Are graphic images of abortion appropriate?

One complaint pro-abortion choice activists have about the pro-life movement is their propensity to display images of aborted fetal human being.  In Athens Georgia, at the University of Georgia, pro-abortion choice activists erected a make-shift barrier to block such images.

(The College Fix) — Pro-life and pro-abortion groups faced off at the University of Georgia on Monday and today. While pro-life students showed their peers the reality of abortion with graphic images, pro-choice students built a makeshift wall to block the images from view and held signs with statements like “Pussy Power” and “My Body, My Choice.”

In interviews with The College Fix, pro-abortion students called the graphic images – which showed bloody fetuses after late-term abortions – “hateful speech.”


Pro-life students countered that stark photos are needed to impact people on the realities of abortion…


[Justice for All logistics coordinator Rebecca] Haschke said it is necessary for students to see the graphic results of abortion. She compared the experience to the famous open casket picture of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy whose brutal killing at the hands of white Mississippians galvanized the Civil Rights movement.

“[The Emmett Till photograph] opened the casket on racism,” Hashke said. “This opens the casket on what abortion is.”

I understand why the pro-abortion choice activists don’t want the images shown, it turns people off.  Personally, I don’t like seeing the images either, I find them disturbing.  But that’s kind of the point though, isn’t it.  Like Haschke said, it opens the eyes to people about what abortion really is.  Pro-abortion choice advocates and activists regularly mislead people when they describe what it is that’s aborted is merely a blob of tissue, a clump of cells, or a mass of tissue.  The pictures unmistakably depict a pre-born human baby.

I’ve never been quite at ease with this objection.  It doesn’t make sense to me.If abortion is morally benign or morally acceptable, how could images of it be offensive?  If one is a proud supporter of abortion choice, why are images of it wrong?  In other words, images of excised tumor (lump of cells, mass of tissue, etc.) isn’t offensive.

What makes one image of an excised blob of tissue offensive and another image of excised blob of tissue not?

How do these images make you feel?


  1. Of course they object. They don’t want people to face the truth of what it is they support. That truth? That they are heartless and selfish to the point of destroying the lives of the most vulnerable among us.

  2. Just ask the pro-aborts which is worse, showing the pictures or doing what the pictures show? Of course they want to hide the truth. Do they oppose using pictures of the holocaust, blacks getting blasted with fire hoses, hungry people, etc. to fight those evils?

  3. I think they’re appropriate to an extent, but plastering such images to the side of a truck and driving around town is not appropriate. Children shouldn’t have to see the result of adult stupidity and heartlessness.

  4. brycelancaster says:

    It’s inappropriate. I’m very anti-war, but I wouldn’t print out a picture of a dead marine and march it all over Washington to prove my point. I would gladly make a sign explaining my view, but using graphic images meant to shock and offend isn’t the way for either side to solve an issue.

    • Bryce

      Not playing devil’s advocate, really asking. Do you also think images of holocaust victims, the piles of dead jews, and the scars on black slaves is also inappropriate? How about like mentioned in the quoted article, the pictures of Emmit Till?

  5. Don’t forget “Let The Faggots Burn,” John. It’s a book written by a gay activist with pictures of burned bodies littered throughout.

  6. Such photos are certainly inappropriate for children to see. However, children have no confusion regarding what it is they unfortunately saw. They know those are other children mangled and bloody in those pictures. They’re too innocent to pretend they aren’t.

    Adults, on the other hand, are a different story. For those who understand the truth of what a pregnancy is, such photos are inappropriate. For those adults who think it is a private matter between a woman and her doctor (it almost never is discussed in the manner this platitude suggests), it is beyond appropriate. It should be mandatory. For those adults who earn their living performing the procedure that results in the pictures being displayed, the photos stand in stark testimony to their heinous character.

  7. brycelancaster says:

    Those photos are appropriate in the right context, same with the abortion photos. if somebody paraded a picture of a bunch of dead Jews down a public street, it would be inappropriate. It shouldn’t be illegal of course, because of free speech, but they aren’t appropriate.

    And as for the “let the Faggots Burn” book, it’s a book. I’d be offended if I went to a Pride Rally and saw my side with pictures of a bunch of dead Gays. Just as much as I’d be offended if I saw an aborted fetus picture on my college campus. If you want to write a book about Abortions, and include a picture in it, that’s fine. It’s an appropriate environment for that picture. But there’s a time and place for everything. Using pictures meant to shock and offend in public is offensive. (Pictures of dead people, aborted fetus’s, etc.) Not saying it should be illegal, but yes, it’s inappropriate. If you want to create a website or write a book about those images, than thats the appropriate environment for them. It’d be like if I stood outside my old church and held up pictures of Ku Klux Klan members with religious signs justifying their bigotry. It’s true that religion has been used to justify terrible crimes, but it would be inappropriate for me to point that out in front of people just trying to attend church.

  8. And as for the “let the Faggots Burn” book, it’s a book. I’d be offended if I went to a Pride Rally and saw my side with pictures of a bunch of dead Gays.

    You know what offends me? Pride Rally people who waltz about in sexually provocative costumes or less. It’s no more appropriate than pictures of dead gays or unborn children.

  9. brycelancaster says:

    That’s an entirely different discussion. If you want to talk about our current sexual revolution, (Naked models, celebrities, provocative outfits, etc.), then feel free to make a thread about that. But next time, try actually countering a point that I MADE in my comment.

  10. “Using pictures meant to shock and offend in public is offensive.”

    Using pictures of dead Jews was meant to make people starkly aware of the reality of the mass murder of Jews. In the same way, public displays of aborted babies is not meant to offend, but to make people starkly aware of the reality of the murder of the most vulnerable of our kind. Absolutely appropriate given the stakes. It lets those who would suggest so, that what is being aborted is far more than a mere “clump of cells”. Thus far, restricting such pictures as those like Bryce would prefer has done little to move people to accept the reality like honorable people of character.

  11. bryce,

    Like John said, I addressed your point. And are you honestly trying to compare controlled images like naked models in x-rated (therefore controlled) magazines to the disgusting public images of homosexuals marching about town, in front of children, breaking public indecency laws but getting a free pass by virtue of their sexuality? Ridiculous.

  12. brycelancaster says:

    Like I said, there is a time and place for everything. If I see pictures of aborted fetus’s at a pro-life rally, I get it. That’s an appropriate time for those images. If I see pictures of aborted fetus’s at my college campus, when I’m just trying to attend class, that’s inappropriate. If gay guys want to prance around dressed scandalously at a pride rally, that’s appropriate. If they want to dress scandalously in another every-day scenario, that’s inappropriate. If I go to an abortion rally, I know what to expect. Likewise, if you take your kids to a Pride Rally, you know what to expect. To hold those kinds of activities in an attempt to shock people into your way of thinking OUTSIDE those kinds of gatherings is inappropriate for both sides. I HATE it when my fellow Gay’s dress and act like that outside of the club, because it makes all of us look bad. They’re attempting to take their lifestyle and shove it in America’s face. But if they have a day specifically set aside and they’ve booked a street and they call it a “Pride Rally”, well, let them go wild! Just like I hate it when I see aborted fetus’s on the street when I’m not expecting it, but if there’s an abortion debate going on, let them make as many signs as they want! I have a choice on whether or not to attend. I know what to expect in that situation. Just as much as you know what to expect when you go down a street where Gay Pride is taking place, or park near a Gay Club on a Friday Night.

    That’s where I draw the line, and how I think the idea of “Appropriateness” can be reached even though it’s mainly a matter of opinion. If you want to dress a certain way or hold certain images up to the public, do it in a situation where people who engage in it know what they’re getting into. If you don’t want to see a flamboyant Gay march up your street unexpectedly twirling a flaming baton and converting the children because it’s inappropriate and you don’t want that lifestyle forced upon you randomly, than I don’t see how you can then turn around and say that it’s appropriate to show people pictures of aborted fetus’s when they might just be going into Planned Parenthood to get tested for STD’s or get birth control. Context is key to determining appropriateness, and if both sides want respect, than they both have to understand that taking their viewpoints and shoving it in the other sides faces in everyday life is just rude. If I see a blog with an opinion I don’t agree with, it’s my choice whether to click on it or not. If I see a Facebook status with an article linked that I find offensive, I can unfriend them. if I see an aborted fetus when I’m taking my friend to Planned Parenthood because she’s sixteen years old and made a bad mistake and will get kicked out of her house if her Mormon parents find out, I don’t have a choice whether or not to shield her from that. We get that choice taken away from us. Which isn’t illegal, but it is DEFINITELY inappropriate. It’s your choice whether to take your kids to a Pride Rally. It’s your choice to attend LGBT events. Dressing scandalously in those events is appropriate because we aren’t FORCING anyone to see us. Dressing scandalously outside those events is inappropriate because we’re taking people’s choices to view those images away from them. Does that answer the article title effectively?

    (And before anyone says that, “It’s appropriate because we’re showing everybody the REALITY of Abortion!” That argument goes both ways. Using that argument, it IS okay for gay guys to wear short shorts and leather boots and march up to a playground, because we’re showing kids the reality that being Gay is okay. It’s not appropriate for us to make that decision for other people, even as much as we believe it’s right, because we’re taking their choice away to be open to those images. If you expect respect from the other side in how they conduct themselves, then conduct yourselves in the same regard)

  13. If gay guys want to prance around dressed scandalously at a pride rally, that’s appropriate. If they want to dress scandalously in another every-day scenario, that’s inappropriate.

    Unless those “Pride Rallies” take place in some private arena then it is NOT appropriate for them to “dress scandalously,” ever. And when they do they should be rounded up and thrown right in f*cking jail. And that goes for heterosexuals who do the same thing.

    Likewise, if you take your kids to a Pride Rally, you know what to expect.

    Okay. Unless these “Pride Rallies” are taking place in a secluded desert or field, your argument fails. If I want to take my children downtown for lunch and happen to come across a “Pride Rally,” I should expect they’d follow the law and not be dressed “scandalously.”

    “Likewise,” you should expect appropriate behavior by pro-lifers marching about town. There shouldn’t be graphic images or outlandish displays. It’s not appropriate either.

    if [sic] I see an aborted fetus when I’m taking my friend to Planned Parenthood because she’s sixteen years old and made a bad mistake and will get kicked out of her house if her Mormon parents find out, I don’t have a choice whether or not to shield her from that.

    I see. And the logic being: pile one bad choice atop another. Great.

    …because we’re showing kids the reality that being Gay is okay.

    And walking around naked with a strap-on is the way to accomplish that, ‘eh? Nice.

  14. brycelancaster says:

    I’m sorry you have so much hate in your heart. :( All I see from your posts are contempt and anger.

    If it’s not okay in your opinion for gay pride rally’s to be held in a city, than it shouldn’t be okay for graphic pictures of abortion to be shown in public streets either. I came up with a pretty reasonable compromise, but you just really don’t want to concede anything, do you? I guess thats what I get for trying to have a pleasant, open-minded conversation with you. But I don’t suppose open-mindeness is a word you quite fully understand. Lets just hope that none of your children, if you have any, turn out to be Gay.

    I guess I shouldn’t have tried to state my opinion after all, which has and always will be a pretty fair compromise.

    • Bryce

      Theres no objection to pridr rallies or parades. The objection is in the costumes, the nudity, the sexual paraphernalia, the simulated sex acts, and the vulgar signage.

      I find it suspicious that if straight people refer to gays in a manner common at parages we’re stereotyping and intolerant. You insis we paint a picture of the gay community lime that in tv sitcoms and dramas, you know, normal. Why not show your pride by wearing ordinary clothes amd not simulating sex? Why not show your pride by being what you insist we view you as?

  15. brycelancaster says:

    Oh I agree with you John, I personally find a lot of what I see in Pride rallies distasteful. I go every year wearing a tank top and jeans, (the most radical I usually get is a few rainbow wristbands). I don’t begrudge my brothers and sisters the celebration, however, because I know how repressed most of them have been for their entire lives. It’s not necessarily an excuse for the most radical behavior, but I think it’s an excuse for the milder ones.

    For example, I find nothing distasteful about drag. A guy wearing a short skirt, a top, and a wig is fine in my book. The guy I’m currently dating does Drag every time we go to the club on Friday nights. His costume he’s currently working on is a leotard with a few peacock feathers attached at the base, along with an Alice in Wonderland wig. The reason I find nothing wrong with this is because a lot of drag queens look at what they do as a performance. The guy I’m dating spends around four or five hours creating each costume, and another two hours putting on the makeup for it. A quarter of his paycheck goes towards what he does. It’s not an excuse to be super sexual for him, it’s a chance to express himself and put on a show. The gay community looks at drag not as an excuse to be overly sexual and slutty, but the same way we look at fashion designers who dress up models for the runway. of course, this is a generalization. Some costumes go too over the top. But on a whole, drag isn’t a primarily a sexual thing, which is a misconception that I think a lot of straight people have. It’s an art celebrating gender diversity. When the guy I’m dating gets compliments on his outfit, the first words out of peoples mouths are usually, “That is an AMAZING costume! You WERKED that runway! Your stage presence was AMAZING!” It’s not about his sexual chemistry, it’s about his performance.

    As for the nudity and sexual perephania, I agree with you. It goes overboard a lot of the time. But what I think a lot of straight people don’t understand is how repressed a lot of us have been for all of our lives. To be surrounded by people who support you 100% for one of the only times in your life, to finally be able to be who you are without fear of judgement, is such a liberating feeling that people go a little crazy. It’s not justification for the most extreme behavior, but I hope you’re able to understand the WHY. It’s not because gay people are sex crazed maniacs. It’s because gay pride rally’s are very, VERY high energy environments lacking in judgement… both negative and positive.

    And as for the comment about how we insist that straight people stereotype us for acting in a way which we act around each other…. it’s because for most of the time, we DON’T act that way. In our jobs, our home lives, our social lives… we’re genuinely normal, real people. When we get together, after being in a society where judgement about sexuality abounds, to be in a place where no sexual judgement is present causes some gays to go a little overboard. The sense of community in those gatherings does not represent gays in everyday life. I have a black friend who uses the N word when he’s around his other black friends. He sags his pants around them, uses common slurs, and generally has a different demeanor. That does not mean it’s acceptable for me to stereotype him behind his back as acting that way all the time and that does mean it’s acceptable for me to use the N word because he does. When traditionally marginalized groups gather together, they’re behavior changes to mimic each other. I ALWAYS act much more feminine when I’m around other gay guys than I do around my straight friends, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for my straight friends to mimic me doing feminine poses because most of the time, I DON’T act that way. Stereotyping is harmful, even if there’s a grain of truth in it. Because all stereotypes have a grain of truth. Every time I go to the club, I see blonde white girls getting plastered and making stupid decisions. That doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to stereotype all blonde girls as being trashy drunks, because in their everyday lives, they AREN’T. What they do on saturday nights does not define them Sunday-Friday. Same with what you see at gay pride festivals.

    I don’t know why this conversation veered around to the topic of gay pride rally’s, but I hope that shed light on my, (a gay persons), perspective of it all.

  16. I encourage everyone to exercise their right to freedom of speech. I feel these extremely morbid images are inappropriate especially when blown up on poster board exposing children riding with their parents or walking home from school. These activists aren’t considering the damage being done to innocent children by exposure to such bloody, mangled images. I just passed a group of pro-life activists displaying such images and thought it to be morally unacceptable to be displayed around schools that had just dismissed for the day. My late little sister had a phobia of blood which we spent a small fortune for counciling. I would hate for any more unnecessary suffering due to the lack of concern by such extreme images on display by these people. I encourage them to consider what may be damaging while exercising their freedom of speech. They obviously have concern for human fetuses. What about concern for the children?


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