***Warning: by clicking on the link, you will see graphic and disturbing images.***
One of the most common arguments against showing pictures of aborted fetuses is that they are too graphic and tasteless. They shock and anger people.
When someone says this, I usually ask: who should you be angry at–the person showing you the picture, or the doctor that did that to the child?
I used to be one of those folks that said showing such pictures is inappropriate at best, but years ago I changed my mind. I simply started to call the culture’s bluff. Graphic pictures and images have been effectively used for centuries.
I get the line of thinking that points out there is a right and wrong way to do this. Best to warn beforehand, and one ought not force a person to view images they don’t want to see. But then again, what if apathy persists in the face of arguments, discussions, and abortion-prevention through care for women? In the movie Amazing Grace, there are several scenes where apathetic persons are more or less forced to view stunningly graphic images (example: the famous “Madagascar” scene, where Wilberforce, perched atop a former slave ship, interrupts a group eating dinner, telling them to remove their handkerchiefs from their noses and take in the smell of death.) regarding slavery, and those instances strike me as entirely morally right. When I saw the movie, I thought, “duh…he’s gotta grab them somehow and shake them up…we’re talking about selling human beings as property, and he’s gotta take it to the next level!” I don’t think I’m alone in that thought. Why should it be different with abortion?
Also, we need to make sure that we offer the hope of forgiveness and restoration in Christ for those who have had abortions.
Here are some poignant examples of famous pictures. Not all of these pictures are graphic, but most are, and many of them sparked large revolutions of change in society. From Lawrence Beitler’s famous photo of a lynching, to the pictures of starvation in Africa, the media sure didn’t balk at using them for their own purposes. Most of us don’t balk either, simply because we recognize those purposes were good and morally right. We call them “powerful,” “gut wrenching,” “thought-provoking,” or “moving.”
We typically don’t express ire at the media outlet that circulates the pictures (Though, in one case, the photographer came under much critique because he spent 20 minutes gathering the photo, rather than helping and comforting the child.)…sometimes, we even assist in the circulating, for good reason.
The public needed be woken up to the wicked evil of racism, for example, and they needed to see just how dire things were (and are!) in parts of Africa.
…And the public needs to face the darkness of a culture that allows men and women to dismember and chemically burn their unborn children, audaciosly labeling it “choice.”