Content Warning: graphic images
“Pro-life” and “pro-choice” are two belief sets that seem to have a growing, polarizing divide these days. With President Trump purposefully nominating a Supreme Court justice that is against Roe v. Wade, the topic of abortion is seemingly prevalent. Although this polarization has been in the spotlight, a Feb. 2017 poll conducted by Quinnipiac University discovered that 67% of registered United States voters generally agree with the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. Still, groups on both sides of the issue are passionate about their beliefs.
One of these groups is the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (warning: there are graphic images/videos on their site), an organization “working to establish prenatal justice and the right to life for the unborn.” They do this through educational resources, seminars, and projects.
One of their most well-known projects is the “Genocide Awareness Project“, which is “a mobile display that has reached millions of students on college and university campuses [and] juxtaposes images of aborted embryos and fetuses with images of victims of historical and contemporary genocides and other injustices.”
I received pictures from one of the displays currently located on Western Kentucky University’s campus. As this display was put together by the aforementioned organization, these beliefs are not particularly shared by the universities or students of the universities where these displays are located.
As you can see, this particular part of the display compares abortion to the Holocaust and the lynching of African Americans. In the Holocaust, six million Jewish people were murdered, and in lynchings from 1882-1968, 3,446 Black people were murdered.
In the top right display, abortion is compared to the genocide of the Native American people, particularly in the Wounded Knee Massacre (where 250-300 Native Americans were killed). The bottom right display compares abortion to the Holocaust again and also the Rwanda genocide (where somewhere between 800,000 and 1 million Tutsis were murdered).
This part of the display compares abortion to the execution of rape victims and their children in “some cultures” (obviously hinting at Islamic nations as the woman pictured on the left is wearing a hijab).
This display, as a whole, is exploiting various issues and devastating occurrences to push a political agenda. These comparisons are offensive, distasteful, and, quite frankly, every synonym for the word “awful”. This organization is based in the United States, so its free speech is protected under the First Amendment, but trying to profit off racism and anti-Semitism alike is absolutely abhorrent. There is, in fact, a way to vouch for a socio-political issue without comparing it to victims of unjustifiable oppression. The Center For Bio-Ethical Reform really needs to figure out how to do this.