The debate on graphic abortion pictures resurfaced in my house this morning in a most unexpected way. My local paper has decided to publish some of the least offensive pictures released during Col. Russell Williams’ sentencing hearing. The sight of a grown man in girls’ underwear is not my idea of a wake-up call at 5 am. But as the Ottawa Citizen explained: “…we believe it is vital that the true nature of his crimes be revealed and that, by (publishing the pictures), the Citizen is contributing to an understanding of the proceedings against him and his sentencing.”
As an argument for publishing, it is uncomfortably similar to the rationale supporting the use of graphic abortion images, don’t you think? So can I both support graphic abortion images while denouncing the publication of explicit pictures of a sick man? I dread looking at pictures of aborted fetuses as much as I dread looking at Williams’ pictures. In fact, when I go to work, I make a point of looking the other way when I walk by the abortion display on Parliament Hill. Yet I support the use of graphic abortion pictures because the story needs to be told. And the story is not told by our sex educators, our schools or our medical system.
Does a story of sexual perversion need telling in all its gory details? I am asking because I am not sure what purpose is served by publishing the pictures. I read that Russell Williams was a grown man who liked to wear girls’ underwear. Then I saw Russell Williams in girls’ underwear. What changed? I honestly fail to see how seeing the pictures after reading the article has enlightened me. Do I better understand the proceedings and the sentencing? Two women are dead, several more traumatized. Whatever his sentence is, I can promise that I will find it inadequate.
I didn’t need a picture.by