Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A Response to Peter D Williams - The use of graphic abortion images

This article is in response to Peter D Williams recent article over at the Catholic Herald here. I must start by making it clear that I fully appreciate Williams point of view and other great work but maintain that he is mistaken on this point.

For some reason Williams feel it necessary like pro-abortion advocates to mention that showing images of abortion is in some way related to the US as if that's something inherently negative or even relevant. Yes, Abort67 may be supported by The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform an American organisation, but that's of little relevance when its realised that the practice of displaying graphic images was something that has its roots here in the UK and was in fact an export to the US rather than the other way round. Even if this were not the case, images and arguments have neither gender or nationality and should be allowed to speak for themselves regardless of who does or doesn't practice using them. It was in fact William Wilberforce who first commissioned images of human slavery to demonstrate to the public the horrific reality of slavery to those who were either ignorant or apathetic to the plight of African slaves.

Wilberforce realised that it's extremely difficult to argue with an image, these images made it difficult for people to ignore the obvious evil of slavery and made it increasingly difficult to justify. That's not to say that people still didn't try to justify slavery much like people still do today in the case of abortion for economic purposes, as if the value of a human life is trumped by financial circumstances. This is the strength of abortion images, they encroach on the area of support and appeal to our most basic intuitions and conscience leaving room for only irrationality or blind obedience to a radical pro-choice ideology.

Williams then argues that showing abortion images is counter-productive for the UK pro-life lobby and thus we should be in 'total opposition' to such tactics. He thinks that even if it does indeed stop some abortions it will ultimately cause offence and harden hearts, I can only imagine that this sort of thing was also said by well meaning Christians in response to Wilberforce's use of images of slavery. Of course images may offend, but more importantly they make it impossible for abortion to remain hidden, socially acceptable and out of the public's eye and instead make it something that must be addressed head on rather than swept under the cultural carpet. This of course is not to say that this is the only thing pro-life advocates should be doing but its certainly one important and vital cog in the whole operation, even if it makes some people uncomfortable.

Certainly not everyone is going to be ecstatic at seeing an abortion image, but I speak for myself and a number of others I personally know where the use of images has been instrumental in changing their politically correct views into philosophical and scientifically defensible ones.

Williams then states that because displaying abortion images may result in false accusations and lies that we should avoid using them so the pro-life lobby doesn't get charactered in the same way. Again going back to the use of images of slavery, it could be argued that slavery eventually would have been outlawed had images not been employed, of course this may have been the case, but it happened much quicker and effectively by using them! The truth is that when images are displayed near abortion clinics, they are silent protests, trained women are there to council women if they want to talk, there is no shouting or intimidation, just displays of what abortion does to the unborn. If pro-aborts wish to distort what happens that is up to them but we shouldn't stop doing something that has proven to be effective because we wish to avoid mud sticking to our cause.

There seems to be no perfect way of practising pro-life advocacy in the UK which is why I think its important that we use a variety of different approaches, some of which different people will be more comfortable with than others. Similarly this applies when preaching the gospel, some like Alpha, others street preaching and door-knocking. Each has individual strengths and weaknesses but I would never tell someone not to preach the gospel because I disagreed with their particular approach assuming that it was done with the right heart. It may be true that some may be further hardened by seeing an abortion image but likewise it may change other peoples minds who otherwise wouldn't have known the reality of abortion by other means. The article from the Vitae Foundation is an interesting piece even if it is based on anecdotal observations but as I've stated such methods must be used in partnership with other methods and are not in themselves stand alone approaches. To think otherwise is both simplistic and unrealistic.

Sometimes a picture says more than words ever can.
The 'gentler' approach used by Williams may make us more friends in the short-term but ultimately abortion is something urgent and it should be treated as such whether that wins us friends or not, whether we are preaching the gospel or being pro-life advocates we should not go looking for trouble or even intend it but sometimes the truth has a habit of causing controversy and conflict (Luke 12:51-53). The goal of pro-life advocacy is not to make friends but to speak the truth in love by doing what is necessary to raise awareness of the person-hood and rights of the unborn. Crisis Pregnancy Centres and the like do an amazing work and service but I think more is needed and I think the use of images can be affective at University campuses and near abortion clinics. Perhaps standing outside abortion clinics isn't ideal but I can't help but think that it's a necessary endeavour that in partnership with a number of different approaches can and will have a dramatic affect on our society. We need to make sure women are cared for and valued themselves and given any help they need to help them support their baby whilst endeavouring to create a society where the unborn are valued, and a culture that doesn't see killing as a possible solution.





21 comments:

  1. The fact a practice gives rise to revolting spectacle is a poor predictor of it being immoral or not. Cancer surgery, rectal dis-impaction and all other sorts of medical care look revolting, yet they are generally laudable things. There are a family of other such counter-examples: we do not mind that a married couple has sex, but would rather not have a video of the act played in public to us, etc.

    So changing your mind about something *just* because of some image of it you are averse to seems unwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My point isn't that images alone necessarily make a difference but they can and do. Some people are not open to argument and reason because they see abortion as the means to ridding them of their *problem*. I don't think showing abortion images alone is particularly helpful which is why it must always be combined with practical help and advice.

      Also no-one is arguing that simply because an image may be gross or revolting that it is necessarily morally wrong, and I don't believe that's what you really thought I meant. Pictures of abortion and slavery detail something morally wrong and may be seen as offensive as well. A picture of someone's poop maybe offensive but its doesn't display any moral wrong.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. You clearly haven't seen my poop failedatheist.

      Yes, it strikes me that once you commit to not using graphic images the same argument will lead you to not protesting outside abortuaries and similar public displays which, often misconstrued as they are, may damage the cause. I'm content with that conclusion myself. I believe the battle for hearts and minds is in ideas. That is, in the media and academia, not on the streets.

      Delete
  2. The safest way and both women do abortion herself until the age of 12 weeks of pregnancy is by taking two medications: obat aborsi Mifepristone

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are many reasons a woman perform an abortion against her pregnancy. To note is an abortion to save the risk of medical side, and therefore choose the safe way . obat aborsi , obat penggugur kandungan

    ReplyDelete
  4. One of the richest men in the World, Warren Buffet has remarked that marriage will be one of the most important decisions of any young individual’s life. A right spouse helps an individual to grow and flourish. It starts with understanding what to look for in a life partner. It is a long term decision so you must give it proper thought.
    As easy as it may seem it can be very confusing to choose your life partner. As an individual you need to know what you expect from a life partner. So, if you are trying to figure out how to pick your life partner or things to look for in a partner below are 5 recommendations to consider while choosing a life partner on Info matrimonial sites .
    1) Find the right Marathi matrimonial site:
    First of all, you should research a bit about Tamil Matrimony There are many sites, but a lot of them do not have a large data base of suitable brides/ grooms. You need one which verifies details of all candidates. This is the most important step. Another point to note - choose a site that is easy to use, as your parents will be using it regularly.
    2) Never judge a book by its cover:
    A person may be good looking, but what do they truly hold in their hearts? Basically people make a good looking profile, to attract many candidates, but a person can’t be judged on it’s basis. Every person who looks attractive does not necessarily match your wavelength. So be careful in choosing the right partner and don’t judge someone just by their looks.
    3) Research the person you are connecting with:
    One of the easiest ways of confirming if a profile is real or fake is checking their profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn or any other social media. If you find the profile picture and the data relevant then go for it and start connecting. Good info matrimonial sites always verify these details for you. Muslim Matrimony
    4) Ask the right questions about the other person:
    One of the best ways to clear any misunderstanding is by asking questions that are bothering you. Start with the basic questions and then go ahead with your future plans. Just make sure the questions that you are asking are relevant to the other person and he/ she is comfortable to answer those.
    5) Give your complete attention
    Giving your time to someone you are interested in, is the best way to show your interest in them. Just make them realize what they mean to you. In today’s world the biggest gift anyone can give someone is time. Just make a schedule of chatting so that your daily routine will be smooth and you can get to know the other person well and take a better decision. Christian Matrimony

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can’t believe focusing long enough to research; much less write this kind of article. You’ve outdone yourself with this material without a doubt. It is one of the greatest contents. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome and interesting article. Great things you've always shared with us. Thanks. Just continue composing this kind of post. 먹튀사이트

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very good content, really interesting and really helpful, thank you 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it, 메이저놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  9. Surprising article. Hypnotizing to analyze. I genuinely love to analyze such a good article. Much regarded! keep shaking.  먹튀폴리스

    ReplyDelete
  10. ❤ I favor the idea, such a good deal 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re utilizing?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

    Also visit my web page ::프리서버순위

    ReplyDelete
  12. 'Have fun' is my message. Be silly. You're allowed to be silly. There's nothing wrong with it.
    대구출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you and thank you so much. I'll share you useful information.토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi,Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content! 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  15. I’m thinking some of my readers might find a bit of this interesting. Do you mind if I post a clip from this and link back? Thanks 사설토토

    ReplyDelete
  16. What an interesting story! I'm glad I finally found what I was looking for Kèohay.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...