Human Rights

Ben Shapiro says showing abortion victim images changes minds: ‘If it’s that ugly, you should do something about it’

Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro has a history of shutting down pro-abortion arguments. The conservative speaker and bestselling author is not one to mince words when it comes to abortion, including whether or not the use of graphic photographs is an acceptable way to change pro-abortion hearts and minds to pro-life. Shapiro seems in favor of it, despite the controversy.

“Show them a picture of a dead baby. End of story,” Shapiro said during a campus event when asked what he thought the best debate tactic against an abortion supporter would be. Life Site News reports that Shapiro told attendees the pictures may be “uncouth” but “screw uncouth – they’re true. The fact is that people have a ‘You Ruined My Day Syndrome,’ which is that they don’t want to see things that are ugly in everyday life, and if you show them things that are ugly, they get upset.”

He’s right. People often take issue with knowing about the sufferings of other human beings, preferring at times to hide from the controversial humanitarian crises in the world. When confronted with an image of a dismembered preborn child, a person would have to accept that this is what abortion does and it would ruin the happy place of denial in which they have been living — especially if that person supports abortion and chooses to ignore the fact that each abortion actually takes a human life. People rightfully should be upset, angry, and heartbroken about abortion (which is a blatant violation of the human rights of preborn children and a human injustice) so that they do something to prevent it and end it.

READ: Stephanie Gray at SFLA conference: Abortion images can change behavior

Shapiro also voiced his support for the use of graphic images during a podcast in which he stated, “It’s truly incredible to me, the way we can blind ourselves to this. I remember when I was at the 2012 Democratic National Convention… and I walked past this exhibit — it was the anti-abortion crowd, the pro-life crowd — and they were there with these pictures of aborted babies And I walked past, and I thought […] those are ugly pictures — should I really have to look at that in the public square? That’s really ugly. And then I realized that’s probably how people treated pictures of slavery back in the 1850s, that’s probably how people treated pictures of the Holocaust in the 1940s. The bottom line is that maybe if it’s that ugly, you should do something about it instead of whining about how ugly it is. It’s not a matter of personal choice. I have a stake in whether my neighbor gets murdered, and I have a stake in whether my neighbor’s baby gets murdered, too.”



While images of aborted children are known to upset abortion supporters who may react violently to the pictures, they also tend to upset pro-lifers, as they did Shapiro. These are photographs of real human beings who have suffered through dismemberment and lethal injection and it can seem disrespectful to some to use their photographs. In addition, as Shapiro points out, seeing these images will also upset abortion supporters for the very same reason: these are human beings and if the images of them are too painful and horrific to look at, what does that say about abortion? If the picture of the aftermath of an act is too horrible to look at, then the act itself must logically be even more horrible.

In addition to displaying the horror that is abortion, images of aborted children also show the humanity of the preborn child. A preborn baby’s tiny fingers and sweet face prove what words struggle to say: a preborn child isn’t a mass of tissue or a tiny group of cells. A preborn child looks like a human being because he is a human being.

No one wants to see pictures of babies who have been dismembered just like no one wants to see images of Holocaust victims. It’s upsetting and painful, but that’s what makes it important. It’s so important that now the images of Holocaust victims are on constant display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, showing their humanity, revealing their sufferings, and exposing just how accepting of evil human beings can be when they decided that certain people are expendable.

As Shapiro told students at the campus event, “[Y]ou have to make people feel not morally superior for wanting to kill kids—and these are kids.”

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