Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Those Kinds of Pictures

Those Kinds of Pictures

Many of us have seen them – the pictures of tiny dismembered arms and legs, or perhaps even pieces of a head.  They are the remains of babies that have been killed through abortion.  Then again, many of us have not seen them.  Perhaps that’s the problem.
People have differing opinions about the use of such pictures in fighting against abortion, but I think Father Frank Pavone, the founder of Priests for Life, sums it up perfectly when he says, “America will not reject abortion until America sees abortion.”
I think it is true.  How many people’s hearts have been changed by facing what abortion really is, by seeing with their own eyes, what it does to our tiniest brothers and sisters?  I think the effectiveness of those images is clear.
And yet, there are pro-lifers that disapprove of that approach.  I can certainly respect that people of good will can have different opinions on this question, and I can certainly see a need for prudence.  I personally would not want to expose children to such graphic images at a young age.  But in general, I think the pro-life movement needs to make greater use of them.  They are the truth, and our nation has to face the truth about abortion.
In the civil rights movement it was the same thing.  Those who fought for the equality of all Americans knew that the complacent majority had to see what a lynching looked like to really care.  Even Christ Himself allowed a graphic image at Calvary to be a witness to the Love of God.
Some people are concerned about hurting people, given the number of women in our society who have had abortions.  That is a natural and reasonable concern for a charitable person.  There are some things we must keep in mind, though.  First, women who have had abortions and have not yet spiritually healed are already hurting.  We need to do what we can to keep other women from the same suffering.  And we also have to be ready to show those women who are suffering that there is hope.  We have to be ready to reach out to them, to have resources to share, to help them find that in Christ all things really are made new.  Countless women have found hope, healing and forgiveness after abortion.  Our efforts at saving lives must coexist with our desire to help other women find that same peace.  I will be writing more about that next week.
One thing I recommend is that if you’re having a debate with someone about abortion, challenge them to see what abortion really is.  (Click here to link to some images of aborted babies from Priests for Life.)  If someone is not even willing to face abortion, to look it in its wicked eye, they have no right speaking about it. 
And get involved.  Organizations like the Center for Bioethical Reform have had success using images of abortion.  They often give presentations to groups in hopes of getting people inspired to get involved. 
That’s the most important thing of all.  If you’re not comfortable with the pictures, or not sure if you can use them prudently, then don’t.  But do something, whatever you can.  First, pray.  Pray for unborn children, pray for women who are in crisis pregnancies or scared, pray for women who are hurting from an abortion and need God’s healing, and then ask the Lord what He wants you to do next.