Pro-aborts are in an uproar over pro-life activist Randall Terry’s latest stunt: by running for president in the Democratic primary, he’s been able to sidestep FCC rules against running political ads too close to a primary election, and is slated to run an ad featuring graphic images of aborted fetuses during the Super Bowl.
Mother Jones’ Kate Sheppard sarcastically calls the dead babies “the awkward guest at your Super Bowl party,” noting that “at least this means Miller’s ‘Man Up’ ads won’t be the most offensive thing on your TV.” Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan decries “Terry’s crusade to ruin hot wings and bean dip permanently for everyone.” The Democratic Underground crowd is incensed.
The use of abortion images is another point of contention among some pro-life activists. On the one hand, imagery is a powerful tool for conveying hard truths in a way that resonates deeper, on a more instinctual level than mere words. The very sight of tiny, bloody corpses instantly undermines pro-abortion lies about “blobs of tissue” and cold, detached terminology like “zygote” and “blastocyst” (and despite what Sheppard and Ryan claim, there are such pictures from first-trimester abortions, too).
And it’s not as if our society has any blanket rule about graphic images—as Abort73 points out, civil rights activists used photos of teen lynching victim Emmett Till’s mutilated corpse to illustrate the evil of racism, and these days we’re certainly not shy about using gore to scare kids away from smoking or reckless driving (WARNING: links not for the squeamish). So let’s at least admit the obvious: the loudest critics to Terry’s commercial simply don’t want the truth about abortion to be shown to the nation.
On the other hand, though, there’s a time and a place for everything, and the Super Bowl’s probably not the place for dead babies. For years, I’ve helped the Pro-Life Wisconsin booth at the Fond du Lac, WI County Fair, and when the question of using this material has come up, we’ve concluded that it would do more harm than good.
When pro-life activists go to fairs, football games, etc., they’re reaching out to people who have shown up for fun, family, community, and relaxation. They’re not out for a fight, to be sickened or depressed, or to solve the world’s problems. Particularly in venues where our message is entirely unsolicited, it fosters more goodwill to be considerate of people’s sensibilities with positive messages than it does to show brutality to their children when they’re just trying to watch football.
Regardless, it will be fascinating to see the result of Randall Terry’s experiment. Either his commercial will cement in people’s minds the stereotype of pro-lifers as out-of-touch extremists, or it will shock a new wave of souls into standing up for the unborn.