Should graphic abortion images be used in the pro-life movement?


A point of discussion for many years has been this question: should graphic images of aborted babies be used in the pro-life movement?

I have always believed that while horrific to view, they are necessary. There is a time and a place for these images. 

For example, I don’t believe it is appropriate to have these images in front of abortion mills because the women entering these facilities are in crisis and are going through a major trauma in their life. They need to see people who are praying, caring, and trying to love them and share that they have other options. 

I do think, however, these graphic images are extremely useful in a high school and college environment as a teaching tool.

An honest conversation on abortion

If we are going to have an honest discussion about what abortion is, we must understand the procedures of abortion and the results of those procedures.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry have done a masterful job at sanitizing abortion under the guise of ‘healthcare’ and ‘reproductive rights.’  But if you don’t know what an abortion actually does to the baby, then you really don’t understand abortion and the undeniable fact that it is a living human being. 

This question came to light when I recently attended the movie The Matter of Life. (Watch the trailer above.) It was an excellent documentary that covered all of the many facets of the abortion debate. At some point in the middle of the documentary, they warned the audience that they were about to show graphic images of aborted babies and if you did not want to see it you were free to look away from the screen.

I have seen these images before, and I chose to see them again that night. I know it is a human being. I know it has value and dignity and deserves protection. But seeing those images reminds me what I am fighting so hard for and how gruesome and violent and evil abortion really is. It gives me even more resolve to fight with everything in me to stop this senseless slaughter.

The Emmitt Till example

graphic abortion images

The civil rights movement was galvanized by a photo that demonstrated the violence of racism

The movie had a good segue on this topic by sharing the story of Emmitt Till. Emmitt was a 14-year-old African American young man from Chicago who went to Mississippi in 1955 to visit his cousins. He, on a dare from his cousins, talked to a white woman in a grocery store. As a result, the woman’s husband and his brother kidnapped Emmitt, tortured him to death and threw his body in the river. 

When they found him, his mother asked for her son’s body to be returned to Chicago where she would have a funeral and an open casket. They showed the graphic and horrific picture of this poor child who was unrecognizable because of the extreme beating that he endured. 

Why would this mother want to do this? She stated that she wanted the world to see what these racist murderers had done to her only son. Jet magazine published a picture of her son and the mainstream media picked up on the story. This was an early impetus to the civil rights movement. And it took a picture of this child to get people to understand what was happening with race in our country. It catapulted people into action.

So, yes, there is a time and place for images to be seen of the reality of abortion in hopes it will bring people to their knees in prayer and action to put an end to this once and for all. As they said in the movie, ‘we must open the casket of abortion.’

Other takeaways to note:

  • 4 in 10 woman who had abortions were church goers
  • One of the biggest problems of abortion is that no one is talking about abortion
  • The lie that if you are pro-life, you are responsible for fixing every social ill on the planet, which is just a diversion from the fact that abortion is the intentional killing of a human being. Is the unborn one of us? If it is, then there can never be any justification for killing it. 
  • Using the terms embryo and fetus describe an age range just like toddler, teenager, it doesn’t say what it is. (i.e., it’s not human it’s a fetus…)
  • In the 1800’s the first groups to oppose abortion were doctors, journalists, and feminists. In 2022, they are the groups pushing abortion the most.
  • Playboy was the first publication to endorse abortion

[Pulse Life Advocates is hard at work on a new video project: “How to raise pro-life children.” You can make a difference by financially supporting this project. Give now here. Thank-you.]