Thank You, Facebook
In most pro-life circles, the topic of graphic abortion photos is controversial at best. Personally, I think that graphic images of individuals who have suffered injustice or atrocity should be handled with care and tact, but should be shown.
The reason I feel they should be shown is rooted in a rich history of advocacy against evil. During the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, Allied troops made citizens of nearby towns march through the death chambers to know what they had been allowing in their countries without protest. During the civil rights movement, African American leaders showed the images of Emmett Till – a 14 year old African American boy who was brutally beaten and murdered by white supremacists – to show the reality of racism in America. Even during His mission to redeem mankind and reconcile sinners back to Himself, God showed the brutality of sin through Christ’s crucifixion to demonstrate human depravity and the victory of Christ. To this day, Jews, African Americans, and Christians still show these images publicly to show the reality of things. For this reason, I believe that abortion photos should be shown.
That is why I decided to create a graphic yesterday that depicted a victim of abortion with the supertext, “This Is Not A Right” in order to condemn the narrative that murdering children is a woman’s right and show the reality of abortion. I shared this photo on my personal Facebook profile to get a rough consensus of response before I posted it to GRTL’s Facebook page.
In general, the response was positive, but one anonymous user reported my image to Facebook because they believed it violated Facebook’s community standards for depicting graphic violence. These photos are often reported to Facebook and they are often removed by Facebook for violating their standards. One pro-life advocate told me this morning that his account was temporarily disabled a year or two ago for posting a graphic abortion photo.
The response I received after Facebook reviewed the photo was genuinely surprising:
“Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. Since [your photo] doesn’t violate this community standard, it was not removed.”
What they’re saying is that they recognize the reality that abortion is a real world issue that can’t be ignored. Additionally, the representation of abortion victims is showing violence against another human being, and because condemning this atrocity is of public interest they’re not going to remove it.
This is not only a victory for free speech on Facebook, this is an indication that Facebook understands what many pro-lifers miss and no pro-abortionist seems to get: abortion is a violent act, publicly advocating against it is a good thing, and we shouldn’t hide the truth any longer.
Thank you, Facebook. Thank you for defending my rights. Thank you for letting the truth be told.
To view the picture in question, click here. Viewer discretion is advised.
AUTHORS NOTE: I provided a warning on my Facebook profile in the hour ahead of the photo being posted to provide for younger or sensitive audiences to make an informed decision on whether they wanted to hid my posts for the afternoon.
Joshua Edmonds is the Director of Education & Technology for Georgia Right to Life, an instructor for the Pillars of Personhood training seminar, and a published clinical/social psychology researcher.