George Weigel: Nazi doctrine of ‘life unworthy of life’ is at root of pro-abortion ideology

Weigel delivered a keynote at the International Pro-Life Conference in Rome Saturday.
Mon May 5, 2014 - 10:00 am EST

VATICAN CITY, May 3, 2014 ( – The same doctrine that some lives are ‘unworthy of life’ that led to the devastating genocides in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia is at the root of the abortion holocaust and the growing push for euthanasia, says U.S. commentator George Weigel.

Speaking Saturday at the International Pro-Life Conference in Rome, organized by LifeSiteNews in partnership with Human Life International and Family Life International New Zealand, Weigel explained the devastating consequences of denying the right to life, which he described as the first of all human rights.


“If the state effectively asserts the power to declare some members of the human community – the unborn, for example – outside the circle of common concern and legal protection, then no one is safe, for no one has any ‘rights’ the state cannot abrogate,” he said.

“The result of this denial of the first of human rights, the right-to-life, was the same under both German National Socialism and Marxism-Leninism: the result was genocide,” he added.

He said it’s “something of a mystery” that Western democracies forgot the lessons of these 20th century totalitarian states in liberalizing their laws on abortion and euthanasia.

“It must be said, and it must be said without hesitation:  the desperately false idea that some human lives are worth less than others, and thus have less claim on cultural and legal protection than others, is at the root of the abortion license in our countries, and is now infecting public policy toward the elderly, at the other end of the life spectrum,” he explained.


Prior to the conference, which drew over 150 attendees from across the globe, 52 pro-life leaders from 16 countries joined in signing a declaration urging Catholic bishops around the world to deny Communion to pro-abortion Catholic politicians in a spirit of “love and mercy.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, its highest court, who delivered the keynote before Weigel, reiterated his strong stance in favour of denying Communion to such politicians.

In his talk, Weigel, famous for his biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope, paid tribute to the late pope who was canonized by Pope Francis only days ago. “There is no better guide” in the effort to promote the right to life, he said, “than John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae.”


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