Monday, April 19, 2004

To Stir the Pot Further

I have very mixed feelings about the use of graphic pictures of abortions. When I say "graphic pictures," I mean those pictures of the after effects of abortion where all that remains of the child is pieces of debris. Pictures that show the child in the womb or in the development stages are not meant here. Now back to my point. For example, I think that they can be very effective in settings like lectures, conferences and hearings where the goal is to educate and to enlighten. I don't think that they are very effective in sidewalk counseling because they promote fear and disgust. It seems to me, that at that moment, the goal is leading the woman to embrace the child she is carrying and see the pregnancy through. Many women are already whipped into a frenzy and these pictures, IMHO, serve only to traumatize the woman further. Even if someone walks away from the clinic this doesn't justify tormenting or berating someone in this fashion. Please see "The Error of Ends Justifying the Means."

Many women end up at abortion clinics for reasons other than inconvenience of a failed contraceptive. In my work with Rachel's Vineyard, I have heard stories that would curl your hair. There was the account of one woman whose parents were very pro-life until she ended up pregnant outside of wedlock. Then her father drove her to the clinic. One woman told the story of how a boyfriend threatened to have her beaten if she didn't get the abortion. Also, there is the reality of women who are repeating and reliving the grief of the first abortion by going back and submitting to another one. None of these stories justify the taking of another life, but I think explains the complexity of what is happening in that moment.

But this story has got me intrigued. The BBC is going to broadcast footage of an abortion taking place. This is very unlike Moloch to tip his hand this way. Normally, he likes to play from the shadows and let others take the fall. By taking us into the inner sanctuary of abortion, we will see hopefully some of the horror that is involved. But I suspect that there will be very good sedatives handed out and that we will get a very specific patient on the table. TV being such as it is, the situation will be heavily sanitized.

If your cable provider has BBC America, see if they are going to show this and then fill the rest of us in.

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