Scott Tibbs
Published in the Indiana Daily Student, November 3, 1997

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Save some outrage for unborn children

During the last few weeks, we saw a huge amount of outrage regarding racist and sexist attitudes on campus. According to the Student Coalition, the Women's Student Association and many others, racist and sexist attitudes are terrible and must be eliminated through education. We are all human beings, and therefore we all have as many rights and are just as important as anybody else.

But left behind in this struggle against oppression is a group of people who are under the most intense persecution in human history. Every day, thousands of them are slaughtered across America and the world. Many groups believe this oppressed group has no human rights and can be disposed of without consideration of their feelings or wishes. Many of our elected officials - from the halls of Congress to the White House - have bought into the idea that this class of human beings does not have rights.

I am, of course, talking about unborn children. Here in America, children are being ripped limb from limb and soaked in acid, and their brains are being ripped out and their skulls crushed. This happens an average of 4,000 times every day. Simply because of their age, these children do not have the same protection as every other human being has under the Constitution.

Two weeks ago, more than 300 students gathered at the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house to protest a scavenger hunt list that included terms dripping with racist and sexist sentiments. The statements on the list were truly outrageous. Yet apart from stealing street signs and burglarizing another frat house, these pledges were not alleged to have inflicted physical harm upon African Americans or women. I assume if ZBT had physically assaulted someone, the outrage would have been even more severe.

Yet every Thursday morning in Bloomington, Planned Parenthood kills children in violent, horrible ways. Campus activists should ask themselves which activity is worth more condemnation: racist and sexist speech or ripping human beings limb from limb? If students are willing to protest in front of ZBT for inappropriate speech, why not demonstrate in front of Planned Parenthood for their participation in the killing of children? Where is the Student Coalition Thursday mornings?

If you live in the dorms, you have seen the flyers and billboards promoting the CommUNITY educators' desire to end many forms of discrimination, including racism, sexism, ableism and many others. One of those "isms" is ageism - discrimination of someone based on age. According to the IDS, the Women's Student Association is also founded on these goals. Fighting against discrimination is a noble concept. But I have not noticed the CUEs giving programs educating people on the horrors of abortion.

What could possibly be a greater example of age-based discrimination than abortion? If a child's right to life is withheld until she reaches the age at which she exits the womb, isn't that discrimination? The opportunity for education is tremendous here. With the commonly held view that an unborn child is nothing more than a blob of tissue, the CUEs could show videos or photographs of a baby in the womb. You can see the fingers, feet and face of the child. You can see it sucking its thumb. How could that human not have an inalienable right to life?

Unborn children are the only segment of the population who can be punished for something someone else did, given the exception many people give for rape and incest. This is a very emotional issue, to be sure. Many people feel forcing a woman to continue with a pregnancy caused by rape or incest is wrong. But if you truly believe the unborn child is a human being, as important and precious as any other human, how can you punish her for something her father did? If she were 5 years old, would it be acceptable to rip her limb from limb or soak her in acid? Of course such an action would not be acceptable. A true pro-life position does not allow exceptions.

We have made great progress in the last few decades in assuring equal rights for all. Discrimination based on race, religion, national origin or gender is considered a relic of another age. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan are on the fringe, not to be taken seriously. But while we have made progress on these fronts, age-based discrimination has increased exponentially as evidenced by the legalization of killing babies before they are born. Groups such as Reclaim our Reproductive Rights openly advocate the right to choose to kill a child, yet are not considered to be fringe groups, despite the striking similarity of their rhetoric to that of the KKK.

Groups such as the Student Coalition and others can talk about ending prejudice until they are blue in the face. But unless they take a stand for the children, their campaign of equality for all is a farce.