Political Focus: The strange anti-abortion stance and Ben Shapiro’s comments on baby Hitler

Ben Hume, Staff Reporter

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Anti-abortion supporters marched on the United States Supreme Court last Friday, Jan. 18 as a part of the March for Life movement. With the recent confirmation and swearing-in of new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, this year’s rally holds more hope for those who are against women’s right to choose.

The march has existed ever since the 1974 Roe v. Wade decision. This year, Vice President Mike Pence even made a surprise guest appearance. But this was not the real highlight of the march for me. That came when infamous conservative “intellectual” Ben Shapiro commented on how someone who is anti-choice would treat baby Hitler.

“The argument I guess here is that, would you kill baby Hitler, and the truth is that no pro-life person on Earth would kill baby Hitler,” Shapiro asserted.

This one comment is just one among the many other reasons I believe the anti-abortion group acts in bad faith. At the very least, this comment should shed some light on the many flaws in the anti-choice debate.

The first problem with this anecdote is the age-old flaw in this movement’s arguments, that abortions are inhumane because they kill nearly born or already born infants. This is simply almost never the case. According to the Guttmacher Institute, two-thirds of abortions occur at eight weeks of pregnancy or earlier, and 89 percent occur in the first 12 weeks. When people like Shapiro make these strange anecdotes, saying that no one would kill baby Hitler — an already stupid argument made in bad faith — they spread false information and associate all abortions as late-stage abortions that are done out of malice or due to not caring about the fetus.

This is before considering the fact that Shapiro’s comments are putting all of the emphasis on the baby and taking agency away from the woman who is carrying the baby. When you take a stance as extreme as “well, would you kill baby Hitler?” you take away the more important aspect of the argument — the woman’s choice. The argument should not center around the baby that does not yet exist, the argument should center around the health and choice of the pregnant woman and fetus.

And that’s one of the worst parts about Shapiro’s comment — the rhetoric involved. When you call something that is not yet born a baby rather than a fetus, you give it more autonomy and value and therefore appeal more to people’s sense of empathy. This is dangerous because it makes a fetus that cannot even survive on its own, seem more important than an already existing woman.

This headline might look at first like a stupid extension of anti-abortion comments with no real intellectual weight behind it. You would be partially correct in saying even when wannabe conservative intellectuals want to think they are making arguments in good faith, they are most definitely not. Their rhetoric is dangerous, and if you want to have a real discussion or debate about this topic, make sure the person you are speaking with is not using manipulative language.

And definitely make sure they don’t lead their argument with “would you kill baby Hitler?”