Streetside Anti-Abortion posters - what are their goals?

I can’t speak for that particular group, but I can make some educated guesses…

I was part of a campus pro-life group some years ago (though I’ve mostly changed my mind since). We seriously contemplated bringing the Genocide Awareness Project (mangled fetus pictures and holocaust comparisons, etc) to campus. The hope was that people would see the physical likeness between a fetus and a child and change their minds. Ultimately though, we decided that it was more polarizing than anything else.

While there are extremists in any position, I suspect that most anti-abortion people genuinely believe that a fetus is a person, etc, and are trying to save lives.

That’s true, especially on this board…but some of them really don’t seem to care much once the child is born.

Efforts like these might be more effective if they were using images of fetuses that were at the stage that most abortions are performed; however, the vast majority of the “mutilated fetus” posters are of late term partial birth abortions, which have been banned since 2003. A lot of the reason why people have such visceral reactions is in part because the people spreading these messages aren’t doing it responsibly and are purposely giving people bad information by portraying abortion the way it is in these posters. Although Wikipedia isn’t always a good source, here’s a chart that shows a normal pattern of use of abortion in relation to gestational age. Here’s the US data on the subject.

Let’s face it: before 12 weeks, a human fetus visually has more in common with a jellyfish than an adult human. If they were to do this honestly, it wouldn’t be controversial for the same reasons.

You know that the partial birth abortion ban had no effect on the gestational age at which abortions are legal to perform, right? It just banned one particular method that a lot of people found to be particularly egregious since a lot of people were horrified by the idea that it’s still fair game to kill a mostly born infant as long as you don’t deliver the head.
If anything, I would say that protestors would be more likely to use photos of the result of a D&E ( a procedure which is still legal - and that’s a link to wiki, by the way, not to a photo), as it is visually more gruesome than a partial birth abortion, since the PBA leaves a mostly-intact fetus whereas the D&E leaves dismembered bits of fetus behind.

Or perhaps they just feel that as long as even one baby who looks like a baby is killed, that’s too many. Even though late term abortions are “only” about 10% of abortion, bear in mind that even 10% of 1.2 million (the number of abortions in America has fluctuated over the years but that’s the stat Alan Guttmacher gives for 2005) is still a high number to many people.
It seems like you’re caught up on thinking that anyone who thinks differently than you is an inherently bad person. They may in fact be regular people who just happen to disagree with you. Not saints, not sinners. Not geniuses or idiots. Just normal folks.

This is really a subjective view but jellyfish don’t have legs. (that’s a link to an ultrasound of a live fetus, not an abortion photo)

Are you trying to justify that they’re giving out patently bad information because they feel bad about abortion happening? That’s more my problem than that they think that nobody should ever have an abortion because it’s part of a larger group of people who are out to misinform the public and endanger women as part of an overall goal of lessening a woman’s legal control over her own reproductive system.

Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

From lavenderviolet:

This. If someone equates abortion with murder, and many of them do, then one is too many. If you think of it in those terms, a 9 month suspension of one’s reproductive rights is simply …inconvenient.

Once a child is born, adoption or charities can save the day I guess. Can’t claim that it’s practical, but yes, the primary goal is letting a fetus get that far in the first place.

I’m not interested in restricting abortion, but this is what was going on in my head at the time that I was.

I think there’s a subset of protesters (not just anti-abortion protesters) who aren’t really doing it to communicate with others, but rather for their own internal reasons. It’s a statement about who they are, or a way of identifying with a group, or getting some psychological feeling of “standing up to the Man.” It’s like a ritual.

I suspect that many aborted-fetus-picture protesters fall into this category. It’s their way of being hard core.

That’s pretty much how pro-lifers feel about pro-choice demonstrators. But I’m sure you knew that.

Or consider this. I find it bizarre that anyone would think that the fetus looks more like a jellyfish than a post-born human being.

I don’t get pissed off at all anti-abortion protesters, just the ones who feel the need to show me images that I can’t avoid on my way to the train, and that make me want to lose my lunch. And scare small children who have no choice in the matter.

Some of us on the other side feel that every child should be wanted (myself included) and know that adoption doesn’t happen for enough kids out there, and living in an orphanage is not a positive experience for most kids. Imagine if every unplanned pregnancy resulted in birth; how many more unwanted kids would there be out there, waiting for someone to actually give a shit about their welfare and adopt them?

As I’ve stated earlier, my major problem with streetside anti-abortion protesters is really that they don’t seem to think about what’s going to happen to the fetuses that they “save” after they’re born beyond “oh, someone will love and adopt them” or “maybe the parents will change their mind and keep it”, neither of which happen all that often. If wanting to save babies is equated with having a big heart, then maybe people who adopt and don’t participate in these anti-abortion protests have much bigger hearts than those who are being loud about not liking that women currently have a choice in when and under what circumstances they want to bear children.

JThunder, Lavenderviolet: having seen actual specimens of fetuses at certain stages and not sonograms, when viewed at their actual size, they don’t look very human at all. Also, the jellyfish I was referring to have tentacles, which is what I was equating the small developing legs to visually. When they’re that small, they look more like vague blobs with the beginnings of legs sticking out, even under the magnifying glasses provided.

“At certain stages,” you say. I think those words say it all.

OF COURSE, at the earliest stages of development, the unborn will not look much like an adult human being. That’s just common sense. Heck, a tadpole doesn’t look much like an adult frog, and a caterpillar doesn’t look much like a butterfly. They’re simply the same organism at a different stage of development.

Here are some images of early fetal development. Here are some images of jellyfish tentacles.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d say that it takes a lot of squinting and wishful thinking to believe that the limbs in these images resemble jellyfish tentacles more than mammalian arms or legs.

According to your first link, in week eight they’re

At less than two thirds of an inch, that’s not very big at all, and the images you keep linking to are not actual size, but magnified to appear at least twice the size quoted. Viewed at their actual size, they’re not nearly as detailed as the images shown.

Either way, I very obviously do not see a fetus as being a fully developed human being at the same stage that you do and do not have a problem with abortions in the first trimester. We have differing opinions on the pro-life/pro-choice movements, and I wouldn’t expect you to want to try to understand my point of view as a woman who’s pro-choice.

Wait a minute. We’re not talking about their size. We’re talking about whether their limbs resemble the tentacles of a jellyfish. That was the claim that you put forth, remember?

Now, if you had said, “But their limbs are much smaller than those of an adult!” then I certainly wouldn’t deny that claim. It would be a rather silly argument against their humanity, but at least it would have been undeniably true.

Look, if you want t argue that their limbs look more like jellyfish tentacles than arms or legs, then you’re welcome to do so. But please, let’s not pretend that we were simply arguing about the size of these appendages. Heck, their limbs are many times smaller than the tentacles of, say, Chironex fleckeri, so if size were truly the consideration, then that wouldn’t be a very good argument either.

Maybe because the nearest PP I can think of is smack in the middle of downtown, and there’s no way they could protest there-they’d be taken away for blocking the whole sidewalk-or with the 16 feet law, they’d be standing right in the middle of Liberty Ave.

It’s a real rush to be convinced that you’re 100% right and someone else is 100% wrong and that you’re accomplishing a moral good by publicizing this, by any means necessary.

Heck, I see that behaviour frequently on this board.

You’ve obviously not willing to understand that I implied that in context of size, they don’t look that much like arms. It wasn’t the crux of my argument to start with, but you’ve completely blown it out of proportion by focusing on minutiae.

Back to the topic that this started on: I don’t want to look at posters of mutilated fetuses, no matter how strongly the person who made the poster feels about abortion. By trying to make it look like all abortions result in viable fetuses being hacked up like chum is not representing the practice honestly.

I was citing 2 instances of groups engaging in public speech that I personally considered distasteful, but that I nevertheless believe deserve protection.

I can provide numerous other such instances, while expressing no judgment as to the morality or merit of the speaker or the totality of their actions. Is that too difficult for you to comprehend?

I agree, but oh, the irony! That, and the fact that they don’t discriminate when they yell at women entering Planned Parenthood, so they may very well be calling women going in for pap smears 'whore’s.

If I were bothered by a bunch like this, I think I’d make up some giant posters of babies with fatal birth defects – harlequin fetuses, things like that – plus some close-ups of ripped perineums, home abortions gone wrong. Then I’d join the ‘lots of gore, little information’ march.