Response to "On-campus anti-abortion exhibition"

Last Thursday's guest column was misleading and incurious.
  • Benjamin McDonald
September 21, 2009

The students who wrote a column printed Thursday regarding the abortion display in front of Coffman ought to be embarrassed because in their eagerness to condemn pro-lifers, they failed to provide an intellectually meaningful or even informed critique. First, the Students for Human Life funded and organized the display, not an outside organization as alleged.
Second, the school was not paid for the use of the space in front of Coffman. As any student organization can do, the Students for Human Life simply reserved the space, which costs nothing.
The authors implied that abortion is not a real genocide and declared the Genocide Awareness Project to be thoughtless, hateful, and belligerent.
Their name-calling screed, however, did not even attempt to show why the use of the word “genocide” might be unwarranted. Certainly, if abortion were no more significant than getting one’s ingrown toenail removed, it would be outrageous and insensitive to compare the procedure to liquidating the Jews or lynching blacks. On the other hand, if abortion really is the state-sanctioned slaughter of unwanted unborn people, as pro-life students argue, then the exposition of this truth is not “dangerous” “hate speech,” as the authors claimed.
Common embryology textbooks verify that the life of every unique human being begins at conception. Pro-choicers who deny this are left with the burden of disproving foundational biological science. The only real matter of contention is whether or not we will again grant the legal status of “person” to the unborn. Since we now call them “non-persons” as Nazis classified the Jews and as Americans identified blacks in years past, we can legally violate their human dignity by ripping them to pieces inside the womb. However, the fact that abuse of the unwanted unborn is legal does not make it right any more than it was right to mistreat blacks before they had the legal status they enjoy currently. Would we accuse Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders of employing “scare tactics” and “thoughtless rhetorical strategies” when they alerted others to the mistreatment of blacks, often in a graphically descriptive fashion?
If the pro-choice crowd can prove that the unborn are frogs or cucumbers or some other non-human beings growing within their mothers, disproving science, I will join them in decrying the startling images shown by the Students for Human Life. However, if they cannot accomplish this, then I expect them to take their bullhorns and neon signs to Washington DC where they can protest the use of disturbing graphic imagery at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Benjamin McDonald
University graduate student

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