The Case Against Abortion Photos














I am unashamedly pro-life. Given my history, I think any other choice would be hypocritical on my part.

I was in junior high when I published my first article on the topic of abortion. In high school, I spoke publicly on several occasions (including at meetings for the National Right to Life) about abortion and adoption. My heart beats for children who are unwanted, perhaps because I was unwanted at one time (yet wholly wanted, go figure).

Please don’t misunderstand. I do not share any of the above in hopes of earning accolades or even your respect. Believe me, I am well aware that many have pounded the pavement on this issue in ways more productive than I. Each time I read a Facebook status or receive an e-mail about an effort someone is making on behalf of these precious little ones, I am overwhelmed with appreciation because I am reminded in every instance that someone went to bat on my behalf.

So with that in mind, I arrive at this blog post carefully.

I know that most (if not all) who share photos of aborted babies on Facebook have at their core a desire to liberate these innocent children. Truly, I share that desire in ways I cannot adequately express. But I do not think posting photos of these babies is helpful for 3 basic reasons.

1. I believe sharing photos of butchered babies actually desensitizes people to the horror of it. I remember the first time I saw one of these photos. As a preteen, I grieved. I mourned the child in the image that didn’t get the same opportunities I was given. But I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve seen since that time. Where I should weep at each image, I am prone to gloss over it with too much ease. Seeing a photo of an aborted baby right alongside someone’s vacation plans or weather commentary doesn’t create in me the kind of sobriety the photo deserves.

2. I believe sharing gruesome photos of aborted babies makes us feel like we are accomplishing something (when ultimately we are not). I would venture to guess that the majority of people I interact with on Facebook are people with whom I agree about pro-life matters. Not entirely, of course. I have some long-suffering friends and co-workers who haven’t dropped me yet. But for the most part, the only thing I accomplish when I post photos of aborted babies is a satisfaction that I have done something good for the cause. If I am honest, I would be better served praying for the unborn or pursuing meaningful conversation with those who would seek to end life than I would posting a photo for shock value.

3. I believe sharing photos of aborted babies is, at the least, not showing dignity for the dead. I would never dream of posting photos of an adult who died a horrific death, so why would I post photos of a child who died that way? If–as I say–life begins at conception, why should matters of dignity in death be any different? If the only thing I can give that child is respect after death and the promise that I will do what I can to prevent abortion from happening to someone else, let it be.

I am pro-life. I believe there is much to be done. I think dialogue should happen at every opportunity. I think pictures have their place in the right context. But, at least in my opinion, I do not think that context is Facebook.


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  1. Thank you, Trisha, for putting words to the sentiments I have felt as I viewed these horrific images. I knew that, just as I scroll past “share if you love Jesus” posts, I had a reason for not sharing these items, but I had never sougt out the philosophy behind my actions. You’re right, in this case. My hesitation was borne of a desire not to further degrade this beautiful baby, no doubt someone’s daughter, granddaughter, etc. In today’s world, it could easily be a child whose own father or grandparents never had the opportunity to know, much less grieve, his mother’s decision. Again, God bless you for your courage. I, for one, find it refreshing!

  2. Trisha, thank you for sharing your heart. A much more mild (sort of) reason for not sharing these photos on fb, is that often children are nearby fb. Though not one of aborted babies, I was horrified when a graphic picture of the Boston Marathon bombings was shared on fb and my daughter nearly saw it as we scrolled through family and friend photos.

  3. I think another argument is for small children. I was once driving along with my kids, N was 3, in the car and the protestors were standing there with gruesome signs. She, of course, saw them, and had questions that I didn’t want to answer. She was 3. It was not the time for that discussion at all. With no warning, I could not avoid that intersection. Often my kids are looking over my shoulder when I browse FB. Again, they could see those pictures. I want to be the one who decides when and how that conversation happens, and it doesn’t need to happen with a visual.

  4. Hi Trisha, This is the first time I have been to your site thanks to a friend that posted this on Facebook. I truly and wholeheartedly agree with you and have had this discussion many times before with fellow pro-lifers. I do not need to actually see the horrific horrors that abortion causes and I am very sensitive to it and choose not to look at them. I also do not watch horror movies, television shows that show gruesome devaluing of life and so when I do see it by accident, it is horrifying, I get a terrible stomach ache and I feel like I need to get sick. Human life is to be valued at any level. I have worked hard to protect myself from seeing these things. But that is not effective in our society because it seems everywhere we turn, the media is constantly desensitizing us to the value of human life. I believe that many people, especially those that can tolerate those nasty shows have a total unappreciation for life and so these pictures do nothing for most people because they see things like this all of the time – it isn’t sending a message. And the people that they probably affect who actually value human life are most likely already pro-life. The best pictures are those inutero with a beautiful baby and a beating heart. It also comes with understanding who the creator is and a change in people’s hearts. We must pray for that too! Thank you for sharing and I think you hit the nail on the head!

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