Is Ben Carson Right to Compare Killing Babies in Abortions to Slavery?

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 11, 2015   |   6:29PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican presidential contender Ben Carson is taking a lot of flak from abortion advocates for comparing abortion to slavery.

Carson made the comparison recently on NBC’s Meet the Press:

“During slavery — and I know that’s one of those words you’re not supposed to say, but I’m saying it — during slavery, a lot of slave owners thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave, anything they chose,” Carson said. “And what if the abolitionists had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery, but you guys do whatever you want’?”

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Conservative commentator Tyler O’Neil agreed with Carson and pointed out the following similarities in a recent column:

The tactic used by supporters of slavery to bolster their abhorrent practice is the same one used by the supporters of abortion — dehumanization. Slavery supporters claimed that a human being was less than human because of the color of his skin; supporters of abortion claim that a fetus is less than human because of the stage of its development. Dehumanization is wrong, however, and people inherently know it.

O’Neil also referred to an argument that Abraham Lincoln used to explain how slavery is unnatural in its dehumanization:

Southerners did not treat blacks like pigs, Lincoln explained. Indeed, in 1820, both the North and the South voted to outlaw the African slave trade, and to punish every slave trader with death. “But you never thought of hanging men for catching and selling wild horses, wild buffaloes or wild bears,” Lincoln pointed out. Also, while whites allowed their children to play with blacks, they kept their distance from slave traders and their children.

Similarly, today, people inherently treat unborn children like the human beings that they are, O’Neil argued. Advancements in fetal surgery and even calling an unborn baby a baby instead of a “clump of cells” point to that realization, O’Neil wrote.

And just as slave owners argued that those who opposed slavery should simply not own slaves, abortion advocates today call out, “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one!”, O’Neil wrote.

Throughout history, specific groups of people have been labeled as less than human, and that label used as an excuse for them to be marginalized, persecuted, enslaved or killed.

Carson rightly pointed out that today unborn babies are one of those groups. Legalized abortion has led to more than 58 million of their deaths. And abortion advocates have convinced many people that unborn babies aren’t really human yet.

But, as I ponder Carson’s statements and the backlash he received, the question I’m left asking myself is this: Are lives being saved, are hearts and minds being changed by comparing abortion to slavery?

Maybe a few.

But I have witnessed more hearts and minds changed – and more lives saved – by focusing on the lives we are trying to save here and now: unborn babies.

The focus of our movement is that unborn babies are human beings who deserve the same rights as other human beings. And our ultimate goal is to end abortion by showing our society that.

I believe the best thing that pro-lifers can do is focus on the humanity of the unborn child. We have the facts on our side, too. Babies have their own unique DNA from the moment of conception. Babies’ hearts begin to beat 18 days post conception. Babies have their own unique finger prints by 12 weeks. Babies learn and respond to music before they are born.

I’ve personally witnessed these facts save lives. And that’s really what we’re all about.