Why use graphic images in pro-life messaging



July 15, 2014

A lot of people get angry when pro-lifers use graphic images to depict the reality of abortion. While we at ARPA Canada and through our pro-life campaign,, do not use graphic images in our messaging, we know many who do use them and use them effectively. The reality is that graphic images anger people, and rightly so. However, instead of focusing our anger on the messenger, we should be concerning ourselves with those whose ideology allows for the injustice to occur in the first place.

The Hamilton Spectator published an excellent op-ed by campaign director, Mike Schouten, titled Censoring disturbing images in which he addresses the Hamilton City Council’s decision to prevent distribution of graphic images depicting abortion.

Interestingly, a question posed to the Hamilton City Council councillor who presented the motion about condemning other forms of graphic violence (as seen on TV, in film and video games), has gone unanswered. As Mike writes, “Images of aborted preborn children will certainly make every Canadian with a conscience uncomfortable. That’s the point.”

Hamilton Spectator, July 15, 2014 – Mike Schouten – There is scarcely an area in the world that is unaffected by one atrocity or another. Whether it is natural disasters, such as hurricane Arthur, which recently slammed into Atlantic Canada, or human-inflicted tragedy, as we can observe from the latest violent tension between Israel and Hamas, we are bombarded on a daily basis by images of violence, disaster, suffering, injustice and various other horrors experienced by real people all over the globe. We receive these images predominantly through the media; this is, after all, what they do — report news.

At times, the images we see are disturbing. The newspaper arrives on our doorstep with graphic depictions of bloodied children wandering streets with nowhere to go after a rocket has destroyed their home. A few days later, the local daily has a photo of body parts protruding from a pile of rubble after an earthquake has shattered a countryside. Not only are the media doing their job when they report this to us, but, by being confronted with a visual reminder of the many ills of this world, we are moved to do what we can to mitigate the disaster and suffering. 

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