Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dead Baby Pictures

This past week I came across an article written by Canadian pro-lifer, Dorothy Cummings. In her article, "Enough with the Dead Baby Pictures," Dorothy debates whether the pictures of burned and dismembered fetuses are harmful to the cause. I highly disagree with her. Assuming such pictures are used appropriately I believe they can be very effective.

I did not always feel this way though. When I was sixteen I can remember watching pro-life activists outside my high-school toting their large signs around while parents dropped their kids off. Being that this was my first experience with the whole issue, I was quite offended myself. I didn't see the benefit in showing such pictures to kids like me (especially in a school system that still strictly taught abstinence). I didn't know what they were trying to say to us - to me. I don't think I ever really "looked" at the pictures until I got older and felt like I could handle it. In this situation I would suggest photography from the amazing ultrasounds we can do now.

Nowadays I am very comfortable with the more shocking signs, especially when being used in front of an abortion clinic where a woman considering an abortion might see them. I have read many testimonies where women were affected by the pictures and decided not to go through with their abortions.

Dorothy Cummings still thinks these pictures do more harm than good. Her solution?

"I suggest showing pictures of really, really cute little newborn babies instead."

I watched the movie "Juno" this past week (review coming) which deals with a pregnant teen who considers getting an abortion. At the clinic she runs into a high-school acquaintance carrying a sign of a cute smiling baby which reads, "No babies like murdering." She is chanting, "All babies want to get borned," and tries to convince the pregnant teen that her baby "might" have a heartbeat and "probably" has fingernails. Nothing is certain. No facts are given. Even the picture doesn't say anything meaningful to a pregnant teen.

A picture of a smiling baby isn't going to shock anyone or make someone consider the consequences of their actions.

However, a picture of a dead baby shows the very real, undeniable truth of abortion.


john said...

First, that picture of the aborted baby is heartbreaking in the extreme. How any society can condone this behavior has always escaped me and probably always will. I can't think of any better representation of the horrors of abortion than pictures such as this.

I have a question about your article, though. You said "In this situation I would suggest photography from the amazing ultrasounds we can do now." Later you say, "However, a picture of a dead baby shows the very real, undeniable truth of abortion."

Are you saying that the pictures of the dead babies should only be used at certain times and places and circumstances? Are you saying that high school students aren't old enough or mature enough to handle seeing the dead babies? I don't mean this argumentatively; just curious.


Yes, one of the points I was trying to make was that there can be an appropriate time and place for such pictures. I felt like at the time, my high-school was not the best place for shocking pictures of dead babies. If someone felt the need to say something to those particular students and teachers, I would have recommended using a device that would get the point across without overwhelming us with shock-value.

john said...

So, at an event that might include high school students you would use . . . what? The really, really cute" pictures?

It still seems you are somewhat conflicted on this matter. There's been all kinds of news media stories about high school girls who throw their newborn, live babies into toilets, trash cans, lakes and whatever else is handy. It would appear to me that "cute" isn't working. If this is true, how would you overcome this? More cuteness? Something more powerful? Something entirely different altogether? Just curious . . .


I guess I didn't make myself clear enough. I don't believe cute pictures are helpful in the least. I do however feel that realistic ultrasound pictures can be useful (cute or not). They are educational and eye-opening on their own.

The main point of the argument I made above is not that we shouldn't use any dead baby pictures at high-schools. The more liberal schools where we you would find contraceptives and abortion the norm is where I think dead baby pictures would serve the most purpose.

However, I did not feel this was the case at my high-school when I was attending there. Condoms were not being passed out in the nurse's office and the word abortion was like using the Lord's name in vain. These kids might need more education than what the school and media are giving them, but they don't need to be "shocked" or overwhelmed with these images.