Regarding the use of graphic, disturbing abortion imagery; many pro-life advocates oppose the use of such imagery by arguing that it's too offensive, too graphic, too disturbing, and too triggering for post-abortive women.
As a proponent of the strategic use of such visuals, I would like to offer 9 brief thoughts on why the use of such visuals is not just justified, but required if we are to maximize our effectiveness in changing minds and saving lives.
1) Guess who wants such imagery hidden even more than these people? The pro-choice movement! By refusing to show such imagery, you are participating in the cover-up that Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics work so hard to maintain.
2) The pro-life movement has no better proof than abortion imagery to defend our claim: that abortion is a gruesome, indefensible act of violence that takes the life of a defenseless unborn human person.
3) Some evils are so evil that words won't suffice in communicating the horror of what occurs.
4) The history of social-reform is fraught with the use of shocking imagery that portrayed the evils reformers were fighting against. We were all shown holocaust imagery in high school, along with disturbing photos of african-american men and women being lynched. Our schools understood that such imagery was important if their students were to properly understand the horror of these injustices and to ensure we don't repeat history.
5) "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them" -Ephesians 5:11
6) Moral confusion encourages apathy. Moral clarity encourages responsibility. Nothing will bring moral clarity to the issue of abortion quite like staring abortion in the face.
7) Many men and women are so hard-hearted, that nothing short of abortion imagery will change their mind, and in many cases, save their unborn baby.
8) Abortion imagery is graphic, offensive, and disturbing because abortion is graphic, offensive, and disturbing. You cheat people out of developing the commitment and resolve to help end this evil by refusing to show them the very thing you want them to fight.
9) For post-abortive women and men who have experienced the horror of abortion; they ought to be more resolved than anyone else in ensuring that no one repeats their mistake. Part of ensuring no one repeats your mistake is communicating the damage that your choices had on you and others. Nothing communicates the damage that abortion does more than abortion imagery.
I am certainly not insinuating that the use of graphic visuals is the only way to fight abortion, or that it’s always the best method. But it must be a method nonetheless. Our discomfort seeing and using such imagery is a small price to pay for the babies who are regularly saved when their parents see the reality of the act they are considering or scheduled to commit.