…but they are complaining about this.
This picture was published in the Hill Times this week.
“It’s offensive.” “It’s fake.” “It’s exaggerated, changed through PhotoShop.” “It’s inappropriate because kids could have seen it.”
Come on, complaining people! Throw me a bone! You were in a tizzy over the image of the pregnant woman, and you’ve banned clubs because of strategies like this. This ad is as graphic as they come and the silence is hurting my ears.
NB: When the complaints roll in over anti-abortion campaigns it’s not because they are graphic. It’s because of the topic. We don’t like to see pictures of something so violent and yet so commonplace, happening not to puppies but to people.
Brigitte adds: Reminds me of something Malcolm Muggeridge once said. “If Hitler had treated dogs the way he treated the Jews, the British people would have clamored for war two years earlier.” Though I would say that 1) I object to the mistreatment of humans and animals; but 2) I would no more run bloody pictures of mangled dogs as I would bloody pictures of mangled humans. Not right there in a newspaper. On a website, after a warming page, yes. But not where people stumble upon it unaware. I don’t think you need a warning in front of pictures of pregnant women.
Véronique adds: Oh Andrea, don’t do this to me! I’m going to have nightmares now…
Okay, I will come clear: I have never seen pictures of aborted fetuses. Never. I don’t go to pro-life rallies because I hear that they are plastered everywhere, which could as well be a pro-abortion tactic to keep queasy people like me from pro-life rallies, who knows? I have a vivid imagination and I can hardly stomach medical – written – descriptions of abortion procedures. But that’s because I care about these tiny little human beings.
Which may explain why I don’t understand why we need to use graphic images. Are we stupid or what? If I write that when dogs fight they rip each others’ eyes out, why do people need to see what a ripped out eye looks like? Eye. Out of socket. Blood. Ouch. Isn’t it obvious?
Same thing with abortion. If I write that the baby, looking discernibly human, must be dismembered before being extracted in pieces through a woman’s vagina, what else needs to be shown? I don’t understand why people who don’t object to the words “dilation and extraction” and the medical reality they relate would object to an image of fetal parts being extracted through the said dilated cervix.
People don’t care. That’s the tragedy. But I’m not sure that shocking them senseless is the way to their hearts.
Andrea adds: If you’ve seen the movie Amazing Grace recall the point where William Wilburforce has a boat cruise of well-heeled society types pull up beside a slave ship. He holds up the shackles, and as they raise their handkerchiefs to their noses because of the smell, he tells them not to, to breath it in, because this is what those slaves had to endure on those ships, and much worse. We are sensually motivated, and more and more everyday. People don’t care, this is true, and I’m not sure how to make a blasé, “pragmatic,” public care. Seems to me that words might work for some, images for others, a combination of both for others still. The latter worked for me: Words alone and images alone I could ignore. But I heard a presentation accompanying those images given by Stephanie Gray in Calgary, (she works for the Centre for Bioethical Reform) and that–alongside watching a video of an abortion–that I have not been able to forget, and will remember as long as I live. Sure, I have nightmares sometimes, but isn’t that the point? A macabre business, dealing strictly in death, goes on around me every day, and is easily ignored by the vast majority. I do agree with Paul Tuns here, however. Tactics ought not to be the focal point of the debate.
And I am sorry, Véronique. It was not a nice post for a Saturday morning.