I was doing “Choice” Chain earlier this month with some friends through my community’s activism group, London Against Abortion. We had set up outside of one of the colleges in London to reach post-secondary students with the truth about abortion. While some college students are hostile and closed-off to discussion, many will admit that they actually have not given much thought to the issue of abortion.
Such was the case when I asked Camille, “What do you think about abortion?” as she walked by me. She stopped and was taken aback by my sign showing a 1st-trimester abortion victim, but told me that she did not know what she thought about the issue. I then asked her, “Do you believe in human rights?” She said, “Of course I do.” “Great, me too!” I replied. “And who gets human rights?” “Well, women should,” she told me hesitantly. I replied, “I agree that women should—men should as well though, right? Shouldn’t every human get human rights?” She nodded in agreement. “If two humans reproduce, what species will their offspring be?” I asked her. She told me that she was not sure what I meant, so I clarified by saying, “Well, two humans could never produce a cat, right? Won’t their offspring be of the same species—human?” She agreed again. “And if that offspring is growing,” I said, “then wouldn’t she be alive?” She nodded, and I said, “I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this. If we know from science that humans reproduce other living humans, and if abortion intentionally kills those humans, then wouldn’t abortion be a human rights violation?” At that point I drew her gaze to the image of a 10-week abortion victim in the pamphlet she was holding. She stared at the image in shock and said, “Yes, it would.” I then asked her if she thought there was ever a time when it was okay to do that to another human, and she said, “Definitely not.” We then briefly discussed the magnitude of the abortion issue, and she ended up giving me her contact info so she could get involved in ending the killing.
Those questions that I asked Camille together constitute what we call the Human Rights Argument. Every human deserves fundamental human rights. We know that pre-born children are human because they have human parents, and we know that they are alive by virtue of their growth. Abortion is a human rights violation, since it destroys a living human being.
The human rights argument is a powerful tool that I use in nearly every conversation I have about abortion. It quickly establishes the humanity of pre-born children and the inhumanity of abortion, and for many people it helps them connect the dots to understand why they are horrified by the abortion victim image in front of them. For some conversations, it is the launching point from which I and the other person have a longer discussion about embryology, or bodily autonomy, etc. But for many people—including Camille—the human rights argument, combined with the visual evidence of abortion victim photography, is sufficient to convince them to reject abortion.