“I would say we run into at least one [at] every campus that we go to, and we go to approximately four campuses, or we do four days of college outreach a week,” said Kristina Garza, director of campus outreach for the California-based Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust.
“And I would say at least one, sometimes more than one student per campus will admit that they think it’s okay to kill a child after they’ve been born.”
Some students even maintain it’s okay to kill a child under the age of five, she told CNSNews.com.
“Since their requirements for personhood are completely arbitrary, they throw around numbers, you know, four years old, five years old. I had one friend say a college professor claimed six years old was a good cut-off,” she added.
CNSNews.com asked Garza what religious, philosophical or ethical grounds students use to defend “after-birth abortion”.
“Usually it’s utilitarian,” she replied. “They say that this child can’t fend for itself, or the child’s not self-aware, therefore it’s not fully human. Or they’ll say it’s human, but the child is not a person because it’s not self-aware or can’t survive on its own. They use arbitrary characteristics to discredit the humanity of the child before birth, and then use those same characteristics to discredit the humanity of the child after birth.”
CNSNews.com asked Garza whether she believes students think that “after-birth abortion” is morally acceptable because they’ve been taught so by their professors, or because it’s a logical extension of the prevailing abortion mentality.
“Well, I think both,” she replied.
“I think we're increasingly seeing that people are reading modern ethicist influences like Peter Singer as part of required reading, so they’re kind of accepting these very, very liberal ideologies because they’re being asked to read them in their courses.
“But I think as well, students are seeing that our society, or at least part of our society, is telling them that abortion on demand for any reason is a woman’s right. And so they get this idea that a woman’s right and a choice are more valuable than anything.
“And if you have a choice to have an abortion up to nine months [that] is ethical, then of course having an abortion after nine months’ gestation must be ethical because a person should have the choice to do whatever they want. So I think it’s an over-generalization of the abortion-on-demand-without-apology mentality.”
In February 2012, The Journal of Medical Ethics published a controversial article entitled “After birth abortion, why should the baby live?” by Australian philosophers Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini that argued that “when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible,” even for “non-medical reasons”.
The authors pointed out that they used the term “after-birth abortion” instead of “infanticide” because they wanted to “emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus… rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.”
“Since non-persons have no moral rights to life,” they concluded, “there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions,” adding that “we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible.”
“You may find this statement cold, but where’s the flaw in its logic?” asked William Saletan in Slate.
Garza says she often encounters such utilitarian thinking during the “hundreds of conversations” her group has with college students on campus.
"Students have been told for so long that the unborn is not a human being. It’s treating humans as property, as objects and not people,” she added.
“Because if the child is the property of the mother, she has the right to kill the child as she sees fit and as it benefits her.”
Students are increasingly unable to argue basic concepts such as natural law and personhood, Garza pointed out.
“What we’re finding in our public schools, and even a lot of our private schools, is that students are not being taught to think or read or reason critically from a young age,” she told CNSNews.com.
“We have students in high school who are not able to have a logical conversation. Students at our higher level universities – in California, that would be the University of California – are not able to think and debate. They’ll come to us to talk about abortion, and they aren’t even able to articulate their position.
"This is very scary for us, because we would think that students who are in the very highest universities in our state would be the most articulate," Garza added.
"But they are all thinking and saying the same thing….They just come up and repeat what the professor has told them without actually thinking about what it means.
“We’ve actually had professors come us and ask us for our literature because it’s the most logical way to explain abortion, and they’ll use it in their debate classes and speech classes and communications classes to explain to students how to put forth a logical and reasonable argument,” she said.
When speaking to students on campus, “we try to have a logical conversation, so that we’re not loading our argument with emotion or guilt-tripping,” Garza explained. “We want the student to come to a logical conclusion that abortion is wrong because it kills a human being.
“So first we establish that the child is a human being, and that can be established both logically and biologically. And then we ask the student if they think it’s okay to kill an innocent human being. And sometimes they will say yes. At that point, we need to realize that we cannot argue somebody into valuing human life…
“When that happens, we do politely end the conversation by telling them: ‘I don’t feel safe around somebody who thinks it’s okay to kill an innocent human being’. So we just walk away and tell them we’re going to pray for them because ultimately, it’s going to take a miracle, it’s going to take the hand of God to change their heart.”
College students "have been trained to be apathetic. Sometimes we see people who have absolutely no moral grounding whatever, but most of the time we are pricking their consciences,” Garza pointed out.
More than 56 million unborn babies have been aborted since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion. Garza’s group, which is hosting an international pro-life conference in Corona, Calif. November 7 to 9, maintains that anybody born in the U.S. after the 1973 is a holocaust survivor.
“Our generation, we’re the ones that are having to bear the brunt of the holocaust,” Garza told CNSNews.com. ”And we’re only just now starting to see kind of the tip of the iceberg of the effect of abortion on our generation.
"We have surviving siblings, we have people whose friends have aborted, people who have had abortions in our generation. We know in a very dramatic way the reality of abortion.”