Mary Elizabeth Williams at Slate.com wrote a piece explaining that she understands abortion takes a human life, but that "some lives are worth sacrificing." Obviously I disagree with her general take, but I thought this paragraph was quite true:
I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.It's no secret that most people make decisions based on emotions more than rational thought. One side tends toward the vague and impersonal (clump of cells, products of conception) or hostile (parasite, invader) while the other side goes with the personal (daughter, son, child) and helpless (preborn, unborn, baby). And so on.
I've seen pro-choicers mock pro-lifers for using photos of full grown babies, pointing out that the majority of abortions take place before 8 weeks gestation, and accusing pro-lifers of playing emotional manipulation by confusing everyone as to what's actually being destroyed here. I've heard pro-lifers loudly wonder why pro-choicers never depict fetal development at all, pointing out that pro-choicers tend to leave the fetus out of the equation entirely, and claiming pro-choicers deceive people with a "nothing to see here, folks" approach.
Of course what the fetus "looks like" should have about zero bearing on whether the fetus deserves rights or protection, but for the record:
If pro-lifers only used pictures of actual embryos and early-stage fetuses, do you think it would change the abortion debate? Do you think it would be a good idea? Is it more important to be emotionally captivating or precisely accurate?
[Re-posted on Secular Pro-Life]