There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the use of graphic imagery by anti-abortion groups. Groups like The Anti-Choice Project, The Center For Bioethical Reform and Abolish Human Abortion all use graphic images of murdered pre-born babies to show the pro-choice (read “pro-abortion”) folks exactly what it is that they’re supporting (AHA does not exclusively use these images, it should be noted). These images are also used in an attempt to rouse inactive or “personally pro-life only” people into action.
Interestingly, much of the criticism comes from pro-life individuals. Some of the reasons that we hear from some dedicated, traditional pro-lifers against the use of the images are that it’s “unloving” to show these images; “it’s offensive,” and it’s “ineffective.”
Let’s go through those. Is it unloving to use these images? I explained some of the reasons why these images are used in my opening, but I suppose that we could ask the questions “Why do we want to show abortion for what it is and why would we want to change minds about the issue?” The answer is simple: We love people. We love the people who are grossly mistaken and tricked by the pro-abortion media, politicians and the politically driven “health care” system into believing that the murder of the pre-born is nothing more than a “reproductive choice.” We want them to see the truth. Is it not loving to tell them? Would it be more loving to let our depraved culture continue to wallow in the lie of “choice,” never challenging it? We also love the millions of pre-born humans killed though abortion every year. We are in this to put an end to this barbaric practice.
I almost don’t even want to discuss the next reason on the list, but I will. “It’s offensive.” Yes, it is; completely and totally offensive. So offensive that every time we see one of the little humans, made in the image and likeness of God Himself, ripped into pieces, torn limb from limb, seared with chemicals and murdered in cold blood, we should break down in tears and repent to the God who’s likeness we’re looking at, ruined and broken. It is offensive! The very fact that we have to be having this discussion is offensive. It’s offensive that abortion exists, and even more offensive that it’s embraced by our once godly nation.
Are these images effective? Some say “No,” but those who would say that are mistaken, and I’ll prove it to you. LifeSiteNews reported last week that a “very liberal, very pro-choice” reporter who has been covering the trial of murderer Kermit Gosnell has “changed his mind” about abortion. This changed reporter has been hearing testimony and seeing the images of these murdered humans, and it effected him so profoundly, that his heart and mind were changed. Isn’t that what we’re after?
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. John T. Bruchalski of the Tepeyac Family Center in Virginia. Dr. Bruchalski is a former abortionist and is now a pro-life OB/GYN and speaker. On May 9, 2013 he spoke at the University of Washington as a guest of Students For Human Life (There will be more on this event coming soon, I promise!) I asked him “Do you think that there is a place for graphic imagery in the fight against abortion, and if so what do you think that would be?” The answer he gave was powerful. He said:
“When you’re dealing with women who’ve been hurt by abortion, those graphic images are quite disturbing at times. However, when you’re on college campuses and you’re trying to change the masses, so to speak, I think there is a place for it because it’s the actual reality of “How far are you going to go to do this?” The snips in the back of the neck, those gaping wounds, they say a lot. They say a lot about what’s going on in these late term abortion facilities. So yeah, I think they do have a place.”
Clearly, considering his history, Dr. Bruchalski has a special take on abortion and how to change hearts and minds. He raises another interesting and important question: We know that the use a graphic abortion images are effective. Some reading this now may have even been effected or seen the effects that these images can have on a person, but is their use always appropriate? Dr. Bruchalski said “When you’re dealing with women who’ve been hurt by abortion, those graphic images are quite disturbing at times.” One might think that he’s implying that it’s not appropriate in situations dealing with women who have had abortions, but I infer something different.
I do agree that the use of these images is not always appropriate or necessary, but I would stop short of barring their use, even when dealing with post-abortive women. I would caution discretion. As a Christian, I’m blessed because I don’t have to rely on my own discretion, but only on the prodding and movement of the Holy Spirit. When witnessing or counseling in front of murder mills, using drop cards or dealing directly with women who have contracted to murder their babies, always be honest and open, but rely on the Holy Spirit. Let Him guide your words. God knows exactly what the person that you’re talking to needs to hear and see, and it’s our job to be prepared to be responsive to that.
What’s the conclusion? Graphic images of abortion are clearly effective in changing hearts and minds. It’s an undeniable fact. You may not like to use them, but if the goal is to abolish abortion, we need always be truthful about what abortion is, and we need to be bold, shining a light on this dark and evil practice.Follow @RClaytonStrang