*The following is a blog post I put up on prolifebook.com. In it, I respond to four other bloggers' statements about the morality of abortion. Two of them are for it, and two are generally against it, but there are things that each person says that I agree with and disagree with. I hope that this is helpful in showing whether or not the use of graphic images is morally acceptable and, if so, when it is morally acceptable to use them.*
- Is showing graphic images of aborted children in and of itself immoral? Certainly not, and Beatrice agrees with me, otherwise she would be contradicting herself when she says that graphic images can be used in educational settings. If such images are wrong to show in their very nature then no justification can be made for it.
- Is the good effect intended and the bad effect merely permitted, though not intended (the good effect being the spreading of truth and the possible changing of hearts, the bad effect being the trauma that a post-abortive person may experience if they see the image)? Absolutely. I think Beatrice and I would both agree that the majority of those who use graphic images do not intend for people to experience trauma. They do not even intend to cause a slight amount of pain (if they do, then they are wrong to do so). They recognize that pain might come about and that those who are post-abortive may experience trauma upon seeing it, but they do not intend such bad effects; they only intend the good effect.
- Is the good effect produced by the showing of the graphic images, or is it produced from the bad effect? I think Beatrice would agree with me that it is the former that is the case. The graphic image user does not accomplish the good effect by first bringing about the bad effect, but by doing the very action of showing the images.
- Is the good effect sufficiently desirable for the allowing of the bad effect? This is the only part of the Principle that I think Beatrice would disagree with me on. I would answer yes, but she would probably answer no. And I am guessing that she would explain by saying that we have other ways to bring the truth about abortion without using images, so we should not use the images so as to help prevent the bad effect from occurring in the first place (please correct me if I am wrong, Beatrice).