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Why Abortion is Genocide

Gregg Cunningham


As part of its Genocide Awareness Project, The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform exhibits large photo murals comparing aborted babies with Jewish Holocaust victims, African Americans killed in racist lynchings, Native Americans exterminated by the US Army, etc. Our purpose is to illuminate the conceptual similarities which exist between abortion and more widely recognized forms of genocide. This is important because perpetrators of genocide always call it something else and the word "abortion" has, therefore, lost most of its meaning.


Visual depictions of abortion are indispensable to the restoration of that meaning because abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words fail us when we attempt to describe its horror. Abortion will continue to be trivialized as "the lesser of two evils," or perhaps even "a necessary evil," as long as it is allowed to remain an invisible abstraction. Pictures make it impossible for anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty to maintain the pretense that "it's not a baby" and "abortion is not an act of violence." Pictures also make clear to people of conscience the fact that abortion is an evil whose magnitude is comparable to that of any "crime against humanity." Educators properly use shocking imagery to teach about genocide and we insist on the right to do the same.


We call this endeavor the Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) because Webster's New World Encyclopedia, Prentice Hall General Reference, 1992, defines "genocide" as "The deliberate and systematic destruction of a national, racial, religious, political, cultural, ethnic, or other group defined by the exterminators as undesirable." That definition readily applies to abortion. The "national group" is American "unwanted" unborn children and they are now being destroyed at the rate of nearly 1 out of every 3 conceived. They are being terminated in an elaborate network of killing centers.


U.S. News & World Report, December 7, 1998, in an article entitled "Abortion: the untold story," quotes the Alan Guttmacher Institute as follows: "By 1992 ... there were 2,400 abortion facilities ..." in the U.S. The story adds that "... 70 percent of women of childbearing age lived in counties with abortion facilities ..." and "... only 8 percent of the women who got abortions in 1992 ... drove more than 100 miles..." to terminate their pregnancies. The article concludes with the admission that "... abortion-rights advocates acknowledge they don't personally know of women who wanted ... an abortion but were denied one."

The reason for the ubiquity of abortion is, in part, its universal availability. Abortion is legal through all 9 months of pregnancy in all 50 states. Roe vs. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 1973, established the right to abort but Doe vs. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179, 1973, ruled at page 192, that no abortion could be prohibited if sought to terminate a pregnancy which threatens a woman's health. The Court defined "health" so broadly as to include "emotional, psychological, familial, and ... age ..." related factors, which made it functionally impossible for any government to prohibit any abortion. It should also be noted that the "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution nullifies state law to the contrary. Additionally, these abortions are provided through a highly extensive system of extermination.

The Guttmacher Institute ( also reports that 16 states fund Medicaid abortions without restriction and the foregoing U.S. News article reveals that the privately operated National Network of Abortion Funds finances abortions through 57 accounts in 29 states.

The apparatus which exterminates unborn children can't get much more "systematic" than that.


It is easy, however, to understand why there is so much confusion over the definition of the word "genocide." The Cambridge International Dictionary of English, Cambridge University Press, 1996, defines genocide as: "The murder of a whole group of people, esp. a whole nation, race, religious group, etc." The "etc." with which the definition ends emphasizes the evolving nature of the criteria by which victim classes are defined. But this definition's reference to the murder of "whole" groups and nations was already obsolete as it was being published.


Pol Pot's murder of 1 out of every 4 Cambodians is invariably described as "genocide" despite the fact that the perpetrators shared the same ethnicity and nationality as their victims and were not trying to kill "a whole nation." They only attempted to murder Cambodians deemed a threat to the Khmer Rouge revolution.

Time magazine, August 16, 1999, reports on the trials of Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia:

Since Pol Pot eliminated all those with education or knowledge of the outside world, Phnom Penh became a city of country people, as well as a city of orphans and you still cannot find doctors or teachers or lawyers of a certain age.

And dictionary definitions of genocide have little to do with total numbers of victims. The recent killings of "only" 1 out every 20 Bosnians were widely described as "genocide" despite constituting only a small fraction of the numbers of European Jews (3 out of every 4) slaughtered in the Holocaust. Six million Jews died in all but by 1998, at least 38 million unborn children have been killed in this country just since 1973.


Some might argue that abortion is not genocide because genocide is a mass "hate crime" and most aborting mothers don't "hate" their unborn children. That may be true (though immaterial) concerning mothers but it certainly isn't true of abortionists and abortion advocates. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, declared war on "unwanted" children with her motto, "every child a wanted child." Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/South Dakota, for instance, has run newspaper advertisements which read in part "BABIES ARE LOUD, SMELLY, AND EXPENSIVE. UNLESS YOU WANT ONE. 1-800-230-PLAN." This hate-filled attack on "unwanted" unborn babies is couched in the language of bigotry. This is the dehumanizing rhetoric of genocide. Substitute for the word "babies" the name of any racial group and every mainstream newspaper in the country would rightly reject this mean-spirited ad.


This relentless, hateful, propaganda assault against "unwanted" unborn children has now been merged with overt racism. On August 9th, 1999 the Associated Press reported a story headlined "Study suggests link between crime drop, legal abortions," with a sub-headline which said "Researchers conclude that unwanted children are the most likely to break the law."

The authors also conclude that unwanted children are most likely to commit crimes as adults and those most likely to give birth to unwanted children are teen-agers, minorities and the poor. Those are also the people most likely to choose abortion, the study found.

* * *

Judge Richard Posner, chief judge of the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago called it '... a demonstration of the common-sensical point that unwanted children are quite likely not to turn out to be the best citizens.'

Is the judge saying that a high percentage racial minorities don't turn out to be "the best citizens?" Would he advocate the killing of "unwanted" minority newborn children?" How does he feel about killing "unwanted" minority children butchered in the process of being born (as in "partial-birth" abortion)? Where and why would he draw the age line in targeting minority children for genocide?


Should the phrase "hate crime" be defined by the character of the "feelings" a perpetrator harbors toward his victim or the nature of the "behavior" by which he victimizes? A New York Times article, appearing in the August 13, 1999 Orange County Register (CA), reported the publication of the memoirs of Adolph Eichmann, the SS official who oversaw the deportation and murder of millions of Jews during World War II. He also promoted the use of gas chambers in the death camps. The sub-headline for the article reads: "The Nazi who led Germany's genocide against Jews contended obedience, not hate guided him." Surely the fact that he didn't "hate" his victims (if true) would make him no less guilty of monumental hate crimes.


Slavery and the legacy of "Jim Crow" was also an extremely "hateful" form of genocide but slave-owner Thomas Jefferson rationalized that he "loved" his slaves. On Jefferson's "kindness" toward them, author Virginius Dabney quotes Edmund Bacon, overseer at Monticello from 1806 to 1822 in his book The Jefferson Scandals, A Rebuttal, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1981: "Mr. Jefferson ... would not allow them to be overworked and he would hardly ever allow one of them to be whipped." How's that for "love?"

John Chester Miller, in his book The Wolf by the Ears, The Free Press, 1977, says Jefferson did not hate his slaves: "Jefferson prided himself upon being a 'good' master; kindly, compassionate and considerate of his servitors' well-being." He adds, however, "Even so, about thirty of his slaves ran off to the British army during the War of Independence, thereby depriving Jefferson of the agreeable illusion that kind treatment was a credible substitute for emancipation."

In his book The Constitutional Principles of Thomas Jefferson, Caleb Perry Patterson, University of Texas Press, 1953, argues that Jefferson was caught up in astounding self-justification:

... it was Jefferson's humane feeling for his slaves that kept him from freeing them. To free the ordinary slave was not very different from starting him on the road to starvation. Or as Jefferson put it ... like abandoning children.

Would Jefferson's "humane feeling" for his slaves make slavery any less a crime against humanity?

Merrill D. Peterson adds in Thomas Jefferson And The New Nation, New York Oxford University Press, 1970 that " ... to turn loose the mass of slaves would have been, in his eyes, an act of heartless cruelty." What could be more "heartless" and "cruel" than slavery? Yet Jefferson's greed drove him to such self delusion that he saw its repudiation as "an act of heartless cruelty." This is not, of course, unlike the supposed "duty to abort" "unwanted" children in order to spare them lives of "hardship." Never mind that it is the selfish desires of born people which really motivate the "magnanimous" killing of the unborn. And so it was with Jefferson's oppression of his slaves. But Jefferson was as embarrassed by his avarice as are today's pro-aborts.

Dumas Malone, in his book The Sage of Monticello Little, Brown and Company, 1981 describes the head games Jefferson played with the euphemisms he employed to rationalize his ownership of slaves:

He resented the designation of these unfortunate human beings as property. He did not even like to call them slaves. When referring to those in his own possession, he generally spoke of them as servants or as his 'people.'

The dream world quality of Jefferson's self-serving rhetoric calls to mind awkward feminist references to "pregnancy termination" as they refuse to even say the word "abortion."

Jefferson fantasized an obligation to brutalize blacks. Virginius Dabney quotes in The Jefferson Scandals, A Rebuttal, supra, an 1811 letter from Jefferson to John Lynch stating that "... to emancipate one's Negroes would be a betrayal of duty, since only a few exceptional slaves could fend for themselves." This is precisely the argument made by self-conscious pro-aborts who demand the deaths of fetuses who "might be born into poverty and thereby burden society."

It is cold comfort to an aborted baby that his mother didn't "hate" him.


There is, of course, a consensus in the scientific community that human life begins at the instant a human egg is fertilized by a human sperm. The widely used medical textbook The Developing Human, Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition, Moore, Persaud, Saunders, 1998, states at page 2 that "The intricate processes by which a baby develops from a single cell are miraculous .... This cell [the zygote] results from the union of an oocyte [egg] and sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being ...." At page 18 this theme is repeated: "Human development begins at fertilization [emphasis in original] ...."


"Humanity," however, is quite different from "personhood." As seen above, the humanity of the unborn child is a matter of objective science. Personhood, however, is a legal status which society can confer upon or withhold from a class of human beings as a function of the subjective values which inform our "politics." In the medical ethics text entitled Abortion, Medicine and the Law, 4th Edition, Butler & Walbert, p.18, Facts On File, 1992, personhood is discussed in the context of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade, supra: "... [T]he Court specifically repudiated the claim that fetuses are persons within the meaning of the fourteenth amendment ...."

We, therefore, know when life begins but we must decide at what point in the development of that life, we, as a society, will confer rights of personhood, the most fundamental of which is the right to not be slaughtered. The competing developmental points at which society might grant personhood include fertilization of the ovum, implantation of the blastocyst, viability of the fetus (ability to survive outside the uterus), birth, or the passage of some period following birth (in his book Practical Ethics, Peter Singer, Cambridge University Press, 1993, Professor Singer of Princeton University, shockingly advocates the denial of personhood until one month following a child's birth).

So terms such as zygote, blastocyst, embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, adolescent, adult, etc. merely describe arbitrarily defined stages in the biological development of a human life. But the inclusiveness with which we extend rights of personhood defines our collective morality. Are we greedy or generous? Are we brutal or compassionate?


Dominant societies have traditionally been selfish in the way they grant personhood. Ours is no exception. When a vulnerable group gets in our way or has something we want, we tend to define personhood in terms which exclude them. Indians got in the way of Westward settlement so we said they were subhuman to justify taking their land. We wanted the uncompensated work product of blacks so we said they were subhuman to justify taking their freedom. Unborn children have gotten in the way of our "liberation" so we say they are subhuman to justify taking their lives.


In a crude attack piece featured in the April 12, 1990 issue of Parade magazine, the late Carl Sagan, a viciously pro-abortion astro-physicist, mocked unborn children as animals, comparing them with "segmented worms," "fish," "amphibians," "newts," "tadpoles," "reptiles" and "pigs." Dr. Sagan's language was as mean and hateful as that of any racist. Note the parallel with an article appearing in Time magazine, August 23, 1999, which reported that many neo-nazis who are members of the white supremacist group, Aryan Nation believe "... non-whites are 'mud people' on the level of animals."


Dr. Sagen conveniently overlooked the fact that an unborn baby's heart is beating by about the end of the third week after fertilization. "Heart activity begins by day 22 of ... [embryonic] life." (van Heeswijk, Nijhuis & Hollanders, "Fetal heart rate in early pregnancy," Early Human Development, 22, 1990). An embryo's brain is so fully formed by six weeks (before most surgical abortions are performed) that it is producing brain wave activity which will register on an electroencephalogram. Brain wave activity is the legal standard by which we determine whether adult victims of illness or injury are dead or alive. (Manlin, H. M.D., "Life of Death by EEG," The Journal of the American Medical Association, 190 (2) (12 October 1964): 112-114).


This disturbing pattern of disputing someone' s humanity to weaken his claims to rights of personhood repeats itself again and again in U.S. history. Frank Tannenbaum, in his book Slave and Citizen, Knopf (1947), estimates that there were 13 to 20 million blacks captured for shipment to the New World from the 16th century to the middle of the 19th. Of this total, he says 1/3rd died inland on their way to the African coast, 1/3rd died crossing the Atlantic and 1/3rd reached the New World more or less alive. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court declared blacks "... a subordinate and inferior class of beings ..." in its decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford, 60 U.S. 393, 1856. It was then broadly legal to kill slaves.

The type of propaganda which made the Court' s ruling inevitable is described in the book Ota Benga: The Pygmy In The Zoo, Phillips Bradford and Harvey Blume, Delta, 1992. The authors quote an appalling New York Times description of a black African man brought to America and displayed in the Monkey House at the Bronx Zoo in New York in 1906. "... [T]he pygmy was not much taller than the orangutan and one had a good opportunity to study their points of resemblance. Their heads are much alike and both grin in the same way when pleased." When powerful majorities use perverse form and function comparisons to dehumanize powerless minorities, genocide often follows.

Eager to rationalize his ownership of slaves, even Thomas Jefferson questioned their humanity. Concerning black intelligence, Virginius Dabney quotes in The Jefferson Scandals, A Rebuttal, supra, from Thomas Jefferson' s Notes on Virginia: "...[I]t appears to me that ... in reason [blacks are] much inferior [to whites] ... and that in imagination they are dull, tasteless and anomalous ...." Merrill D. Peterson adds in Thomas Jefferson And The New Nation, supra, that Jefferson also compared blacks to orangutans (page 262).


The campaign to impugn the humanity of both the "unwhite" and "unborn" can follow its victims even into their graves. On August 4, 1964, the bodies of three murdered civil rights workers were unearthed near Philadelphia, Mississippi. The parents of the white activists, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner wanted their sons buried beside their black co-worker James Chaney. That, however, was forbidden by Mississippi' s segregation laws. According to the book Eyes On The Prize, Juan Williams, Penguin, 1988, page 235, Chaney was buried alone in a black cemetery.

Virtually the same thing happened to the unborn children, more than twenty years later. The July 3, 1984 Los Angeles Times reported:

More than 16,000 fetuses stored by Los Angeles County since they were found in a repossessed shipping bin in 1982 cannot be given burial as human remains, the state Court of Appeals has ruled.

The Los Angeles Herald, on July 10, 1984, editorialized:

Truth is, the pro-abortion litigants -- and the Court of Appeals -- wouldn' t be satisfied with even a non-sectarian burial. They object to the fetuses being buried at all [favoring instead, incineration as medical waste], because that would seem to support anti-abortionists' claims that the fetuses are, or were, human beings.


This practice of dehumanizing disfavored minorities also helped facilitate genocide against Native Americans. According to Donald Slotkin' s Regeneration Through Violence, Wesleyan University Press, 1973, William Bradford, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, set the tone for countless whites who would denounce the Indian as "a wild beast ...." In 1881, writing in The American Law Review, 15 (January):21-37, legal scholar George F. Canfield opined that "an Indian is not a person within the meaning of the Constitution." He added that:

Congress may prevent an Indian leaving his reservation, and while he is on a reservation it may deprive him of his liberty, his property, his life .... Congress may break its treaties with him as it may repeal a statute.

It was then broadly legal to kill Native Americans.

According to Parade magazine, Sunday, July 18, 1999, American Indians are "... the country' s poorest, sickest and least-educated minority. They have the highest suicide rate and lowest life expectancy. Alcohol addiction is rampant." Their plight is no doubt a product of their terrible mistreatment by the dominant culture.

The Orange County Register (CA) carried a Boston Globe story on August 8th, 1999, headlined "Records detail Vermont sterilization project," with a subhead which read "Social scientists in the '20s and 30s hoped to weed out ' degenerate' bloodlines." The story reported:

... the Vermont Eugenics Survey' s 12 year study of ' good' families and ' bad' families, which was widely circulated among policy-makers and culminated in a law providing for the sterilization of several hundred poor, rural Vermonters, Abenaki Indians and other people deemed unfit to reproduce [emphasis added].

More recently, The Orange County Register (CA), May 31, 1999, reported death threats (" Save a whale, harpoon a Makah" ) against members of the Makah Native American tribe who killed a gray whale off the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. The article quotes David T. Wellman, a research sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the book Portraits of White Racism, Cambridge University Press, 1993:

'When you start hearing language that it' s time to hunt Indians again, you have to realize that' s the language of genocide,' Wellman said. A necessary presupposition is that Indians are subhuman, ' huntable' like animals .... 'Violent racism is almost never recognized as racism while it's happening; it's called something else,'

Wellman said.

That's why the violence of abortion is called "choice" instead of "baby-killing." And violence against Indians is still happening at shocking levels. A New York Times News Service story dated February 15, 1999, is headlined "Study: Violent crimes against Indians twice U.S. average:"

American Indians are victims of violent crimes at more than twice the national average and, unlike the situation among whites and blacks where the large majority of crime victims are of the same race as the perpetrators, 70% of those committing crimes against Indians are of a different race, according to the first comprehensive study of crimes involving Indians, which was released ... [recently] by the Justice Department.


In his medical textbook Abortion Practice, Alpenglo Graphics, 1990, Warren Hern, M.D., compares the unborn child to a "parasite." "Parasite" was the exact word Hitler used to dehumanize Jews in his grotesquely anti-Semitic Mein Kampf, translated by Ralph Manheim, Houghton Mifflin (1971). Slurs of this sort paved the way for Hitler, IN 1935, to sign The Nuremberg Laws which codified the exclusion of Jews from German society. The next year the Reichsgericht, Germany' s highest court would legalize the Holocaust. It was then broadly legal to kill Jews. The U.S. Supreme Court' s decision in Roe did the same to the unborn in 1973, ruling that "the word person ... does not include the unborn." It was then broadly legal to kill unborn children.


Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin of Brooklyn, New York, a prominent pro-life activist, agrees that abortion is genocide. He says that it can fairly be compared to the Holocaust, lynchings and every other crime against humanity. The rabbi argues that:

Each form of genocide, whether Holocaust, lynching, abortion, etc., differs from all the others in the motives and methods of its perpetrators. But each form of genocide is identical to all the others in that it involves the systematic slaughter, as state sanctioned "choice," of innocent, defenseless victims -- while denying their "personhood."

When asked by the press what he thought of the GAP display on a university campus on which he was recently speaking, Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel said "I feel that it' s wrong. Once you start comparing, everyone loses." Perhaps Mr. Wiesel has never read Dr. Martin Luther King' s 1963 "Letter From The Birmingham Jail," which compared the brutalization of Jews in Germany with the brutalization of Blacks in America. (Later published in The Atlantic Monthly, August, 1963, under the title "The Negro Is Your Brother." ) In it, the great civil rights leader built on the consensus that the Holocaust wasn' t mere evil, it was intolerable evil. Dr. King helped create a similar consensus that the savagery of segregation wasn' t merely immoral. It was as intolerably immoral as the extermination of Jews. Our GAP pictures merely extend the logic of Dr. King' s comparison to help people of conscience understand that the victimization of an unborn child can' t fairly be trivialized as a nominal evil. It is an intolerable evil whose immensity is comparable to that of any other crime against humanity.

Jewish columnist Ben Stein echoes this sentiment in the May, 1998 issue of American Spectator magazine:

... [Pro-abortionists] cannot look at their handiwork or the handiwork they defend. Across the country, they shrink from photos of the babies killed in abortions. Through their mighty political groups, the pro-abortionists compel TV stations to refuse advertisements showing partial birth and other abortion artifacts. They will not even allow viewers (or themselves, I suspect) to see what their policies have wrought. They are, at least to my mind, like the Germans who refused to think about what was happening at Dachau and then vomited when they saw -- and never wanted to see again.

Jewish Rabbi Jacob Neusner posits a similar comparison of Holocaust genocide with abortion genocide. He is a professor of religion at the University of South Florida, Tampa and Bard College, New York. The Rabbi published an article containing the following excerpts in the October 26, 1998, issue of Christianity Today:

... [H]ow is mass abortion in the State of Israel such as is practiced by the secular (but not the religious) portion of the Israeli population not comparable to mass murder of Jewish Children in German Europe?

* * *

As the numbers mount up, when do considerations of volume enter in and validate calling the annihilation of millions of lives a Holocaust? I think they do. Here is a Holocaust today. Every Jewish child born in the State of Israel is a survivor of the Holocaust sustained by Israeli law.

* * *

The difference is, Germany has acknowledged its shame. But for the annual annihilation of tens of thousands of Jewish children, the State of Israel acknowledges nothing.


Many Americans defend "choice" by denying that they are "pro-abortion." They assert that they are actually" personally opposed" to abortion but don' t believe they have the right to impose that "choice" on others. But most people who refuse to legislate morality on abortion, will rightly outlaw the "choice" to brutalize African Americans. The effort to outlaw abortion, like the campaign to outlaw racial injustice, isn' t merely about personal morality. It is not merely about what a person does. It is about what a person does to another person.

The government should stay out of people' s bedrooms (at least until abortions start being performed there) but government neutrality on genocide is a myth, whether the victim class is defined in terms of age (as in abortion), race, ethnicity or religion, etc. If the government suddenly withdrew legal protections for African Americans, would the government be "staying out of race," or would it be taking the side of those who think the lynching of African Americans should be a matter of "personal choice?" Such governmental "neutrality" would obviously abandon blacks to renewed genocide. (A "Whites Only" Web site asserted on the Internet that John William King, convicted of lynching African American James Bird, Jr. by dragging him to death behind a pickup truck in Jasper, Texas, was guilty only of "animal cruelty," according to Newsweek, March 8, 1999).

Would a person be seizing the moral high ground by saying "I am personally opposed to lynching blacks, I just don't think lynching blacks should be against the law?" Would the "moderate," progressive position on race be to say "I don't advocate the lynching of blacks but I do believe in the right to lynch blacks?" Neither is it "moderate" or progressive to make that argument against unborn children.

Racist "states' rights" advocates, in fact, once embraced the classic "pro-choice" position: They argued that if abolitionists didn' t like slavery, their remedy was to not buy blacks. Like abortion today, the government didn' t mandate slavery, it was a matter of personal "choice." Unlike abortion today, the government didn' t subsidize slavery for whites too poor to buy their own Negroes. But those who "chose" slavery argued that they had a constitutional right to protect their property. No "outside agitator" had the right to shove their abolitionist (or integrationist during the "Jim Crow" period) morality down the throats of the planter class or the Ku Klux Klan.


So latter-day feminists dehumanize unborn children with the chant "it' s my body" but racists preceded them by dehumanizing slaves with the refrain "it' s my property." Dumas Malone, in his book Jefferson the President, Little, Brown and Company, 1974, says John Randolph opposed restrictions on slavery as impinging "... on the right of private property."


Others deny that abortion is genocide by insisting that the Holocaust and lynchings were "murder" and abortion is "choice." They say this because they believe Jews and blacks are "persons" but unborn children are not. Those who murdered Jews and blacks, however, denied the personhood of their victims just as vehemently as practitioners of abortion deny the personhood of the unborn.


Another startling parallel between the genocide of slavery and that of abortion can be seen in court decisions adjudicating issues related to the creation and abolition of each. Newsweek, October 26, 1998, in an article titled "Slavery' s Real ' Roots,' "reports"

By ... [1775], however, the plantation system had taken hold. America had become too dependent on slave labor to give it up easily. So the American Constitution chose slavery (albeit provisionally). And the nation justified the choice by formulating an ideology that made blacks into something less than human beings. The result, as historian Ira Berlin argues in a new book on slavery, Many Thousands Gone, Harvard University Press, 1998, is that African slavery became ' no longer just one of many forms of subordination -- a common enough circumstance in a world ruled by hierarchies -- but the foundation on which the social order rested.'

This is the same argument the U.S. Supreme Court offered in justification of its refusal to overturn Roe vs. Wade, supra, in its later decision in lanned Parenthood vs. Casey 505 U.S. 833, 1992. The plurality in Casey (O' Connor, Kennedy & Souter) made no serious attempt to justify abortion constitutionally or morally. They simply argued that the cost of ending abortion was too high:

... [F]or two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intricate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives. The Constitution serves human values and while the effect of reliance on Roe cannot be exactly measured, neither can the certain cost of overruling Roe for people who have ordered their thinking and living around that case be dismissed.

In his book Antislavery, Dwight Drumond, Norton, 1961, the author quotes from the decision handed down by the British high court which ended slavery in that country. Lord Mansfield settled the argument in the Sommersett Case, 98 English Reports, 509, 1773:

The state of slavery is ... so odious that nothing can be suffered to support it but positive law. Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision, I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England: And therefore the black must be discharged [emphasis added].

Halting the brutalization of blacks was inconvenient but the British (and later the Americans) were more committed to justice than convenience. Halting the brutalization of the unborn will also be inconvenient. Most contemporary British and Americans are now obviously more committed to convenience than they are to justice.

Convenience heavily influenced Jefferson' s view of justice concerning his own slaves. We read the following in The Jefferson Scandals, A Rebuttal, supra:

Since the number of slaves owned by Jefferson was in excess of two hundred at various periods, this constituted one of his principal assets. To have set them free would obviously have been a crushing financial blow.

The perceived financial burden of children is also listed by the Guttmacher Institute Web site, supra, as a primary motivator in the decision to abort.


But wouldn't the placement for adoption of "unwanted" children minimize the economic loss associated with unplanned pregnancy? Yes, but many mothers contemplating abortion report that they could never give their child up for adoption. This mentality is difficult to distinguish from the spitefulness of a divorced father who murders his newborn to avoid the pain of losing custody of the child to his former wife. Or as psychologist Dr. Laura Schlessinger has observed, it is reminiscent of the murder of an abandoned wife by a former husband who can' t bear the possibility of her becoming the object of another man' s affection. Narcissism on this scale is shameful beyond imagining.


Genocide' s participants and defenders are universally ashamed of their behavior, unless they are sociopathically incapable of humiliation. John Chester Miller, in his book The Wolf by the Ears, supra, says Jefferson "... even when he was president, bought and sold slaves. To conceal his part in these transactions, he used a third person." Merrill D. Peterson notes similarly in Thomas Jefferson And The New Nation, supra, that:

He sold lands occasionally and was finally pushed to the awful extremity of selling several families of slaves. (Not wishing to have his name linked publicly with a transaction of this kind, he arranged to have the slaves sold at some distance from their Bedford plantation.)

Likewise with abortion, Butler & Walbert note in Abortion, Medicine and the Law, Facts on File, 1992, that the Court in Roe vs. Wade, supra at 153, "... build its doctrinal framework on the constitutional right to privacy, which it thought ' broad enough to encompass a woman' s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.' "Whether the issue is racism or abortion, privacy is vital to those who are ashamed of their conduct.

Los Angeles abortionist Edward Alred has been sued in a class-action lawsuit filed by 125 former abortion patients who alleged that he negligently disposed of their abortion records (and those of some 10,000 other women) in open trash bins where the records later came into the possession of others. Women who abort are more victim than oppressor but privacy is so important to abortion "patients" that many cover their faces while entering and leaving abortion clinics. This desperate desire for anonymity is never displayed by women seeking any other treatment at any other type of "health care" facility. (After the procedure is once again criminalized, women should never be criminally charged, in part, because a high precentage are coerced by threats of abandonment -- express or implied -- by boyfriends who don' t want to marry them or pay child support, fathers who don' t want to be embarrassed by the "scandal" of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and by husbands who don' t want to compromise a life-style dependent on the second income earned by their now pregnant wife).

Cleveland, Ohio' s newspaper, The Plane Dealer, reported a Ku Klux Klan rally in their Sunday, August 22, 1999 issue, with a photo caption of the "grand dragon" whom the paper described as "... one of the few Klansmen who did not wear a hood over his face."


Nor have women escaped this tragic trend. Stephen Jay Gould notes in The Mismeasure of Man, Norton & Co., 1981, that Darwin disciple Gustave Le Bon (the father of social psychology) believed:

[Even in] the most intelligent races [there] are large numbers of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains.

* * *

Women represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and ... are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man.

Impugning the "humanity" of women made it easier, of course, to deny them such personhood rights as sufferage, the right to hold property, obtain the best education for which they were academically qualified, obtain the best job for which they were occupationally qualified, be justly compensated for services rendered, etc., etc., etc.

William Brennan, in his book Dehumanizing the Vulnerable, Loyola University Press, 1995, (see generally for further discussion of several of the foregoing examples) explains that belittling of female personhood also created a climate in which Mississippi was able to legalize wife beating in 1824 and "other states soon followed suit." It is impossible to know how many women were killed by this genocidal custom but we do know that it considerably pre-dated the Mississippi act and remains widely -- though now unlawfully (at least in this country) -- practiced to this day.


Is it fair to compare the killing of an unborn child with the killing of a victim of tradition genocide? Of course, not least because huge numbers of victims of traditional genocide are also children. Time magazine, August 16, 1999, in an article (" Into The Shadows" ) on the genocide trials of Khmer Rouge leaders in Cambodia, comments on the numbers of children, slaughtered in the "Killing Fields," whose photos are displayed at a grim museum: " ... [H]undreds upon hundreds of black-and-white faces stare back at you, dazed or terrified, recalling the people, often children ... who were executed here."

In the Fall of 1998, The Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C., sponsored a special exhibit entitled "Remembering The Children [Of The Holocaust]." Many were, in fact, newborn infants. Time, December 31, 1999 reports that "Hitler killed a million Jewish babies just for existing." What meaningful moral distinction can be drawn between the extermination of a newborn Jewish baby and the killing of any contemporary late-term unborn baby?


Expanding the definition of genocide to include abortion may seem a stretch to some but its definition is being broadened all the time. The Associated Press reported on September 2, 1998, that United Nations judges with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, had ruled that "In Rwanda' s 1994 bloodbath, rape and sexual violence were brutally wielded as tools of genocide." The story was headlined "Rape as genocidal crime: U.N. ruling sets precedent."

A story in The Los Angeles Times, August 13, 1999, datelined "United Nations," reads:

For the first time in history, a woman has been charged with rape as a crime against humanity .... Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, a former Rwandan minister of family and women' s affairs, already faces a genocide charge before the U.N. war crimes tribunal for Rwanda for her alleged role in the slaughter of Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994. The tribunal ... allowed the rape charge to be added on grounds that the accused knew her subordinates were raping Tutsi women and failed to take measures to prevent or punish them.


How does rape as genocide relate to abortion as genocide? Time, January 18, 1999, featured an unimaginably bizarre article on rape in Jordan, entitled "The Price of Honor:"

Sirhan, a 35-year-old murderer, is cheerful and relaxed and happy to tell his story. He' s especially proud to describe the efficiency with which he shot his young sister Suzanne in the head four times last March. ' She came to the house at 8:15' he relates, ' and by 8:20 she was dead.' Three days before, the 16-year-old girl had reported to police that she had been raped. ' She committed a mistake, even if it was against her will,' says Sirhan. ' Anyway, it' s better to have one person die than to have the whole family die from shame.' His is not a logic rare in the Arab world.

This, of course, is precisely the "logic" which motivates Americans to kill an equally innocent unborn child who is as much a victim of rape as his assaulted mother: It is better that an unborn child be killed than that its family endure the shame, emotional trauma, etc. of the rape. The same thing happens in Bangladesh where The Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1991, reported that ... "a raped Bangladesh girl is threatened with death by male relatives ... [and rape victims] are usually refused political asylum by Western nations. These are customs, they are told, not human rights violations." And in India, The Los Angeles Times explained in its November 26, 1992 edition, raped girls are often sold into prostitution by relatives humiliated by the girls' violations. This is a virtual death sentence for more than a third of the prostitutes who will become HIV-positive in many Indian cities. But raped girls can become an economic burden to their families because they are viewed as "unclean" and no man is likely to find them desirable for marriage.


These are the same "economic burden" arguments often offered to justify abortion and the same notions of "uncleanness" imputed to babies conceived in rape and thereby rendered "unwanted." But will killing a baby conceived in rape somehow "unrape" its mother? Will the baby' s death miraculously heal her injury? Will killing this child cause her to forget the horror of her assault? Or will all the guilt and pain and injury of the rape simply be compounded by the guilt and pain and injury of the abortion? If it' s wrong for Jordanians to kill an innocent mother, how can it be right for Americans to kill her equally blameless baby; a baby whose life is being taken for all the same vacuous reasons? Shouldn' t we love them both? The prospective adoptive parents who are desperate to take this child into their family certainly would.


The definition of genocide is also evolving to include new forms of persecution against gays and lesbians. Homosexuals were specially targeted by the Nazis and continue to be victimized by hate violence. But the homosexual advocacy group Act Up ( now says inadequate appropriations for "AIDS prevention" is genocide. To dramatize the organization' s demands for increased funding of AIDS research, U.S. News and World Report, June, 15, 1998, says the group recently transported the emaciated body of its deceased leader to Washington, D.C. and paraded his open casket (not mere photos) around the White House.


Efforts are also well along to expand the definition of genocide to include even the extermination of animals. The Associated Press reported Sunday, June 27th, 1999, that Harvard University School of Law will join law schools at The University of California, San Francisco and Northwestern University in teaching "animal rights" law. The article contains an interview with Harvard law professor Stephen Wise:

But over the last 50 years, science has shown that some animals -- chimps in particular -- have extraordinary mental capacities beyond what the ancient Greeks, Romans and Hebrews ever imagined, said Wise, whose forthcoming book is called Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals. If they have a human-like intelligence, Wise said, shouldn' t that entitle them to human-type rights? While the concept may sound far-fetched, it wasn' t too long ago that women and blacks were denied rights because they were considered, to some degree, less than human, he said.

Racists compare African Americans with apes to justify the denial of rights to blacks and animal rights activists compare apes with humans to justify the granting of rights to monkeys. These are classic form and function arguments advanced to redefine personhood, the former more exclusively and the latter more inclusively.


Following the World War II war crimes trials at Nuremberg, the member states of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, more commonly known as the 1948 Genocide Treaty or "The Genocide Treaty." Article 2, paragraph (d) outlaws "Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group." The prohibition arguably condemns as genocide, coerced abortion and is assumed primarily to protect the interests of mothers of wanted unborn children and only secondarily the interests of their unborn children, if at all. We urge that the treaty also be applied to protect unwanted unborn children from the genocide of abortions their mothers "choose." Abortion is no more "chosen" by the baby who is its victim than extermination was chosen by any Jew involved in the "Final Solution" to the "Jewish Problem."


In more than a quarter century of pro-life activism, seven abortion providers have actually lost their lives. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says that since 1982 there have been 49 bombings and 150 acts of arson at abortion clinics (assuming that each of these property crimes was committed by someone whose motive was opposition to abortion is problematic). Each of the unconscionable killings was tactically stupid and morally indefensible. Each was carried out by a deranged individual acting alone. US Attorney General and arch pro-abort Janet Reno used the vast resources of the Justice Department to impanel a federal grand jury in Alexandria, VA for the purpose of investigating the alleged existence of a nationwide conspiracy of violence against abortion clinics and doctors. According to the March 10, 1996 Kansas City Star, no such conspiracy could be found. And every significant pro-life organization in the country has unambiguously condemned this violence.

Claims of pro-life "violence" are also exaggerated by pro-aborts who, for instance, fraudulently list "picketing" under ridiculous headings like "low-level violence" (see "State of Siege: Antiabortion Violence, 1993-1998" One is reminded of recent news stories reporting the hysterical claim by the left-wing American Association of University Women (AAUW) that huge numbers of elementary school girls are being sexually harassed by the little boys who are their classmates. Readers who persevered past the lurid headlines and tabloid sensationalism eventually reached the AAUW definition of sexual harassment, which included in essence "being looked at in a way which made me uncomfortable." But then the far left regularly cries wolf!

And the far left can be plenty violent itself. Several of our educational activities involve the public display of large photographs of aborted human embryos and fetuses. Our painful experience has taught us to expect unprovoked violence, or threats thereof, from pro-abortion activists nearly everywhere we exhibit these images. We have been victimized by attacks from passersby who rammed their car into one of our pro-life photo exhibits, nearly running over one of our staff. A pro-abortion newspaper columnist, in print, explicitly encouraged other motorists to do the same at one of our later displays (see above). Our staff has been punched. Objects have been thrown at us. One of our staff recently had a cup of hot coffee thrown directly in his face. Our signs have been attacked with a knife which police had to wrestle away from an assailant. Our signs have been repeatedly knocked down, punched, kicked and hit with all manner of thrown objects and substances. We have been the object of countless death threats from pro-aborts, many publicly shouted or posted on the Web. We are seldom able to display our pictures without the protection of armed police officers and crowd-control barricades.

But compare the real record of anti-abortion violence with the history of social reform discussed in a book by Clark Dougan, A Divided Nation, Boston Publishing (1984) and you get a different perspective. Dougan reports that the US Treasury Department estimates that 5,000 bombings took place across the nation between 1967 and 1970 (New York Times, October 11, 1970, reported that "… another 1,174 attempted bombings were forestalled either because the devices were discovered and disarmed or failed to work”). The majority were related to anti-Vietnam war protests. The Weather Underground, for instance, (a faction of the Revolutionary Youth Movement) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), terrorized the nation with bombings which destroyed the home of a judge, damaged the New York City Police Department and blew up restrooms in the US Senate and Pentagon buildings. A bombing at the University of Wisconsin did $6 million in property damage and claimed the life of an uninvolved graduate student.

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, 5,000 anti-war protestors clashed with 12,000 police, 6,000 National Guardsmen and 7,500 regular Army troops. Authorities responded to wide-spread rock-throwing with tear-gas and savage beatings.

In 1969, 300,000 anti-war demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C. and 500 of those rioted, attacking police and government buildings. Approximately 100 were arrested and an equal number were hospitalized.

In 1970, civil disobedience at Jackson State College in Mississippi was staged to protest the invasion of Cambodia. A battle ensued with police, state patrolmen and the National Guard, in which some 400 shots were fired at a dormitory, killing a student and an uninvolved local youth. Twelve other students were wounded.

Again in 1970, the Ohio National Guard shot 13 Kent State students at an anti-Vietnam War protest. Four of these students died and two of them had not even been involved in the protest. There was also anti-war rioting at Berkeley and Columbia and countless other places.

On the racial front, in 1965, 6 days of rioting in the Watts section of Los Angeles left 34 people dead and over 1,000 injured. There were 4,000 arrests and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.

In 1966, riots in Chicago killed 2 and injured 65. In 1967, Newark riots produced 23 dead and 725 injured. At nearly the same time, 5 days of violence in Detroit killed 43 and injured 324. Federal troops were called in and 7,000 people were arrested with 1,300 buildings destroyed and 2,700 businesses looted. In April of 1968, more Chicago rioting left 9 dead.

In her book Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America, Berry, The Penguin Press (1994) Mary Frances Berry reports that: "The [Black] Panthers engaged police in more than a dozen firefights from October 1967 to December 1969, and at least 2 policemen and 10 Panthers died in that two-year period."

In 1992, a Simi Valley jury acquitted 4 Los Angles police officers who had used massively excessive force in arresting a black motorist named Rodney King. Rioting erupted in which 38 people were killed and 1,250 were injured. The violence produced 3,600 fires and 3,000 plus arrests. Eventually, 4,000 National Guardsmen were called in to serve with 4,000 regular Army and Marine troops. During the same period, related rioting broke out in San Francisco where 1,400 people were arrested. The National Guard also had to be called up in Las Vegas. There were 80 arrests for rioting in New York City and the National Guard had to put down violence in Atlanta.

And this was only a fraction of the violence produced by the drive for social reform in the 1960s. In fact, The New York Times, September 6, 1970 asserted that: "So accustomed has the nation become to civil disorders that the bulk of these disturbances were not reported in the national press or on television." In light of the extreme violence which characterized the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war campaigns, it is both fortunate and amazing that there has been so much less violence on the "pro-life" side of the abortion battle. The same cannot be said of pro-aborts who have killed 40 million unborn babies just since 1973.


In The American Journal of Public Health, July, 1960, Mary Calderone, then Medical Director of Planned Parenthood said the following concerning the safety of unlawful abortions:
… 90% of all illegal abortions are presently being done by physicians …. [A]bortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous, because it is being done well by physicians.

If Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the US, says that the vast majority of unlawful abortions were being performed "well" and by licensed physicians in the 1960s, we can be certain that the vast majority will again be performed by licensed physicians if abortion is outlawed at some future time. The myth of the "back-alley butcher" is little more than a convenient rhetorical devise with which radical feminists seek to induce hysteria in a naïve electorate.

Bernard Nathanson, MD, an abortion expert and an obstetrician-gynecologist who once presided over the largest abortion clinic in the world, said the following in his book Aborting America, Doubleday, 1979:

The practice of abortion was revolutionized at virtually the same moment that the laws were revolutionized, through the widespread introduction of suction curettage in 1970. (Even before this, antibiotics and other advances had already dramatically lowered the abortion death rate.) Instead of scraping the soft wall of the pregnant uterus with a sharp instrument, the operator vacuums it out with a plastic suction curette. Though it is preferable that this be done by a licensed physician, one can expect that if abortion is ever driven underground again, even non-physicians will be able to perform this procedure with remarkable safety…. Even without a suction machine, a simple combination of catheter and syringe can produce enough suction to carry out a safe early abortion.

As for the self-induced abortion, by thrusting a coat hanger or other dangerous object into the womb, this will also be a thing of the past.

Nathanson goes on to discuss the advent of chemical abortifacients which many believe will allow women to unlawfully self-abort with a degree of safety at least comparable to current, lawful, physician-performed suction abortion. Time magazine, June 14, 1993 featured a cover story entitled "The Pill That Changes Everything, A new, simpler way to use RU 486 makes abortion a truly personal and private choice …." The article concludes that chemical abortifacients "… could make abortion far more difficult to regulate. And eventually it could mean that abortions will become simpler, safer and more accessible not only throughout the US but also around the world."

The Los Angeles Times, August 14, 2000, featured a story headlined "The Abortion Pill: Finally at Hand? Describing various chemical abortifacient drugs the paper reported the following:

There is research, still inconclusive, that suggests a woman might be able to self-administer misoprostrol at home at the direction of her doctor ….

Meanwhile, researchers report that a black market has developed for one of the abortion medications. Misoprostol, a drug sometimes called 'the star pill' for its hexagonal shape, is widely used in Brazil where abortion is banned, researchers report. And a recent survey of 610 women, primarily Latinas, in New York City found that 5% admitted having used 'the star pill' for abortion. More than a third of the women surveyed said they knew about the method.

The July 11, 1999 issue of the New York Times Sunday magazine carried an article headlined "The Little White Bombshell." It quoted Eric Schaff at the University of Rochester, who has supervised clinical trials for Mifepristone. The researcher says he is convinced "… the drug is safe and that administering it is a simple procedure that midwives or nurse-practitioners could do." The Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (2000;55: 186-188) contains a commentary by Amy E. Pollack, MD and Rachael Pine, JD entitled "Opening a Door to Safe Abortion: International Perspectives on Medical Abortifacient Use." The abstract states that "In some countries where safe abortion is neither accessible nor legal, even unsupervised, off-protocol use of misoprostol can provide women with a means to safely terminate pregnancy."

The assertion that outlawing convenience abortion will herald a "return to the days of coathangers and perforated uteri" is cynical nonsense. The supposed risk to women is the most dishonest argument yet advanced in opposition to outlawing abortion. When elective abortion is again against the law, pro-lifers will, of course, seek to restrict traffic in illicit abortifacients. But safe, accessible, abortion-inducing chemicals will be as difficult to regulate then as marijuana is today.


The pictures of The Genocide Awareness Project (GAP) are sometimes condemned for supposedly creating an atmosphere conducive to the commission of anti-abortion violence. This fiction persists despite the widely known fact that GAP' s sponsor, The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR), condemns violence against abortion providers -- and against the babies killed by abortion providers.

Dr. Martin Luther King was often castigated by racists who unjustly blamed him for the violent unrest which sometimes followed his peaceful but confrontational demonstrations. Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago argued that if Dr. King would stop exposing racial injustice, black people would be less likely participate in the riots which left many dead and injured (The Civil Rights Movement, Steven Kasher, Abbeville Press, 1996). In his "Letter From The Birmingham Jail," supra, Dr. King rebutted this dishonest attempt to change the subject:

In your statement you asserted that our actions, though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence .... [I]t is immoral to urge an individual to withdraw his efforts to gain ... basic constitutional rights because the quest precipitates violence .... Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such a creative tension that a community ... is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that is can no longer be ignored.

In a speech delivered just months before he would be murdered, he restated the imperative of confronting a complacent culture:

... [U]ntil our problem is solved, America may have many, many days, but they will be full of trouble. There will be no rest, there will be no tranquillity in this country until the nation comes to terms with our problem.

Neither will there be tranquillity until the nation comes to terms with the "problem" of abortion.



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved