By Kyra Clark - ProLife Youth Blogger
A very common tool that the pro-life community have been known to utilize during their debates with others is the use of graphic imagery. These graphic images range from a genre of age appropriate images such as cartoon sketches and drawings depicting the hypocrisy of some pro-choice arguments as well as a friendly way to spread some pro-life facts. There are even some continuous cartoon image stories being published such as Umbert the Unborn, which consists of a cute cartoon series of a fetus within the womb. These adorable and sometimes humorous graphics are a beneficial and light-hearted way to begin an educational discussion on abortion. Unfortunately, there are also a series of graphic images in which the content exposes extremely graphic and uncensored photos of post-aborted fetuses. While these truly show the “real life” depiction of the horror of abortion, there are a few important reasons why these photos should be displayed with caution and empathy.
A second reason the use of uncensored pro-life graphics should be used with caution is the risk of falling into a stereotype that the pro-choice community has placed us in. While being a part of a diverse community of people with mixed beliefs, one extremely prominent observation I have made is that many people believe the pro-life community base their argument by shaming others. While I know this to be untrue, I have been in groups of pro-life individuals who are extremely determined that shocking people into being pro-life is the best way. Personally I have come to disagree with this manner of approach solely due to its lack of education. Though I am an extremely educated pro-life activist, each time I am confronted with an uncensored pro-life graphic, I become extremely sickened and, yes, shocked. In the moment of observing such an image, I have to turn away and in doing so, I begin to block out the image and in turn, the message it is attempting to illustrate. If such a reaction is experienced by pro-life activist, it follows that the reaction that it triggers in pro-choice individuals will be stronger.
While the use of pro-life graphics that portray scientific facts towards the pro-life arguments are encouraged, the appropriateness of its content should always be considered. There are images and even life size models of fetuses through their gestation periods that are excellent tools to use for education. These models and graphics give the pro-life activist the opportunity to discuss the abortion situation while at the same time, give the pro-choice individuals the ability to understand and ask questions in a friendly environment. Bloodied and grotesque images of aborted fetuses are truly appropriate depictions of what happens during late term abortions, however in the case of trying to educate others, it is more beneficial to avoid displaying such images in a public manner. Though it is understandable that in some cases, using these strong images may be useful aids to show the life-like effects of abortion, careful consideration to the emotion and reaction of the audience should always be factored when attempting to elicit in educational conversation with the public.