Saturday, August 11, 2007

Warning - Graphic image of choice ahead

Does a truck truck plastered with images of aborted fetuses transgress the boundaries of free speech?

Calgary's Stephanie Gray, director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform (CCBR) drives a 'mobile anti-abortion billboard' around during rush hour to ensure that folks get the harsh picture of abortion devoid of euphemisms.

Celia Posyniak, executive director of Calgary's Kensington Clinic, an abortion provider, has heard from several people outraged over the truck:

"I just think in Canadian society, it's really a rude, crude display. It shows a lack of manners," Ms. Posyniak says. Such "scare tactics," she insists, don't work, since women seeking an abortion have "very compelling reasons" for doing so and will only be upset, not influenced, by the billboards.

Yes indeed. Very compelling reasons such as this.

As Michael Coren says so eloquently, "It's no longer a woman's right to choose but a woman's right to live."


liberal supporter said...

Warning - Graphic image of choice ahead
I'm disappointed. No pictures at all. I wanted some abortion porn.

I just loved the way the article makes it sound so cloak and dagger, as if they are freedom fighters in the Underground in WWII or something.

I think they will be disappointed if nobody gets violent with them. It seems they are already reduced to crying about getting cut off in traffic as evidence of their persecution.

Just like Coren, trying to bait anyone to threaten him. He of course needs angry letters to the Sun, so they will keep him on (already reduced to one Saturday column). Seems he now calls abortion infanticide. Of course that would make contraception infanticide by his logic.

No, I doubt there will be actual violent incidents. Instead, the motorists will likely start making sure they carry a coat hanger in their cars, and wave it at the truck when it goes by. Then you will see the "freedom fighters" claiming they were threatened. So they motorists will eventually affix them to their cars so they are not being brandished.

I think the coat hanger sticker would look nice right beside the support the troops sticker. Killing is never pretty and there are always "alternatives" in someone else's view, but it still goes on and is accepted, if not encouraged. I support both the troops and the abortionists.

Do you see a slippery slope here? Once their right to offend people with this is established, then what is to stop nice graphic images of people defaecating? Or perhaps just people having sex? How about a truck covered with a nice picture of two men having sex? Yes and of course their wedding bands will be clearly visible.

Usually you don't see strip clubs doing this sort of thing because it constitutes advertising their business there are limits on commercial free speech.

I think the two men with wedding bands on fellating each other would be the closest parallel. Activities that are legal being depicted for political reasons.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm disappointed. No pictures at all. I wanted some abortion porn.

Yeah, there is a very lovely picture in the print issue if you're so inclined.

I think the two men with wedding bands on fellating each other would be the closest parallel. Activities that are legal being depicted for political reasons.

You could probably catch that image at a gay pride parade.

Ti-Guy said...

You could probably catch that image at a gay pride parade.

How would you know unrestrained public sex goes on there? Or are you just imagining it?

You're pretty perverted there, Joanne. You should seek help.

Sandy said...

Comparing the sexual activities of two homosexuals with abortion is what is perverted. I have an adopted daughter. Had her birth mother aborted, her she would not have been born. Call a spade a spade, she would have been murdered. She now has three children of her own who would not have been born. And, I would not have had her and my grandchildren to love all these years. Those fetuses could be real people. They are not an orgasm.

No, there is nothing pleasurable or pornographic about abortion. It is an abomination.

However, that said, there but the grace of God go I. We just never know what we would do in any particular situation -- such as rape.

But, given the purpose of this post, I don't like the idea of someone driving around with a graphic display of aborted fetuses.

Most people understand the issues. Shock and awe will just tick people off.

Just my opinion.

Good post Joanne because it gets people thinking about the topic if not the way it is being communicated.

Con Apologist said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joanne (True Blue) said...

Thanks, Sandy. I agree with you on all points.

Gay marriage does not equal abortion.

And Bishop Henry agrees with you that this is not the way to convey the message. It will turn people off.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Con apologist - You made some good points. Too bad you messed it up with vulgarity.

liberal supporter said...

Buzz off, con apologist. Even us hated liberals follow Joanne's rules.

Go to RTs if you need to swear and carry on like a fool. Oh, I see you did, fool.

Anonymous said...

The whole abortion debate in reality can be stated as a clash of rights. The woman can claim a right over her body. The fetus can claim a right to life. The question then becomes one of whose rights are more important and for how long. It really comes down to when is the fetus a real person; at conception or later. I think it is certainly some time before birth but when. This is really the crux of the argument. As the only charge that could be laid in this case would be murder/manslaughter I think we should consider carefully before we answer. I do not think that graphic pictures will add to this debate.

Candace said...

"...The CCBR expects the controversy will intensify here once the school year begins, as parents are forced to explain the bloody pictures on the passing truck to distressed kids in the back seat. The CCBR may even make a point of driving past junior and high schools. "Where people are old enough to have abortions, they're old enough see abortions," Ms. Gray explains..."


Maybe the pro-choice movement could counteract with trucks covered with pictures of starved and beaten Canadian children? Maybe some gang kids from inner cities and crime stats? Or maybe some nice middleclass kids that are victims of incest?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Even us hated liberals follow Joanne's rules.

I don't hate you, L.S.

I appreciate the compliance regarding language, and I enjoy the parrying.

Go to RTs if you need to swear and carry on like a fool. Oh, I see you did, fool.

Oh, they should have saved it for the next post.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I do not think that graphic pictures will add to this debate.

Yeah, well especially on a truck. Maybe on a website; which is a conscious decision.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Candace, I know we don't see eye to eye on this one, but I think you're saying that better the kid be aborted than have a hellish life?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

FYI - If anyone is looking for those graphic images, Red Tory has graciously provided links at his place.

Anonymous said...

Disgusting way to get your point across.

Nice for little children to see by the way. No conscience about how this would affect little ones when they see trucks like that go by.

So much for caring about children and family values.

What a crock.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The intention may be noble, but the method is questionable at best.

I agree that young children don't need to be exposed to these images.

ELA said...


Thanks for blogging on this subject. It appears that in the discussion there has been no rational argument made for the use of graphic abortion imagery. I believe there is a very good case to be made for their use, indeed for the entire approach of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR). The concerns raised in your posting regarding children being exposed to such images can be fairly addressed I believe.

The recent launch of the CCBR’s truck campaign (Reproductive “Choice” Campaign) has been the subject of several recent Vote Life, Canada! postings. I invite you and your readers to at least take a look at this short posting [] on the subject.

However, much more has already been said on this subject.

Over a period of eight years and many hundreds of such graphic roadside presentations, Rosemary Connell of Show the Truth, [] has studied and recorded children's reactions to their posters and interviewed parents. She summarizes her experience in this brief letter. []

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue wrote an apologetic [] for the use of graphic images. Here’s a relevant portion of her defense:

“Probably the most often voiced objection to the public display of the graphic photos is that children view them. Often it is assumed that the photos will emotionally traumatize a child. Activists with several years of experience on the street with the signs have noted that the pictures do not adversely affect children as long as the parent remains calm and reasonable. Many parents use the opportunity to teach their children about life and reinforce their love for their kids. Children only become upset when the parents respond angrily, stop to verbally abuse the sign holders, or even physically attack the signs. When the children see Mom or Dad behaving in ways that frighten them, they also become upset.

“Parents do their children no favors when they hide the truth about abortion from their kids, regardless of age. At the very least, when children enter the age of puberty, they must be made aware of the wickedness of abortion. In this age of abortion without parental notification and sexual activity beginning at increasingly earlier ages, parents that do not deal with the matter of abortion with their young daughters are in effect endangering their own grandchildren by leaving their girls vulnerable to the lure of abortion as a quick fix or a means of concealing sexual activity. Christians who have exposed their own children to the graphic materials, some nearly from birth, report no ill effects in their children. In fact, these children often develop a deeper sense of compassion for women and babies affected by abortion. Several families actively involved in pro-life ministry have had the joy of seeing their teen-aged or adult children accept Christ and enthusiastically adopt the pro-life ministry as their own multiplying many times over the work of their parents.

“The public display of graphic photos of aborted babies is a proven and effective tool. Scriptural principals support it. The photos save lives, convict the guilty, change hearts, cause the hurting to seek help, inspire active involvement, and will eventually be a part of transforming the thinking of our society on the matter of abortion.”

CCBR includes an extensive rationale [] for their approach on their website using a question and answer format.

Again, thanks for encouraging discussion on this subject.

Eric Alcock
Vote Life, Canada!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Eric, thanks for presenting this side of the debate.

Yes, that is a very good point that kids are exposed to a lot of grim reality but it's the parent's attitude and explanation that is key.

Thank you for your very extensive list of resources. Unfortunately you'll likely be visited by irate folks from the other side now, but you're probably used to that.

liberal supporter said...

Thank you for commenting here, Eric. I have a lot more respect for someone who appears genuine in their views than I do for the trolls we see sometimes see here.

Now that I understand more about your plans and strategy, I support your use of graphic abortion imagery. As we have seen in the entertainment world, your efforts will help to desensitize people so they cannot be as easily be manipulated.

If you can shock someone, it is much easier to manipulate them so that they react entirely from emotion. Since the person attempting the manipulation is providing the shocking material, their choice of material, and the way they talk around it, enables them to manipulate the target's reaction and hence their future actions.

We need look no further than the images of people falling off the WTC on 9-11, repeated over and over to see how horrific images can stampede an entire nation.

There is currently in the US media a concerted effort to hide the truth from the people about what is going on in the wars they are involved in. An effective campaign of implying disloyalty and even treason, for anyone who tries to show the truth is in play. I happen to support the war, but I believe the people should see and know the truth.

Only by seeing the truth, can people come to terms with it, and become immune to emotional blackmail. It is the first shock reaction that is so prized by emotional manipulators, since it can embed the manipulator's messages, such as political messages in the target's mind. It can be quite difficult to undo this kind of damage.

So I support the parading of images, since you cannot also provide your words at the same time as the images are shown. That makes the manipulation much less effective. Consider, for example, the "pregnancy crisis" type places, that purport to be there to help a pregnant girl, presumably with all options discussed. When they show the abortion pictures to the girl, then repeatedly use standard shaming techniques to embed their political view while she is still in shock, it is much more effective. I suppose you did some research to see if parading the pictures on trucks will make these one on one mind assaults less effective, but I for one hope it does make those attacks less effective.

Being accustomed to your kind of parading graphic images would also help women who have abortions from becoming "wounded" as you say. As difficult as the decision can be, the abortion is often a great relief, as well as a cause for sorrow. But the abortion does not leave the woman emotionally "wounded". It is your kind of emotional abuse that does that. So keep parading the images, and your power to abuse using shock tactics is reduced.

Children only become upset when the parents respond angrily, stop to verbally abuse the sign holders, or even physically attack the signs. When the children see Mom or Dad behaving in ways that frighten them, they also become upset.
See what I mean? The shock reaction that you try to provoke is very effective at making this an issue within families. Through your efforts, everyone becomes more accustomed to seeing this stuff. The lesson the children learn is one about how some people will go to any lengths to have their way and lord it over everyone else.

Once a child is shown other horrific images, such as the absolutely disgusting things that are done to animals to provide meat for human food, they begin to understand that horrible pictures are less "the truth", and more sensationalism, intended to manipulate, like any advertisement.

Yes, we eat meat, and watching how animals die to provide it is disgusting, but it does not make us a culture of death. Vegetarians will tell you there is no longer any biological need for humans to eat meat, yet we do. Many consider the animal murders to be a necessary evil.

If you see pictures from war zones, you would wonder how people can do these things to each other. We fight wars, some people die, and it is seen as a necessary evil. It does not make us a culture of death.

Many consider abortion to be a necessary evil as well. It doesn't make us a culture of death, much as it would help your political agenda if it did.

We don't "outlaw" wars. We try to find ways to avoid them. We don't outlaw meat. We let people make their own decisions for their health, providing information and ensuring if they eat meat, at least it is legal and is prepared in a sanitary way.

And we don't outlaw abortion either. We need to be doing more to ensure nobody feels an economic need for an abortion. Better education which includes birth control, especially by abstinence and contraception, and better support in general for families would go a long way, and cause a natural decline in the abortion rate.

But we let people make their own decisions about abortion. You are helping provide information, which always helps. And if people get abortions, at least it is legal and is done in a sanitary way, instead of on a back street kitchen table.

Candace said...

"but I think you're saying that better the kid be aborted than have a hellish life?"

No, I'm saying two things:

1) removing the legal option of abortion will increase the number of kids living hellish lives, as I suspect that most women choosing to abort have valid (in their eyes, at least) and compelling reasons - going against an instinct as strong as the maternal one to protect one's child is likely not an easy thing to do;
2) revolting pictures, whether of aborted fetuses or children being physically (and graphically) abused have zero business on public streets.

I agree with you that those things belong on websites, where a conscious choice can be made to visit (or not).

I remember getting a bit stoked by all the billboards in Edmonton a few years back promoting the "Sex Show" (similar to a home & garden show in size and style, its the products that differ). My daughter was 9 at the time and I had a tough time explaining what it was about.

People forget that. Parents pick up kids from multiple schools, so there could be young kids in a car parked beside this truck at a high school. Not pretty.

Candace said...

Note that I responded to you, Joanne, prior to reading Eric's comment and Liberal Supporter's followup response.

Well, it's not real often that LS and I agree, but politics (or in this case, politicized issues) make for strange bedfellows, no?

LS: Well said.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Candace, thanks for responding. Yes, your agreeing with L.S. shows that this is not necessarily a partisan issue.

Two issues come to mind about this whole argument for me. First of all, I don't feel it has to be an all-or-nothing discussion, in my personal opinion; although there are many such as Suzanne who wouldn't agree with me.

Secondly, how do you feel about the Michael Coren link at the end of the post where he discusses the deliberate abortion of females by certain ethnic groups in Canada?

Candace said...

Joanne: I agree that this should not be an "all or nothing" issue. I would prefer to see term limits unless a medical emergency exists. Which would put a serious crimp in the practices Coren talks about.

When I was pregnant with my daughter in BC (93/94) there was no way to learn the sex of your child - the ultrasound operator wouldn't tell you, nor would your doctor - for that very reason. So people started going south of the border for ultrasounds, then back north to 'deal with the consequences' if they didn't like what they found out.

That is not a 'compelling' reason to abort. That is probably the one circumstance that I would agree with pro-lifers that abortion is the equivalent of murder.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

That is not a 'compelling' reason to abort. That is probably the one circumstance that I would agree with pro-lifers that abortion is the equivalent of murder.

Yes, unfortunately this is a bit of a cultural issue, which would likely make some immigrants scream discrimination if there were any attempt to limit access.

On the other hand, I don't see why the public health system (i.e. taxpayers) should have to pay for abortions in that situation.