Picture This

February 11, 2009 09:00 AM

In California,  State Senator Sam Aanestad is investigating a "pilot project" involving the training of nurse midwives and physicians’ assistants to perform "suction aspiration" abortions. In a web site commentary about his discoveries, Aanestad said it apparently was begun in 2006 without legislative oversight and involves the state and several foundations contributing financially to the "pilot program" at Planned Parenthood abortion businesses in three cities.

A visit to Aanestad's web site provides access to his report on this gruesome matter, entitled "Abortion and Orwell." He writes, 

Under the guise of "access to primary care," the Regents of the University of California have been conducting an experiment on women in Concord, Los Angeles and San Diego… The purpose of this experiment? "Demonstrate the role of advanced practice clinicians in expanding early pregnancy care." That's Orwellian for "training non-physicians to perform first trimester abortions."

In other words, these medical "professionals" are being trained to rip babies bodies apart and otherwise render them dead on arrival.

In Florida, abortionist Pierre Renelique lost his medical license after it was determined that he failed to appear for a scheduled late-term abortion, leaving one of his staff to deliver a live 23-week-old baby girl. The baby was stuffed into a trash bag. The Miami Herald, in recounting this tragedy, reports that the expectant mother 

felt a sharp pain and noticed a live baby on the floor. ''She saw the baby moving about and the chest area moving slightly,'' the complaint reads. One of the owners of the clinic came into the room, cut the baby's umbilical cord and placed the baby and its remains in a plastic bag in the trash can. Staff members at the clinic -- none of whom was licensed -- never called 911 or a neonatologist after the delivery.

When atrocities like this occur, as they do more than 3,000 times a day in America, one has to wonder if most Americans ever think about what it means to abort a child, what it looks like, what the aftermath is for mothers, fathers and the extended family. The obvious challenge is to awaken the dead consciences of our fellow Americans.

One of the ways of doing this is displaying pictures of aborted children, the remains of human beings whose bodies have been mutilated by abortion. There is an ongoing debate about whether or not the pro-life movement should employ the use of graphic images. These are images used by the Center for Bioethical Reform, which carries out educational campaigns not only in the USA, but also in Canada and elsewhere.

CBR's best-known project is the "abortion truth truck," which places the horror of what abortion does to a child before your eyes, whether you like it or not. In fact, when you visit its web site, the first thing you see is a warning that in six seconds, a graphic video is going to begin. So if you aren't “into” such depictions, at least you can quickly move off of the home page.

But if one of those trucks is driving down the highway, the drivers who pass have no choice but to see the horror. This has been a point of immense controversy among pro-lifers for quite some time. Leaders are divided about whether such tactics are prudent. The point of such debates is not whether or not to use the pictures, but how to use them.

In fact, there are similar projects that are not in your face. The Face the Truth campaign gives the driver ample warning in time to turn and go another way. Face the Truth is conducted by Pro-Life Action League and is one that I have participated in before.

There are many other ways to use these appalling images, and as one pro-life commentator wrote, 

As to the question of effectiveness, history tells us that graphic photographs of injustice have a unique capacity to change popular opinion. On a smaller scale, but in the same vein, education campaigns about smoking, drunk driving, and sexually transmitted diseases all use graphic visuals as a deterrent against certain behaviors. Cancer eaten lungs, torn and bloody bodies, and herpes ridden genitalia are all highly unpleasant images, but they are far more effective at preventing smoking, drunk driving and teenage sex than words alone. We are a visual culture, we learn by seeing.

But perhaps the most telling comments about the effectiveness of these pictures come from a woman who spoke publicly about her problems with the pictures. Her name is Barbara Kay, and in the first few lines of a speech she gave to the Live for Life club at King's College, University of Western Ontario, she explains her frame of reference:

Thank you for the honour of the invitation that has brought us together. I applaud your willingness to pay respect to views on abortion that diverge from your own in the interest of finding common ground on this thorny subject.

Although I am a staunch supporter of your right to advocate against abortion, and deplore all attempts to suppress your freedom of speech on certain campuses, I am not opposed in principle to legal abortion.

Kay is clearly not a pro-life advocate, and yet she tells us something rather interesting:

Beginning with the worst, I cannot think of anything more damaging amongst educated observers to the pro-life cause than the Genocide Awareness Project campaign, which draws a moral equivalence between abortion and the Holocaust.

Is Kay suggesting that those who feel compelled by the horror of abortion to show others what it is that is happening in our towns and on our campuses are not "educated?" Or could it be that among social elites, there is no room for truth?

And another thing: Though Kay denies it, there is a moral equivalence between abortion and the Holocaust! During the Holocaust, millions of innocent people died at the hands of unscrupulous, evil people, just as today, innocent preborn babies die by the same kind of hands, but in a different way.

I, for one, believe strongly that graphic images of aborted children should be used with the same prudence that our news media uses when they show images of the dead in Iraq or in Africa, or when they are presenting historical data on the first Holocaust. I do not believe that small children should ever be put in the position of having those tragic images before their eyes, but I surely do not believe that they should be banned.

The pictures are the essence of what it is that drives us ever onward to end the scourge. As pro-life leader Stephanie Gray told a reporter in response to Ms. Kay's views on using graphic images of aborted children,

"The idea that the pro-life movement needs to change its image by eliminating graphic pictures is rooted in the perspective that in order to achieve social change, we need to first be focused on how we come across or are perceived by society." But that route is flawed according to Gray who claims that historically, successful social reformers did not transform their cultures that way. They "did not work to change how people perceived them. They worked to change how people perceived the injustices at hand."

Pro-life Americans are engaged in a struggle for the very soul of our nation, and to my mind, Gray makes a point that cannot be denied.

Think about those people being trained in California. Each of them is being trained to murder people, and nobody is being charged with a crime.

Think about that abortionist and his staff in Florida. Their business is murder, and nobody is being charged with a crime. Think about any of the multitude of reports that are never made because abortion is protected by law in the United States, and ask yourself, would people rise up and protest this tragedy, if they could but picture this?

Abortion is not a word. It has a face!

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