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July 26, 2007

Comments

That is a very odd claim - but what a great starting point in a discussion with someone who is pro-choice.

It drives pro-choice people crazy to see those kinds of photos.

Conviction will do that.

It definitely can be a starting point for a discussion. I don't think that is why they are opposed to pictures of aborted fetuses. I think they know how much it disproves their argument.

Most rational people can look at those pictures and say, "how can you tell me that is not a human being."

While I don't agree with the underlying assumptions, I could understand how a pro-choice person could make this argument. They believe all rights and dignity extend from the choice of the mother, so if the mother wants the baby, then anything done to harm the baby is bad (e.g. cases where a pregnant women's murder is tried as a double homicide). However, if the mother does not want the child, then everyone must accomodate her choice and the baby is without any rights or personhood. In addition, they consider the baby to be the mother's body.

Following that reasoning, if the mother did not wish for these photos to be taken of the baby (or to be used as part of a campaign against abortion), then you are violating her rights. It would be like taking photos of someone in a doctor's office and then using them without their permission.

As I said, I don't agree, but it is possible to make the argument without being inconsistent


I also should add that though I am a big supporter of prolife groups and the movement, I'm on the fence when it comes to using graphic images. I have a very, very strong reaction to graphic images (having fainted a couple times in movies due to simulated violence) and it is very hard for me to see these images. I understand that is the point - but I wonder if people like me have such a profound psychological reaction that it more encourages them to push the issue down and not deal with it, rather than force them to some cathartic reassesment of their values.

"Following that reasoning, if the mother did not wish for these photos to be taken of the baby (or to be used as part of a campaign against abortion), then you are violating her rights."

I think the objector's position is that it is a violation of the dignity and rights of the *baby*, not the mother. Also, if the mother has already chosen abortion, then she has (as you put it) deemed that "the baby is without any rights or personhood," and thus any discussion of "dignity" is without ground.

Perhaps this was the key you intended to tie it together: "In addition, they consider the baby to be the mother's body." Of course, this is scientifically, verifiably false, and even if it weren't, would the mother object to a dentist showing a photograph of her pulled tooth? No, this argument that is being used is just a red herring, intended to make it seem as if it is the pro-lifer who is doing the violating of dignity.

As for using images, it may push some farther, but then they were probably not going to be persuaded by discussion anyway. Using images is a powerful way to demonstrate exactly what is being debated. If someone was pro-slavery, would we have an objection to showing them pictures of beaten and murdered slaves in order to demonstrate the effect of their perspective?

I've long wanted to comment on this issue. There are different professions where becoming accustomed to blood and gore is a primary requirement. We want our doctors, medics, soldiers and others to be able to compartmentalize what is totally horrific to us lay people. The shock value is totally lost on these people. And if they can objectively view these remains and not be moved, we should be able to also. I've never agreed with Greg on this issue.

It’s not so much the fetus itself. It’s generally considered that people have the right to not be exposed to too much incessant gore in a public thoroughfare.

For example, suppose that an artist rented the building next to the STR headquarters and this artists medium of choice was cow heads. Suppose that he made elaborate sculptures with dead cow heads – putting them on sticks and twirling their intestines to and fro – squirting their blood in every which way, amassing hoards of flys and insects, and generally mutilating the cows faces such that they were contortions of cows in pain.

Even if you ignore the health aspects of such an exhibit, the citizens would have a case against such a public display.

Tony, you must have not read the post that well. They were saying it violates the dignity of the fetus. No one said it violates the person looking at the photo and that is not what is being discussed.

Matt,

I know - i think their claim is odd and misplaced. I think really, they're just mad at the light polution.

>>”The shock value is totally lost on these people.”

I don’t get it. So, the pictures shouldn’t be shown to doctors and medics?

There's gratutious violation of human dignity- like using dead human bodies in art or for other profane reasons. But dead bodies are photographed all the time for a noble purpose. In the case of murder, the victims are photographed to help prosecute the killer. In the case of the holocaust, victims were photographed to alert the world to the atrocity of genocide. And look at the bloody pictures of car wrecks that they show high schoolers to discourage them from drinking and driving. Just as much, unborn babies murdered by abortion are photographed to show the reality of abortion. Like the JFA display states, "You must make injustice visible." -Ghandi"

And a final word to proaborts that claim photographing the victims is an assault to their dignity, I give them two words: "Geraldine Santoro"

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