Abortion victim photography can help convince ‘moderates’ to become pro-life – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show, Jonathon sits down with Trevor Polo, strategist for Protect Life Michigan (PLM), to discuss the results of a new PLM report on the effectiveness of abortion victim photography, how the pro-life movement should respond to various post-Roe challenges, and more.

Polo begins the show by discussing the basic framework of the group’s recent survey on abortion. Sent to 1,200 adults, the survey asked questions about the respondents’ views on abortion while depicting various images. One group would answer questions while looking at an image of an abortion victim; the other group would answer the same questions while looking at a generic pro-life message.

When using non-victim imagery, the results found that 31 percent of respondents harbored negative feelings toward pro-lifers. Polo says this serves as a “baseline” figure – no matter what pro-lifers do, roughly three in 10 people will always oppose them and their message.

Interesting results came about when victim imagery was used. Negative feelings toward pro-lifers actually increased from 31 to 40 percent. At the same time, however, negative feelings toward abortion itself also increased, which Jonathon believes is a positive sign of the “intellectual distress” needed to change hearts and minds.

READ: Abortion victim photography may be the pro-life movement’s answer to a string of defeats

Citing further results, Polo contends that abortion victim photography is indeed effective in persuading the “mushy middle” of Americans to become pro-life.

“So when we’re thinking about, ‘Okay, how can we be strategic with our time, our investment, our persuasion strategy?’ we should be looking at what moves the middle,” he says. “And they’re most moved by victim imagery, and they’re least likely to feel upset at pro-lifers … for using it.”

However, one discouraging result of the survey showed that decreased support for abortion did not translate to a concomitant level of increased support for abortion bans. Jonathon says he is not surprised by this, noting how the persuadable “mushy middle” also doesn’t consider abortion a sufficiently major issue to warrant sudden changes to their political identity and who they vote for.

Discussing strategy in general, Polo believes the pro-life movement needs to lead with “our victim” (the unborn child) more often. Jonathon concurs, saying that the movement needs to uncompromisingly defend the humanity of the unborn, even if it means losing some conservative allies who are only opportunistically “pro-life.”

For more from Trevor Polo, tune in to this week’s episode of The Van Maren Show.

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