By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation
When I began studying television news reporting and production in college, I learned the incredible power of video to tell a story. No matter how strong the words I had written might be, my script would always be overshadowed by the visuals. If the visuals were compelling, the piece would be absolutely riveting. If not, the TV news story basically fell apart.
I was reminded of this phenomenon recently when we chose to lead off our Pennsylvania Pro-Life Online News email newsletter with a video posted by the pro-life group Live Action. We headlined the story, “Amazing Video—Woman Changes Mind About Abortion.”
Of all the stories we have ever run in the Online News, the video was by far the most popular, stunning us with its “click rate” (in other words, the number of people who clicked on the video in order to view it).
But it was more than just curiosity that made the video a crowd-pleaser. It was also the subject of the video itself—an articulate young woman being questioned about her views on abortion.
At the beginning of the video, she admitted that she didn’t really like abortion. But she claimed there are times when an individual “needs” abortion. She went on to suggest that abortion was a matter of “rights” and what a pregnant woman might want to do.
Then, the woman viewed a video explaining a second trimester dismemberment abortion—an abortion in which a baby is torn limb by limb from the mother’s womb. The woman begins to cry, and you can see a wave of pain flooding her features.
Her mind has been enlightened, her heart has been broken, and her position on abortion has been changed.
She discusses the fact that she had not realized, prior to viewing the video, that the unborn baby would be “detached” and “crushed.” She points out what she has now learned about the risks of abortion to women. She then discusses the fact that there are “so many options” and that there is “always another option” besides abortion. “It is a life,” she explains.
The video experiment shows how eyes can be opened to the horrors of abortion, once individuals are educated about the process. It also proves a point that I have often made—that people support the tragic U.S. Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, the decision which legalized abortion, because they do not realize what Roe actually did.
News stories fail to define the word “abortion,” so people are left in an information vacuum. The pro-abortion side benefits from the veil surrounding abortion.
But once people see the brutality of abortion—the fact that babies are torn apart and mothers have their hearts ripped open—they oppose it. In the time it takes to play a short video, a mind can be forever changed.
This fact should compel us to share ultrasounds and other educational videos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Because in those videos lies an awesome, life-giving power which can save babies from otherwise certain death.