CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Abortion Wars: Seeing What We Kill

Jan 30, 2010

The mainstream media is quite good at using its powers of influence to push agendas. The image-heavy MSM can create news and affect public opinion simply by the images that are shown, and how those images are presented.

For example, when green stories are being covered, and the MSM wishes to push a particular point of view (eg., that industry is bad and global warming is about to destroy planet earth), then it will use countless shots of chimneys billowing smoke (although often these pics in fact show harmless steam being poured into the skies), and melting icebergs with cute polar bears looking for a place to stand on.

Emotions can be manipulated by creative use of imagery, and our mental faculties can be bypassed altogether. The MSM can skip the facts of the story while manipulating our heart strings by the images it uses. This happens all the time in the MSM.

Consider another example. If the MSM thinks we should stop whaling or hunting baby seals (which may in fact be worthwhile aims – but I leave the pros and cons for another time), then it shows pictures of bloodied whales being dragged up onto cold, hard steel ships, or it shows wide-eyed baby seals which have been clubbed to death in a sea of red blood.

Of course who wouldn’t respond to such visceral imagery and such powerful shots? Most people would be ready to join Greenpeace or take part in a protest march after seeing such graphic images. So the media has tremendous power to influence the public debate, corralling public opinion in various directions.

Of course if the MSM can push along social agendas by its use of imagery, it can do the same by not using certain images. I refer here to the most obvious example of this: abortion. When was the last time you saw a graphic image of the “product of abortion” in the MSM?

Have you ever seen pictures of aborted babies in full colour in the MSM? Have you ever seen the burnt-out remains of a baby after a saline poisoning abortion? Have you ever seen the dismembered bodies of unborn babies after being cut up in a Dilation and Curettage abortion?

I suspect that you haven’t. And there is a very good reason for this. The MSM is overwhelmingly left of centre, including on the abortion issue. Because most people in the MSM are pro-abortion, then of course they don’t want the dirty little secrets of the abortion industry to get out.

They want to help perpetuate the myth that abortion simply removes a clump of cells or a bit of tissue, not a real live baby. That is why they refuse to show abortion aftermath images. They don’t want to give the game away. They want to keep pushing their pro-death agenda and keep the masses in the dark.

While the MSM is managing this grand con job, by censoring out images it does not want you and me to see, things are not as easy in the abortion mills themselves. It seems that numerous abortion workers have been getting out of the business, exactly because they can see this is no clump of tissue they are dealing with.

Because of new techniques, as well as ultrasound technology, the reality of what is being killed in the abortion mills is taking a toll on workers there, and more and more workers are leaving this blood-stained work. An intriguing article on all this recently appeared entitled “Mugged by Ultrasound”.

David Daleiden and Jon Shields inform us about how these changes are causing so many abortion workers to become pro-life. They begin their important article in this fashion:

“Abortion rights activists have long preferred to hold themselves at some remove from the practice they promote; rather than naming it, they speak of ‘choice’ and ‘reproductive freedom.’ But those who perform abortions have no such luxury. Instead, advances in ultrasound imaging and abortion procedures have forced providers ever closer to the nub of their work. Especially in abortions performed far enough along in gestation that the fetus is recognizably a tiny baby, this intimacy exacts an emotional toll, stirring sentiments for which doctors, nurses, and aides are sometimes unprepared. Most apparently have managed to reconcile their belief in the right to abortion with their revulsion at dying and dead fetuses, but a noteworthy number have found the conflict unbearable and have defected to the pro-life cause.”

They show how studies are revealing that abortion workers are having real problems performing their “duties”. Consider for example the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) method of abortion. D&E abortions are used later in pregnancy, in which under general anaesthesia, the baby is torn to pieces with a forceps, and removed from the womb. Larger babies must have their heads crushed. The pieces are then reassembled.

“One early study, by abortionists Warren Hern and Billie Corrigan, found that although all of their staff members ‘approved of second trimester abortion in principle,’ there ‘were few positive comments about D&E itself.’ Reactions included ‘shock, dismay, amazement, disgust, fear, and sadness.’ A more ambitious study published the following year, in the September 1979 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, confirmed Hern and Corrigan’s findings. It found ‘strong emotional reactions during or following the procedures and occasional disquieting dreams’.”

The authors include personal stories as well. For example: “In 1990 Judith Fetrow, an aide at a Planned Parenthood clinic, found that disposing of fetal bodies as medical waste was more than she could bear. Soon after she left her position, Fetrow described her experiences: ‘No one at Planned Parenthood wanted this job. .??.??. I had to look at the tiny hands and feet. There were times when I wanted to cry.’ Finally persuaded to quit by a pro-life protester outside her clinic, Fetrow is now involved in the American Life League….

“Other converts were driven into the pro-life movement by advances in ultrasound technology. The most recent example is Abby Johnson, the former director of Dallas-area Planned Parenthood. After watching, via ultrasound, an embryo ‘crumple’ as it was suctioned out of its mother’s womb, Johnson reported a ‘conversion in my heart.’ Likewise, Joan Appleton was the head nurse at a large abortion facility in Falls Church, Virginia, and a NOW activist. Appleton performed thousands of abortions with aplomb until a single ultrasound-assisted abortion rattled her. As Appleton remembers, ‘I was watching the screen. I saw the baby pull away. I saw the baby open his mouth. .??.??. After the procedure I was shaking, literally’.”

The authors conclude, “Pro-choice advocates like to point out that abortion has existed in all times and places. Yet that observation tends to obscure the radicalism of the present abortion regime in the United States. Until very recently, no one in the history of the world has had the routine job of killing well-developed fetuses quite so up close and personal. It is an experiment that was bound to stir pro-life sentiments even in the hearts of those staunchly devoted to abortion rights.  Ultrasound and D&E bring workers closer to the beings they destroy. Hern and Corrigan concluded their study by noting that D&E leaves ‘no possibility of denying an act of destruction.’ As they wrote, ‘It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment run through the forceps like an electric current’.”

Exactly. Now if we can only get the MSM to offer some courage and honesty here, and run these stories – complete with all the horrible images – like they do the whaling stories, or the seal-hunting stories. Somehow, I don’t expect we will be seeing this very soon. But we must keep the pressure up until they do.

www.weeklystandard.com/articles/mugged-ultrasound

[1286 words]

16 Responses to Abortion Wars: Seeing What We Kill

  • http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys2/deadbaby.htm

    No comment

    David Skinner, UK

  • Media…Honesty…You have to be joking right???

    Journo’s are a product of our left-wing education system and educators… in private and public sector.

    Jane Petridge

  • It’s so heart rending to read the story in the article about the doctor whose own baby in her womb at 18 weeks kicked just at the same moment she broke the leg of the 18-week-old baby that she was aborting.

    God has many ways to get our attention. He keeps trying to tell us that our smart ideas are the hurtful ones and His ways are the wholesome, rewarding ways. And if we want His best ways, He’ll provide himself as the power to help us keep His ways. Without His sustaining power we fall again and again. To not go the abortion route requires His sustaining power at many junctures. Jesus comes alongside us.

    Rebecca Field

  • If the MSM did begin publishing pictures of aborted babies – or even if they described in detail how abortions are performed – no doubt that there would be public outcry.

    Yet if they did, one suspects that such an outcry wouldn’t be because of the revelation to the public of just how horrid abortion is – rather, the outcry would be one of being offended by the “unjustified” images and there would follow a barrage of defensive arguments in favour of abortion.

    And that’s where the double-standard is: graphic images can be used when they support your views, but how dare you use them when they challenge your views!

    I posted a comment on a Facebook friend’s link to some medical facts on the harm and practice of abortion which I think is apt to also share here:

    J Budziszewski, in his book “The Line Through the Heart“, stated the following in his Introduction:

    “People can be driven to hysteria by the mere act of defining the things which they approve.”

    The meaning of this statement is clearer given the context – it was a remark he made as he was discussing the procedure of partial-birth abortion to a class. He was not making a moral case but simply described how such a procedure was performed. Suddenly, one woman in his class began to hysterically object, claiming it was a woman’s right and that the procedure was only performed in order to save her life (the latter being untrue).

    The same statement can also be made in response to people’s reactions to graphic pictures of aborted, dismembered babies.

    Ignorance is bliss up until the point you demonstrate the harm and the barbarity of such an action as abortion.

    You can’t talk about the facts of subjects like abortion for long before someone gets their nose out of joint and wants to silence you.

    Guilt, perhaps? A heavy conscience?

    Mathew Hamilton, Victoria

  • Tears welled up in my eyes, Bill, as I read your penetrating piece on what abortion workers have to see. It is a travesty of justice and the very opposite of what a caring, just society ought to be promoting.

    Thank you for causing me again to see the horrible evil of abortion and its consequences.

    As a long-term family counsellor, I see the occasional client who is still suffering guilt and trauma, 20 years after an abortion.

    Spencer Gear

  • Thanks Bill. Many would have seen my similar piece re dolphins but for those who haven’t check out
    http://www.thebeltoftruth.org.au/?p=17
    Lachlan Dunjey

  • Mathew, to show that there is nothing new under the sun, human kind hasn’t changed much. They did the same in the book of Acts after they heard Stephen point out their guilt in crucifying the Just One. It says, “they were cut to the heart and then they went out of the city and stoned him”. It just shows the condition of the human heart. When we are shown our guilt, we can react in two ways, either harden our hearts further or repent. True repentence is not possible without acknowledging the Lordship, sacrifice and Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Ursula Bennett

  • As you might remember, Ted Atkinson, to date, has still not recieved the two hip replacements that he was due to have had, over two years ago, as punishment for revealing to the staff of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn, what they were doing in their abortion mills. As you might remember he, a seventy eight year old man, has been to prison twice for exposing this horror.

    Will history, one day be repeated with scenes such as these?
    http://www.scrapbookpages.com/buchenwald/exhibits.html

    David Skinner, UK

  • Congratulations on an excellent expose of the MSM. I am the editor of the Right to Life New Zealand newsletter Footprints and wish to seek your permission to reproduce your article in our newsletter, Abortion Wars Seeing What You Kill, with an acknowledgement that you are the author. I would also like to provide a link on our web site to your web site.

    Kind regards

    Ken Orr
    Secretary,
    Right to Life New Zealand Inc.

  • Thanks Ken

    Yes feel free and keep up the good work.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Hi Bill,
    Thank you for another great article. I think you will be pleased to know that a commercial is being shown during Superbowl Sunday, which is today, supporting Pro-Life. The Superbowl is known to attract around 95 million viewers and a Company vying for a spot will pay between 2.5 and 2.8 million U.S. dollars for 30 seconds. Through generous donations, the Christian group “Focus on Family” was able to secure a spot, and not without a lot of controversy, which is exactly what is needed.
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/02/06/martin.tebow.superbowl.ad/index.html?iref=allsearch
    Linn Krause, U.S.

  • Hi Bill,

    I thought I’d do some exploring into the pro-life ads we have in the U.S. To see if any were being aired depicting actual aborted fetuses. Although I did not come across any, I did see photos on a Pro-life website showing a torn apart fetus. I have to say, that I don’t think that I would be able to view a commercial running one of these ads, and I would worry about others especially young children who might be viewing the television during one of the showings. I did however run into something rather interesting, an alternative, never-the-less just as effective idea. It’s affiliated with Focus on the Family and it’s called “Faces of Option Ultrasound”. The point being that women who chose to have an abortion should view an ultrasound of their baby prior to aborting. It’s a known fact that when a baby smiles at its mother, the reward centers of the mother’s brain lights up-areas that have also been associated with drug addiction. This would, in most cases be true for mothers who see their baby’s on ultrasound. This is the statistics from the site:
    Five years of Option Ultrasound:
    Potential number of babies saved? As high as 72,000.
    The value of an ultrasound image? These moms would say, “Priceless!”

    And here are some statistics on the cost of an abortion for a patient, compared with the cost of a simple ultrasound:

    The cost of an abortion depends on the stage of pregnancy and which clinic is providing services. First trimester procedures run about $500-1000. Second trimester procedures cost $600-10,000. An ultrasound performed by a licensed medical professional – either a physician or a registered medical diagnostic sonographer – usually costs around $200.

    Perhaps the Shock Factor would work, but I believe other options should be explored as well that were less disturbing.

    Wonderful pictures of babies saved because these mothers viewed an ultrasound.
    http://www.heartlink.org/faces/

    Linn Krause, U.S.

  • Many thanks Linn for your comments. I appreciate the info and the helpful figures and stats you provide. It is good to hear about the success of Option Ultrasound. Keep up the great work.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • But Linn, we already have loads of explicit violence and all kinds of harmful rubbish on our TV and movie screens so your squeamishness over the suggestion of the MSM showing graphic pictures of the results of abortion does seem a little out of place. I support such shock tactics on the grounds that abortion is of such an extremely serious nature that extreme measures should be taken in fighting it.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • I came across an article today in ‘The Weekend West’ showing pictures of a lady who received a face transplant after being mauled by a crazed chimpanzee. There is a picture of what Ms Nash looked like before the attack, a picture of her terribly disfigured face after the attack and one of her with her new face following surgery. Charla Nash says regarding the surgery “I will now be able to do things I once took for granted … I will be able to smell. I will be able to eat normally. I will have lips and will speak clearly once again. I will be able to kiss and hug loved ones … [Mrs Nash] was attacked in 2009 by a neighbour’s 90kg pet chimpanzee, which went berserk after its owner asked Ms Nash to help lure it back into the house. The animal, named Travis, ripped off Ms Nash’s nose, lips, eyelids and hands before being shot dead by police. Ms Nash was left with no eyes and only a small opening where her mouth was”.

    Any normal person viewing the photo of Ms Nash after the attack would be quite horrified to see her terribly disfigured face and if Travis were human, I expect we would have a lot to say about Travis … but there are other people who nobody took photos of who were ripped apart (by humans) and these victims were much, much younger. We don’t get to see their photos – what they would have looked like when they were 2 or 3 or 20 and we rarely see what they looked like after their ‘surgery’ by people – human Travis’s who are quite skillful at ripping tiny tots apart.

    Annette Nestor

  • Hello Bill,
    telling like it is, well done. Any chance of getting Kerry O’Brien, Four Corners to cover the topic of abortion on demand? He broke the story of the improper slaughter of live cattle overseas which lead to a large public outcry. What about putting that in the perspective – the daily occurance of the brutal slaughter of innocent precious live human beings
    Jeremy Orchard

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