Graphic Abortion Images Coming to the Super Bowl: Touchdown for the Unborn, or Pro-Life Fumble?

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.

  • randycrawford52241

    When is it a good time for babies to be butchered?  They don’t get any warning.  The time to expose the evils of abortion is:  24 hours a day, which is when abortions are happpening around the world.  Every turned stomach is testimony to the murderous barbarism of what abortion actually is.

    • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

      It’s never a good time for babies to be butchered. And…?

  • Rebecca

    This article was disappointing.  The imagery of abortion gets to people in a way nothing else can.  Those images will be cemented into their minds as to how disgusting abortion is.  Many people have been persuaded to become pro-life after seeing dead baby photos.  The super bowl is the perfect time. Like RandyCrawford52241 posted – the babies don’t get any warning…. Why would we pass up this opportunity to show the truth?  Yeah people will feel awkward and guilty…but thats their fault, not the fault of the pro-lifers showing them the truth.

    • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

      In the article, I spent two paragraphs acknowledging the potential good graphic abortion pictures can do and defending them from pro-abortion hypocrisy. But as a tactical move, you have to consider the way the potential for them to backfire, too.

    • http://rightcal.blogspot.com/ Calvin Freiburger

      In the article, I spent two paragraphs acknowledging the potential good graphic abortion pictures can do and defending them from pro-abortion hypocrisy. But as a tactical move, you have to consider the way the potential for them to backfire, too.

  • bubbalouwee

    Touchdown for the unborn.  Go Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.  Get Tim Tebow on the national stage and watch him witness to Jesus Christ and the rights of the unborn.  The superbowl is a huge stage.  What a super idea to reach millions with the pro life message by showing them directly what abortion does to a human being.  If it is to hard for people to stomach, then killing human beings should not be tolerated by our society. 

  • Dmssa7

    Abortion is an evil that needs to be exposed.  Plain and simple. 

  • http://twitter.com/MarauderTheSN Marauder

    I think seeing graphic images of aborted babies during Super Bowl commercials is just going to make people mad. If Janet Jackson’s nipple at halftime was inappropriate, aborted babies are going to be super-inappropriate when it comes to things parents don’t necessarily want their kids to see. Graphic images of what abortion does can be effective, but when people are mad at you they don’t want to consider the legitimacy of your point.

    If Randall Terry wanted to run ads involving images of babies in the womb, that would be one thing. I’d approve of that. Pictures of aborted babies during the Super Bowl are more likely than not to backfire and draw negative attention to the pro-life movement.

  • J P

    As I’ve commented on Jill Stanek’s site, I do not agree with showing graphic images at the SuperBowl for the reason that it would unnecessarily traumatize those who have had abortions. The trauma of abortion is similar to the trauma of war. The pain and trauma of both combat and abortion never really go away. Some may come to some peace or understanding of the experience, but too many others have not or never do. I think about my great-uncle, who, 60 years after WWII, could still not talk fully about what he’d experienced.  Since we don’t protest war by flashing graphic images of war at veterans, it doesn’t seem logical to blanket the viewing audience, many of whom surely have suffered the trauma of abortion, with graphic images of abortion. It adds to the pain. I believe that graphic images have their place in the fight for the unborn, such as the Florida abortionist whose being protested outside of his home in this way. It should be targeted toward the active supporters of abortion (abortionists, politicians,the money people behind it such as George Soros), but not to the Superbowl audience. I believe it would do more harm than good. Besides, I’ve seen many more effective pro-life advertisements that aren’t graphic. Think Tim Tebow’s commercial or the one that was produced about a certain woman who chose to keep her baby despite difficult circumstances, who grew up  to become the first black president. That  particular one I found very uplifting yet also undeniably truthful concerning the reality of abortion. 

  • If_Only

    I totally agree that airing these images may do more harm then good. Many people who are on the fence about abortion see tactics like this as simply another example of the pro-life extremism they’ve heard about all their lives. What about the people who are simply intending to watch the Superbowl with their children? What good will it do our cause if these children are traumatized? Overall, there is indeed a time and a place for images such as these; however, the Superbowl is neither.

    • bubbalouwee

      Most people have a remote.  How difficult is it to switch to another channel?  I do it frequently to avoid the advertisements. 

    • Oneignacio

      Children don’t get traumatized when the message is stating that what is being shown is an injustice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RachelElessar Rachel Ford

    This is exactly the sort of fanatical zeal that disgusts all but ardent pro-lifers. The Superbowl is to many a time of great joy and fun, of family and get togethers; injecting politics in such a pointed and graphic way is only going to draw a negative reaction. “Why can’t these freaks give it a rest?” Dress it up as self-righteously as you want, with all the “when is the right time to kill babies!” sanctimony that you want; it doesn’t change the fact. If you’re scoring points for the afterlife, maybe that doesn’t matter. If you are truly committed to saving the unborn, then your own sense of righteous indignation wouldn’t matter so much as the effectiveness of what you’re doing. It’s generally easy to see where people’s priorities lay…

  • Jay E.

    I think that this is good, we should be trying to get the message out, not watering it down for the sake of football.

  • Wade Felty

    i hope people see you for what you are after this airs. The world will be revolted by your sickening and perverted habits of flinging fetuses at an unconcerned public.