Women don’t need protection from pro-life ideologues

Ella Whelan in Spiked:

Queen’s University Belfast’s Pro-Life Society is under investigation by the students’ union over social-media posts. It stands accused of failing to respect the ‘spirit’ of the SU and its posts allegedly had the potential to bring the university ‘into disrepute’. The two posts featured images. The first compared abortion to slavery, with a man in chains captioned ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ alongside a fetus with the line ‘Am I not a baby and a sister?’. On Holocaust Memorial Day, the society posted a second image which compared abortion to both slavery and the Holocaust.

There are few things more grotesque than the penchant among anti-choicers to compare a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy with the Holocaust or slavery. QUB’s Pro-life Society claims that it contacted the UK ambassador for a Holocaust remembrance organisation, who assured it that the post ‘was not disrespectful in any way to Holocaust victims or survivors’. I know a few Jews who would disagree. Undermining the specific horror of the Holocaust by relativising it to score political points against abortion is degrading, to say the least. In the same way, using Josiah Wedgwood’s abolitionist image of the ‘supplicant slave’ alongside a fetus in utero says something about the society’s understanding of racism. The organised enslavement of black people for economic gain, like the institutionalised murder of Jews under the Nazis, is clearly incomparable with abortion. To suggest the two are the same shows historical ignorance and a worrying lack of moral clarity.

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