For various reasons, most pro-life and pro-abortion individuals argue against the use of abortion victim imagery. This essay will focus on the following objection: Use of abortion victim imagery is done without consent from the victim and/or dishonors the victim by showing them in an unflattering manner. Like most pro-abortion arguments, a minimal amount of critical thought is necessary before the argument falls apart.
A desire for purpose is a deeply engrained aspect of the human condition. We all want our lives to count for something. Someone who is killed in the early stages of life does not get the opportunity to make something of themselves. They are brutally murdered and thrown away.
Undoubtedly, these people would desire to tell us of the savagery of abortion were they alive today. If they were brought back to life while retaining the memory of being torn apart, they would be the most vocal activists alive. Our work allows them to be exactly that. What we do is quite mild relative to what these victims would do if still with us. It isn’t the slightest bit difficult to imagine them blocking entrance to their place of slaughter or worse.
There is only one way to provide meaning to the life of someone who was killed before birth and we are providing it. Without us giving them a platform to speak truth, their entire existence would be one of forgotten agony. Their image on a sign has the power to save lives. With our help, they themselves are life-savers. There is no greater honor than that.
As for the consent objection, this is merely an attempt to distract. No one in a right state of mind believes that victims must give consent for their bloodied image to be used as a means to solve the injustice that killed them. No one argues that it was wrong for international news stations to broadcast images of Syrian children as poison gas was used upon them. No one argues that Emmett Till was dishonored by Time Magazine. No one makes these arguments because they are wholly illegitimate.
In light of these other examples of violence, the consent objection is quickly exposed for the red herring that it is. It is meant only to distract the pro-life apologist from the real arguments and the objector from their screaming conscience.
The use of abortion victim imagery is despised because it brings to life a conscience that many have worked diligently to silence. The abortion supporter is forced to acknowledge the violent, murderous choice they advocate. The pro-life individual is forced to acknowledge their inaction on this most important issue. These are the reasons people object to abortion victim imagery. Consent and honor are simply easy-to-reach masks for the internal shame and cowardice felt by those who explicitly or implicitly support lethal violence against children.
– James Silberman, Intern, Created Equal