"...When the greatest injustice in our midst is exposed, we need to be ready to respond. We respond not with cowardice which dismisses the need to expose the injustice, but rather with the courage to learn from social reform movements of the past, and to reject the heresy that "we need to be liked to be successful."
The word ABORTION has lost practically all its meaning. Not even the most vivid description, in words alone, can adequately convey the horror of this act of violence.
Abortion is sugar-coated by rhetoric which hides its gruesome nature. What a pro-life person has in mind when he speaks about abortion and what the average American has in mind when he hears the word are two very different things.
One of the key reasons the pro-life movement is not making more progress is that we so often assert before the public that abortion is an act of violence, but do not produce the evidence which would lead people to this conclusion.
Photographic evidence is the most trusted source of information in any discipline. It transcends language and logic, and goes straight to the heart, where people are motivated to take action, instead of merely to the head, where people passively entertain all sorts of concepts without any commitment necessarily following.
People absorb impressions rather than substance. Although a photo is just a slice of reality, if it is the right slice, it captures the distilled essence of an event in a way that nothing else can. A photo is even more powerful than a video, since it is the difference between 30 images per second vs. one image for 30 seconds.
Ask any audience around the country whether they have seen any kind of surgery on television. Almost all will raise their hands. But if you ask that same audience how many have seen an abortion on those same networks, none raise their hands.
Yet abortion is the single most frequently performed surgery in America. Some claim it is legitimate medicine, and in fact an integral part of women's health. But look at it?? Take it out from under the veil of euphemism and abstract language?? No way !!
The First Amendment has a price:
The fact that the use of such images is disturbing does not mean such use is wrong. The free-speech rights guaranteed under the First Amendment apply even to speech which is disturbing, as the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld (see The Right to Protest, ACLU: Gora et al.).
Such disturbance is part of the price we pay for freedom. People might also be disturbed, annoyed, and upset by the blaring sirens of an ambulance rushing through the neighborhood. Yet the noise serves a purpose: People's lives are at stake, and the ambulance must be given the right of way.
Too many people remain either in ignorance or denial about abortion, and hence too few are moved to do something to stop it. Graphic images are needed.
A picture is worth a thousand words -- and in this battle, it can be worth many lives as well.
Graphic images of abortion have saved lives. One example is a letter I have from Violet Sherringford of New Jersey, who went to an abortion facility and found pro-life protesters there.
"The posters they displayed, though very graphic, did succeed in bringing me back to reality and in conveying the horrible mutilation and dismemberment inflicted on the unborn child.... I decided to have the baby. It was the best decision I ever will make."
...It seems to me, furthermore, that if we find it difficult to explain images of abortion to our children we will find it even more difficult to explain why we didn't do more to stop abortion itself. The bottom line is that if graphic images of abortion are too terrible to look at, then the abortions themselves are too terrible to tolerate.
We need to expose the injustice, and then direct our displeasure toward those allowing the injustice to continue, not toward those who speak against it.
"There are no charts, no words, that can convey what these photographs can," argued prosecutor Brian Kelberg in a dispute over whether photos of the slashed murder victims could be shown to O.J. Simpson's jurors. The defense had argued that the photos were too distressing and sickening, and should not be shown. Charts and diagrams were suggested as an alternative. But the judge allowed the photos.
Social evils cannot be addressed unless they are faced. Denial gets us nowhere.
"These photographs show what happened to these two people," Mr. Kelberg correctly stated.
It's time more people saw the photos and films of what has happened to some millions of babies by abortion.
Anyone willing to defend abortion ought to be willing to see one, and those who fight abortion ought to be willing to expose it. Only then will enough people feel the appropriate sense of outrage needed to make the sacrifices necessary to end this injustice.
Prudence must be used in all things, but prudence also involves enduring discomfort in order to root out evil. Just ask Violet…."
Priests For Life