Manipulative

The pro-life movement has a bad habit of gunning for shock-value in their advertising and viral video production…but all the pictures of the remains of an aborted baby or the footage of ultrasounds during dilation and curettage and especially during later term abortions are depicting an ugly truth in an insensitive way (that’s bad, in case you missed my meaning), whereas this video:

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/07/07/michigan-college-student-wins-national-pro-life-video-contest/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lifenews%2Fnewsfeed+%28LifeNews.com%29 (click through to the youtube and judge for yourself)

…is manipulative on a whole ‘nother level.  I get a gut-twisting pain when I see children being asked to be the faces of political campaigns.  That should never…ever…EVER happen.  We are all ready to lambaste Organizing for America for its rallies full of children waving signs for Obama or the corrupt teachers’ unions for their propagandizing of the 2008 election using the children in their protection…so why do we praise the misuse of children in a pro-life video that won awards?  Just because it’s effective doesn’t mean we should do it.

Not to mention the fact that the studies show that would-be mothers who elected abortion generally feel an overwhelming sense of RELIEF in the first two years…not the horrifying nightmare of never-ending guilt portrayed in the video.  I’m as pro-life as anyone I know, but we have to tell the truth.  And the truth is that the guilt associated with abortions tends to arrive later…tends to creep in under the surface.  That isn’t our best angle…we need to stick to the undeniable facts.  It’s undeniably true that there are health risks…severe ones…associated with abortions.  It’s undeniably true that abortions tend to be predominantly carried out by the people our society is supposed to be HELPING – minorities, the poor, and the young.  It’s undeniably true that abortion destroys an innocent life with all of the necessary blueprint materials to be a person who would have the right to live the moment they were born.  And it’s undeniably true that when we are confronted with the humanizing aspects of our fetuses, as in the previous ad I mentioned here, we INSTINCTIVELY react with horror at the thought of killing them.  Beyond that…it’s undeniably true that Planned Parenthood lies to or obscures the truth from its customers on a routine basis, that they are not generally staffed with medical doctors with surgical privileges, and that they don’t allow their employees to refer to the fetus as a baby because it statistically significantly lowers the odds that the would-be customer will opt for an abortion.  It is undeniably true that PP claims to be about women’s health services when, in fact, they offer NOTHING related to women’s health other than basic consultation, pap smears, and abortion service.  For anything else, they refer you to real doctors.  Those are the things that we need to stay focused on.  We can’t get sucked into playing cheap psychological games and distorting the truth to sell our message.

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5 thoughts on “Manipulative

  1. Nope. I'm sorry. I'm going to have to disagree with you on several points here.

    I agree that depicting guilt the day after is a stretch. I do not agree that we should never, ever use children to deliver the pro-life message. After all, abortion does indeed destroy a child who could've added value to the lives of others. Pointing that out is NOT distorting the truth in any way.

    I believe there is an absolute, qualitative difference between using the image of a child in a pro-life ad to show what we lose through abortion and recruiting children to campaign for Obama or the interests of the teachers unions. In the latter cases, the children don't represent a genuine argument. They are being used to preempt argument. They are being used to implicitly accuse one's opponents of hating the little rugrats and avoid all the rigamarole of actually backing up one's beliefs.

    I also disagree that we should never show the gruesome realities of abortion — particularly because, as you yourself acknowledge, they are true. Perhaps we should be circumspect in the presence of young children, but — it certainly does no one any good to withhold the truth from everyone just because it might disgust people or make them feel bad.

    On the other hand, I do believe that such an approach should be only one of many arrows in our quiver. 'Tis true enough that shock value alone won't do it. We also need to address the societal conditions that drive women to the choice, the philosophical and scientific reasons why the pro-choice argument is fundamentally irrational, etc. And yes — in my experience, most pro-life activists do understand this. In my experience, pro-life activists are far more capable of understanding and answering their opponents than are pro-choice activists.

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  2. I didn't object to using the child's image…I objected to putting words into the child's mouth. “Why didn't you want to keep me, Mommy? Why didn't you want to love me?” That is the height of manipulation…and it involves coaching a child to say something a child would never say with such conviction.

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  3. I will say, though, that while coaching a child to say “Why didn't you want to keep me, Mommy?” is manipulative, it's worlds better than encouraging a child to hold a sign saying “If I wanted the government in my womb, I'd f*ck a senator.” Just so we're clear who's actually worse in the exploiting children department.

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  4. LOL

    I was not saying that the pro life movement is more evil than the pro-choice movement. I just don't think we need to hand the media and the opposition reasons to mistrust our message.

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