Some pro-life activists say one of the best ways to get people to change their minds about supporting abortion would be to show an abortion procedure on television. Their contention is that the visceral reaction many viewers would have to the brutality of abortion would, as happens with war or animal search, compel them to oppose abortion.
One pro-life writer at Red State makes the case for showing an abortion to change public opinion — noting that the controversial Ray Rice video showing him punching his wife sparked tremendous outrage that mere knowledge of the violent act did not spark.
Agree or disagree?
The problem with all of this posturing is that the video released by TMZ does not really constitute new – or at least probative – evidence at all…. [W]e know from Rice’s own admission that he struck Palmer in that elevator….
But we humans are weird creatures. It is one thing to know, intellectually, that Ray Rice knocked a woman unconscious in a hotel elevator. It is another thing to actually see it happen….
Humans place inordinate value at an emotional level upon what they can see, as opposed to what is visible with all their other senses….
This is, in essence, the reason our abortion policy has remained essentially static over the last 40 years in this country in spite of astonishing scientific advances in terms of understanding fetal development and our ability to move the viability window for premature children continually backwards. Virtually the entire country turned on the Iraq war between 2003 and 2006 because of the constant visual stream of war casualties that we were not willing to accept; meanwhile roughly the same number of children are killed in utero each day as died in the entire Iraq conflict, and to even speak of this atrocity is considered tiresome and gauche by the ruling elite, even within the Republican party.
There is, in fact, a reason that proponents of abortion-on-demand resist so strongly any attempt to require women who plan to get abortions to view an ultrasound of the unborn child…. [T]hey know that if America’s emotional reactions ever catch up to what we are increasingly aware of on an intellectual and scientific level, the terms of this debate can and will change quickly and not in their favor.
The lamentable and disgusting farce that has played out in the NFL concerning Ray Rice shows that we are willing to tolerate with relatively little fuss that which we intellectually know and understand, but not what we are actually forced to watch with our own eyes. And the purveyors of the campaign of death in this country know that America has much the same instinct regarding the 1+ million children who are aborted every year.
Or at least, I hope we would.
h/t Jill Stanek