Michael Knowles Offers ‘The Case Against Murder,’ An Anti-Abortion Speech, At University Of Wisconsin-Madison
Michael Knowles.
Young America’s Foundation and Jamie Link Photography

On Wednesday, Daily Wire podcast host Michael Knowles gave a speech on abortion, titled “The Case Against Murder,” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison — but not without the school putting up a fight.

As previously reported, in the run-up to the speech, Young America’s Foundation (YAF), which hosted the speech, was informed by college administrators “that they would have to pay $4,271.17 for six police officers, a metal detector, and other security-related costs” despite student groups not having been charged for security before.

When Knowles reached the podium on Wednesday, he spoke first about the attempt by the university to “extort” YAF.

“I should also thank the UW-Madison administration for failing to cancel this lecture,” Knowles stated to applause. “I understand it wasn’t for lack of trying. … the administrators here attempted to extort the students who invited me for over $4,000 in an unprecedented, last-minute security fee.”

Knowles noted that the security fee wasn’t to protect students from him, but to protect the speaker and those in attendance from individuals who would protest the event.

The administration did eventually back down from demanding the security fee, though they did not admit any fault. “Solely to ensure that the speaker event moves forward in this tight timeframe, the contract is being revised to remove charges related to the extensive security protocols,” Nancy Lynch, UW-Madison’s vice chancellor for legal affairs, wrote.

After addressing the fee, Knowles began his lecture in earnest.

“The belief that murder is wrong should not have to be explained at an elementary school, much less at a university,” Knowles said. “But as our culture and education system have decayed, we have become confused even about basic matters of right and wrong.”


Knowles then went into the history of how pre-born life has been viewed in the United States. By law, abortion was outlawed for much of American history, Knowles stated, even though it was neither practical nor safe, and the details of fetal formation were not well understood.

As our understanding of biology changed, so did our laws and views on abortion, Knowles then noted. “Then in 1973, the Supreme Court discovered a previously unidentified constitutional right to murder babies,” he said. “That supposed right seems to have eluded the men who wrote the Constitution, as well as the nine generations of Americans who lived between the ratification and Roe v. Wade.”

As Roe “began to crumble” with the advancement of the pro-life movement, the Supreme Court decided in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that “viability” was the new standard for abortion, and states could decide later in the pregnancy.

Knowles then noted, to much applause, that the case that overturned Roe “returned our law and our jurisprudence to what had been the norm for most of American history, when abortion was not considered a right, and usually, was simply outlawed.”

Knowles continued, laying out the case against pro-abortion activists, including a broadside against the argument that a “fetus” or “zygote” is not a human, despite the fact that those terms simply describe a stage of development for a human being, not whether or not it is indeed human.

“In any case, these are different stages, and nevertheless, no particular stage between the beginning and the end either confers or negates our humanity. We are human the whole time.”

After delineating the historical, legal, and constitutional arguments against abortion, Knowles moved onto the final question: Is abortion moral?

He set up the framework — is it moral to kill a plant, an animal, etc? Yes, Knowles argued. Animals aren’t rational, and they are naturally part of the human diet. He specifically noted the irony of many leftists being morally against the killing of animals, but pro-abortion.

“Next question: Is it okay to kill bad guys? It depends,” Knowles said. “It seems to be perfectly fine for the government … to kill certain bad guys. That has been the moral and legal tradition in our civilization, and in every civilization, for all of history.”

Knowles, again, noted the irony that many leftists want to abolish the death penalty.

As for vigilante killings, Knowles argued that such extrajudicial executions not only defy the authority structure created by the law, but also pose unnecessary dangers.

Knowles contrasted this idea with many elected and unelected leftists who have looked the other way when BLM was committing violence, and have even actively advocated for violence against those who disagree with their views.

Knowles then spoke of killing in self-defense, which he argued was reasonable — though some leftists disagree — as well as suicide, which he argued was morally wrong.

“So, for those still keeping score, the libs oppose killing animals, murderers, and people who are trying to kill you, but they support killing their private enemies and innocent little babies. The Left’s position on killing seems to get weirder and weirder the more we examine it.”

“Now, we finally arrive at the core question: is it ever okay to kill the innocent?” Knowles began his conclusion. “Obviously, we wouldn’t be killing them in self-defense. We wouldn’t be killing them because they committed a crime. And we wouldn’t be killing them to protect the common good because (one) they’re part of the community—because they’re people—and (two) they actually advance the common good. Because they’re innocent. Therefore, it is never acceptable under any circumstances to kill the innocent, including the most vulnerable among us—innocent little babies.”

“Because it’s wrong to commit murder. In an earlier and saner age, we could have settled that question in pretty much those five words,” he continued. “Today, however, we’re more confused. We’ve made an idol of choice—a false kind of liberty—and we prefer it to reason. We mistakenly think that’ll make us better off. Because we forget that when society rejects reason, it necessarily conducts politics through irrational violence, which we see increasingly around us and which imperils not only our liberty but also our very lives.”

Following his lecture, the Daily Wire host proceeded to the Q&A portion of the event, during which he answered questions about IVF, surrogacy, transgenderism, debating political and cultural issues, and several other topics.

During one exchange, a student attempted to compare a pre-born baby to an organ, but Knowles rebutted:

During another, a woman stormed off while Knowles was answering, referring to him as “Matt”:

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Michael Knowles Offers ‘The Case Against Murder,’ An Anti-Abortion Speech, At University Of Wisconsin-Madison