Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries, well-known amongst the atheist community for his ‘banana argument’ and his “Way of the Master” series, has recently released a new documentary that is free to view online titled “180.” The documentary is an attempt to convince viewers that abortion is equivalent to the genocide of Jews in the Holocaust and that abortion is the murder of a human being.
Throughout the movie, Comfort discusses Hitler’s strategy to convince people that Jews were not persons and compares this to pro-choice individuals who do not delegate personhood status to the unborn. Comfort asks questions to random individuals in an attempt to change their minds on the subject of abortion and not one person seems to have any sort of intelligent and substantial rebuttal to Comfort’s arguments.
One of Comfort’s main failures in the movie is his constant repetition of the phrase “baby in the womb.” Comfort fails to consider distinctions in different stages of pregnancy; he fails, for instance, to note great differences from the fetus and what precedes it. Comfort also does not consider the choice of women and brushes this off choice as murder. Comfort also fails to provide justification for calling abortion murder and simply assumes that life begins at conception (presumably because of his religious beliefs).
Whether or not one is pro-choice, the equating of abortion and the Holocaust should be morally repugnant. Jews were targeted because of their heritage and religion in an attempt to commit genocide and the persons killed were autonomous human beings – not fetuses or potential human beings. Taking this analogy to its logical conclusion would seem to equate women who have abortions to Hitler or an SS soldier. Viewers of the movie should also notice that Comfort’s analogy is a very bad one.
In his book “The Science of Good and Evil,” Michael Shermer discusses the topic of abortion noting that there is no scientific justification to consider abortion to be murder of a human being. Shermer writes, “[S]ince virtually no abortions are performed after the second trimester, and before there is no scientific evidence that the fetus is a thinking human individual, it is reasonable for us to provisionally agree that abortion is not murder and to offer our provisional assent that abortions within the first two trimesters are not immoral because the evidence confirms that during this time the fetus is not a fully functioning human being.”
Comfort’s movie, while it may seem compelling to those who are not thinking critically, is utterly lackluster in terms of content. What is most shocking and disconcerting is Comfort’s political implication toward the end of the movie in which he says “Never ever give your vote to a politician who advocates murder of a child in the womb.” Beliefs often inform actions, so it is important to be skeptical consumers of information instead of being swayed by Comfort’s emotive appeals.