Sunday, April 15, 2012

Abortion Imagery

In the 1970s … the fetus … stayed largely invisible. The pro-choice movement stayed on the message offensive, tactically shifting in 1989 from women’s bodies to the ‘who decides’ question posed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. But this was rapidly parried by the anti-choice demand that we look at what was being decided, not just who was deciding.

Some pro-life campaigners have long believed that we could win this battle if we could shift the debate beyond “choice” and force consideration of “what’s being chosen.”

In recent years, the anti-abortion movement successfully put the nitty-gritty details of abortion procedures on public display, increasing the belief that abortion is serious business and that some societal involvement is appropriate. Those who are pro-choice have not convinced America that we support a public discussion of the moral dimensions of abortion.

Our pictures prove that opposition to abortion is responsible and humane -- and that support for abortion is radical and extreme.

One of our most effective visualization tactics has been our Genocide Awareness Project (GAP). It involves the outdoor display of large photo panels which compare pictures of aborted babies with pictures of victims of more widely recognized forms of genocide.

Five years after CBR’s 1998 launch of GAP, the world’s first large-scale abortion photo outreach to students, the New York Times, in their March 30, 2003 issue, reported an amazingly pro-life opinion shift among U.S. college students. The article was headlined “Surprise Mom: I'm Anti-Abortion,” and it described “… a trend noted in polls: [T]hat teenagers and college-age Americans are more conservative about abortion rights than their counterparts were a generation ago.” The numbers were striking and the article said the “… most commonly cited reason for the increasingly conservative views of young people is their receptiveness to the way anti-abortion campaigners have reframed the national debate on the contentious topic, shifting the emphasis from a woman's rights to the rights of the fetus.” It was CBR’s horrifying photos which “shifted the emphasis.”

h/t Love Undefiled

This weekend, we have Ruth Lobo Shaw staying with us. Ruth is one of the Carleton University students who was arrested last fall for attempting to put up a GAP display on campus. The pro-life group did not succeed in putting up the images, because campus security called the Ottawa police and they were arrested and charged with an offense against the student union. The charge was dismissed without a court appearance, as the police realised it was ridiculous to charge students who have a right to free speech on their own campus.

A more quiet and non-confrontational young woman you could not meet. And physically definitely not imposing. Ruth is all of five feet all, and she is also five months pregnant. Pretty compelling witness she gives because she can now use her own ultrasound to show the personhood of her own baby.

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