The Point: Purdue Prof Says Too Much

Did he hear what he just said? For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

While arguing for abortion at an event hosted by the school’s pro-life club, Purdue professor David Sanders condemned those who display images of aborted fetuses. Usually, when a pro-choicer argues against graphic depictions of abortion, they’ll say it’s “disturbing,” or “traumatizing to women.”

Sanders approach was, well, more creative, you might say. He claimed that photos of abortion’s aftermath was “child pornography,” because they show photos of naked, dead children.

Uhh, professor—did you hear what you just said? Because you just used a word abortion-supporters usually don’t. Do you really think showing photos of dead children is wrong, but killing them isn’t?

Look, this argument is ridiculous. And sobering images of atrocities have played an important role throughout history in changing public perceptions of evils, from slavery, to Emmett Till, to the Holocaust. And if the unborn are children—which he seems to admit—it’s appropriate, in some settings, to show the public the reality of that evil.


Purdue Professor Says Images Of Aborted Babies Are Child Porn
  • Bre Payton | The Federalist | May 3, 2017

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  • jason taylor

    One must be careful about saying that. Sobering images of atrocities have played an important part in public perception of evil. The worst atrocities however tend to be done by people who never let images of their atrocities get out. There is an inherent bias created by people with the power to commit atrocities also having the power to control information.
    Within the parameters of a liberal state the press can act as a “reverse secret police”, and even have a positive albeit mixed role in preventing injustice by the . It must be also realized that in so doing the press puts the state at a disadvantage in competition with authoritarian states or similar groups that do worse atrocities and do not let word of their deeds get out. In so doing it can encourage atrocities on this or that occasion.
    Moreover the “public perception of evil” is in fact naive and apt to be carried about by sensationalism. A classic case is the famous photo of the ARVN general dispatching a boy in the cong “black pajama” suit. What is not normally told is that that boy was engaged in terrorism against the civilian population and had in fact threatened the General’s family. He was also caught without an identifier which made him subject to execution according to the customs of war of the time. In other words it was extremely distasteful in itself but the image without correcting data it made it larger then it was, while other atrocities in the area went unnoticed because no camera crew recorded them.
    In this particular instance of abortion the atrocity was not done by the state but by the public and the State’s dishonor lies in not offering the basic protection of life but it is for the most part passive. Therefore it is right and proper that information be used as a weapon as public force and public justice cannot be.