When does showing abortion pictures become an “assault”?

John Stonestreet

John Stonestreet

Recently, John Stonestreet made some great points in his commentary A Time To Shock? over at BreakPoint.  He says that he used to be against the use of graphic abortion images, but now has “mostly” changed his mind.  He made several good points that will be familiar to most FAB readers.

However, we’d like to see him change his mind all the way.  We were confused as to what displays Mr. Stonestreet endorses and what displays he believes are off-limits.

His subtitle says: “Using Images of Abortion in the Public Square.”  But then he says: “Now let me be clear: I am completely against blindsiding people with images of aborted babies. It’s not only unfair; it can be a visual form of assault.”  How can we expose abortion in the public square without being accused of blindsiding or assaulting people who are in the public square and don’t want to see the photos?  Is it too much to ask them to look the other way?

He writes favorably about reformers who absolutely placed horrifying images into the paths of people who did not consent to see them (e.g., publishing the photo of Emmett Till in a newspaper, taking unsuspecting men and women into the odor cloud of a slave ship, publishing the photo of the Vietnamese girl on TV and in magazines).  In our case, the newspapers and TV are covering up the truth of the abortion injustice, so is it inappropriate for us to go to the public directly?

Are abortion photos off-limits except for academic settings, sermons in church, and speeches (generally attended only by people who are already pro-life)?  How can we show our fellow citizens the facts if they don’t attend our lectures or worship at our few-dozen churches where they will see the truth?

He cites Eric Metaxas saying we should show our fellow citizens the facts, but we should do so in “appropriate ways at appropriate times.”  What does that mean?  What is an inappropriate method or time to show our fellow citizens the truth?

When does showing abortion pictures become an assault?

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