News and Commentary

Student Slams ‘Pale Faces’ Of The Pro-Life Movement Who ‘Compare Abortion To Slavery And The Holocaust’

On April 21, during a “Speak Out for Justice” open mic event, University of Minnesota-Duluth student Reilly Manzer read a poem, part of which slammed the pro-life movement for analogizing abortion to slavery:

I’m f***ing tired of the pale faces of the pro-life group that compare abortion to slavery and the Holocaust, and then go and complain to the university that they’re being discriminated against because people call them the f*** out!

Here’s the full video [Language Warning]:

I have several issues with Manzer’s poem. First, he only appears to care if individuals with light skin compare abortion to the atrocities of slavery and the Holocaust. Is he equally troubled when such comparisons are made by people of color?

Second, there’s a very specific reason some in the pro-life movement make these comparisons. In the days of slavery, African-American slaves were not considered fully human. Slave-owners didn’t have to feel guilty because they could argue that the people they were using and mistreating weren’t fully human. In a similar fashion, in 1930s and 1940s Germany, the Jewish population was considered less than human, and were marked for extermination. We now recognize that the standards set by slave-owners and German authorities for what constituted “human” were arbitrary and heinous.

Today, the preborn are considered less than human by many people. Proponents of abortion set arbitrary standards defining “life,” and unless those standards are met, anything “less than” is terminable.

We know, however, that from the moment of conception, a zygote is a distinct human entity. Ronan R. O’Rahilly and Fabiola Muller write in “Human Embryology & Teratology” that “fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.”

In the book “Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 8th edition,” authors Keith L. Moore, T.V.N. Persaud, and Mark G. Torchia write:

The scientific answer is that the embryo is a human being from the time of fertilization because of its human chromosomal constitution. The zygote is the beginning of a developing human.

Given what we know scientifically, any definition of “human” that begins later than fertilization is arbitrary. To terminate these human lives is akin to the termination of any other human life.

The comparison to the Holocaust is apt because in any given year, hundreds of thousands of abortions are performed in the United States alone. Since the passage of Roe v. Wade, more than 60 million preborn have been terminated. That is a genocide that anyone, “pale face” or not, should recognize.