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This week, my colleagues and volunteers and I are at the University of Central Florida, debating university students on abortion and making the case, through conversational apologetics and abortion victim photography, that abortion is a human rights violation. As the inevitable pro-abortion protestors began to show up with their hand-made signs, I noticed that one argument was surfacing more often than most: “Reproductive rights are human rights.”

Like virtually all of pro-“choice” rhetoric, this statement is scientifically illiterate and misses the point entirely. Our case against abortion is a simple one: Human beings have human rights. Human rights begin when the human being begins, or we are simply excluding a group of human beings based on arbitrary criteria—in the case of abortion, age. Any inclusive human rights doctrine must protect all human beings.

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We are not talking about the woman’s right to decide whether or not she wants to bring a child into the world. We are talking about whether or not we should have the right to violently kill a child that already exists. Abortion does not prevent a man and a woman from conceiving a child together. Abortion is a process that violently decapitates, dismembers, and disembowels a unique and unrepeatable human being, a son or daughter, that has already been conceived.

This is very simple.

The discussion about preventing life from coming into being is a religious and a moral question. The discussion surrounding the violent taking of another human life is certainly a moral question, but it is also a human rights question. Do we have the right to kill innocent human beings? No one who wishes to possess a consistent and morally coherent view of human rights can answer “Yes.”

Reprinted with permission from the CCRB.