Frequently Asked Questions - Presentations
- Why don’t you show positive pictures of babies, both in and out of the womb, instead of graphic abortion photos?
- Will the audience be warned about the imagery?
- What if audience members have had abortions? Will their feelings be respected?
- Our audience will, in some sense, be held "captive," since they are required to attend the presentation. Isn’t it unfair to show them images in that circumstance?
- Should we place a warning about your use of graphics on posters advertising the event?
- Do you show graphic imagery in your debates? If so, doesn’t that take away from the nature of a debate, which is about arguments?
- Won’t your use of images just get the audience angry? We don’t want to burn bridges within our community. In getting upset with you, tensions will rise and people will become upset with each other.
- Worship services are supposed to be uplifting and positive. Won’t these images take away from worshipping God?
- What if the video offends people who are not Christians and turns them off of Christianity?
- Our audience is already pro-life and therefore they do not need to see the pictures.
- I’m concerned that the use of graphic abortion images will open the door to the use of sexually explicit images in other contexts. How would you reply?
- How does your use of graphic images show respect for the dead? Their permission was not obtained to use the images.
- Aren't teenagers too young to see those disturbing pictures?
- Our school has a good reputation. Won’t your use of images result in countless parental complaints and harm our relationship with our students’ parents or guardians?
- Our event is not a school assembly and involves young people coming from various locations; therefore, a letter to parents is impossible. Does this mean we should not address abortion in the manner you are proposing (with pictures)?
- May we preview the film?
- How have past audiences and hosts reacted to these images?
- I'm just uncomfortable with the idea. Is it essential that you show graphic visuals? Will you leave them out for this presentation?
Pictures of babies after birth are not as compelling because people see babies all the time, whether in person or in images. They can rationalize killing the pre-born, even with exposure to the beauty of born children, because they do not consider the two to be equal. For example, someone may look at a born child and think, "I need to have an abortion before it becomes that, because then there’s nothing I can, or would, do."
Because of the great ignorance throughout society about who the pre-born child is, there is definitely a place for intelligent use of fetal development imagery. New technologies, such as 3D and 4D ultrasound, are a benefit to the pro-life movement.
But fetal development imagery, by definition, only shows fetal development. The public, however, also needs to be educated about abortion. It is one thing to humanize the pre-born child; it is another to dehumanize the act of abortion. International pro-life speaker Scott Klusendorf expands on this idea:
When it comes to moral persuasion, many times images of death work better than images of life.
To cite a parallel example, the modern environmental movement got its start with graphic pictures in the late 1960’s. As activist Jerry Mander points out in his book Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, initial attempts to mobilize public support for preservation of the giant redwoods produced a giant public yawn. Breathtaking photographs of majestic trees, though inspiring, did little to incite public anger at the timber industry. So, activists took a lesson from the Vietnam War. Instead of showing pictures of pre-cut trees in all their glory, environmentalists began circulating before and after photos. ‘We started carrying around photos of acres of stumps where hundreds of redwoods had been cut down. I don’t know if you have ever seen a field of tree stumps, but it is a horrific sight, not unlike a battlefield.’The public outcry was immediate. ‘At that moment,’ Mander concludes, ‘I realized that death is a much better subject for television than life. Images of life—whether of trees themselves or the finely-tuned Vietnamese culture—accomplished nothing. They only put people to sleep.’i
The same can be said of abortion. The use of graphic pictures is not manipulative, but consistent with other mainstream campaigns of social reform. Shocking pictures have traditionally been used by social reformers to dramatize the injustices of child labor, racial violence against African-Americans, U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, etc. What has changed is that for the first time in recent history, political conservatives are using this tactic in an effort to reform an abortion-tolerating public.iiThis tactic is appropriate, given we live in a culture that thinks and learns visually. As Neil Postman points out in Amusing Ourselves to Death, with the advent of television, America shifted from a word-based culture—with an emphasis on coherent linear thought—to an image-based one where thinking is dominated by feeling, intuition, and images.iii
Postman’s point (and mine) is that visual learners have short attention spans. They make decisions based on intuition, feeling, and images. That doesn’t rule out the presentation of facts and arguments, but it does change how they are communicated. It means we must change how people feel as a predicate to changing how they think.iv Disturbing images change feelings in ways that words cannot.v
Pictures of smiling Jewish children do not convey the horror of the Holocaust in the same way images of those same children starving in death camps do. Likewise, pictures of developing embryos and fetuses, while important, do not convey the injustice of abortion the way abortion imagery does.
i Jerry Mander, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (New York: Morrow-Quill, 1977).
ii Gregg Cunningham, "Why Abortion is Genocide," available from www.abortionNO.org.
iii Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (New York: Penguin Books, 1984).
iv As early as 1974, for example, media critic Marshall McLuhan questioned whether rational discourse could reform culture because "abortion ‘thinking’ is taking place in an even deeper swamp of mass hysteria created by the inner trips of the TV image. All of our thinking about abortion is taking place in the smogged-over world of TV." His proposed solution was for networks to feature graphic abortion sequences on national television. When asked if footage would unfairly bias viewers, McLuhan replied, "These films don’t have to have any pro or con slant, if they are permitted to show the actual process." (Matie Molinaro, et al, Letters of Marshall Mcluhan, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1987, pp. 441, 503.)
v This quote and the footnotes within it are from Scott Klusendorf’s document, "Should Crisis Pregnancy Centers Use Graphic Visual Aids?" 2001.
Yes. CCBR speakers inform the audience, within the presentation, prior to showing the graphic abortion imagery. Individuals are told how they can avoid looking at the images (by closing one’s eyes or looking down) if they choose not to watch. Furthermore, where the facility layout permits, lights are turned down so others in the audience are not aware if an individual avoids watching. Finally, there is no sound besides instrumental music, so the audience also will not even hear any sounds related to the abortion procedure.
Yes. Statistically, it is likely that at least someone in the audience has been involved with abortion; and as a result, CCBR speakers address the subject gently, particularly before using the graphic images.
CCBR speakers point out that their condemning of the action of abortion should not be interpreted as a condemning of the actors who have been involved with abortion. Speakers point out that there is healing available for women and men who have been involved in abortion decisions, such as through post-abortion counselling programs often available through churches and pro-life pregnancy care centres.
Some schools have had a counsellor available for students to talk to following the presentation, in order to further facilitate dealing with the subject in a sensitive manner. When speaking to Christian audiences, CCBR speakers talk about Christ’s mercy and emphasize that He is eager and willing to forgive and that He desires that we ask for His forgiveness.
Too often people do not ask for forgiveness because they are in denial. And they are in denial because of a culture that tells them they did nothing wrong. Presenting the truth convicts them of the need to move from denial into recognition in order to seek healing. Furthermore, denial can lead to repeat abortions because people are still rationalizing the act, but repeat abortions are unlikely if one has acknowledged that abortion is wrong.
Before answering this question, it is important to consider this: would you be concerned about visual images used during presentations about the Holocaust, medical missionary trips, or the dangers of drug or alcohol abuse? These also draw attention to the plight of other human beings or the dangers certain choices have to ourselves and to others. Many of these presentations have mandatory attendance. How effective would these presentations be without images? Can we honestly say the visuals have no place?
Even if visuals were not shown, one could still argue the audience was forced to attend such presentations. Would the complaint of being held "captive" be grounds to not educate an audience about drugs?
The role of educators is to present truth. People do not have to accept the truth, but we are no less obligated to provide the message even if, upon receiving it, some in the audience reject it.
No. The intention behind placing warnings on the poster is likely to give people full disclosure to avoid controversy, but because proper context is not given and cannot be given on a poster, people do not get that full disclosure.
Putting a warning on posters compels people to make a judgment call about whether they will attend, but they make that call on incomplete information. They read the comment without the proper context in which the video is shown. There is already so much controversy surrounding abortion, let alone graphic visuals. People may fear the images will be "sprung" on them or jump to wrong conclusions because of misperceptions they have about graphic visuals and pro-life speakers.
Furthermore, one’s motivations for the warning (to avoid controversy) could actually backfire and cause a controversy. Some individuals who see the warning may complain, yet they would do so having not seen the presentation and perhaps having no plans to see it (because of what they conjured in their minds).
Ample warning and full context is given in the presentation to eliminate the prospect of criticism from the audience claiming that they "did not know" when pictures were about to be shown.
A debate about abortion ultimately involves analyzing whether abortion is right or wrong. As a result, the evidence of what abortion is needs to be put forward in any intellectually honest discussion. Images of crime scenes or of the effects of smoking are evidence that must be considered by law enforcement officials or by doctors, respectively. In the same way, abortion images are evidence that must be considered when determining the morality of abortion. Therefore, images are an essential part of the debate.
Of course, imagery is not the only information put forward to make a pro-life case. Even if it were, however, the response from an opponent must not be to censor such a perspective from the debate but rather to respect its use in the debater’s time frame and to refute the approach in his or her rebuttal time.
An abortion advocate’s disagreement with abortion images may be just as strong as an abortion opponent’s disagreement with verbal "pro-choice" arguments. Debates are about each side presenting its case in a manner each believes is strongest, while the other side gets to scrutinize it. Ultimately, the audience decides who has the more compelling case. Censorship, however, prevents this from happening; therefore, in an intellectually honest environment, censorship should not be tolerated.
Just because people get upset, it does not follow that we should cease proclaiming the truth. In fact, such instances are often tests of our determination. United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas makes this insightful point:
Again, by yielding to a false form of ‘civility,’ we sometimes allow our critics to intimidate us. As I have said, active citizens are often subjected to truly vile attacks; they are branded as mean-spirited, racist, Uncle Tom, homophobic, sexist, etc. To this we often respond (if not succumb), so as not to be constantly fighting, by trying to be tolerant and nonjudgmental—i.e., we censor ourselves. This is not civility. It is cowardice, or well-intentioned self-deception at best.i
For people who are determined to avoid the truth about abortion, they will use anything as an excuse to dismiss the pro-life message. If we tailor our message to "tickle their ears" we won’t be proclaiming our message; we’ll be proclaiming theirs.
That is not to say we will make people angry for the sake of making them angry. We present our message with great respect and concern for the brokenness in the crowd. It is one thing to communicate a message strategically, so that people will consider it; it is quite another to entirely leave out a fundamental portion of your message because some people won’t like it. If anger results, it’s from the inner conflict of hearing truth but not wanting to accept it because of the change it requires to one’s life. That type of inner conflict is healthy—it will force the individual to consider and reconsider his or her views.
Keep in mind that any time people profess a message the world needs to hear but does not want to hear, some individuals will get upset. They got upset with the Christian martyrs, with Mahatma Gandhi, with Martin Luther King, Jr., with Mother Teresa, and with many others.
CBR’s executive director Gregg Cunningham points out the following:
Serving God means confronting evil. Confronting evil provokes controversy. Paul was such a ‘troublemaker’ in the Book of Acts that many of his listeners conspired to kill him in Damascus (Acts 9:23), attempted to kill him in Jerusalem (Acts 9:29), ran him out of Antioch (Acts 13:50), threatened his life in Iconium (Acts 14:5), stoned him and left him for dead in Lystra (Acts 14:19), attacked and beat him in Macedonia (Acts 16:22), stormed his residence in Thessolonica (Acts 17:5), drove him from Berea (Acts 17:13), dragged him before the authorities in Corinth (Acts 18:12) and attempted to silence him with mob violence in Ephesus (Acts 19:29). Paul also incited two riots in which he was almost killed in Jerusalem, the city in which the Book of Acts ends with a description of plot to assassinate him (Acts 21:30-31, Acts 23:10, 6-7, Acts 23:10, Acts 23:12).
Great spiritual leaders would not have changed the world if their primary concern was to avoid people getting angry. People were angry at Christ. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have crucified Him.
i Boyer Lecture, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, D.C., February 13, 2001.
Though worship services should be encouraging, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t deal with difficult issues. People will be challenged and confronted with the truth at any gathering where the Bible is truly studied, including at Sunday morning services. Christians should be wise and compassionate about how they present God’s truth, but they shouldn’t water down clear biblical teachings for the sake of being inoffensive. Churches whose main goal is to not offend cannot preach the cross.
Moreover, worshipping God requires that we know God for who He is, and worshippers cannot know God if they don’t learn about Him. This is also true for church visitors. Christians can’t expect non-Christians to follow God if they are given an incomplete picture of Him.
For example, it is crucial for worshippers and visitors to know that God hates their sin just as much as they need to know that He loves them. They cannot truly appreciate the extent of God’s grace if they cannot accept the difficult truth of their own personal sins.
CCBR’s goal is to educate its audiences about the sin of abortion. We use graphic images not to glorify the violence but to help illustrate abortion for an audience that may be tacitly pro-life but does not likely understand the graveness of this sin. Christians need to see these images because abortion has become such an abstract debate about "choice" instead of about what is chosen. This means that they likely will not be exposed to the truth of abortion except in church settings.
Showing these images at church services exposes more people to the truth of what abortion really is. These images, as part of a CCBR presentation, will equip Christians to understand abortion and share biblical truths about human life with their non-Christian friends.
As well, women and men who have to deal with the sin of abortion in their past can only do so if the church is willing to discuss abortion truthfully. A sensitive but compelling presentation on abortion, which includes these images, will encourage people to seek help from God to deal with this sin.
In other words, graphic images of abortion won’t take away from worshipping God. Rather, used wisely, they can help people turn to Him.
If you are willing to address the difficult subject of abortion, why not also expose what the act of abortion is? People can take offense with words as they can with pictures, but with pictures the audience will gain a deeper understanding of what abortion truly is.
Moreover, a Christian’s main concern should be to proclaim God’s truth in love and not water truth down to avoid being offensive. Love does not mean being inoffensive; it means wanting the best for others. This includes stating difficult truths for the other’s spiritual benefit.
Jesus himself proclaimed challenging teachings that were so offensive to some that they rejected Him. After Jesus declares in John 6 that "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst," the Gospel informs us, "After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him."
Then in Mark 18, a rich young ruler approaches Jesus and asks, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" After Jesus lists several commandments that the young man has been faithful to, Jesus declares, "One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." The scriptures then report, "But when [the young man] heard this he became sad, for he was very rich."
God is against killing babies. He opposes the shedding of innocent blood. If we are to "make disciples of all nations" we are to also "teach them to observe all that [Christ] has commanded."i If we expect to make true followers of Christ, they need to know who the Christ is that they claim to follow.
i Matthew 28:19–20
Abortion images do not only convert the unconvinced that abortion is wrong, they also activate the converted to respond more seriously to this crisis. Therefore, even if your audience is already pro-life, such individuals often need a deeper conviction and motivation—this film creates that. And of course, there is always the chance that even one audience member is not pro-life and could convert.
Furthermore, the film is a powerful tool pro-lifers can show to their family, friends, and colleagues, but they can only do that if they first view it themselves. Finally, there is no harm in showing the images to an already-pro-life audience—there is nothing to be lost and much to be gained.
There is an important distinction between images of injustice and sexually explicit images. The former raises awareness about harm to humans that needs to stop. The latter sexually stimulates people and turns human beings into objects. While the former shows the tragedy of how humans have been treated as objects, the latter promotes the treatment of humans as objects for another’s sexual pleasure. The use of abortion imagery is not parallel to the use of sexually explicit imagery. Instead, it is parallel to the widely accepted use of other imagery such as natural disasters and war. Pictures of starving children in Africa are not used to justify sexually explicit images; why, then, would pictures of aborted children create this concern? Finally, there are indecency and obscenity laws already in place that address the use of sexually explicit images.
Their permission could not have been obtained because they were killed. Many images of atrocities are used without a victim’s permission because of the very circumstances surrounding his or her death. The greatest respect for the dead is in preventing future deaths like theirs. In other words, showing the images, not hiding them, reveres their memory. It creates awareness of an injustice with the expectation that there will be fewer victims in the future because society knows about the victims of the past.
The answer to this question is clearly no when one realizes that when many teenagers see abortion images, they subsequently choose not to have an abortion. Consider the following testimonies by teenagers who viewed the graphic images at www.abortionNO.org:
- This has extremely altered my idea of abortion. I am currently pregnant and was considering the idea of abortion. Now... NO WAY!!
- I'm pregnant and my mom told me I couldn't have [the baby], but now I'll tell her [I'm not having an abortion.]
- I used to be pro-choice, but those images are so disturbing and heart-wrenching that I do not believe in abortion anymore.
If teenagers are old enough to have abortions, they are old enough to see them—and, tragically, many young girls do have abortions. Of the 103,768 abortions on Canadian women in 2003, 302 were performed on girls under the age of 15; 17,958 were performed on girls between the ages of 15 and 19.i It is therefore crucial that we communicate the truth of abortion to teenagers who would either consider it themselves or know someone who would. Furthermore, the number of abortions increase amongst women in their early twenties (32,662 on women between the ages of 20 and 24ii ) so it is vital to reach this audience as early as possible.
Not only are images powerful in turning people off of abortion, they are powerful in turning people on to addressing the injustice.
A powerful example of knowledge of injustice convicting the young is the case of two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and founder of Free the Children, Craig Kielburger:
Looking for the comics section one morning before school, Craig came across an article in the Toronto Star. The front page caught his eye, showing a picture of a boy wearing a bright red vest and his fist held high. The headline read, ‘Boy, 12, murdered for speaking out against child labour’.
The article told the story of a young boy from Pakistan, Iqbal Masih, who was sold into child labour at the age of four as a carpet weaver to pay back a loan his parents had acquired. Iqbal worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, tying tiny knots to make carpets.
Iqbal lost his freedom to laugh and to play. He lost his freedom to go to school. And, after he began speaking out against child labour, he lost his life.
The article said he was murdered for raising the issue in the press and in politics at the age of 12, the same age as Craig at the time.
Craig had never heard about child labour, and wasn’t even certain where Pakistan was on the world map, but the differences between his life and Iqbal’s shocked him.
He soon discovered that there are 250 million child labourers in the world, one half of them working full-time; many in hazardous conditions. Craig knew that he had to help, so he did the only thing he could. He gathered a group of his friends together, most of them 12 years old like him, and they started Free the Children. The goal they set out then is the same as it is today, although now more than a million supporters are working together toward their goal: to free children from abuse, exploitation, and the idea that they are not old enough or smart enough or capable enough to change the world.iii
From the day Craig first encountered Iqbal’s story, he researched child labour. He became increasingly horrified by the injustice; eight months into his self-education on the subject, he went on a seven-week tour of five Southeast Asian countries—still at the age of 12. The book "Me to We: Turning Self-Help on Its Head" by Craig and his brother Marc powerfully describes the impact of seeing, face-to-face, the young people living as child labourers:
Seeing the lives of these children filled Craig with a deep sense of outrage. He was angry at a world of adults that allowed this abuse to continue. Such poverty and injustice had always seemed to belong to another world—a world that only existed on the television screen and in newspapers. But for the first time, he couldn’t change the channel or turn the page. These children were not just images. They were real, no different than him, his brother, his friends, and his classmates. He couldn’t understand how such stark inequality had come to exist. Were children not all equal? Were they not all deserving of the same rights? Did a child’s life matter less depending on where he or she was born?iv
And we add this: does a child’s life matter less depending on whether he or she is even born at all? By keeping teenagers ignorant of the gravity of abortion, we jeopardize the lives of the pre-born. If we graphically expose injustices directed towards born children, then why not those directed towards pre-born children? Why would we rob teenagers of the opportunity to develop the same conviction against abortion that Kielburger did against child labour?
i "Induced Abortions by Age Group," Statistics Canada, available from http://www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/health43.htm?sdi=abortion%20age, viewed May 13, 2006.
iii "History," Free the Children, available from http://www.freethechildren.com/aboutus/ftchistory.htm#notes, viewed May 13, 2006.
iv Craig Kielburger & Marc Kielburger, Me to We: Turning Self-Help on its Head (Canada: John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., 2004) 52.
The fact that parents may complain is not grounds to avoid communicating an important message. Addressing a controversial subject such as abortion, even without visuals, may result in some parents complaining. When people disagree on a subject it is inevitable that they will communicate their concerns. This issue is not "will people complain?" but is instead "is this message a truth that people need to know?"
Teachers already use graphic visuals to illustrate a variety of subjects including the Holocaust. It is helpful to know that CCBR speakers show other widely viewed graphic images prior to showing abortion images. These are pictures the students would have likely encountered through some media—possibilities include: Jacquie, a victim of a drinking and driving accident; Ali, a victim of war; Emmett, a victim of racism. The point of using these images is to illustrate the power of pictures and the widespread recognition of their place in communicating a message. Furthermore, if parents were to complain, the likelihood is that their complaints would not be regarding Jacquie’s, Ali’s, or Emmett’s photographs, but instead regarding abortion. This reveals that their concern is not the use of graphic images generally, but is instead abortion specifically. Most of us aren’t responsible for destroying someone’s life via drinking and driving. But all of us are responsible, to some extent, for abortion. That guilt compels people to want to water down the truth to avoid feeling bad. We cannot let that happen, knowing that the truth sets people free and changes minds.
Complaints are also ministering opportunities. The likelihood is that those who complain have some guilt from involvement with abortion (although this is not always the case); that is an excellent situation to help them work through their pain and find healing. An example of this is with international pro-life speaker Scott Klusendorf. He showed an abortion film when speaking at a youth camp. Three girls complained about this, but as it turned out they had had abortions. This provided a ministering opportunity and at the end of the week the girls said they were positively impacted by Klusendorf’s presentation.
Schools, however, can reduce the likelihood of complaints by sending home a parental notification letter (Click here to read CCBR’s sample letter for religious and public schools). Not only does it inform parents of the presentation, but it encourages them to attend. Because this letter is an advisory, it insures the school against criticism of leaving parents out of the education process. It is worth mentioning, however, that some schools already have policies on films being shown to students. The school should treat this film as it does other films. If it has no policy about how educators use films, why have a double standard with an abortion-related film? And if normal practice is to send a letter home, the same protocol should be followed with this film.
Since young people need to get to the location of the event, it would seem they are attending with some degree of parental knowledge. Let’s imagine a similar situation: your event is a monthly interdenominational youth gathering. Parents have some knowledge of this in the sense that it is a Christian venue where young people have praise and worship and receive teaching on a variety of subjects. Attendees come from various areas and simply show up; the organizers do not necessarily know beforehand who will be attending. Would you need to inform parents if your lesson was on poverty, sexual promiscuity, drug use, or stealing? Why treat abortion differently? It falls under God’s command not to murder, not to shed innocent blood, so it would make sense for the subject to be addressed at your teaching events.
If a Holocaust survivor were to speak to the youth and show pictures of concentration camps, would you not permit him to speak without parental knowledge?
The point is this: while it is helpful and good to inform parents and encourage their attendance, this is not always logistically possible. CCBR wants to be a resource to address the widespread ignorance regarding abortion. Teenagers can obtain abortions without parental permission, schools often do not address the subject in any meaningful way, and parents often aren’t equipped to deal with the issue. CCBR speakers are equipped to present a message that will impact the audience and save lives—the film is a fundamental resource for this.
Absolutely. The film Unmasking "Choice" is available on our website here. It is just over 3 ½ minutes in length. The film CCBR presenters typically show to audiences of age 18 and older is "Choice Blues," available at this link: www.abortionno.org/Resources/audiovideo.html. Approximately 4–5 minutes of the two scenes together is shown.
As you view these films keep in mind the context in which they are shown: the audience members are warned, they are told they can avert their gaze, and they told about the forgiveness and healing available for those who have been broken by abortion. Finally, given that the presentations are typically 1 hour (at least), the film is shown for mere minutes out of the 60 minutes available.
When a CCBR speaker presented to a youth group, a 14-year-old girl wrote the following in her survey, "Actually, I thought that I might be pregnant and I was going to get an abortion. After the video, it showed me what I would have done to my child."
At another presentation, a 15-year-old girl wrote, "My position on abortion before the presentation was: I was not for it but everyone has their own choice and I shouldn’t be the one making their decision. After the presentation I realized that we are all human and have every right to live and that we would never kill a newborn baby or anyone, so why do we have the right to kill a fetus. The video of all the aborted embryos was very moving and was very visual. It was very important to change my opinion."
A high school teacher wrote, "Your presentation was extremely valuable to our students in terms of reinforcing our beliefs in what is morally right. Although we consider ourselves a pro-life community, we are often too silent on this issue. Your graphic video exposed us to the horrors of abortion and awakened the need to defend life. We are often too silent because we feel uncomfortable and aren’t sure about how to counter the pro-abortion propaganda."
CCBR has many more testimonies about the impact visuals and its presentations have on people. A selection of these can be viewed here: www.unmaskingchoice.ca/newsletters.
Would you say that about a presentation on the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami? Would you say that about a presentation about sponsoring starving children in India?
In Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "Letter from Birmingham Jail," he responds to a group of clergyman who were critical of his tactics in fighting racism in the United States. Even though Dr. King was committed to peaceful methods of opposing segregation, his approach was controversial and bold. King’s insights about the need to daringly confront that injustice yesterday are worth recalling when determining how to confront this injustice (abortion) today:
...I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler [sic] or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating that absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
...Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.i
If we claim that the pre-born are human and that abortion kills those humans and if we expect to be taken seriously by the culture at large, then we have to ask ourselves: are we responding to the plight of the pre-born as we would if they were born? For example, if 2-year-olds were being killed at local hospitals, paid for by our tax dollars, with some of your audience members’ involvement, would you withhold the most compelling evidence of the toddlers’ deaths? Why are we holding a double standard when it comes to exposing the injustice directed towards the most weak and vulnerable of human beings?
Keep in mind that abortion supporters are lying to our children when they claim abortion is a mere "choice." Why would we facilitate this lie by refusing to show the strongest evidence we have to the contrary? That, however, is exactly what abortion supporters want us to do. You can be sure that Planned Parenthood would ask the same question you just did.
When human lives are on the line, can anyone, in good conscience, exclude the most powerful evidence there is to show that abortion kills children?
i Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail," in Ideals and Ideologies: A Reader, T. Ball and R. Dagger (US: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc., 1999) 365.
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