More on using graphic images, because clearly we are all on the same side…

… Do I think using graphic images can be an effective tool to show the real horror of abortion? Yes. Do I think they should be used any and everywhere without an iota of discretion. No. Does that make me any less of a pro-life advocate? No. Yet some would argue. There seems to exist a belief that those of us who feel using graphic images within an appropriate context are less sincere and not as pro-life.

Really? We are going to start infighting among ourselves over who is the most pro-life now? Sure, why not I guess. Catholics love to argue, do we not. We famously argue all the time over who is more pious and more of a real Catholic. We love to decry people whom we feel are insincere in their faith. We make up all kinds of nasty names – CINO, cafeteria Catholic etc. etc. etc.

I think showing graphic images during the Super Bowl is a bad bad bad idea. Airing a pro-life ad without the imagery during the Super Bowl, good. Again, this does not make my desire to see an end to abortion any less so. Myself and others who might agree here are not the enemy. We are all on the same side.

Lastly I ask, would you make the same accusations against the organizers of the March For Life for asking people not bring graphic images to the event? Would you go to the rally in DC and tell any of those people, standing out in the cold for hours on end, that they are less passionate fighters because they didn’t bring graphic images to the march? At every pro-life event I’ve ever attended, even when just praying out in front of an abortion mill, the request has been made to not bring signs with graphic images. I never once thought to question the intentions of those making the request.

If you truly feel that exposing anyone and everyone to images of aborted babies without a moment’s hesitation, consideration or discretion is a good thing than why aren’t those images banners on your own blogs? Why not have t-shirts made and wear them everywhere you go? I don’t mean that sarcastically at all. Really, I promise. If my intentions can be held up to scrutiny then surely I can pose this question with complete sincerity.

Again, we are all on the same side.

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  • I’m not convinced the ad is going to do much good. When the abortion debate is presented in such stark terms, the extremes can be distracting. What’s fundamental about abortion can be discussed just as well in words. And when it comes to very early fetus stages, images might not do any good.

  • robertgwirth

    “Do I think using graphic images can be an effective tool to show the real horror of abortion? Yes. Do I think they should be used any and everywhere without an iota of discretion. No. Does that make me any less of a pro-life advocate? No.”Couldn’t agree more, Kat!  Thanks!!

  • gina101

    “Would you go to the rally in DC and tell any of those people, standing
    out in the cold for hours on end, that they are less passionate fighters
    because they didn’t bring graphic images to the march?”

    Excellent point there!  🙂

    • Anonymous

      I did not realize that those images were not allowed at the March.  I distinctly remember seeing them there in the past; that is one reason why I have never brought my children there.

  • susan
    • Yes, because I regularly whine and snivel and never ever post about modesty and the pitiful state of our modern “culture”.  Nope.  I’ve never posted about promiscuity or the damage caused by feminism. I just sit around and bask in my complacency.  

      • susan

        do you really think that every single comment in the entire universe is directed at and completely about you?  I’m simply pointing out, because you choose once again to beat this horse that raises hackles on both sides, that plenty who cry “you can’t show that picture because my child (or friend, or pick your group) might possibly see it”, have no such issues with the tawdry and often obscene magazine covers at every grocery checkout; pornography taught in public schools, and all types of horror thrown at us from the television screen. It’s a well written post that I inteded to share for a general audience, not a directed poke at you. 
        I think you’ve made your viewpoint extraordinarily clear on this issue of graphic abortion images, yet you choose to post on it again, pitting 2 disparate groups of good Catholics against each other, and then write a truly ironic and fairly scathing piece about, “Being nasty to a fellow Catholic simply because they do not share your same opinions”.  Particularly interesting when you’re the one fomenting the agitation.  And just for the record, for my opposing viewpoint, I was called screeching, had my womanhood questioned, and was threatened with physical violence.  Nice.  Can we just leave it at that, or do you really want to bring it up once again? How ’bout a follow up post the day after the march on how awful those bad Catholics are who displayed the graphic images comparing the horror of abortion to the atrocities of slavery and the Holocaust; followed the next day by a post on tolerance to your fellow man.  It’s your blog obviously, but I really think you’re better than all this.

        • Goodness, you’re quite hysterical. Let’s take a moment ok. 

          “do you really think that every single comment in the entire universe is directed at and completely about you?  ” 

          Well, when I see a comment on *my* blog with no other indication the next rational conclusion is that it is directed at me.  My blog is hardly the “entire universe”.  

          And by beating a dead horse, do you mean my defense against accusations of being a “supposed” Catholic wielded by another blogger for simply daring to have a difference of opinion? Who is pitting whom against the other? I made no direct criticism other than to pose a few sincere questions. Would you care to re-read what I wrote and answer them. There in the last 2 paragraphs. I’ll wait. 

          My “truly ironic and scathing piece” was a call for civility. I’ll wait for you to calm down and re-read that one too. 

          Lastly, participants at the March For Life are not permitted to bring graphic images to the rally at the request of the organizers so your last question is a bit bewildering. 

          I’m not sure who called you screeching, questioned your womanhood or physically threatened you but it wasn’t me.  I am sorry that happened to you. Perhaps you can provide a context so readers of your comment can make sense of what it is exactly your trying to say. You obviously feel very passionate. I can tell by your writings. I would love to have my mind changed – as I’ve repeatedly said this over and over. Yet no one has taken a deep enough breath to answer them. All I am getting is a bunch of nonsensical reactionary comments. 

          This is very sad. I am a legitimately willing to talk about this and be swayed to your thinking yet no one wants to calm down enough to stop attacking me. 

          Obviously someone’s tactics are not working. Again and again… we are all on the same side.

          • susan

            There are none so blind as those who will not see.

            God bless you,  and peace be to you.

          • susan

            sorry, really, I did not mean that to sound as snarky as it may have…I just truly don’t know what else to say as I think my comments on your prior post explained much of why I support these signs, and the conversion of hearts that can, and has, come from them.  I don’t know what else I can say.

            And your acusation of my being hysterical…gee, I just re-read my comment and don’t see anything that could be taken that way…no exclamation points, no caps, just reasoned reply. 

            And while individual graphic signs may not be condoned there, for the last few years the large display of the Genocide Awareness Project has been sanctioned and shown along the route….extraordinarily powerful, and extraordinarily graphic.

            your statement, “My “truly ironic and scathing piece” was a call for civility. I’ll wait for you to calm down and re-read that one too.”, while true in general, is misleading in the particulars….it was an attack piece on those who disagree, while outwardly calling for civility.  And Katrina, if I were any calmer, I’d be in a coma.

            Yes, we’re on the same side, and yes, we will continue to disagree.  I wish you the best, and I pray your experience at the march is a wonderful one.  God bless you, and may He bless your good work.

          • Anonymous

            Weelll, I suppose technically *I* was the one who did what you are calling “threatened with physical violence” and, to be sure I posted my comment without the proper context OR very good proofreading and discernment on my part.  BUT as I clarified afterward I was reacting to those people who claimed it was not only a good option for me to show graphic abortion images to my children, but MY DUTY as a prolifer, furthermore, if other people want to show them then they have a right to do so over my *obviously benighted* objections stemming from a *lukewarm* soul. 

            Heh.  I think that the rhetoric there is exactly what Kat is talking about.   I am not sure why you keep ignoring that part of it.

            As for me, I suppose I am still sorry I said anything about punching anyone.  The image I was trying to paint there  was of angry, convicted prolifers coming into my home attempting to show off those images.  And for the reals, if any of my Catholic brothers and sisters demanded the right to educate my children about abortion by showing them pictures, to the point of doing it over my objections….Well I guess I truly do not know what would happen.  I would hope that violence wouldn’t have to be involved!   But it wouldn’t be lukewarm!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with your analogy.  If showing dismembered limbs of martyred, discarded children is fine to broadcast during the Super Bowl between the Pepsi ads and a Viagra commercial, WHY NOT on a tshirt, worn all the time?  I mean, if the context or the medium doesn’t matter, and it is our MORAL DUTY to show these photos to the world anytime, anywhere, then I do not see why all prolifers don’t do it.  Heck, maybe they should be required to wear those shirts  (also available in children’s sizes so your activist kids can get in on it) as proof of your Prolife Cred.

    • Anonymous

      Also, to Susan about your linked post:  I regularly whine and snivel about the magazines in the gorcery store and the ads on television (which is the main reason why we don’t have a television, actually.)  I have joined two different campaigns to remove the sexually explicit materials from the checkout counter of various grocery stores.   I am an anti-porn educator and loudmouth.  (But lukewarm.  Really…just tepid.)

  • Tanya

    I’m a little apprehensive to poke into this again, but I really wanted to post something a very dear friend of mine had to say when I asked her about this. I think her perspective is important b/c she had an abortion in her Sophomore year of college. Unbeknownst to her at the time, her boyfriend was cheating on her and had gotten not only her, but another girl pregnant within weeks of each other. He pressured both of them to have abortions. They both did.

    Thankfully, she is reconciled to the Church. She told me when she finally walked into the confessional many years after her abortion, she decided to face the priest. She said she barely got out the words before she burst into tears. But what she said he did next was more profound than anything. Without saying a word, she said the priest stood up, gently brought her to her feet and just held her while she cried. I write that because it still gives me chills when I think about the power of how the Holy Spirit worked through that priest in such a fragile and humbling moment. It’s exactly what I picture Jesus doing. 

    Anyway, her perspective on the graphic images:

    “I definitely believe in the positive, healthy images. When faced with such significant decision making it is easy to get caught up in the negatives, such as thinking: my life is over, I will never have a “normal” life, I will be a single mom forever – nobody will want me, I won’t be able to support myself and this child, etc… literally nothing positive came to my mind AT ALL when I was slapped with the reality of being pregnant… all my dreams and hopes for my life literally felt thrown away and I did not feel hopeful. I can’t explain it well, but the graphic images are definitely effective at triggering a strong sense of guilt… but can’t say it is enough when feeling hopeless, isolated, ashamed and marginalized already… the ultimate goal is to NOT want to feel those things… so it is safe to say people will do what they feel needs to be done to escape feeling such despair and reclaim their hopes and dreams. I know that probably sounds completely twisted and egocentric… but it is an honest account of how I felt and how a number of other women I’ve talked with felt in that experience.

    So… what I particularly like about the positive, healthy images is that they actually prompt a sense of hope and emotional connection to another human being. These images provide a real alternative to the hopelessness and despair that seem like the “only option”… I think it pulls people out of that tunnel vision to see that there still can be extremely positive things happen in their lives even after having an unplanned baby. I think helps to try and neutralize the fears and despair and shifts the focus from a “problem” to an “opportunity” if that makes sense? That’s all I can really say… I do not feel that the graphic images do anything productive in terms of actually influencing people to not have an abortion… because they are just reinforcing negative emotions and thoughts that the woman/girl is already experiencing… keeps them stuck in a hopeless mindset that they want to escape. I think instilling messages of hope and emotional connection between mother and baby have more potential to influence decision making… show them what they would be missing by making that decision… missing out on love, connection with another human being, a sense of purpose, etc. ”

  • Gail Finke

    I don’t think those pictures convince anyone. If you are “pro-choice,” you won’t look at them. If you are anti-abortion, they reinforce what you already know to be true. They only convince the already convinced. Look, people make their livings actually dismembering unborn children. They aren’t going to be convinced by pictures of what they already do! It is difficult for many anti-abortion people to believe that anyone could see those pictures and not be converted, but the truth is that while they convince some people (mostly people who are ready to be convinced), they harden the hearts of others. Do you want to make things worse?? Then by all means, show those pictures to everyone. But if you really want to help end abortion, then don’t.

  • Mary M.

    Generally I don’t think graphic images are a good thing, In the case of
    the Super Bowl, I approve. Sometimes you just have to shock people.
    Besides, if I  have to be subjected to Madonna then perhaps society
    needs to see the horror of abortion, up close and personal.