children as young as nine do become pregnant and they do get abortions (we have press clippings to prove it).  In America, a school nurse can take a pregnant child out of class and to a judge who can certify that this little girl is sufficiently mature to make an abortion decision behind her parents’ backs.  It happens all the time.

Even parents who don’t allow their children to watch violence on television often take them to the grocery store, where check-out lines are flanked with magazine covers depicting dead and dying victims of violence, terrorism, natural disasters, etc., some of them as gruesome as anything we use.  They have been seen by countless children whose clueless parents never even noticed.

We have had countless women tell us that nothing less shocking than our abortion photos would have sufficed to dissuade them from killing their children.  So we have to ask ourselves, “Which is worse, children being upset by a picture of abortion or other children being killed by the act of abortion?”

When Christians complain, we ask “Would Jesus use bloody pictures to show people the result of sin?”  Jesus controlled every aspect of his capture, trial, and execution.  He arranged to have Himself beaten so badly, He didn’t even look human (Isaiah 52:14).  His beard was torn off of his face (Isaiah 50:6).  In this condition, He walked through the most crowed part of Jerusalem on the most crowded day of the year.  His bloody body horrified throngs of Passover pilgrims, including large numbers of young children.

He made this disturbing spectacle as public as possible, because he wanted to disturb us with the gravity of our sin (but also bless us with the grace of His forgiveness), despite the fact that many children would be traumatized in the process.  Did He get this wrong?

There will be post-abortive women at the March.  If there are post-abortive women all around us, there are also pre-abortive women around us.  And with as many high-school students as come to the March for Life by the busload, you can bet there are pre-abortive women (and men) in the crowd.  The most compassionate thing we can do for pre-abortive women (and men) is to show them the truth so that abortion is no longer a temptation.

Furthermore, the history of social reform demonstrates that we can never end abortion by covering it up.  So we have to ask ourselves, “Which is worse, women feeling sorrow over past abortions, or the killing never ends?”

Mothers will be there.  Yes, mothers will be at the March for Life with their children.  We will be on the left-hand side of the parade route.  There is ample opportunity for parents to redirect their children’s attention away from the display.  Parents do it all the time.

Other parents don’t try to hide uncomfortable truth from their children.  They use our pictures as a teaching moment, so that their children will know the truth and will not be entrapped by the twin evils of complicity and complacency.

Those are real babies.  At the Holocaust museum and in any book on the Holocaust, you will see pictures of dead people, and those people are very real.  Their bodies are stacked up like chord wood.  Victims of injustice want their plight to be known, and they want injustice to end.  If it is wrong to show pictures of dead victims at the March for Life, it is equally wrong to show pictures of dead victims at the Holocaust Museum.

Public image matters, but changing minds matters even more.  We don’t care what people think about us; we care about what they think about abortion.  Civil rights activists actually wrote Dr. Martin Luther King a letter asking him not to come to Birmingham.  They thought he might undo all the great progress they had made.  They thought his methods were too confrontational.  Maybe they thought his public image was bad for the civil rights movement.

But he went to Birmingham anyway.  He got thrown in jail, and he used his time in jail to write his famous Letter From a Birmingham Jail, perhaps the most important document to emerge out of the Civil Rights Era.  He wrote about the necessity to make people uncomfortable with the status quo.  He said that civil rights moderates were more dangerous to the cause of civil rights than the Ku Klux Klan.

Abortion pictures do not push women into abortion.  We have been told by many, many women that they had decided to abort their babies, but seeing our pictures changed their minds.  We have never heard of any woman who said she had decided not to abort, but seeing our pictures caused her to change her mind and change her mind.

Pictures do not desensitize pro-lifers to the extent that they leave the movement.  Yes, of course we who see the pictures every day don’t react with the same emotion as we used to.  I’m sure that surgeons and emergency room doctors don’t react to blood with the same emotion that they felt when they first entered medical school.  But so what?  Does that make them less effective?  Do they leave the profession?  Are they less committed to saving lives?  Does it make them think that death is not such a big deal?

What people see changes their minds.  To say that pictures don’t force unwilling people to change their minds is simply not supportable by the facts.  When Americans saw pictures of Black men and women being attacked with dogs and water cannons, certainly not all of them changed there minds about racial injustice.  But enough did change their minds to bring about the needed reforms.  When people see abortion photos, certainly not all of them change their minds.  But many do.  Ms. Fisher’s argument is not with us; her argument is with these — women who didn’t abort, people whose minds were changed, people who became more motivated to stand against abortion — and many others who have said that abortion pictures changed their minds.

Last resort?  If people need to see the truth, as Ms. Fisher says, then why should we limit their exposure to once or twice per lifetime?  Why?  Did they broadcast video and publish photos of racial injustice only once or twice?

Finally, Ms. Fisher asserts that we should show abortion pictures only as a last resort.  With more than 50 million dead in this country over 40 years, we have to ask, “If not now, then when?”  I don’t know about Ms. Fisher, but if I am ever kidnapped and my captors are planning my execution, I hope that those who know of my plight won’t wait until I am dead before they decide it’s OK to use every tool in their toolbox to rescue me from death and save my life.

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7 Responses to “Eight reasons to use graphic images”

  1. January 25th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Therese says:

    I’m sorry, but if you have lost your sensitivity to these pictures and continue to use them as tools to bludgeon people over the head with then you have lost the most important basis for the pro-life movement. Respect for life. You are merely using the bodies as a tool in your war (albeit a war with more than just cause). These children deserve to have people traumatized over their pictures, that is *precisely* why it is wrong to allow ourselves to become desensitized to them.

    Also, the jab at Simcha about the last resort? Everyone keeps taking what she said as if she doesn’t want these images used. That is not the case. She in fact argued *for* their use, but under certain circumstances. Her mention of a lastt resort did not mean that we have to hide these pictures until some future date when we have finally reached a sufficient body count, what she meant is they should not be the first line of fire, they should be used today, but only in certain circumstances. Of course now is the time to pull out all the stops, and that includes graphic images, so long as we use them at the appropriate time and place.

  2. January 25th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Leila says:

    LMAO, that’s special.

    Claiming to have proof is not the same as actually having proof. If these press clippings truly exist, why didn’t you include them in the first place? Oh, that’s right, you’re all a bunch of liars. That’s why.

  3. January 25th, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Fletcher says:


    Here are two such examples:

    Yes, 9 years old is very rare, but it does happen, as these press clippings prove. Obviously, abortion is more frequent when children reach ages of 11, 12, 13, etc.


  4. January 26th, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Bryan McKinney says:

    Dr. Armstrong’s positions completely refute the emotional arguments of Ms. Fisher. I was standing by the jumbo tron when she came up to protest against the use of the images of abortion. What is so ironic is that several hundred people throughout the day came up to both the GAP display at the jumbo-tron, I was standing by both most of the march, and thanked us for being there. Dozens of parents with children in what looked like grade school stopped to show their students the GAP display and used them as teachable opportunities. I heard no other complaints from anyone. Did they simply lack courage to come up and complain? I think not, I think some who agreed with Ms. Fisher came up and gave the displays the benefit of the doubt and watched the reactions of those who were walking by. It was amazing to learn that this exact display years ago was responsible for the ONLY known baby save from abortion at the March for Life. Ms. Fisher would have had that baby die if it were up to her to have banned our being there. Thank God people like her do not control freedom of speech.

  5. January 27th, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    Ana Daniela says:

    This answer was marked as spam on Simcha’s blog, I will post it here. Thank you for all your saving lives efforts.

    @Fletcher Amstrong:
    Did you reed the article from Salon?
    Of course “most” of the pro-abort know that life starts at conception?. Why else would they fight it so merciless?
    Quoting from the above article:

    “Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal.”

    The author should had the courage to write “NOT ALL HUMAN LIFE IS EQUAL”, as the examples given are concerning the human life:

    “But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other nations. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims.”

    This article is better analyzed here:
    “….the pro-abortion needs to admit the fetus is
    human. And then say: ‘SO WHAT?’ A woman gets to decide because her rights are more important that the human person in utero.
    It is unimaginable that 40 years after the wild-eyed frothing at the mouth abortion loving feminists went out of their way, dedicated their entire lives and careers to perpetuating the lie that the fetus wasn’t human, that TODAY, 40 years later, a total shift is happening.
    Where the daughters of these liars and killers are now proposing that they just admit its human and say kill it anyway.
    This is summed neatly and quite honestly a deep surprise coming from the camp that has lied for 40 years, when she concludes her article this way:
    ‘I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.’
    We have attached a link to the article from Salon so pro-lifers can learn and get a head start on the latest demonic strategy. This is evil pure and simple.” (Google or search on Youtube : Vortex, “Admitting the Lie!” 01-25)

    L. continues:
    “Abortion is like war—it’s bloody, and to some, ‘disgusting,’ and (this part is key), BEST TO AVOID THE SITUATIONS IN WHICH ONE FACES THE POSSIBILITY OF IT, but some of us don’t want to remove it as an option.

    A hymn to CONTRACEPTION, isn’t it?
    Contraception LEADING TO ABORTION:

    “More than half of women obtaining abortions in 2000 (54%) had been using a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.”
    From: Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000-2001 by Rachel K. Jones, Jacqueline E. Darroch and Stanley K. Henshaw in Perspectives on Sexual an Reproductive Health, Volume 34, Number 6, November/December 2002, published by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (founded by and serving Planned Parenthood)

    The above facts are sustaining the following analysis:

    “And as for the pro-life movement, as it takes honest stock and looks in the mirror, it will be what it has turned out to be because of a strategic error all the way back at the beginning, that the 800 pound gorilla of contraception was never confronted head on.
    When America accepted contraception and the pro-life movement side-stepped it, abortion had already secured the victory. And now as we see, for the exact same reason, so too will same-sex marriage. Error must be dealt with immediately before it is allowed to spread.
    If the epitaph on the tomb of America will be voters didn’t care enough, the one on the pro-life movement’s tomb will be we spent everything we had on the wrong battle.
    Now the culture of life forces must pick themselves up and retreat down the long dusty trail of re-committing themselves completely to the truth and that truth is – as long as contraception is accepted- there will never be an end to abortion.”
    Again search on Youtube: “March For Life Special Report” Vortex 26th January 2013

  6. January 27th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Fletcher says:


    I’m guessing your comment was marked as potential spam on Simcha’s blog because it was long. I reposted my response over on that page and it was also marked as potential spam. However, my shorter comments were posted immediately.

    Thanks for your kind words.


  7. January 28th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Ana Daniela says:

    You are right: my comment has been finally published. Probably it had to be first approved. BLESSINGS!

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