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ISSUE 118 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/19/2004

Stem-cell analogy intellectually dishonest

By Melanie Meinzer
Contributing Writer


Friday, November 19, 2004

How dare Hannah Woldum, or anyone for that matter, compare a woman's right to choose to the Nazi Holocaust.

Although she dances around the issue of abortion, make no mistake that this is precisely the stance her Nov. 12 article "Research proves worrisome" takes: Embryonic stem cell research equals Nazi science and abortion equals the Holocaust.

I am disgusted by this radical right-wing rhetorical tactic; not only is it a ridiculous comparison to make, it also insults the victims and their families.

A holocaust is, by definition, a state-organized, ideologically motivated attempt to eliminate every single member of a group.

By allowing a woman the right choose what is best for her body, the state is hardly organizing voluntary abortion the way Hitler organized the murder of thousands of people.

This analogy proves to be totally absurd when one considers that those who are pro-choice are obviously not trying to systematically eliminate every fetus in existence like the Nazis tried to eliminate every Jew, Gypsy, Slav, Homosexual, Communist, etc.

As we all know, the crux of the abortion debate is the question of when we decide that human life begins.

As Judith Jarvis Thomson would say, "I think a fetus is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree."

However, I think everyone from both a pro-life and pro-choice standpoint can understand how preposterous and offensive it is to propose that abortion is "the same" as the Holocaust, or, for that matter, that embryonic stem cell research is "the same" as Nazi pseudo-science.

If you want to talk about how "human beings should never be used as objects," first stop using Holocaust victims as a means to build support for regressive legislation.

Abortion is never done maliciously, and is usually carried out after a woman takes the best interest of herself and her prospective child into account.

To assert that Hitler went through the same consideration before carrying out the Holocaust is sickening, ethically wrong and technically fallacious.


Nathan Hopkins '07


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