The pro-choice movement often treats with contempt the pro-lifers' practice of holding up to our faces their disturbing graphics. We revile their placards showing an enlarged scene of the aftermath of a D & C abortion: we are disgusted by their lapel pins with the little feet, crafted in gold, of a 10-week-old fetus; we mock the sensationalism of The Silent Scream. We look with pity and horror at someone who would brandish a fetus in formaldehyde -- and we are quick to say that they are lying: "Those are stillbirths, anyway" we tell ourselves.
To many pro-choice advocates, the imagery is revolting propaganda. There is a sense among us, let us be frank, that the gruesomeness of the imagery belongs to the pro-lifers: that it emerges from the dark, frightening minds of fanatics: that it represents the violence of imaginations that would, given half a chance, turn our world into a scary, repressive place. 'People like us' see such material as the pornography of the pro-life movement.
But feminism at its best is based on what is simply true. While pro-lifers have not been beyond dishonesty, distortion and the doctoring of images (preferring, for example, to highlight the results of very late, very rare abortions), many of those photographs are in fact photographs of actual D & Cs; those footprints are in fact the footprints of a 10-week-old fetus, the pro-life slogan, "Abortion stops a beating heart," is incontrovertibly true. While images of violent fetal death work magnificently for pro-lifers as political polemic, the pictures are not polemical in themselves: they are biological facts. We know this.
--Naomi Wolf, "Our Bodies Our Souls", The New Republic, 1995