Abortion Research

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Abortion Is a Form of Genocide
Abortion , 2010

Meredith Eugene Hunt, "Abortion Is Genocide by Definition," Sidelines, September 27, 2007. Reproduced by permission.

"'Abortion' doesn't do the reality justice, and this is why 'genocide' is the most accurate term we have now." Meredith Eugene Hunt, a pro-life advocate who has worked with groups such as the Genocide Awareness Project and Life Advocates, maintains in the following viewpoint that referring to abortion as a form of genocide is accurate by historical and accepted standards of the word's definition. Hunt identifies the origin of the term "genocide" and concedes that abortion does not fit perfectly with the original use. But Hunt also goes on to explain that recent classifications of genocide have been expanded to include parameters into which abortion would fit. Most importantly, the author states that the term "abortion" does not adequately convey the horrors of the action it is used to describe and that genocide is the only appropriate term in the current vernacular.

As you read, consider the following questions:

Who first coined the term genocide, and when did this occur, according to the author? What evidence does the author present to show that the definition of the term genocide has expanded in recent years? Even though Meredith Eugene Hunt recognizes that genocide may not be the most accurate term to describe abortion, why does the author believe it is still appropriate to continue using the term? [The] use of the term genocide in the Genocide Awareness Project [a traveling exhibit that visits college campuses nationwide and uses graphic photo displays to compare modern abortion to historical genocide] is not flippant. Nor is the use of photos of victims of atrocity exploitive when it is done for humanitarian and educational reasons. We respect the people who have suffered, and our intention is to show the fundamental similarities between killing large numbers of born people and killing large numbers of pre-born people. Also, our hope is to sensitize people with regard to various atrocities, including those of genocide. If any legitimate criticism can be made, it would be that we need to update our images to include victims of the genocide in Sudan.

Genocide Through History
Look at the history of the creation of the term: In August 1941, Winston Churchill [prime minister of England during World War II] called the Germans' "methodical, merciless butchery" of Jewish people in occupied Soviet Russia "a crime without a name." Polish-born advisor to the U.S. military Raphael Lemkin gave that kind of crime—the destruction of groups of people—a name when he coined the word "genocide." The word appeared in print for the first time in his 1944 book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. In this book, Lemkin began by saying, "New conceptions require new terms."

Another significant milestone in genocide awareness was reached when the United Nations [UN] General Assembly adopted the final text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948. Since then, 140 nations have ratified the Convention. Genocide is viewed as the worst of the worst imaginable crimes called "Crimes Against Humanity." The Convention and the International Criminal Court define genocide as

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. By the above definition, abortion could have genocidal characteristics, but would not qualify as genocide legally, because unwanted pre-born children as a group are not...
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