POST POLL: Graphic signs help or harm pro-life? (8 responses)

The pro-life activist recently murdered in Michigan was known as the “sign guy” because he often carried graphic images to show the victims of abortion. Such images make us all uncomfortable as they show the results of the violence that is abortion.

Our question for readers: Do you believe such graphic images should be a part of pro-life public witness? We also invite brief explanations of why you answered “yes,” “no,” or “It depends.”

Responses may be e-mailed to, putting “Post Poll” in the subject line, or mailed to “Post Poll,” c/o The Catholic Post, P.O. Box 1722, Peoria, IL, 61656. Please include your name and parish.

Here are the responses received thus far:

“Our response is ‘Yes!’ to graphic images being used. We cannot be worried about offending people who feel the images are too graphic. Abortion is a horrific violence that tears apart tiny humans who are defenseless. If, and we believe it can be true, one image makes anyone stop and think about the reality of abortion, then we must use all the weapons of truth available.” — Don and Pat Regnier, Wataga

“I do not believe graphic or challenging signs have a place in pro-life activism. Only by prayer and love can we soften the hearts of abortionists and their supporters.” — Deacon Ed Mueller, Our Lady of the Lake, Mahomet

“I think it is okay to use graphic images as part of the pro-life public witness. Because pro-choice individuals hide behind their words (i.e., a woman’s right to choose, termination of pregnancy), photos such as those of the unborn baby’s body ripped apart are the true reality of this crime. And, pro-choice supporters definitely need a dose of reality!” — Mary Ann Manning, St. Matthew’s Parish, Champaign

“Yes, graphic images should be used to show the horror of abortion. It seems that we have become so like pure-bred animals that we cannot stand the elements of the real world and should seriously consider returning to the lifestyle attitude of our forefathers and mothers who made this country into the greatest society in the history of the world. Are we now perfect or were they? No, but the pioneer attitude that was at the heart of the develpment of this country would not have said, “Oh that is too graphic when it comes to the murder of the innocent.” Our society needs to be shaken out of this “that is too graphic” and come to grips with what we have come to accept as OK.” — Rod Full, Galesburg

“Yes, images should be a part of the pro-life public witness. I feel that graphic images are vital to the demonstration of the violence of abortion. Just as Emmet Till’s mother had an open casket to show the result of the violent beating of her son that signaled the beginning of the civil rights movement, the public needs to face the brutality of the murder of innocent lives in the womb rather than to sweep this atrocity ‘under the rug.'” — Lisa Lindstrom, Galesburg

“Displaying graphic images is perfectly acceptable as long as caution is taken to not let children see them. Which is worse, an actual abortion which kills a baby or a picture of the result of an abortion which does no physical harm but which often can turn a naive pro-choicer into a pro-lifer?” — Patrick Hardy, St. Pius X Parish, Rock Island

“Yes, I believe graphic images of abortion should be reserved for the adult public with warnings to the encounter they will be subjected. Trent Horn’s recent address to the Diocese of Peoria’s parish pro-life coordinators was a good method of presenting the information. Also, his method of raising the consciousness of our young adults on college campuses is very good.” — Leo Grimes, Bloomington

“Yes, they should be used. Graphic images have tremendous impact. In 1955, the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till was a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. Many African-Americans before Till had been lynched and beaten. However, withouth pictures it was very easy for Americans to block these horrendous crimes from their consciousness. Till’s mother insisted that her son’s body be displayed at his visitation. Pictures of his mutilated body were then shown around the world. These graphic images appalled many citizens who then took a stand against what had been happening for decades in our country. The graphic images from Vietnam that appeared on television’s nightly news caused many people to turn against that war. The old adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ is probably never so true as when the picture depicts suffering or evil.” — Pat Conklin, Corpus Christi Parish, Galesburg

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