Debate alive on campus

Speaker Stephanie Gray discusses abortion

Stephanie Gray
Image by: Justin Tang
Stephanie Gray

On Wednesday night, pro-life group Queen’s Alive brought controversy to campus by hosting a discussion with co-founder and executive director of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), Stephanie Gray.

In her presentation ‘Echoes of the Holocaust,’ Gray compared aborted fetuses to victims of the Holocaust.

“Their value was denied [to] them. They were dehumanized by certain individuals in society, and as a result their killing was rationalized. They were deemed to be inferior compared to other individuals in society,” Gray said to the audience. “And it is that trend … that I would say is making its way into the abortion debate.”

Within their position statement, CCBR explains its stance as holding “that abortion, in surgical, chemical, or any other form, directly and intentionally kills an unborn human being and is therefore wrong, regardless of the circumstances under which that human being was conceived or the circumstances in which that human being continues to develop.”

Gray said that she wants to bring fetuses up to the level of human beings.

“We know scientifically that life begins at fertilization … Once the sperm fertilizes the egg, we know that we’re dealing with something that’s substantively different from fertilization onwards, compared to what we had before.”

Gray said she isn’t declaring that the Holocaust and abortion are completely identical but that they bare striking similarities.

“The use of dehumanizing rhetoric, viewing others by their features rather than existence, the involvement of physicians and use of humans for medical experiments, systematic nature of killings and the massive loss of life,” Gray said.

Sean Abraham, MSc ’12, attended Gray’s talk but referred to himself as vehemently pro-choice. He said Gray’s use of graphic images wasn’t unexpected and that her comparisons between the Holocaust and abortion were purely for shock value.

“That tends to be the common tactic … it elicits emotion,” Abraham said. “[Gray’s] logic was pretty good if you believe that life begins at conception, but as she pointed out at the end, basically the whole presentation would be nothing if you don’t accept that.”

Vice-President of Queen’s Alive Mary Stephen said that although they have received plenty of criticism for their message, this is what ultimately makes them stronger.

“I was really pleased that we had a respectful audience today, pro-choice or pro-life. The questions that were posed were well thought out and intellectual,” she said. “Our approach is to not get wound up and angry about it because that is when people stop taking you seriously … It’s hard being pro-life, but you can’t stop fighting.”

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