National Group Launches Anti-Abortion Campaign Including Graphic Images


A national pro-life group is kicking off a voter education campaign across the swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida to urge Americans to vote against abortion in the November election.

Created Equal will call upon Americans to “Vote Anti-Abortion” in its “battleground tour” by using graphic images of victims of abortion on airplane tow banners, billboard trucks, and jumbotron television screens.

The group notes recent research confirms that, while controversial, the practice of presenting undecided voters with these graphic images of abortion victims increases votes for pro-life candidates by up to 30 percent.

According to the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), the controversy over the use of graphic images of abortion victims “is perhaps one of the most enduring debates within the pro-life movement.”

To study the issue, a survey, commissioned by CCBR and administered by an independent party, canvassed 1,741 participants before and after viewing images of abortion victims.

According to the survey:

[R]esults found a statistically significant shift in pro-life worldview, a greater negative perception of abortion, a decreased degree of permissiveness and liberalism towards abortion law, and a significant gain in pro-life political views after seeing abortion victim imagery.

Those identifying as completely pro-life increased by nearly 30% following the campaign, with those identifying as pro-abortion also decreasing in their degree of remaining support for abortion. Overall, there was a statistically significant gain of nearly 17% toward a pro-life worldview. Those who were generally pro-life had an overall gain of 7%, with the corresponding loss (of those generally pro-abortion), also 7%. The degree of permissiveness toward abortion was statistically decreased and support for incremental pro-life gains, like gestational limits, substantially increased by 15% overall.

In a report titled “A Statistical Analysis on the Effectiveness of Abortion Victim Photography in Pro-Life Activism,” author Dr. Jacqueline C. Harvey, a Texas-based bioethics and public policy scholar who teaches political science at Tarleton State University, observes the claim of opponents that graphic imagery is ineffective is unsupported.

Harvey concludes the study shows that feelings about abortion shifted significantly toward a negative view of abortion, with fewer individuals reporting a positive view about abortion after the imagery campaign.

She writes:

Additional analysis found that the strength of one’s feelings toward abortion was conclusively parallel to political views about abortion, with those who felt strongly positive about abortion favouring no legal restrictions, and those who felt strongly negative favouring complete prohibition. This suggests that changing how the public feels about abortion impacts how they vote for candidates willing and able to enact legal restrictions that actually save lives. Abortion victim imagery was effective at changing these feelings, with upwards of 90% responding that seeing these images increased their negative feelings toward abortion.

Harvey also points out results of the study showed “no evidence to support claims that the strategy of abortion victim images does any harm whatsoever, or that it inhibits other strategies.”

A video produced by Created Equal shows that, soon after being presented with images of abortion victims, a student at Columbus State Community College changed his view on abortion.

Asked by the interviewer what he thought about abortion prior to viewing the images, the student says, “I thought it was like a normal process.”

Created Equal will use the images in its “Vote Anti-Abortion” campaign beginning October 17 in Pittsburgh, then moving on through Harrisburg and State College, Pennsylvania. The group will then travel across Ohio through Toledo, Cincinnati, and Columbus, and continue on to Florida from Jacksonville to Orlando, to Tampa and St. Petersburg, and end up in Miami on November 7.

Mark Harrington, national director of Created Equal, explains to those who are put off by the pictures, “Recent statistical data confirms what pro-lifers have witnessed for decades: seeing abortion victims alters how individuals feel about abortion—which in turn influences how they think about abortion, including their political views.”

He continues:

We are facing the most important election of our lifetime. Our nation’s fate and the lives of millions of preborn children hang in the balance this election; 2016 is a turning point for America.

We are on the streets, on the road and in the air. Our comprehensive outreach campaign will educate thousands of voters in battleground states.

Created Equal conducted a campaign featuring tow banners bearing the message “Rescue UNborn Children” during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The group urged the GOP to retain the pro-life plank in its platform. In addition, Created Equal confronted attendees at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with the images and the message “Defend UNborn Children,” with respect to their party’s most radical pro-abortion platform in its history.

Created Equal’s airplane tow banners can be viewed here and here.