College Professor Calls Images of Fetal Development “Child Pornography”

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 3, 2017   |   1:05PM   |   Lafayette, Indiana

A biology professor at Purdue University argued last week that pro-lifers who show images of unborn babies are basically showing “child pornography.”

David Sanders, an associated professor of biology at Purdue, made the argument April 24 during a debate with Seth Drayer of the pro-life group Created Equal, Campus Reform reports. The debate question was “Is abortion a moral injustice?”.

The debate was recorded and posted on YouTube, something Sanders has complained about. The pro-life student club Boilermakers for Life hosted the event on campus.

In the video, Sanders’ remarks about “child pornography” begin around the 38-minute mark.

“He thinks fetuses are children, and he belongs to an organization that likes to show images of fetuses,” Sanders said of Drayer.

“What would you call the public display of a butt naked body of a child?” Sanders asked. “I would call it child pornography. Do they have their permission? Do they have the permission of the fetus? Obviously not.”

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When someone in the audience pointed out that Sanders basically admitted that an unborn baby is a child, he responded by denying the accusation.

“I didn’t admit it. I’m using his language. He thinks it’s a child. I do not,” Sanders responded. Later, he added, “If you want to enforce and protect First Amendment rights to allow you to show child pornography, have at it.”

Here’s more from the report:

Drayer, responding to Sanders’ argument, told The Liberty Conservative that “the claim that displaying abortion victim images in public is equal to child pornography is absurd (and laughable based on the reaction from the crowd gathered for the debate),” pointing out that the issue has already been decided by the courts.

“Federal law defines child pornography as ‘any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor.’ By all accounts, images of abortion victims do not even come close to meeting that definition,” he explained. “The displaying of images of dismembered preborn children in public have long been considered protected political speech by federal courts where displaying child pornography is a criminal act punishable with up to 30 years’ maximum in prison.”

Sanders, however, contested Drayer’s interpretation of the relevant statutes, telling Campus Reform that he “has misrepresented federal law.”

During the debate, Sanders also argued that the Bible does not condemn abortion, and that, according to pro-lifer’s view of unborn babies, the high number of miscarriages would make “God the greatest abortionist.”

He also claimed science does not back up the pro-life position, and said Drayer “doesn’t even believe in science.” Sanders claimed pro-lifers are just imposing religious beliefs on women.

On the issue of the video recording, Created Equal said Sanders did not express his opposition to the recording of the debate until he arrived a minute late for the event.

The pro-life group wrote online: “Dr. Sanders threatened to walk out, and was told that it would be filmed whether he chose to stay or not, and that if he didn’t want to be on camera he would not be forced to participate in the debate. Dr. Sanders choice to participate was his own.

“While Created Equal believes that no wrong was done on the part of the sponsors in regards to the legality of live streaming and filming, we would note that Created Equal was not involved in the negotiation of the terms for the debate with Dr. Sanders,” it continued.