The president of Queen's Alive, has issued the following personal statement about the recent controversy over her comparison between abortion and genocide:
Although many were supportive of at least our right to speak (if not the cause), I anxiously awaited the inevitable objections from some of my peers.
“They deserve to be arrested because the content was offensive; it has nothing to do with free speech” or “they clearly don’t know what genocide is if they compare it to abortion”.
My predictions were correct. But as per usual, the personal attacks are based on assumptions.
Notice how rather than ASK why we think comparing abortion to genocide is justified, many prefer to assert that we’re insensitive and wrong? And I know the person reading this who disagrees with our view probably just clenched their fists and said “because you are wrong!”
GAP has been displayed all over the world many times; do our opponents not realize that if we could not reasonably defend why the comparison is valid, we wouldn’t put up the display?
Outraged by the comparison to the Holocaust, Queen’s Hillel requested that I formally apologize to the victims of genocide. I am sorry that the innocent continue to be exploited. I am sorry that this world is dominated by the perverse notion that the stronger can take advantage of the weaker. But we are fighting against that.
And so I would likewise request an apology for assuming that I don’t understand genocide. I will respond to their appeal to emotion with my own, and then later present concrete reasoning defending the comparison.
Firstly, I was born in Poland. This past summer I returned to see family and friends. One of the places I had the opportunity to visit was Auschwitz. Chills went down my spine with every step as I looked up and down the narrow corridors and into the cells. To think, only some decades ago, unimaginable horrors took place within these walls. How humbling it was to know that someone’s humanity was stripped from them, right where I was standing. How humbling it was to realize, my family members died there.
Up until his recent death, not a day went by where my grandfather did not allude to the horrors he witnessed in his childhood. If you come to Poland, I can show you the ridge where Gdansk was first attacked; it is 20 minutes from my home. I can describe to you the hundreds of memorials my grandfather showed me, that commemorate the innocent lives lost during the occupation. Together, he and I brought candles and flowers to the graves of those who lost their innocent lives. My grandfather engrained the impact of injustice into my heart, that when I see it, I cannot help but speak out.
Shame on you, for being so arrogant, and assuming I don’t understand injustice.
Have you considered that maybe it is YOU who does not?
A man of honour my grandfather was. Until his death he often spoke out against the tyranny of the powerful, especially in respect to the unborn child. He was pro-life in every respect and it was he who brought the comparison alive for me. I will concretely justify it in a moment, but before then I repeat:
How dare you all assume that we do not understand injustice? Why would you not think to ask for a clarification, rather than continue making assumptions? The fruit of ignorance is often injustice.
If my witness is insufficient, I implore you to accuse Dr. Alveda King (the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.) of being insensitive. For being a pro-life advocate who often attends GAP displays, she could not possibly understand injustice. I DARE you to assert that.
Here ends my appeal to emotion.
Although a modest account (novels could be filled with this), here is the reason behind the comparison as presented by organizations like the CCBR.
I will start off by defining genocide and then draw points of comparison between the Holocaust and abortion.
What is genocide?
“The deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, racial, religious, political, cultural, ethnic, or other group defined by the exterminators as undesirable”
(Webster’s New World Encylopedia 1992)
Comparison 1: The denial of personhood
- “The Reichsgericht itself refused to recognize Jews as ‘persons’ in the legal sense (German Supreme Court, 1936)
- “Canada does not recognize the unborn child as a legal person”
(Canadian Supreme Court, 1997)
Comparison 2: Victims seen as a burden
- The Nazis saw the elderly and the disabled as ‘useless eaters’ and were not fit to deserve life, and thus considered a burden
- Sick, disabled, and simply ‘unwanted’ unborn children are considered a burden on society
Comparison 3: Sheer volumes killed
- 6 million Jews, 5 Million others
- 42 million children die in abortion every year
The reason why this claim is justified is because abortion intentionally destroys an innocent life. It is systematic (1 in 4 pregnancies results in an abortion, and in Canada for all those who didn’t know, it is legal through ALL 9 MONTHS). And lastly, the target group are specifically the unborn.
The expected objection here would be that you still can’t compare the two because ‘a fetus is not a human’.
What an embarrassing objection for any Queen’s student. I’m positive that passing grade 4 science was a pre-requisite for University. The basic principal of Biogenesis affirms that the unborn are, and can only be, HUMAN. What is in the womb is alive, whole, and human. Although it changes in size, level of development, environment, and dependency, these changes are not unlike those experienced throughout the course of our lives. You may go to argue that although human, it is not a ‘person’. Re-read a couple lines up, in 1936, neither was a Jew in Germany. Subjective claims about personhood do not trump objective claims about the scientific principles of human development. But my intention here is not to give a thorough account of pro-life apologetics; we have Queen’s Alive for that. This piece is primarily to defend the comparison.
Although this was a modest account for why our comparison is justified, it emphasizes the most important comparison – that in all circumstances, the fate for the targeted HUMAN group is systematic death.
That being said, I humbly request to clarify the misleading statement Queen’s Hillel wrote that we compare the ‘annihilation of the entire Jewish people to a right of women to control their bodies’. We do not compare the choice to kill millions of innocent Jews to the choice of whether a woman will or will not get a haircut, a piercing, or a tattoo. We do however compare the choice to kill innocent Jews to the choice to kill an innocent human child. I do not like constructive ambiguity; it breeds ignorance.
I apologize for anyone who misunderstood our intentions. If you are left unconvinced, ask questions guided by reason, not simply your passions.
We realize the images are hard to look at, especially for post-abortive women. But what ends up happening (and this we can attest to through experience) is that many post abortive women come and stand with us, because their experience is something that they would not wish on anyone. Consider the work of Silent No More for example. The point of GAP is not to single out post-abortive women, but it is to make EVERYONE think about the issue in a framework they may not have considered before.
So to close, a final note on the images: the reason why we use them is because they are all we have. Apart from the inspiring testimonies from abortion survivors (look up Gianna Jessen for example), the unborn have no voice. Images are the only way to adequately show injustice.
Repeating the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “America will not reject racism, until America sees racism”, Dr. Alveda King follows by saying: “America will not rejection abortion, until America sees abortion”.
President, Queen’s Alive