by Mike Pyatt
Americans value photos and images. We’re reminded a picture’s worth a thousand words. Six years of unrelenting televised anti-war protests softened an ever obsequious public’s will against the Vietnam War. The graphic photos hastened its demise. The New York Times and other major news outlets did their best to stoke anti-war sentiment. Second Lieutenant, William Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder on September 5, 1969, associated with the MyLai Massacre of around four hundred unarmed South Vietnamese civilians on March 16, 1968. He was convicted of personally murdering twenty two civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment. His sentence was reduced on appeal to twenty years, and further reduced to ten years by the Secretary of the Army. Many thought Calley was the “scapegoat”. He was paroled in 1974, after serving a third of his ten year sentence. His photo appeared on the April 12,1971, Time Magazine, titled, “Who Shares the Guilt?”.
Following the Korean Conflict, television was a new medium for world news coverage to the American public. Around 10% of American homes owned a TV in the mid 1950’s. By 1966, that figure spiraled to around 93%, setting the stage for non-stop coverage of the Vietnam War. New technologies permitted journalists and reporters to distribute photos and video materials. Near the end of 1960, with the death of many South Vietnamese civilians, in a failed coup against President Diem, who was later assassinated in 1963, the New York Times dispatched their first reporter to Saigon. As the war intensified, the number of press corp in South Vietnam escalated rapidly, from around forty in 1963, to over four hundred in 1965. Soon, by 1967, it was nightly fare on CBS and NBC, and the images began.
After the 1968, Tet Lunar New Year Offensive, media coverage was predominately negative, as images of civilian and military casualties assaulted the viewing public nightly. Iconic photos of the execution of a Vietcong Guerrilla, shot at point blank in the head, and the naked Vietnamese nine year old, “Napalm Girl”, severely burned in an aerial napalm attack, screaming for help, while running down Route 1, with a penetrating look of shear horror on her innocent face. Vietnam was described as “the living room war”. Graphic photos helped turn the tide of American sentiment against the United State’s role in Vietnam.
Last week defenders of life marched for the unborn, reminding a watching world of the disastrous 1973, Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade decision, foisted on Americans forty-five years ago. Since then, an estimated sixty million unborn babies have been slaughtered. Abortion supporters often complain about the graphic photos of aborted babies carried by anti-abortion supporters. One Boston reporter carped that his wife was offended by a “grisly” photo of a seventh-week aborted, dismembered baby, and asked, “Where do they get those photos?” From dumpsters, among other places. For many years, a Madonna University professor, Monica Migliorino Miller, supplied the anti-abortion movement with its imagery. According to the National Catholic Register, she recovered thousands of aborted babies that were improperly disposed in dumpsters outside of a Midwest health care facility. She began photographing the dead babies in 1987. The abortion industry prefers the Latin term “fetus”. It sounds more clinical, and less incendiary than “baby”. These handmaidens of death loathe photos that cast light on their true mission-killing babies.
In the late 1990’s, the Canadian Center for Bio-Ethical Reform compiled an extensive library of photos and videos of abortion procedures and lifeless, dismembered babies, or what Planned Parenthood labeled a “product of unwanted pregnancies”. If the American public saw these shocking photos of dismembered dead babies in a bucket, a bloody full term baby held-in-hand by an abortionist physician, or a tiny dead body, blackened by saline poisoning, the tide of abortion-on-demand would drop precipitously. The mainstream media has fought that effort vigorously for years. The Endowment for Human Development, who claims no public position on abortion, has a website offering a prodigious body of scientific evidence, videos and photos, which supports the baby’s claim to rights of personhood. One video displays the heart beating at four weeks and four days. Amazingly, another records the jaw movement of the tiny creation at eight weeks. 100abortionphotos.com, if viewed in every state legislature, and streamed across social media, mainstream news outlets, and cable, would shock the conscience of most Americans with an ounce of humanity. They’d be so repulsed, perhaps shamed, into ending elective abortion-on-demand. Only the coldest hearted, soulless, individual would continue to advocate for abortion after viewing those vile, appalling photos.
Dr. Bernard Nathanson, a New York OBGYN, the founder of NARAL, ex-abortionist, who later was remorseful for participating in 75,000 abortions, had a profound conversion to a pro-life advocate after producing the 1985, film The Silent Scream, showing sonogram images of an unborn baby struggling to avoid an abortionists instruments. He was vilified by the secular press after its release. Nathanson remained a staunch advocate for the pro-life movement until his death at 84. He was convinced by images.
Animal rights activists unabashedly blitz us with photos and images of “vulnerable endangered”, seals, polar bears, tigers, shivering pets, and caged animals, to shape public opinion, appealing across every media platform. Drowning a litter of kittens would bring vitriol and death threats. Ripping a baby from the womb-a yawn in their domain.
When’s the last time you saw, on the airwaves, or in the public domain, a graphic, lifeless photo from abortion’s killing fields? We’ve seen photos of the Auschwitz holocaust. Crustaceans have more protection than the unborn. Switzerland banned importing live lobsters because it feels pain. Hatred’s the oxygen of the pro-abortion movement. The general public seeing those images is their worst nightmare. Evil never rests. Neither can we. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org