Via Pandagon, this little bit of joy in Ohio:

As a shock tactic, a national group that opposes abortion plans to fly a billboard-size picture of an aborted fetus over Cleveland beginning Monday.

The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, which frequently employs such attention-grabbing advertising, hopes to jar people into reconsidering their support of abortion, director Gregg Cunningham said.

He said the banner would be the most graphic picture ever displayed from the air.

“It will be categorically the most shocking we have ever done,” he said. “The imagery is so horrifying that I can’t almost stand to look at it.”

I’ve thought for a long time, and argued to anti-abortion acquaintances and relatives, that activists on this side of the debate make no friends by holding up what my high school English teacher used to call “miscarriage in a bucket pictures” and screaming about sinners and whores. Any work being done to truly advance their cause of ending abortion isn’t being done outside the clinics they hate so much. It’s being done inside. And maybe, just maybe, if they stopped shrieking for one goddamn second about sin and punishment and started talking about social policy and prevention, maybe the’d convert some people to their aims.

All this stuff does is alienate people like me, who do not want any woman to have an unwanted pregnancy and would like to focus on sex ed, birth control and real, honest-to-god support for poor parents. It’s insulting to me, and frankly it’s insulting to their own supporters as well, to assume their views on abortion are that shallow.

“Oooh, it’s icky.” Pictures of an appendectomy are icky. Certain episodes of CSI are icky. I don’t know who icky pictures are supposed to convince. I don’t know anyone who favors abortion rights who thinks it’s something pretty to watch. Anyone jolted by the sight of something like this wasn’t really all that committed to the pro-choice position in the first place.

But then, I’m being all naive again, assuming this is about changing minds and not stirring up hatred. I really have to stop doing that.