U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos condemned abortion as a human rights abuse Wednesday, likening the dehumanization of unborn babies to that of African Americans through slavery in the 1800s.
“[President Abraham Lincoln] too contended with the pro-choice arguments of his day. They suggested that a state’s choice to be slave or to be free had no moral question in it,” DeVos told students from Colorado Christian University, her alma mater, the Colorado Times Recorder reports.
Speaking at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., she encouraged the students to continue fighting the “vast moral evil” of abortion, just as abolitionists fought against slavery for decades before it finally was abolished, according to Politico.
“Well, President Lincoln reminded those pro-choicers that is a vast portion of the American people that do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing,” DeVos said. “They look upon it as a vast moral evil.”
She said Lincoln’s arguments against the “choice” to enslave another human being also should apply to the abortion debate today.
“Because as it’s been said: Freedom is not about doing what we want. Freedom is about having the right to do what we ought,” DeVos said.
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She encouraged the students to keep standing strong for life, just as others throughout history have fought to end other human rights injustices.
“There are many in the pro-life movement who heroically work to make abortion unconstitutional. Tonight, let’s talk about making it unthinkable,” DeVos said.
This week marked the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forced states to legalize abortion on demand. Since 1973, more than 61 million unborn babies have been aborted.
On Friday, hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans, including the students from Colorado Christian University, are expected to join the March for Life in downtown Washington, D.C. The peaceful human rights rally calls on the nation to restore the right to life for babies in the womb. President Donald Trump, who appointed DeVos, is scheduled to speak at the march – the first president in U.S. history to do so.