Friday 27th May 2016

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Beauty Of Statistics On Abortion”

May 15, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 19 of The Facts of Life, “United States Abortion Statistics,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+    +    +

Edward Tufte, a professor emeritus at Yale, is an information guru. He travels the world teaching people the art of “data visualization,” or how to most effectively present the power and the beauty of evidence. His work highlights the fact that the battle over social issues is largely one of images that activists from all sides attempt to establish in people’s minds.
No battle is more rich in imagery than the struggle over abortion. We have seen everything from coat-hangers to roses, ultrasound photos of preborn babies, faked photos of women killed by illegal abortions, panel trucks with giant bloody aborted baby pictures on them, and NARAL’s “Silent No More” debacle, where weeping women described in great detail the suffering of their (mostly imaginary) women relatives at the filthy hands of drunk illegal abortionists.
We pro-lifers can increase the impact of our message if we cultivate our “visual literacy.” The average pro-lifer doesn’t have access to the sophisticated technical equipment needed to make his arguments visually gorgeous, but he does have the power of imagination.
And this is one of the critical tools that will win the abortion battle in the end — our imaginations. As none other than Joseph Stalin said, “Ideas are more powerful than guns.”
Stalin also said: “One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” This is the problem pro-lifers face when talking about abortion statistics. If we can’t get people to care about “X” millions of dead preborn babies, we will never get them interested in specific unborn babies that they will never see.
Pro-abortionists tend to strongly resist using hard facts and statistics because they do not support the “pro-choice” position. Instead, they ignore facts and statistics and lean on emotional appeals and feelings to make their points.
When we use documented statistics backed up by visual imagery during written or oral attempts to persuade, we elevate the debate above emotions and appeal directly to logic and reason. No pro-abortionist can refute documented statistics — especially when they originate with pro-abortion sources, which eliminates the inevitable accusations of “anti-choice bias.”
Using Word Pictures in Discussions. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been more important, because people these days are persuaded by imagery, not words. Therefore, we can increase our impact by painting vivid “word pictures” to illustrate our points during discussions or debates. A pro-lifer makes a tremendous impact on listeners by using his imagination to relate the abortion issue to everyday images that people are familiar with. In other words, we can frame the issue in terms that people understand and will therefore remember.
As of January 1, 2014, there have been 55.7 million legal surgical and medical abortions in the United States since the first states legalized prenatal child killing in 1967.
The worst year was 1990 with 1,608,600 abortions; since then, the number of abortions has declined almost every year to the current level of just over a million annually, partly due to never-ending pro-life efforts and partly due to the “ripple effect” of having fewer young women who are aborting. This phenomenon is itself a reflection of the sad fact that there are fewer young women because many of their would-have-been mothers were themselves aborted 15 to 20 years previously.
The Vietnam Memorial. You might get people thinking by asking if they have visited the National Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. This memorial is a shiny black wall that stretches 492 feet and lists the names of the 58,209 Americans killed in that war. If such a wall listed the names of the 55.7 million babies legally killed by surgical and medical abortions in the United States since 1966, it would be 90 miles long! And a wall that commemorated the 2.3 billion preborn babies wiped out by surgical and medical abortions worldwide since 1960 would stretch 3,723 miles — from coast to coast, from Los Angeles to New York City, with a thousand miles to spare.
Cemeteries for Preborn Babies. Pro-life activists frequently set up temporary displays of thousands of crosses representing the number of preborn babies killed by abortions in the United States every day. These crosses make a riveting display of the brutal reality of abortion (at least until they are torn down by pro-abortion vandals).
If standard burial plots were allocated to each preborn child killed by surgical abortion in the United States, the resulting cemetery would cover 300 square miles. If there were a cemetery for all of the 2.3 billion preborn babies killed by surgical abortions in the world since 1959, it would cover more than 12,500 square miles — larger than the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Vermont. But, because of “freedom of choice,” these billions of children will never see the light of day.
Holding Hands. If these 55.7 million babies had been born and had grown up, then got together to hold hands, the resulting line would stretch around the world at the Equator more than two and a half times — more than 64,000 miles!
A Much Larger “Quilt Project.” For several years, American homophile activists promoted the “Quilt Project,” where 3 foot by 6 foot rectangles of cloth decorated with the stories of victims’ lives were laid side by side. The primary purposes of this project were to generate sympathy and show the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic. The largest such display to date has covered an area equivalent to a football field. If 55.7 million of these quilts were laid down adjacent to each other, one for each aborted preborn baby, it would cover an area of 36 square miles!
This quilt would easily blanket the central districts of any large city. You can mention landmarks bounding this area in the appropriate city in order to strengthen your point. For example, let us suppose that a circular quilt commemorating all of the preborn babies in the United States who have died from abortion were laid over Washington, D.C., centering on the White House. This quilt would cover Crystal City and Reagan National Airport in the South, the Smithsonian Zoo in the North, all of Georgetown in the West, and the National Arboretum to the East.
The “Marching Aborted.” During the height of the population scare in the late 1960s, bigoted anti-population alarmists sometimes referred to their fear of “the marching Chinese.” They meant that the population of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was increasing so fast (21 million per year at that time) that the Chinese could march two abreast past a single point and never have the same person pass twice.
We can adapt this concept to describe the magnitude of the “marching aborted.” There are about 46 million surgical and medical abortions committed all over the world annually. If these children marched past one point continuously for 24 hours a day, they would be four abreast.
Crashing School Buses. Population control groups allege that 300,000 women die of illegal abortions all over the world each year. They say that this is equivalent to the death toll of a fully loaded jumbo jet crashing every 12 hours, year-round, with no survivors. We can adapt this visual imagery for our own purposes. For example, any community would mourn for weeks if a school bus full of 50 of its children crashed, killing all inside. If we assume that the abortion mills in this country are operating 50 hours per week, 50 babies are killed every eight minutes! A pro-life debater could also tailor this image to a local abortuary — for example, one which killed 2,500 babies every year would be equivalent to a 50-child school bus crashing every week.
The Dead States. In the United States, abortionists have killed a number of children equal to the combined populations of 18 states: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. A map of the United States with all of these states blacked out is a real attention grabber. This gives an audience some idea of the colossal magnitude of the abortion disaster.
But if someone thinks that this is not particularly impressive since these states are the most sparsely populated in the United States, consider this: Surgical abortion has killed enough preborn children to populate six of the largest American cities and their surrounding population centers: Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., whose combined populations are about 56 million.
Visual imagery can also be very effective when we discuss other abortion statistics, such as abortions for the “hard cases,” abortions among minorities, and late-term abortions. This will be the topic of the next column.

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

34% of “Pro-Choice” Women Who See This Viral Video Turn Against Abortion

A new four-minute viral video is causing over a third — 34 percent — of “pro-choice” women surveyed to view abortion “less favorably.” And 28 percent of pro-choice women who watched the video stated there should be more restrictions on…Continue Reading

‘Biblically wrong’: Oklahoma lawmakers urge Obama’s impeachment over transgender bathrooms

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have introduced legislation calling for President Barack Obama to be impeached because of his administration’s support for transgender bathrooms. Another bill calls for a declaration of emergency in the state. In a measure called Senate Concurrent Resolution…Continue Reading

Oklahoma legislature passes bill making it a felony to perform abortions

Lawmakers in Oklahoma approved a bill Thursday that would make performing abortions a felony and revoke the medical licenses of most physicians who assist in such procedures. This sweeping measure, which opponents described as unconstitutional and unprecedented, now heads to…Continue Reading

Unanimous Win for Little Sisters of the Poor at Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government cannot fine the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court vacated the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, accepting the government’s admission that it could meet…Continue Reading

Conservatives outraged over Obama transgender directive to public schools

The Obama administration’s directive Friday that every public school provide transgender access — or face the loss of federal funds — drew swift and strong condemnation from conservatives, with one public official blasting it as presidential “blackmail.” The administration’s directive…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Leaders Decry Scandals, Urge Catholic Colleges to Reject Culture of Death

Concerned by recent high-profile events at Catholic colleges featuring pro-abortion leaders — including Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Bill Clinton, Wendy Davis and Vice President Joe Biden — 31 Catholic and pro-life leaders joined a statement urging Catholic colleges to “stand firm…Continue Reading

ACLU launches campaign to strip Catholic hospitals of federal funds

NEW YORK, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic hospitals across the U.S. are “withholding emergency care” and denying “essential health services,” the ACLU is alleging in a new campaign. They also inflict harm on “transgender and gender-non-conforming patients” “when seeking…Continue Reading

Harvard Law Professor Says Pro-Life Christians Should be Treated Like Nazis

Every day, it seems, the United States is becoming a more hostile environment for people with pro-life and conservative positions. Abortion activists constantly challenge pro-life laws, stall abortion industry investigations, force religious objectors to pay for abortions and attack life-affirming…Continue Reading

Obama plans new push for transgender rights in schools

The divisive and politically combustible issue of bathroom access for transgender individuals is about to become further inflamed, as the Obama administration is expected in coming weeks to aggressively reinforce its position that transgender student rights are fully protected under…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Notre Dame is Wrong

Notre Dame’s Great Scandal: Honoring Vice President Biden By Thomas McKenna, President of Catholic Action for Faith and Family: The University of Notre Dame has announced that they intend to confer the Laetare Medal, an honor given to Catholics “in…Continue Reading

DoJ to North Carolina: You Have Until Monday to Reverse Bathroom Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory received a letter from the Department of Justice that gives him until Monday to reverse his state’s controversial bathroom bill, reports The Hill. The DoJ said the law is in violation of the federal Civil…Continue Reading

Lavender Graduations Harmful to Students at Catholic Colleges

At least eight Catholic colleges across the country are hosting “lavender graduations” this spring — many of them as part of an annual campus tradition — to celebrate and honor students with same-sex attraction (SSA) or who identify as lesbian,…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Commentary

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .      

Today . . .

South Carolina governor signs ban on abortion for babies who feel pain

CHARLESTON, May 26, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – South Carolina has joined 13 other states that forbid abortions to be performed on unborn children capable of feeling pain. As expected, Governor Nikki Haley, a Republican, signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on Wednesday. The law restricts abortion to the first 19 weeks of pregnancy. “South Carolina took a courageous stand to protect women’s health and safety in limiting abortion at a point at which the risks…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Perseverance in prayer needed, but not “magic wand”

pope908

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday said “prayer is not a magic wand.” He was speaking during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The Pope was discussing the Parable of the Unjust Judge – also known as the Parable of the Persistent Widow – from the Gospel of Luke. In the parable, the persistence of a widow forces the unjust judge to grant her request for justice, “so that she will not eventually…Continue Reading

Catholic College Presidents Hopeful for Resolution in HHS Mandate Challenge

The presidents of two Catholic colleges involved in the U.S.Supreme Court challenges to the HHS mandate applauded the Court’s recent decision to vacate all lower court rulings and expressed their hope that a positive resolution for religious freedom would soon be reached. “I am pleased that Supreme Court has offered us a way forward which doesn’t require us to participate in the provision of the services which

Pope Francis: Christians live God’s love with joy, astonishment

(Vatican Radio) No Christian can exist without joy: that’s what Pope Francis said in his Homily at Mass Monday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta guesthouse. The Pope stressed that even through life’s difficulties, the Christian knows he can trust in Jesus and find hope. The Pope also reminded the faithful they should not allow riches to dominate their lives because they ultimately lead to sadness. Christians live in joy and amazement because…Continue Reading

Pope Angelus: The Holy Trinity, where there is love there is God

(Vatican Radio) “The feast of the Holy Trinity invites us to engage in the daily events to be the leaven of communion, of consolation and of mercy.” Those were Pope Francis’ words during his Angelus address on a sunny Trinity Sunday from his studio above St Peter’s Square. Drawing inspiration from the Gospel of St. John, the Pope said that Jesus knew how to be close to the realization of the Father’s plan, which will…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Procession To The Ends Of The Earth

By JAMES MONTI Several weeks ago, after attending the Easter Vigil at a nearby seminary, and the emptied chapel had fallen silent, I began to hear the sound of the sacring bell being rung in the sacristy. Puzzled by this, I wondered whether the seminarians were perhaps trying to repair the bell. But then from…Continue Reading

Is Scarborough Shoal Worth A War?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN If China begins to reclaim and militarize Scarborough Shoal, says Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III, America must fight. Should we back down, says Aquino, the United States will lose “its moral ascendancy, and also the confidence of one of its allies.” And what is Scarborough Shoal? A cluster of rocks…Continue Reading

Cicero In An Election Year

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY In the midst of the turmoil that characterized the mid-decades of the last century, the English jurist Sir Patrick Devlin wrote, “If a society’s laws are based on a particular worldview and that worldview collapses, the laws themselves will crumble.” His 1965 book, The Enforcement of Morals, is still worth reading…Continue Reading

Eastern Orthodoxy And The Particular Judgment

By JAMES LIKOUDIS In previous articles (The Wanderer, July 3, 2014; June 25, 2015), it was observed that: “Perhaps to the surprise of some Catholic ecumenists, Catholic doctrine regarding the Particular Judgment remains obscure, confused, or even denied among the Eastern Orthodox. They have no clear official teaching that the just go to Heaven immediately…Continue Reading

Obama To Visit The Land Of State-Owned Enterprises

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column. All rights reserved.) + + + President Barack Obama will visit Vietnam, which his own State Department last month certified is still controlled — four decades after the fall of Saigon — by the Communist Party.…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. My husband and I are wondering when to say the “Amen” after the Lord’s prayer is prayed during Mass. I believe “Amen” should be said after we say “deliver us from evil.” — J.W., Georgia. A. Although it is correct to say “Amen” at the end of the Our Father while saying it outside of Mass, for example, while…Continue Reading

God’s Prophet

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Tenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 1 Kings 17:17-24 Gal. 1:11-14a, 15a, c, 16a, 17, 19 Luke 7:11-17 In the first reading today we hear about the death of the son of a widow with whom the Prophet Elijah stayed when he was passing through that region. The woman had been very good to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Mueller Reminds The Church Of Her Marriage Doctrine

By MAIKE HICKSON Part 2 (Editor’s Note: We are publishing this commentary from Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as reported by Maike Hickson, in two parts. The first part appeared in last week’s issue. (OnePeterFive graciously gave The Wanderer reprint permission for this article. All rights reserved. See: www.onepeterfive.com/cardinal-muller-reminds-church-marriage-doctrine/. (Dr. Hickson, born…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Spiritual Exercises

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The way the human body physically works can teach us something about virtue and the way God’s grace works spiritually for each of us: We must use it to grow it. As I reminded our Life Teens and their families at Mass recently, if they slack off on physical exercise during the summer, come fall…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 After investigating the Inquisition, now we take a good look at the greatest marvel on this side of eternity: the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. To rule a country is not an easy job. That is why no head of state these days can…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Augustine Of Canterbury

By CAROLE BRESLIN A Celtic cross erected in 1884 marks the spot in Ebbsfleet, Thanet, East Kent, where St. Augustine of Canterbury is said to have landed in 597. While some form of Christianity in England may be traced back to the times of the Roman occupation, it did not become a strong presence until the arrival of St. Augustine,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Crispin Of Viterbo

By CAROLE BRESLIN In March 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of Our Lady of the Vine (Oak) located in Tuscany, Italy, to proclaim our Lady patroness of the Diocese of Viterbo. The tradition of visiting the image of Our Lady of the Oak began 600 years ago in 1417 when Mastro Baptist Magnano Iuzzante commissioned an image…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading