Human Faces: The Difference Between Looking and Seeing
Keturah Dumaine, Eastern Executive Assistant for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR) is my guest on today’s episode where I provide a summary as to why the use of abortion victim photography is critical to ending abortion.
Human faces matter. Our faces are a gift. The human face changes our perception of injustice from indifference to compassion. The human face is what makes a person personal. It is the difference between looking and seeing.
Dr. Monica Miller says, “If the primary purpose of abortion victim photography is to reveal the tragedy of abortion, then the most effective photos will focus on the humanity of the victim.”
Abortion workers need physical or psychological distance from the victims, and especially from their human faces.
To kill, abortionists must avoid seeing the face; to end the killing, the human faces of the victims must be seen.
CCBR’s website: https://www.endthekilling.ca/
Recently, CCBR adopted photos of the faces of abortion victims that have never been seen on Canadian streets and integrated them into our outreach projects – trucks, pamphlets, and signs.
See the LED Truck Project project here: https://www.youtube.com/shorts/bfwAglePB1Q
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The Mark Harrington Show is on Mark’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Mark’s show is available on all the popular podcast platforms as well as on Mark’s flagship websites: MarkHarrington.org and MarkHarrington.TV
Mark Harrington (00:00):
After decades of debate over the use of abortion, victim photography, and pro-life activism, the issue is finally settled. And what we’ve been saying all along here at Created Equal, and that is this, that abortion victim photos change hearts and minds and are the most effective means to change culture. Today, I’ll have an update on that debate and a new twist that I think you’re going to enjoy learning about. Plus, I’ve got an update on issue one that is the constitutional amendment that’s going to be on the ballot here in November in Ohio to expand abortion up to the very moment of birth. There’s more debate over messaging, and we’ll be talking about today on the program. So stick around
Activist radio. The Mark Harrington show is brought to you by Created Equal, and you can donate to our work by going to created equal.org that’s created equal.org. And you can also pick up the program on all the popular podcasting platforms. And follow me on social media. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, basically all the platforms. So today we’re going to be talking about the use of abortion victim photography in pro-life activism. And when I say that, some people are going to say, all right, I’m tuning out because I don’t do that. Well, I want you to listen to the case that’s going to be made. Now, if you’ve listened to me, watched me over the last several years, we use abortion victim photos and video in our pro-life activism. And that’s not news to anybody here, and we commonly make the case for it. Today’s going to be a little bit different.
I think what you’re going to hear, you’ve heard in the past, very compelling arguments for it, for the use of it. But today’s going to be a little different. And I think you’re going to be challenged if you don’t use victim photography in your pro-life activism or you’ve written off pro-life groups who use it by saying they’re just trying to appeal to emotion and get people stirred up. They just want controversy, all that kind of stuff. I think you are going to be challenged by what you hear today. We believe that created equal and so many other groups do as well, that you’ve got to make abortion real to people, because otherwise it’s just an issue to be debated and everybody can have their own opinions. And at the end of the day, what you believe is fine. What do we believe is fine, is fine, as long as you don’t force it on people, right? Well, when we understand abortion actually takes the life of an innocent human being, and you can prove that with the videos and pictures that changes the entire debate and sets the foundation for a discussion like no other tactic. And so we’re going to launch into this and discuss it. And my guest today is Ke Duma, and she is with the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform. Couture, thanks for being on the show.
Keturah Dumaine (03:19):
Thanks for having me.
Mark Harrington (03:21):
So the reason I’m having you on, obviously we’re big friends and fans of C C B R. We had Jonathan Van Marin here a couple of weeks ago speaking to our interns at our graduation, and Jonathan’s been a good friend of our organization for years. And he spoke at the graduation and of course did a fantastic job. There was a specific point in his talk that I’m going to play this for everybody and I think it’s worthwhile to set the stage for what we’re going to talk about. This was Jonathan’s first experience in using abortion, victim photography and debating abortion. And apparently he was with us in our tour of the state of Florida back in the day, and it’s the first time he went out and he handed a piece of literature to a young lady who walked by and she stopped and she said that she had an abortion.
And of course that just kind of was the first person he ever spoke to. And he didn’t know what to say other than, well, what do you think about this display behind me? And I think that his recollection of this particular interchange with this young lady is instructive to why It is absolutely essential that Canadians and Americans, for that matter, people all around the world need to see what abortion is does. So Mr. Producer, if you would queue up, this is Jonathan Van Marin, again speaking at our internship graduation this summer. Go ahead and play the clip
Jonathan Van Maren (04:50):
To say to her. And so I just asked her, oh, what do you think about this display? Then I couldn’t think of what else to say, and then I saw tears running past her sunglasses and she said, why didn’t anybody tell me? Why didn’t anybody tell me that that’s what abortion is and that that’s what it’s looked like? And in that moment, I realized that her sin of commission was my sin of omission because in a country filled with people who call themselves pro-life, the only person who talked to that young woman about abortion was a doctor who lied to her, took her money and killed her baby. We were three weeks too late for that baby. I have not since that moment been able to take seriously the argument that people might be harmed by seeing a picture of an abortion victim because I have met too many people who were profoundly harmed because they didn’t see one.
Mark Harrington (05:45):
This is such a powerful argument. We hear often from pro-lifers pro-choice alike that showing abortion victim photography and video is harmful to children, harmful to post-abortive mothers and fathers just harmful generally to culture because it traumatizes people. And we have to defend our position as to why even though it may actually evoke these types of emotions from those who see the victims, why it’s still necessary. And I think Jonathan in this story, really, it comes forward as to why it is important. Because if this young lady would’ve seen an abortion victim before she considered abortion, she wouldn’t have had one. The question is to me, how many children have died because we are unwilling to show abortion victims in public because we’re concerned about what people think of us. We need to be concerned about the children and those who might be thinking about abortion.
Because with Jonathan, I don’t take it seriously when people say that people are going to be harmed by the photos, the people that are going to be harmed are the unborn and those who participate in an abortion if we don’t show them. So I thought this was a good way to kind of set the stage for our conversation today with Couture domain for the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform. And the reason why also I wanted to bring her on is because we have a mutual friendship or relationship with the group Protect Life Michigan and Ketura along with Bla Lane, we’re up in Michigan speaking at their life advocate intensive recently, and they gave a talk on the human face of abortion. And so I want couture to talk about this because we talk about the victims of abortion, we talk about the bloody, we showed the bloody images of baby parts that have been, and children who’ve been dismembered and disempowered and decapitated and so forth. But often it’s not just the bloody remains of an aborted baby that persuades people, it’s that they’re human. And I think we need to make that case, and I think she does that really well. So Couture, you were out at the life advocate intensive, and this caught my eye, the human faces of abortion. You guys based that your tour of Canada. Based on that, if you would share with us why you believe it matters that people see the human face of the victim,
Keturah Dumaine (08:32):
The reason for the tour to reemphasize the value of coming face-to-face with the victims. We’ve seen for years that seeing abortion, victim photography coming face-to-face with the victims is the most powerful way to impact someone’s opinion on abortion, to show them the reality of what it is, the inhumanity of abortion and the humanity of the victims. But what we’ve found is that there’s this human connection that’s lost between our culture and pre-born children. And so how do we restore that? And even among pro-lifers, you can often sort of get desensitized or forget how really grave the issue is. So we were inspired by Dr. Monica Miller, who is actually the woman who coined the phrase abortion victim photography, rather than just calling the pictures graphic images. And she pointed out that she said, when we gaze upon such an image, we are not simply looking at what abortion does, but we are confronted by someone who, by that image, takes his or her place among us and calls us to bring an end to the ideas and the actions that sought to cast them out of the human family to begin with. So that’s what we were really inspired by was that idea of seeing the victims, not just looking at them, but truly seeing them. And so then the question was, well, how do we show the victims to people in a way that reestablishes that connection? And I think the face is crucial to establishing that connection.
Mark Harrington (10:08):
Yeah, it’s interesting because I’ve made the case for decades now that social reformers have always used images of injustice to make the case, to change public opinion, to bother people enough to get them to think differently. And this is true, of course. I’ve also made the case that we have hundreds of, if not thousands of anecdotes of people who have changed their minds. These are all compelling reasons why people should use abortion victim photography. We have studies you and I think C C B R and created Equal actually came together to commission a study on the use of abortion victim photography to show that it does change hearts and minds, and we proved it statistically. All these things are true, but the humanity of the unborn, which Monica does so well, in making her case, in her book, she says, and you gave a great quote, but let me give another one, this one. She said, if the primary purpose of abortion victim photography is to reveal the tragedy of abortion, then the most effective photos will also focus on the humanity of the unborn. So we can take abortion victim photography and do both share or show the tragedy of abortion, but also the humanity of the unborn child. And the best way to do that is the human face. If you would explain what is it about the human face that changes the debate on abortion?
Keturah Dumaine (11:42):
Yeah, so the best way that I can think about that is based on an experience that I had, which made its way into the talk that we took across Eastern Canada. It was this moment, me where I was reflecting on this kind of idea that there are so many people missing. We think about that idea all the time, that there are thousands and thousands of children who should be here among us, people my own age, who should be here and aren’t this gap in society, people who are missing. But I was thinking about that, and then I sort of shifted my perspective to thinking about all of those people who should be here, where are they now? What we do with the bodies of children after they’re aborted is we throw them in dumpsters. They go incinerators and medical waste containers. And when I thought about the presence of those children more than their absence, it struck the thought in my mind that all of these children did exist.
It’s not like they should have existed and didn’t the injustices that they did exist, and then they were violently killed. So thinking about the fact that they do exist, that they did exist, called to mind for me, their family resemblance, and all of a sudden I just had this picture in my mind of, okay, who do these children look like? Do they look like their parents? Do they look like their aunts, uncles, siblings? There may be identical twins. Family resemblance ties us to each other. I think in such a powerful way that most other things don’t. I have some connection with another human being when I look them in the face, but I have even more of a connection with someone who looks like me, even if I’ve never met that person, if that person’s a cousin of mine or something that I’ve never met before.
So I think that recognizing that things like that, that are so personal to us, our physical features influence the way we feel about people in a way that will cause us to go from looking to just seeing, like I mentioned earlier, instead of just seeing someone rushing by them, we actually take a moment and look at them. We observe who they are, and we feel that personal connection with them. That’s the kind of response we want people to have when they see abortion, victim photography. And what does that severed arms and legs horrify us when we look at them. So those are powerful photos to see that show the severed limbs of children. But even more powerful are the photos of the faces, because the faces show that those children look like someone, they show their family resemblance, they show that where that children or where that child’s still living, you could look them in the face. That’s a different kind of connection than just seeing their body.
Mark Harrington (14:37):
I thought the part in the talk that you mentioned, the two abortion former abortionists in your talk, and one of them was quoted, I forget which one, who said to kill one must avoid the face. Or maybe this wasn’t the abortion. This is someone else to end the killing the human faces. The victims must be seen. It’s true. If you can just kind of ignore that they’re human and they have a face, it’s a lot easier to kill somebody than if they have a face like you and I and how ISTs do what they can to actually avoid it themselves. Because if they have a face staring back at ’em after they’ve killed the child, it really brings it home. And this brings me to the point that just, I think it was over, it was about a year and a half ago where the abortion, the children were discovered actually retrieved from a sidewalk outside of the DC Abortion Center, Sergi Center, and killed by an abortion by the name of Sari Angelo.
And these images were, I mean, the activists retrieved the bodies and took photos and video of them and Mr. Producer if you would go ahead and play that clip. And these are all late term, five late term aborted babies, and the faces of the children stare right back at you. And we’ve been using these images a lot more than we used to because it does bring that human face to bear. In fact, we are launching currently in a campaign against late term abortion here in the state of Ohio because we are facing the possibility of a late term abortion constitutional amendment being put on our ballot and voted for. So we’re fighting that right now. And I know you guys have been using images similar to this on your tour there in Canada. Why is it important that, I mean, you’re using both first and second trimester and late term aborted babies in your tour there. Why is it important that you’re taking these out into the streets instead of just say using them in presentations like you do across the country? Why is it important to take it out into the public?
Keturah Dumaine (17:05):
Yeah, I or was saying earlier that there’s both a need to reawaken pro-lifers, and that’s why we would go do presentations and host events that pro-lifers are going to come to re-inspire them, to show them the inhumanity of abortion and to wake them up to the reality of it so that we can get more people doing something about it. But then we also need to turn that into action because there are so many people in our culture who don’t recognize the reality of abortion, and they need to come face to face with the victims even more, while at least as much as we do. Like you said, in order for the killing to end, people need to face-to-face with the victims. So what we do is we bring abortion victim photography in the form of photo and video to the streets to show people the reality of abortion. Yeah, I mean, we have the same experience that you have that when people encounter the victims of abortion, they do change their minds because you can’t keep up just the facade of, well, it’s just a clump of cells, or it’s just a fetus when a child is staring at you.
Mark Harrington (18:19):
Right? Friends Couture is part of an organization called the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform, and you can go to their firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s n the killing.ca to find out more. Also, they have a podcast called the Pro-Life Guys, and you can go to that website, pro-life guys.com, similar podcast to this in the sense that they train pro-life activists in pro-life apologetics and strategy, because the two have to be brought together. You can have all the greatest arguments in the world, but unless you know how to get those out in front of people and change hearts and minds, it isn’t going to be any good. So if you go to prolife guys.com or into killing.ca, you can find out more about Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform Couture. What I want to do is, and again, folks, if you need to know more about these, we’re not going to be able to give this topic justice today, unfortunately, but I want to be able to talk about this tour that you guys just completed, which was pretty ambitious, called The Face of Abortion Tour, and you took it across the whole country of Canada. Explain what it was involved in that, how many cities, what it was like, I mean, talking to pro-lifers, going out into the streets. What was your impression of how it went?
Keturah Dumaine (19:43):
Yeah, it was very, very cool to be a part of. So the Faces of Abortion tour was CCB R’s largest tour that we’ve ever run. We visited all 10 Canadian provinces with both the eastern and the western team. I was just on the eastern team, so I’ll only speak to what we did. They ran things slightly differently in the West, but still very similar style. So what we did was every day we would have outreach in the morning and afternoon. So we had 57 interns on the streets of Canada this summer, and every day, sorry, I’m echoing a little. Every day they would be out on the streets along with our staff doing outreach and showing the photos of the victims to the public, having conversations with people, changing people’s minds and seeing lives saved on the streets. And then every evening we would host an event for Pro-Lifers doing the talk, covering some of the points that we’ve discussed today, and just trying to get pro-lifers aware of the situation in Canada, show them the great need for people to be involved and then to inspire them to do something.
And a huge part of the talk was an emphasis on defiance. So it’s kind of like we show through the talk, the things that you and I were talking about, about the human faces of the victims and how they call out from within us a response, and then just exploring that and seeing what that looks like in practice. And after we come face-to-face with the victims and we’re sort of broken by the injustice, what do we do with that brokenness that can lead us to indifference? It could lead us to despair, or it could lead us to defiance. So what we did was we inspired people to choose defiance, to look back at history and see the people who chose to rise up against the injustice of their time and to show the visual injustice of, show the visual evidence of this and bring injustice to an end in their society. And it was done by them, so it can be done by us today. So we ended with that strong message of hope, that there’s hope for the pro-life movement in Canada, no matter what the government or people at higher levels of society say, when you’re on the streets, you see the abortion debate happening. You see people changing their minds, and it’s super encouraging.
Mark Harrington (22:06):
Amen to that. Again, go to end to killing.ca to find out more couture. One last thing I want to bring up here, and that is the piece that Jonathan wrote a while back called We The Screamers. Would you use in the Talk and I identify, I think everybody here at Create equal identifies with being a screamer. If you would summarize what that means. What does it mean to be a screamer and how is it that pro-lifers, we are screamers? I mean, I’ll admit to it, and how that actually be comforting to us as screamers, as activists? Yeah,
Keturah Dumaine (22:40):
I hear you. I identify with it too. I think almost everyone who works in the pro-life movement probably identifies with that in one way or another. So Arthur Kosler was a writer in 1944 who was attempting to sound the alarm about the ongoing holocaust. And he wrote a publication called We the Screamers, in which he described this dream he had where he was caught in this thicket or brushwood. And there were these people walking along the road and he’s screaming for help and no one hears him. Everyone just walks by as if it’s not even happening, as if they can’t hear. And he says, it’s like this dream barrier was sort of settled over them, like making it so that they couldn’t hear him. And he saw that as kind of a mirror for the way that people responded in reality to his cries against the Holocaust, because so many people wouldn’t even believe what he said, or if they did believe it, they were somewhat indifferent, felt that they weren’t called to that or didn’t really need to do something about it, maybe somebody else would.
And he was just so frustrated by this for over 10 years, he was trying to awaken the conscience of the nation and just being met with this indifference and apathy. And so he described himself in the publication as a screamer, the one who’s calling from the thicket saying, he said that. He described it as that there were a few of them who were escaped victims or eyewitnesses of the things which happened in the thicket in his language and who were trying to awaken the public. But everyone just walked by with this dream barrier settled over them. And every once in a while they could get them to wake up. They could see it in their eyes because of this faint glassy stare that would come over them, and they could clearly see what was going on. But then just as they tried to get them to stay awake, they inevitably would fall asleep again. And I think that’s something that all pro-lifers relate to today, because we feel a little bit crazy if we care so much about the injustice of abortion. We’re always talking about it and try to get people to care about it. And just so many people are apathetic or indifferent and just don’t feel called even if they do believe us. So yeah, there can be,
Mark Harrington (24:50):
I’ve been screaming for two or three decades in the sense that we’re not really raising our voices. What we mean is we’re just trying to get people’s attention. We use abortion victim photography to do that. That’s how we do it with video and still imagery in the public square. And that’s how we identify with ’em. So I appreciate that reference and Jonathan’s piece there. Friends, you can find out more by going to end the killing.ca, or if you want to subscribe to the podcast of the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform, you can go to pro-life guys.com. I hope that this is given another little angle. I think a very strong angle as to why abortion victim photography in the use in pro-life activism is absolutely essential to personalizing them the unborn and to give them a face. And I think Canadian Center for Bioethical reforms on the cutting edge of this type of technology and the tactics coming in the vein of the Great Cunninghams and the Joe Scheidler and all of those who have blazed the trail historically for the use of these types of images in reforming culture.
And I know that you guys are up against it up in Canada. We feel like we’re not far behind you. Unfortunately, we’re facing a pretty tough task here in the state of Ohio. We may become Canada before law if we don’t turn it around here. And our pro-life movement needs to understand that we can’t outlaw something that the voter doesn’t understand what it is. And folks, that’s the key. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to show people. I wish there was another way. We’re just going to have to show people what it is. So Ketura, thanks for being on the program again, Ketura Duma from the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform.
Keturah Dumaine (26:45):
Thanks so much, mark.
Mark Harrington (26:48):
Well, everybody, I hope you enjoyed the interview with Couture domain from the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform, talking about how human faces personalized the victims of abortion and how we need to be incorporating those faces of the victims into our pro-life activism, especially when we use abortion victim photography. And to continue on that, I want to give you the call to action today. And that is this, that we are pioneering the use of L e D technology both in America and in Canada. And that is using video technology with abortion victim videos on mobile units, mobile units like trucks and so forth. And Canada, they have just launched their l e D truck and they used it during the faces of abortion tour all throughout Canada. And again, we are at the forefront of this, and organizations are beginning to come online technology, live action survivors, abortion free, New Mexico Protect Life, Michigan are beginning to use abortion video technology in their outreach.
So we are at the forefront of the research and development for this type of technology and putting the tactic into play across North America. So I want you to know that. I also just want you to, if you’re able to support us financially, go to create equal.org. Once again, we are at the front lines. We are at the cutting edge of all of this technology, trying to get it out to as many pro-life organizations across America and Canada as we can, and we’re having success doing that. And finally, I want to give you an update here on issue one, which is the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in November. Abortionists, the pro abort supporters are suing now on the language that has been approved by the Secretary of State. They don’t like the summary language. Why? Because the summary language uses the words unborn child, unborn child.
They’ll do everything they can to depersonalize this debate. They hate the terms unborn child, child, children, babies. They don’t want to use any of that. And so that’s what the Secretary of State came up with as far as the summary language. And the summary language uses what ends up on the ballot when you go in to vote. And so they’re going to sue, of course, because just like with the victims of abortion, they have to censor them. They have to depersonalize, dehumanize the debate over abortion. That’s the only way they can win. And so what they’re trying to do is put the actual ballot language, which they came up with, and that Ohio voters voted to are going to be voting on, actually be put into the Constitution. They want that language to be on the ballot, not the summary language the Secretary of State put out, which includes the words unborn child.
See, the bottom line is this, abortion advocates have to be vague. They have to be misleading, they have to use language that’s hard to understand in order to win factual language, truthful language has to be removed from the discussion. They’re all about censorship friends, and this is why we need to defeat this issue in November. And if you want to join our organization and our efforts, you can go to created equal.org/ohio to volunteer because we need people to go door to door. We need people to make phone calls. We need people to help in any way possible because this abortion fight in Ohio is an abortion refer referendum across the United States, because if we win in Ohio, we can take it elsewhere. If we lose in Ohio, they’re going to do the same and use this as a platform to launch these types of initiatives all across the country. So friends, you can help us out financially, go to created equal.org/donate. That’s created equal.org/donate to give to our l e d truck campaigns across North America, and also to support us in our fight to defeat the issue one, which will be the abortion amendment on the November ballot. We’ll see you next time. God bless you. God bless America, and remember America to bless God.
You’ve been listening to Mark Harrington, your radio activist. For more information on how to make a difference for the cause of life, liberty and justice, go to created equal.org.org. To follow mark, go to Mark Harrington show.com. Be sure to tune in next time for your marching orders in the culture war.