Pro-life speaker Seth Gruber, in association with Students for Life of America, will be kicking off his speaking tour “Abortion is Genocide” at Cal Poly Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

His goal, he said, is to help students rethink their ideas about abortion in the larger historical context of genocide.

Gruber said he has dedicated his life to speaking, writing and hosting a podcast supporting the pro-life movement in the U.S.

“At 18 years old, as a senior in high school, I did my senior project on the moral question of abortion, and I volunteered at a pro-life organization in southern California where I saw for the first time abortion imagery — the majority of which was actually first trimester abortion imagery,” Gruber said.

Gruber said he was shocked by the images of six seven-week-old fetuses and that it ultimately altered the course of his life.

“This was clearly a person, clearly a baby who differs from us in basically the same ways that we differ from one another, according to our size, level of development, our location and our dependence,” Gruber said.

Gruber said he believes the fundamental ideals of abortion and those of genocides, such as the Holocaust, are not as different as some may think.

“Many pro-choice individuals and students at universities like Cal Poly SLO do not think about the unborn as sharing our same, equal human nature and value — and that’s the entire question in the debate, isn’t it?” Gruber said. “Is the unborn child a member of the human race who shares our common human values?”

“Is the unborn child a member of the human race who shares our common human values?”

Gruber argued the unborn fetus is a member of the human race and deserves the same human protection that society now would have wanted for the victims of historic instances of genocide.

Gruber said the argument of the pro-choice movement is a form of ageism that must prove that the unborn, while biologically human, are subhuman and not full persons — which he said is a “tragic misstep and repetition of history by utilizing the same tactics and dehumanization that racists and nazis use.”

After the presentation, Gruber will engage in an hour-long interactive question and answer session, where he said he invites students of any opinion to participate.

“If you disagree with me, if you think my lecture is atrocious, my comparisons are uncalled for and you hold different opinions, congratulations,” Gruber said. “This is the marketplace of ideas, where you will be exposed to ideas you like and don’t like, and you have the freedom of speech and autonomy to engage with those ideas in a respectful manner.”

Sociology senior and Cal Poly Students for Life chapter president Andrea Walle said the club felt conflicted about having Gruber speak on campus.

“It’s a human life, so when we take the life of a fetus — baby — whatever people want to call it, that is like killing it,” Walle said. “And then genocide is the mass murder of people, so if we believe that there is a life in the womb and abortion is killing it, then yes, we can say that there is genocide happening.”

At the same time, however, Walle said she wants the club to take a new approach when it comes to abortion conversations this year.

“We want to be open,” Walle said. “We want to hear people’s stories and understand, because understanding where the other side comes from gives us so much knowledge on who we are.”

The Planned Parenthood Generation Action club on campus did not comment but will be tabling on the same day of the event.

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