Pro-life rally dishonest

Graphic abortion protest employs dishonest tactics, doing a disservice to the cause.

The graphic posters displayed by pro-life protestors in front of Coffman Union have been hard to miss this week. The large pictures of aborted fetuses next to pictures of victims of the Holocaust and other genocides were meant to bring loud attention to what many feel is a depraved practice indicative of the devaluation of human life. However, setting aside all ideologies regarding abortion, referring to abortion as genocide is factually incorrect, misleading, and does nothing to encourage healthy debate. Abortion may or may not be murder; that is for you to decide. But as the Oxford English Dictionary understands it, abortion is certainly not genocide. First, genocide is systematic. There exists no deliberate and organized effort to destroy all fetuses, though there does exist an organized effort to provide women with abortions. Second, fetuses do not belong to any particular ethnic or national group and their destruction is not motivated by such a category. To present abortion as genocide âÄî surely a stunt to gain attention âÄî amounts to extreme intellectual dishonesty, and does not encourage cool-headed debate. This particular dishonesty offended many members of groups who have been the target of genocide in the past. The bloody videos and images are meant to provoke a visceral reaction, but placing large, prominent photos of genocide victims and swastikas next to those of aborted fetuses is a cynical way to shock and disgust those passing by. This also overshadows the arguments presenters are trying to make. Those of pro-life persuasion should be disappointed by such self-defeating tactics. We challenge both sides of the debate to find honest and inviting ways to present their views.