Stephanie Gray: “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility” | Talks at Google

Stephanie Gray: “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility” | Talks at Google


[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: So welcome, everyone. Our speaker today–
this is the first time she has missed a very
special engagement, and that is the
Vancouver Ukulele Circle. So Stephanie Gray is actually
an avid ukulele player. But in addition to
that, she is a Canadian who has spent more
than 15 years giving over 800 talks and debates
as well as hundreds of media interviews on abortion to
diverse audiences in the United States, Canada, Austria,
Latvia, England, Ireland, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. In university settings
she has debated Dr. Fraser Fellows, a
late-term abortionist; Ron Fitzsimmons, then executive
director of the National Coalition of Abortion
Providers; Elizabeth Cavendish, then legal director for
NARAL pro-choice America; and Doctor Malcolm Potts,
the first medical director for the International Planned
Parenthood Federation. She’s the author of “Love
Unleashes Life, Abortion and the Art of
Communicating Truth,” and we have copies
of her book available for a subsidized price of $5. So if you’re interested, come
and buy a copy after the talk. So with no further delay I will
introduce miss Stephanie Gray. [APPLAUSE] STEPHANIE GRAY: Thank you. Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here. I love asking questions. In fact, I have a
friend who has nicknamed me Inquisitive Stephanie. And in my vast travels
around the world I have asked a lot of people
the following question, who inspires you? And whenever someone answers
that question for me, I then followed up with, why? And here’s what I’ve discovered. Very often there are
different answers for who inspires the
individuals I’ve encountered, but I’ve begun to notice
a trend, a theme, when it comes to why certain
individuals inspire us. And as I have asked people
for the reasons for why certain people inspire
them, what I’ve discovered is it seems, generally, the
people who are inspiring have suffered in some way or
they face some sort of obstacle or some sort of challenge
or some sort of difficulty. And what sets them apart
from those who don’t inspire is how they respond to their
suffering, to the challenge, to the difficulty. And what I’ve
noticed, this trend, is that it seems inspiring
people in the face of obstacles and suffering and
difficulty have at least three qualities in common. They put others
ahead of themselves. They have perspective. And they do the right
thing, even when it’s hard. They do the right thing,
even when it’s hard. And so what I wanted
to do today was look at each of those
qualities in more detail and relate them to the
very controversial topic of abortion. And in particular, I
want to share with you various conversations
and encounters I have had with people of
all different backgrounds and viewpoints when
it comes to abortion, and how I have been able to
use those three qualities and show how they align very
much with the perspective that I hold, which is
the pro-life perspective. When it comes to that
first quality, that of putting others
ahead of ourselves, I would suggest that
regardless of someone’s political persuasion love
is universally attractive. It is universally magnetic. And ultimately, that’s what
putting others ahead of ourself is. That’s what love is. It’s willing the other’s good. And I would suggest
that again, regardless of our political
persuasion, each individual has a battle internally between
times where they put others ahead of themselves and
times where they don’t put others ahead of themselves. I was once debating with a
college student in Florida a few years ago,
and we were debating on the topic of abortion. And in our conversation,
I’ll admit, I was thinking to myself,
he sounds selfish. Now, perhaps I could identify
that so readily because I knew that there were many
times I have been selfish. And in fact, I can
think of a time recently on one of
my frequent flights. I had settled into my seat and
there was one empty seat next to me, and sure enough
that passenger came along to sit down. And as she was
coming down the aisle she was talking
with someone else and it was very clear that
they were traveling together. And it was very clear that
the person she was with was further at the back of
the plane and this thought entered my head. I should offer my seat. That would be nice. I’m traveling alone. I can take her
friend’s seat so they can sit next to each other. But then I thought
to myself, I don’t like sitting near
the back of the plane and I don’t feel
like getting up, and so I didn’t offer my seat. And I have to admit,
later that day I was kind of reflecting
on my day and I regretted that decision
of inaction and I thought, that was selfish. And my overarching
thought was, if I move how will this impact me? That’s self-interested. Instead of, if I move how
will this impact them. That’s other-oriented. So I recognize that
weakness within me and that that wasn’t attractive. The attractive quality is the
one that is other-oriented. So I bring that up, taking
us now back to my encounter with this college student,
talking about abortion where he sounded selfish. And I was thinking
to myself, even though I have made selfish
choices, even though he sounds selfish, I believe deep down we
are all drawn to selflessness. How can I draw this out of him? And besides loving questions,
I also love stories. And as it should happen,
as I was dialoguing with this student, this
story came to my mind that I had read
about in the news. The year was 2012 that this
student and I were talking, and around that
time there had been that Costa Concordia cruise
ship accident where the cruise ship had been
steered a little too close to shore near an Italian
village and hit ground and sank and people lost their lives. And so I said to this student
that I was dialoguing with, do you remember hearing
about that in the news? He said, yes. And I said that made
international attention. And I said it drew international
attention not just because it was a major passenger vehicle
that had an accident, not just because people
died, but there was another element to this
story that shocked people around the world. Who remembers what it was? Anyone? The captain left the ship. And that’s what the
student said to me. He answered my question about
this story by saying, well, the captain abandoned ship. Now, apparently the captain
says that the ship fell over and he fell into a boat. But the point was, the news
had been reporting it this way and so the student
remembered that. So then I said to him, and
how did our world respond? Did our world respond
by saying, hey, that was a really brilliant
choice of that Captain? Or did the world
respond by saying, how could he have done that? And he said, well,
it was the latter. Our world was saddened
by that kind of reaction. So then I said,
let’s contrast that captain with another captain,
not of a cruise ship, but of an airplane. And I said to this
student, a few years ago– now this was many years
ago now– but back in 2012, a few years prior to
that in 2009 there had been a US airways
plane that had taken off from LaGuardia, when my country
of Canada got in the way. We have this really
annoying Canadian geese, and I don’t know if they
make their way down here, but they certainly made
their way to New York and so there was a whole
flock of Canadian geese that were flying around
the exact same flight pattern as this
US airways flight. And so I said to this student,
as this plane was taking off and these Canadian geese
we’re flying nearby, they got sucked into the
engines of the airplane and it caused immediate
engine failure. Do you remember that,
I said to this student. He said, yes I do. I said the captain of that
airplane, Chesley Sullenberger, realized that he needed
to make an emergency landing because if he
didn’t control the landing the plane was going to crash
with the dual engine failure. And he realized he could
not get back to LaGuardia. He couldn’t get to Teterboro
or any of the other surrounding airports, and so he
thought, I’m going to try to do a water landing. And he managed to safely
land that US airways plane on the Hudson River
in what became known as the miracle on the Hudson. And I said to the student,
when that plane came to a stop and everyone inside would
have gone to the nearest exit to get off, that meant the
people at the back of the plane would have gone
to the back exit. But one of the first people
to get to the back door didn’t realize that the
tail of the airplane was tucked in the water, so when
they whipped that door open, the Hudson River starts
flooding into this airplane. So I said to the
student, now everyone is getting away from
the back of the plane and they’re escaping
out the middle doors and the front doors,
and they’re getting off. Except for one person,
Captain Chesley Sullenberger. As everyone’s getting off
and away from the back, he’s staying on and
walking towards the back. And as water was filling the
cabin about to waist level, he walked the aisle not
just once, but twice, to make sure no one
was left on the plane. And he was the last
person to get off. What did our world say about
him, I asked this student. And he said, a hero. Correct, I said. Why? And he said, well, because
he had dependent passengers and he cared for them. He prioritized their need. He put them ahead of himself. And I said, do you think that’s
an example we should follow? He said, yes. And so I knew by his
reaction to that story that he shared the view I
have, that even if we sometimes fail in being
other-oriented, we know that that’s how we
ought to be, and that’s the example to follow. And so once we can
establish that, I then brought it back
to the topic of abortion that we were debating. And I said, if you agree that
it was correct for the pilot to put the passengers
ahead of himself, to prioritize the needs
of his dependents, then wouldn’t it
follow that when it comes to the
topic of abortion in an unplanned pregnancy
that a pregnant woman ought to prioritize the needs of her
dependent, her pre-born child, much like a passenger
in the airplane who’s in a vulnerable position
and needs someone who’s more skilled and older
and capable of helping them to help them out? Now some people respond
by saying, well, wait. There’s a big difference there. You’re comparing
apples to oranges. The people getting
off of the airplane– those passengers
were human beings. Embryos and fetuses aren’t. So you can’t make
that comparison. And I would suggest that that
comparison is valid or invalid depending on, indeed, whether
embryos and fetuses are human beings, like the
passengers on the airplane. And so in my work
I often wrestle with that question
in conversations with people, trying to
discern when does life begin. And a good question– because,
remembering I love questions– a good question that I’ll
often ask people is this, do you believe in human rights? And I can tell you, I have asked
that question around the world, and consistently I
get one answer, yes. And if someone believes in human
rights I then like to say, OK. Well, what about
this human’s rights in the case of this
seven-week embryo? Now sometimes people will look
at an image like that and say, that’s not a human. And if that’s someone’s
reaction then in conversation I think rather than
preaching at an individual, a good strategy to take
is to just ask a question. And the question I like to
ask is, what are her parents? Is the pregnant woman human? Is her partner human? If yes, wouldn’t
it logically follow that their offspring must
be of the same species? So then someone might
object and say, well, even if biologically that’s
human, it’s not alive. Well, I found myself
in a conversation with another college
student a few years ago, and I asked him what he
thought about abortion. He said, I’m pro-choice. I said, why are you pro-choice? And he said, well, because
the fetus isn’t alive. And so I just asked
another question. If the fetus isn’t alive, why
do you need to do an abortion? And he stopped and he looked
at me and he said, huh. I’m going to talk to you. I never thought of it that way. And so we spent about
30 minutes engaging in a friendly, civil dialogue
as a result of a question. If someone objects to the
idea that the embryo is alive, I think another good
question to ask is this, is the embryo growing? At the moment of
fertilization, when you have a one-celled embryo, is
that one cell growing into two, and are those two growing
into four and eight and 16, and so forth? And if yes, wouldn’t
it follow by virtue of the embryo’s growth,
the embryo must be living? And if the embryo
has human parents, wouldn’t it follow by virtue of
that the embryo must be human? And if we believe in human
rights then wouldn’t it follow what we
know to be a living human has the same human
rights as you or me? Now, someone might object
at that point and say, but it’s just a fetus,
or it’s just an embryo. And so I think a
good question to ask that I’ve asked many people
is this, what kind of fetus? If you think about that
term for a moment, fetus, that’s not species-specific. So other species have fetuses. Dogs have fetuses,
dolphins have fetuses, and humans have fetuses. So the word fetus
doesn’t so much tell us what something is, but
tells us how old something is. So again, with my
love of questions, I’ll often ask people when a
fetus is born to human parents and is in the arms of the
mother, what do we now call the fetus at that moment? And people will
say, well, a baby. And then when the baby turns
two, what do we call the baby, I’ll ask. And, toddler, is
what people say. And then when the
toddler turns 13, what do we call the toddler? I was once giving a talk–
an elderly woman piped up, impossible. That’s what we call
that individual. [CHUCKLES] And then when impossible turns
21, what do we call impossible? Even more impossible, right? So the point is,
that we humans have words to refer to age
ranges within our species. And so the words adult or
teenager, toddler, baby, fetus, and embryo simply tell
us how old an entity is, not what an entity is. If we want to know
what that entity is, we have to ask what
are the parents. Now, when it comes to the
abortion debate, one thing that I have found that
provokes a lot of conversation is defining the exact moment the
fetus or the embryo came to be. And a lot of times
we, as a culture, will resist the idea that,
when debating abortion, that life would begin
at fertilization. And so what I’d
like to suggest is that, if we weren’t talking
about abortion, we as a society would more readily accept that
life begins at fertilization. In fact, we already do. And a good question to consider
involves this, the following. Imagine someone is not pregnant
with an unwanted pregnancy. Imagine they’re trying
to achieve a pregnancy. They desperately
want to be pregnant, but they’re struggling
with infertility. So imagine this person goes
to an infertility specialist, and that physician recommends
in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, where an egg will be fertilized
by a sperm in a Petri dish in a lab. Now, setting aside
the ethics of that, which could be a whole
other talk at Google– setting aside the
ethics of that, imagine the individual then
goes to an IVF specialist. Have we as a society
ever heard someone who’s in the business of making
life, someone who is an IVF specialist, have we
ever heard them say, I just don’t know
when life begins. If you think about
it, when someone is in the business
of making life we never claim to not
know when it begins. We know exactly when it begins. The one moment that
the IVF specialist is trying to
replicate in the lab is the moment of fertilization. The IVF specialist is not
happy with just a sperm. Sample they’re not happy
with eggs harvested by perhaps a student
in debt trying to get $10,000 or $20,000
for such a procedure. They’re not satisfied with just
the eggs or just the sperm. The one moment they’re
trying to create in the lab is not three weeks
where you have a heartbeat or six
weeks where you have brain waves or a
nine-month gestated fetus. The one moment
the IVF specialist is trying to create in
the lab is the moment of fertilization,
which I think tells us we do know when life begins. We know it begins
there, particularly when we think about other species,
a little less-controversial than our own. We never hear
horse breeders say, I just don’t know
how to breed a horse. I don’t know when a horse
becomes a horse, or someone who’s breeding dogs or a
veterinarian in general saying, I don’t know when a
dog becomes a dog. With other species we
have great clarity. So why with our own species,
when it comes to abortion, do we claim to not know
when life begins or we claim that it’s confusing
when, with these other species or this other topic like
IVF, we have great clarity? And we know that moment
to be fertilization. When it comes to the
debate about abortion, what I have found in debating
people formally and informally all over the world is that it’s
less of a scientific debate and more of a philosophical one. Less a question of, when does
life begin because really we know the answer to
that, fertilization, but more of a question
about personhood, which is not really a
scientific discussion but a philosophical one. And there’s a whole school of
thought by a philosopher, Peter Singer, from Princeton
University, who argues abortion is justified. And even argues some
infanticide would be justified. His school of thought
comes from the perspective of a definition of personhood
that would exclude pre-born and some born children. And he would say a person
is someone who is rational, conscious, and self-aware. And so I have encountered
people, and perhaps some in the room today,
some listening in, who would argue that
even if biologically the embryo and the
fetus are human, that philosophically
they are not persons and that’s why we
could justify abortion. That’s why we wouldn’t
have to protect embryos and fetuses
the way it was good for Captain
Sullenberger to protect the passengers on the airplane. Because they’re people but
embryos and fetuses aren’t. So then the question
we have to wrestle with is, what is the right
definition of a person? Is a person someone who
is rational, conscious, and self-aware, so that
if you’re not those things you’re not a person? Well, what I like to
do is ask the question, why isn’t, let’s say, a
one-celled human embryo, at fertilization– why isn’t that embryo rational,
conscious, or self aware? I think we know
the answer to that, is, well, the embryo is lacking
the organ necessary to be rational, conscious,
and self-aware, and that’s the brain. So then if we step back
for a moment and say, well, why doesn’t the embryo at
fertilization have a brain? We know the answer to that. Well, the embryo hasn’t had
time to develop the brain. And time is
reflected in our age. So the one-celled
human embryo, yes, isn’t rational, conscious,
or self-aware in that moment, but ultimately isn’t
able to do those things or be that way because
of how old she is. Now, let’s contrast that
with, let’s say, an amoeba. An amoeba is not rational,
conscious, or self-aware. Why? Well, because the amoeba
doesn’t have a brain. Well, why doesn’t the
amoeba have a brain? Not because it hasn’t
developed it yet, but because it’s not within
its nature to develop a brain. Because it’s not within its
nature to be a thinking thing. So in other words, an amoeba
is not rational, conscious, or self-aware because of what
it is versus a human embryo who is not rational,
conscious, or self-aware because of how old she is. So then that brings me
back to the question about human rights. Who gets human rights? Isn’t the necessary
criteria simply being human? If we were talking, for
example, about women’s rights, the necessary criteria
for getting the right would be being a woman. If we were to talk
about children’s rights the necessary criteria
would be being a child. So when we talk
about human rights, the necessary criteria simply
is being human, not being human in a certain age. And so the question
is, should personhood be grounded in how old we
are, or should personhood be grounded in what we are? Well, to answer
that question I find it helpful to go to
the United Nations. United Nations has a number
of different documents on human rights. And as I have read
these I’ve been astounded by several things
that have stood out to me. The first is that, in
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights– that is a document by
the United Nations– it very clearly says, all
members of the human family have the right to life. So in other words, to
get the right to life all that matters is that you’re
a member of the human family. But that document does
reference persons. And it references
persons in Article VI. And in Article VI of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
it says, everyone has a right to recognition
everywhere as a person before the law. Well, let’s define our terms. Who’s everyone? Earlier in the document,
in the preamble, “everyone” is defined as “all
members of the human family.” So this document is
essentially declaring, if you’re a member of the human
family you should automatically be considered a person. To understand why the
UN would say that, I think we need to put
that document into context and understand the history
of how it came to be. The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights was adopted in the late 1940s. Of course, we know
in the early 1940s we had the Holocaust
where– what happened? Some humans were deprived
of personhood status based on some feature about
them, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. And so the UN comes
up with this document to say, no, the one thing
we all have in common is our human nature. And to ensure that
we don’t repeat the injustices of the
past, it codifies, it puts in writing,
this idea that if you’re a member of the human family
you ought to automatically be considered a person
and you should not be deprived of your
personhood rights based on some quality like
ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation. And in the same
way, if that’s true, then we ought to
say the same thing about what we know to be a
human embryo and a human fetus. The quality of age shouldn’t
be the basis for which someone has personhood status,
and therefore they ought to be considered
persons according to Article VI by
virtue of being human, not by virtue of being a
certain age that enables them as a result of their age
to be rational, conscious, and self-aware in that moment. Their humanity is
what is consistent as their age, and therefore
abilities, change. If you think about the question,
when do we become persons, I think what’s
helpful is to look at the timeline from the
moment of fertilization to the moment of birth. And if we draw the line
anywhere after fertilization, we’re ultimately basing it
based on a developmental stage, or based on an age, which would
fly in the face of human rights doctrines, which aren’t to
acknowledge human rights based on abilities or age, but instead
acknowledge human rights based on being human. And we know at the
moment of fertilization, the one-celled embryo has
all the genetic material distinguishing her from
the mother and the father, and from that point
forward you’re going to change your
appearance, you’re going to change your
abilities, you’re going to change your age,
but your human identity distinguishing you
from everyone else is going to be what
remains the same. As I have dialogued
with a lot of people over the years, not
only have I found the question of personhood
being raised in conversation, but I have also found the
question of the dependency of the pre-born child being used
as grounds to justify abortion, where some people will say,
look, if someone has an infant and they don’t want the
infant, any of us in the room are capable of caring
for the infant. But if someone doesn’t
want their fetus, none of us in the room
are capable of caring for the fetus. Therefore, a woman should have
a right to have an abortion. When I hear that
argument what crosses my mind is, does the greater
dependency of the fetus make the mother less
responsible or more responsible? Well, I found myself
in conversation a few years ago with
a different student, and this young woman
said to me, look, if you have a baby in one hand
and a fetus in the other hand, you obviously pick the baby. And I thought to
myself for a moment about babies versus fetuses. As I just said a
moment ago, you know, if there was a baby
in this room napping we could all leave and come
back and the baby would be fine. But if there was a fetus
left out on the podium here and we all leave and come back,
the fetus is going to be dead. So I thought, in a sense,
babies are stronger and fetuses are weaker in
relation to each other. So I thought, what
this student actually said to me, although she
didn’t verbalize it, was this. If you have a strong
person in one hand and you have a weaker
person in the other hand, you obviously pick
the stronger person. And when it kind of
translated in my mind what she’d said to that,
I thought to myself, civil societies actually
do just the opposite. We tend to prioritize weaker
people rather than stronger people. Again, the captain prioritizes
the passengers, or ought to, and so forth. And so I thought to myself,
how do I communicate that I think civil
societies actually would prioritize weaker people
ahead of stronger people? And as it should happen,
a story came to my mind. And again, as I said,
I love telling stories. And the story that came to
my mind relates to this. And so I said to this
student, what you just said about babies versus
fetuses reminds me of a picture my friend posted on Facebook. And I said, it was a
picture of a river, and in the middle of
the river was something slightly curvy sticking up. And, in reality, it
was the kind of picture that I would keep
swiping away if it hadn’t been for the caption. And the caption my friend posted
with this picture was this, my husband is a hero. And then my friend
went on to explain why, as I then explained
to this student. My friend wrote, my
husband is a paramedic and at midnight he was called
to the scene of a car accident. A woman had been
driving down the road. She lost control of her vehicle,
and as it spun out of control it landed in a nearby river. When my friend’s
husband got to the scene he saw that that
woman driver was sitting on the roof
of her sinking car, holding her 10-month-old
baby in her arms. My friend’s husband jumps in
the water, swims towards the car and then realizes he
can only take one person at a time to shore. I looked at the student
I was dialoguing with and I asked her a question. Who do you think
he picked first? Obviously, she knew the answer. Well, the baby. Correct, I said. Why? If you had to explain
the reasoning why he picked the baby over
the mom to take first, what would it be? She said, well,
obviously because if he pick the mom first
then by the time he got back the car the baby
could have rolled in the water and drowned. Correct, I said. So would you say it’s fair
to summarize your response to this story by acknowledging
that you believe when you have a strong
person in one hand, like the mom, and a weaker
person in the other hand, like the baby, that we ought to
prioritize the needs of weaker people? She said, of course. And then I brought it
back to her original point about babies versus fetus. And I said, anyone could care
for a baby and a baby could be left alone for a while, but
only one person could care for a fetus and
cannot be left alone. So, in a sense, the
baby is stronger, like the mom in the story,
whereas the fetus is weaker, like the infant
in the mom’s arms. And since you believe
that we should prioritize weaker and more vulnerable
people ahead of stronger people, then shouldn’t we
actually prioritize the needs of the pre-born child? That point was something that
was emphasized very clearly in a different encounter that
I had through what someone shared with me. I was once at an
exhibit that was looking at parallels between
historical injustices and present-day injustices. One of the parallels being the
Rwandan genocide and abortion. The argument being that,
at the time the Tutsis were slaughtered they
weren’t deemed to be equal to the Hutu extremists,
but rather inferior. And because they were
deemed to be inferior, the dehumanizing
actions were justified. The parallel then being
that someone generally who supports abortion
does not say, I think embryos and fetuses are
equal to us and I want to kill. Not at all. But instead, deem the embryo
and fetus to be inferior, and therefore
rationalizes actions which would take away
that human’s rights because they don’t
consider them equal. The argument then being, if
we were wrong in the past about dehumanizing
one group of humans, could we be wrong in the
present about dehumanizing another group of humans? So one of the signs
at this exhibit that I was standing with was this one. And a woman came
past and stopped and began to speak with
me, and she told me that she was from Rwanda. And she told me that
most of her family had been killed in the
genocide from the mid ’90s. And I will admit, I became
very self-conscious standing, representing this
sign, because I began to wonder if
perhaps this woman would be offended by the
comparison that I was making. But instead of
assuming and wondering, I thought the best
thing I can do is seek to understand
and ask her a question. And so I looked at
this woman and I said, given all you have
told me about the brutality that your family
members were victims of, what you just barely
escaped by fleeing the country before things got
really bad, how do you feel, I said, about this
comparison I’m making? And she stepped back and she
moved her gaze really from me– she hadn’t really looked
that closely at the picture– and then she just stood in
silence for about 20 seconds as she looked at this poster. And then finally she
pointed to the picture of the aborted child and
she said, that’s worse. Because at least my family
could try to run away. This woman recognized
the greater a human’s vulnerability,
the greater another’s responsibility towards
that individual. So if we think about
that, that first quality that I have identified, that
inspiring people seem to have, that people I’ve dialogued
with have shared with me, it is the idea that we ought to
put others ahead of ourselves. Even when we’ve failed, we
know deep down that that’s something to aspire towards. And it’s clear that the
human embryo and fetus are an other just like the
passengers in the airplane. The next point that I
wanted to address today is the second
quality I have found in inspiring people, which is
that they have perspective. One of my favorite authors
is Dr. Victor Frankel, who has written the book,
“Man’s Search for Meaning.” I love books and I love
gifting books to other people. And “Man’s Search for
Meaning” is probably one– the leading book that I have
given to a lot of people. The other one would be
“Essentialism” by Greg McKeown, which is a phenomenal book. But not what I’m here
to talk about right now. But “Man’s Search
for Meaning” I’ve given away to so many people. And this book was written
by a man who was a Holocaust survivor and a psychiatrist. And so “Man’s
Search for Meaning” is really a two-part book. The first part is
about his experiences in the concentration camps,
and the second part of his book is his theories in psychology. And one of the points
that he makes in his book is the following. He said that he observed
both as a prisoner and as a psychiatrist–
who, in a sense, as a prisoner was studying
human behavior as he was being victimized in
the concentration camps. One of the things he observed
is that, he would have expected all of the guards to be cruel. And most of them were. But he said every now
and then, surprisingly, amidst all the cruel guards
there was someone who was kind. And then he said,
amongst the prisoners there were some who, when
treated like animals, became like animals
and were cruel to their fellow prisoners. But there were others, he said,
regardless of how brutally they were treated, maintained
their humanity, and in their starving state
would save morsels of food not for themselves but
for a fellow prisoner. And when Dr. Frankel
makes this observation it draws him to this conclusion. Someone can have a
similar experience but still choose a different
response to the experience. And he says, the last of the
human freedoms that can never be taken from us is the freedom
to choose how to respond to the situation that we’re in. That is what perspective is. Inspiring people
who have perspective can be in a horrible
circumstance, in a sense beyond their
control, but they recognize what is still
within their control is their response to
that circumstance, is their attitude. And Dr. Frankel has come up
with a mathematical equation that explains the
power of perspective. Because in the
concentration camps he saw a lot of
suffering, suffering that was so bad that some
people sought to commit suicide because they despaired. And Dr. Frankel said,
early on in his time at the concentration
camps he decided he would never kill himself. Moreover, would he
not commit suicide, but he was going to try to
dissuade his fellow prisoners from doing that. And he discovered the way to try
to convince them not to despair was to help them find meaning. And so his mathematical
equation was this. D equals S, minus M. Despair
is suffering without meaning. He recognized, in the present
circumstances removing the suffering was
near impossible, but he could decrease
despair to the extent that he increased meaning. And Dr. Frankel, years after
coming out of the concentration camps, cites an example where
this equation, in a sense, was brought to life
with a young teenager he learned about in Texas who
had become a quadriplegic. A lot of times when
people are asked, imagine if you were
suddenly paralyzed, would you want to keep living? And when we’re not in that
state we think, no, I wouldn’t. Well, Dr. Frankel cites
an example of someone who found herself
not being asked that question in a hypothetical,
but that was reality. She became quadriplegic. She would spend her
days watching the news, reading the news,
and whenever she came across a story
of someone who was going through a very
difficult time, of someone who was suffering in
some way, she would ask an assistant
to bring a stick and place it in her mouth. She would then use
that stick, bend over to press keys on a keyboard
so she could write letters of encouragement to the people
she’d read about in the news. And Dr. Frankel said her life
is filled with an abundant sense of meaning. We decrease despair
in the presence of suffering to the extent
we increase meaning. That’s what I mean
by perspective. I saw the power of perspective
up close and personally a few years ago when
I had the privilege of spending an afternoon with
this young man, Nick Vujicic. How many of you have heard
of this motivational speaker? I did a quick Google search
as to whether you had a “Talks at Google” with Nick Vujicic,
and I don’t think you have, so I highly recommend it. This guy’s hilarious. So, it helps that
he has an accent. He’s from Australia. I just think accents are cool. But he’s really funny. So anyways, I know someone who
knows someone who knows Nick. And he was coming
to the city I used to live in Canada, in
Calgary, and so I thought, I got to try to meet this guy
because I talk about his story so often. So, sure enough, he
was willing to meet with me and my colleagues and
we surprised my colleagues with him. They didn’t know
that he was coming, and they all knew his story. So when he came to the
office they were shocked. Like they were like, no way! This isn’t you! And then Nick looks at everyone. He goes, I’m not Nick Vujicic. I’m his stunt double. [LAUGHTER] So anyways, Nick is a funny guy. He lives a full life. He loves traveling the world,
speaking to millions of people, and inspiring them,
getting access to audiences I could only dream
of getting access to. And it’s because of
what he doesn’t have. It’s because of
his lack of limbs. He looks at this disability
as an opportunity. But he didn’t always
have that attitude. He didn’t always have
that perspective. When Nick was a child he was
bullied and taunted and made fun of so much that one night
while lying in the family bathtub he thought about rolling
over and drowning himself in an act of suicide. Now, he obviously
didn’t do that. But what’s also obvious
is that his circumstances didn’t change. He still lacks the limbs now
that he locked in that bathtub. So what’s changed? His perspective. Instead of thinking about
what his lack of limbs prevents him from
doing, he started to think about what his lack
of limbs enabled him to do. In the afternoon
I spent with him I spent also with another
family he had invited along, and that family included
this 2-year-old girl, Brooke. And, as you can see,
Brooke doesn’t have arms. Nick’s lack of limbs was
not diagnosed in utero by ultrasound. It was only discovered
when he was born. Brooke’s lack of limbs– or her lack of arms–
on the other hand, was discovered while her mom
was pregnant via ultrasound, and when the mom went
for a routine ultrasound and they saw the fetus
didn’t have arms, the doctors offered
to do an abortion. Brooke’s parents said no. They didn’t have a smartphone
at the time, so they went home and where do you
think they went? Google. I’ve told this
story so much, but I have to say, I’ve never
told it at Google, so I think that’s really cool. [LAUGHTER] So they went on to Google and
they typed, “no arms,” Enter. And the first hit
was Nick Vujicic. And they spent the
rest of that pregnancy looking at videos of someone
who was like their daughter. And then an opportunity came,
two years after she was born, for them to drive eight
hours through the mountains from British Columbia to
Alberta in Western Canada to see in the flesh someone
who looked like their daughter. And when I saw Nick and
Brooke interact I thought, he is uniquely positioned
to motivate and inspire Brooke in a way
her parents can’t, in a way her sister
can’t, in a way none of us could and it’s because
of what he doesn’t have. His obstacle is now
his opportunity. That’s the power of perspective. I think that can be,
then, obviously related to the abortion discussion. How can we change
our perspective in an unplanned
crisis situation? In another occasion
where I was on a college campus a student came to
the microphone and said, my step mom had an
abortion because she was told her fetus was
going to die at birth. Are you telling
me she was wrong? And I first expressed
sympathy to the student saying that I was
sorry for the suffering that his step-mom went through
and I don’t pretend to know what that must have been like. And I said to him, your
question is a fair one, and I’m going to answer it. But I said, if
you’ll bear with me, I believe I can best address
your question by engaging you in a dialogue, by asking
you some questions. Would that be OK? He said sure. I said, OK. Well, the question I
have for you actually involves setting
aside the abortion topic for just a
moment and entering into a thought experiment. I said, I want you to
imagine that someone you love dearly on the opposite
end of the country calls you– calls you today and says, I’ve
just been diagnosed with cancer and I’ve been given
four weeks left to live. I looked at this student
and I said, would you wait until week three,
day six, to hop on a plane and go say goodbye to
the person you love? Or, I said, would you take
the next flight out and savor every moment of every day of the
next four weeks with the person you love? And he said, well,
the second option. I said, me too. And here’s what I think
this says about us. What I think it
says about us is, we recognize when we have
a minimal amount of time left with someone
we love, we want to maximize the minimal time. We don’t want to cut short the
already short time we have. That’s perspective. So I said, let’s take that
principle, that perspective, and let’s apply it to the
situation your step-mom found herself in. Before that poor
prenatal diagnosis, she probably thought she
had 50 years with her child. And in one moment of
hearing that news, your baby’s going
to die at birth, she went from having 50
years to roughly 20 weeks. I said, based on your analysis
of the thought experiment, why would we cut short
the already short time we have left? Instead, wouldn’t
we want to savor every moment of every day of
the next 20 weeks with the child that we love? Now, upon the birth happening
and the child dying, would there be sorrow, grief? Absolutely. But if you have the abortion
and you wanted to be pregnant, would there be sorrow and grief? Yes. So having the abortion instead
of carrying on 20 more weeks is not going to spare sadness. But it will rob you
of the gift of time. And that’s, again, where we
want the power of perspective. The final point that I wanted
to address this morning was that quality
of inspiring people which is to do the right
thing, even when it’s hard. If you think about it, that
fits with your code of conduct. I know you have a slogan
here of “don’t be evil,” and when Alphabet came to
be it got a little broader, to do the right thing. But we know that we
should do the right thing, even when it’s hard. And I think that’s relevant
in the abortion discussion if we think for a moment
about the circumstances that a pregnant
woman could be in. And if we think about
the reasons that would prompt someone
to have an abortion, we can acknowledge this is hard. Imagine being pregnant from
rape, being in poverty, having health problems,
just not wanting the child, or being really young,
having no support. In each of these
situations, wherever someone sits on the abortion
debate, what side of the fence they’re on, there’s
agreement, to be pregnant and poor would be hard. To be pregnant and
young would be hard. To be pregnant from rape would
be excruciatingly difficult. There’s no denying
the difficulty in these circumstances. The question is, what ought we
do when circumstances are hard? Well, let’s imagine the
circumstances are these, but not with a pregnant
person but someone who’s parenting this born child. Would it be easy or hard to take
care of this child in poverty? Hard. Would be easy or hard to care
for this child and be 14? Hard. Would it be easy or hard
to parent this child, knowing every day
you look in her face you’re reminded her
father was a rapist? It would be hard. Would we ever allow someone
to end this child’s life because the circumstances
for the parent are hard? We wouldn’t. We would say we need to do the
right thing, even when it’s hard. And so I would suggest,
in the various encounters I’ve had that we have
the same attitude when it comes to this
life, since we know this is a living human being
who, according to Article VI of the UN, ought to be
considered a person who’s simply younger than
the rest of us. And since human rights
aren’t grounded in age, they’re grounded in
being human, then we ought to say here
as we say there, we have to do the right
thing, even when it’s hard. And that brings to mind
several people I’ve had the privilege of meeting
who I believe, by their stories, have inspired me to do
the right thing when it’s hard in my own life the
way they’ve done that in theirs. A few months ago I
spoke in Guatemala and I spoke alongside
another speaker, my friend here, Lianna. Lianna and I met for the
first time in Guatemala. She speaks both Spin– Spinglish. [CHUCKLING] She speaks
English and Spanish. I, on the other hand,
only speak English and so I had a
translator translate for the audience my talk. But because she
spoke in Spanish that meant when she gave her talk
I couldn’t understand it. So it wasn’t until we
got to the restaurant after giving our
first presentation in the hotel we
were staying in that evening that we
shared our stories and got to know each other. And as we were talking she
mentioned that she was 37. And I said, no way, I’m 36. And then a short while
later she mentioned that she had a daughter. And I said, well, how
old is your daughter? And she said, 25. And then I did the math
and I thought, 25 years ago I was 11, which means 25
years ago Lianna was 12. And Leanna told me her
story, that growing up in Mexico City, when she was 12
one day two men kidnapped her, held her for two days,
and brutally raped her. She got pregnant from that rape. And when she went to the
doctor and discovered this, the doctors offered
her an abortion. And Lianna asked the
doctors if abortion would help her forget the rape,
if it would help ease her pain and suffering. And the doctor said, well,
no, it won’t do that. And she realized in that moment
that if ending her baby’s life wouldn’t benefit anybody,
she wasn’t going to do it. And Lianna said, if abortion
wasn’t going to heal anything, I didn’t see the point. She said, I just knew I had
somebody inside my body. I never thought about who
her biological father was. She was my kid. She was inside of me. And just knowing she
needed me made me want to get a job to help her. But in an interview
Lianna did, she shared that, although
that was her attitude about the pregnancy, the
rape itself caused her life to become a living hell. No matter how many
times she showered, she could not get rid of the
feeling that she was dirty. And so she started to
entertain thoughts– or she thought about
committing suicide. But when she thought
about committing suicide, she remembered she
was pregnant and she had to think not only about
herself but about the child, and so she didn’t kill herself. And she looked at me in
that restaurant in Guatemala and she said to me, Stephanie,
I saved my daughter’s life, but she saved mine. In another story of
an inspiring person I’ve met who I believe brings
this third principle to life, I’m reminded of a young
woman by the name of Veronica who was a college student who
got pregnant unexpectedly. And her boyfriend wanted
her to have an abortion and her friends wanted
her to have an abortion, but she ended up telling her
parents and moving back home and getting support. And she sent me this picture of
her and her daughter, Amelia. And I’d like to read for
you what she said to me when she sent this picture. She said, the picture
I’ve enclosed of Amelia and I doesn’t
fully show my face, but it’s an important
picture to me. Amelia became very ill
with respiratory problems around seven months, which
meant a lot of nights dealing with fever, congestion,
pain control, and a sad little baby who kept
waking up due to having trouble breathing in her sleep. She said, I took this
picture one night when I decided to let her
sleep on my chest instead of the crib, and she slept
throughout the night, and so I did that every
night until she was better. And she said to
me, it represents what we do as
mothers, that we stop looking at ourselves as
individuals with needs and instead we
begin to look at how we can serve another and
therefore love another. And with doing that,
she said, comes learning to love ourselves. And finally, I’m reminded
of my friend Debbie. Debbie’s story is similar
to Lianna’s and Veronica’s, in that she was
unexpectedly pregnant. But unlike Lianna’s
and Veronica’s story, Debbie had an abortion. And she deeply regrets having
made that choice, but realizes, like all of us, she
cannot undo her past. But she became convicted
that if she had regrets and she knew the
impact of her choice back then that she lives with
now, that she would have wanted someone to tell their story. And so she’s decided
to tell her story to try to help people
think differently when it comes to the crisis they’re in. And so she travels to
different audiences and she talks about
her choice and she talks about regretting it. And once she was in an audience
where a student had a friend en route to an abortion clinic,
and he simply sent his friend a text. There’s a woman here who
regrets her abortion. And the friend texted back, why? And so this young woman was
willing to sit down with Debbie and listen to not
only Debbie’s story, but give Debbie an
opportunity to listen to her and what her reasonings
were for abortion. And she felt she had
no support, that she couldn’t get through that
pregnancy and parenting. So Debbie said, I’ll support
you and your friend here will support you. That girl didn’t go to the
abortion clinic that day, but she did go the next day
to hear her child’s heartbeat, and then she decided to carry
through with that pregnancy. And several months later,
this baby girl was born. And to wrap everything up before
we move it into questions, I just want to leave
you with the thought that, whether it’s this teenage
mom who not only is delighted that she has this baby– but she encouraged
another friend to carry through
with a pregnancy that that friend is
grateful to have– whether it’s this teenage
mom or whether it’s Debbie, or whether it’s
Lianna, or Veronica, whether it’s little
Brooke or her parents, whether it’s Captain
Sullenberger who prioritized the passengers on his
airplane, whether it’s Nick Vujicic, that you remember
all these people and think, they’re inspiring because they
put others ahead of themselves, because they had
perspective, and because they did the right thing even
when it was really hard. And that’s the challenge that
I leave all of you with today. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] At this point I would
be happy to engage you in a dialogue, a conversation,
and a question and answer period. So if you have questions
about the topic in general or anything I’ve shared, I
would be happy to answer them. And Mark has a
microphone over there, and he will take it around. So any questions? AUDIENCE: I was
wondering, how do you suggest creating
a dialogue like this in an environment which is
almost entirely for abortion? So how do you even
start this conversation when you know there is such
a strong outward resistance to a pro-life point of view? STEPHANIE GRAY: You know,
hopefully it came through in the stories that
I shared, that I think a lot of the times the
way we start conversations– whether we think it’s
an environment that’s going to be friendly
or not so friendly– is to start conversations
with open-ended questions. So I will ask people, what
do you think about abortion? And if that might seem like
a really random, not so much lunch-table
conversation, you could maybe find an article
in the newspaper or something that you read about online that
somehow relates and bring it up, and say, did you see that
article about x, y, or z? And it made me think, what do
you think about this topic? What do you think
about abortion? And really seek to
understand where that person is coming from. And to give you an example,
once on an airplane a guy sitting next to me– we shared what our jobs were
and he asked what I did, and I said, I go and give
talks about abortion. And he said, really? That’s fascinating. And I just looked at him
and said, what do you think about abortion? And he said, I think
it’s necessary sometimes. And I just asked
another question. I said, when do you
think it’s necessary? And he said, like cases of rape. And I said, you know,
I agree with you that rape is a
horrible evil and we need to not only support the
woman who’s been victimized, but we need far more serious
consequences for the rapists. And then I said to him,
I have to ask myself a question though. And the question I have
to ask myself is this, is it fair to give the death
penalty to the innocent child? And this passenger looked
at me and he said, well, I never thought of it that way. And so I didn’t go in boarding
my plane with the intention to speak about abortion. I just asked a few questions
when someone asked me what my job was. Any other questions? AUDIENCE: Hi. So I have a friend who
says he’s pro-life. Like, if he were with a
woman who was pregnant he would really do
everything in his power to persuade her to choose life. But he says he wouldn’t want to
impose that decision on someone else. What is your– STEPHANIE GRAY: So that is a
common perspective people have, is, I feel this way, and I
might even encourage you, but I can’t force my
views on you insofar as I don’t think the
law, for example, should reflect how I would live. And when someone says that, I
think analogies are helpful. I would ask a question and
draw an analogy out of it. I would say, well, would you
say that you’re against rape? Yes. And if someone was
going to commit rape, would you try to stop them? Yes. And do you think, if you’re
incapable of stopping them and they actually
commit rape, that we ought to have laws that ban
rape so there are consequences for that person? And if they say yes,
then I would say, OK. So you clearly think,
under some circumstances, we should have laws that say
certain actions are wrong. So then why, when it
comes to abortion, would you treat it
differently if abortion ends the life of a human being? Now, if abortion doesn’t end
the life of a human being, then I think we can call
into question, should we have any laws against it? But since we know we’re dealing
with a human being that’s living, then if
the act of abortion ends that human being’s life,
it’s not enough for me to say, I personally won’t kill
someone, but if you want to kill someone
that’s your right. If the facts are true,
if the evidence is there, we have to go to its
logical conclusion and say, if this action ends someone’s
life it’s wrong not just for me but it’s wrong for everyone. And we ought to
have laws against it as we do with rape and
other types of murder and other things like that. So we can’t determine whether
we should, quote unquote, “force our views
on other people” until we know what the view is. Like, for example, a
lot of times people say, I support a
woman’s right to choose. We have to finish our sentence. That’s not
grammatically correct. Choose what? It’s hanging there. I support a woman’s right to
choose what color shoes to wear with her outfit. Sure. What kind of ice cream
she thinks is the best. Sure. But I don’t support
a woman’s right to choose to kill an
innocent child, regardless of the child’s age. So in a similar way, if I said
to you, I support a man’s right to take, you would have to
ask me to define what I mean. Take what? And it it’s, support a
man’s right to take his bag and walk out of the
room, totally OK. But I don’t support
a man’s right to take someone else’s
bag out of the room. So we need to define what
we mean by choice, by take, by all of this stuff,
and if in defining it evidence leads us to the
fact that we’re actually ending someone’s life or
violating a human right, then we have to create
a structure legally that bans that for the interests
of our fellow human beings. Any other questions? AUDIENCE: I haven’t really
quite formulated my question. On top of– using that
same analogy then, what good would incarcerating
a mother be when we’re talking about the issue– the issue being that women do
not have enough support right now, so what good
would making it illegal do for the woman in showing her
that there is support for her, that there is another way? STEPHANIE GRAY:
Very good question. So certainly I would say,
it’s not just one strategy and abandoning all
other strategies. The slogan I like to use is,
make abortion unthinkable. But in believing it
ought to be unthinkable based on the evidence of
dealing with a human being and believing in human
rights, believing it ought to be unthinkable
doesn’t exclude me from saying, I also believe it
ought to be illegal. I do believe it ought to
be illegal and unthinkable. What would be the
consequences for a woman who violates the law? Well, the first point
is, no woman is currently violating the law. So we’re not talking
about, for example, putting women in jail
who have had abortions. What we’re talking
about is a hypothetical at some future point
when the law changes, what ought the consequences be. And even when we say
something is illegal– you know, it’s
illegal to steal– what the consequences are
for any individual who steals vary from case to case. You might find a situation
where a woman has an abortion under emotional duress. She actually is not
freely choosing it. It’s against the
law, but someone’s pressuring her or forcing her
to go there against her will, so that would be one example. Or you have cases like
Andrea Yates where you have a woman who drowned her
born children in the bath tub. I believe in her
case she was found not criminally responsible. Her actions were still wrong
and they’re still unlawful, but a case was made, or could
be made in circumstances like this, where someone was
not of the right frame of mind to be fully consenting to the
action that they were taking. So all of that needs to
be taken into account. But the reality is,
the law currently isn’t against abortion. And so what I think is
very important, as efforts are made to have the law
changed to reflect human rights, that all of us have the
inalienable right to life, in the meantime we have
to offer support to women. Absolutely. And there are pregnancy centers. There are homes
for pregnant women. There are nonprofits
across the country that exist to do that very
thing and to not only journey with a woman
through her pregnancy, but to really walk with her
after her pregnancy as well. If she chooses to parent
rather than adoption, she’s going to need
a lot of support. And these centers
exist, and I would say very much should have
our attention and support. So I hope that was helpful. Any final questions? AUDIENCE: Well, you’ve
given an inspiring talk. So you’re kind of like
that good person quality that you’re kind of mentioning. So I was going to ask
a personal question. What inspires you
to be who you are to give talks around the world? STEPHANIE GRAY: Well, thank you. In terms of what inspires me. You know, just speaking of
pregnancy centers there– my mom volunteered
at a pregnancy center when I was a young child. Both my parents were really
active in the pro-life cause, you could say,
generally speaking, but in particular
my mom volunteered at a pregnancy center. So when clients would
come for pregnancy tests I would often go with her and
I would doodle on letter head while she was in the office
counseling the girls. And when those
clients gave birth my mom would go to the
hospital with flowers and I would come along. And so from a very
young age I saw that there were women in crisis
who felt they had no support. And I saw that there were
people like my parents and my mom who would
support them and love them through that
difficult circumstance and turn that obstacle they
were in into an opportunity. And that laid the
foundation to really convict me to want to use
the skills that I had to help those who were
more vulnerable and in need. And I went to
university, actually, with plans to pursue
a different career. But I heard an American
speaker who came to Canada, and I was a college student. His name is Scott Klusendorf,
and he gave a presentation on this topic that blew my mind. And in that talk he said,
there are more people working full-time to kill
babies than there are working full-time to save them. And I’ll admit, when I heard
those words I became very convicted that I wanted to
be one of the people being a voice for those who were
entirely incapable of raising their voices against what
was happening to them. And a lot of things unfolded,
and here I am 15 years later. Thank you very much. SPEAKER 1: Thank you
very much, Miss Gray. [APPLAUSE] If you guys have any
remaining un-asked questions she’ll be here. You can talk to her in person. And again, we have copies of
her book, “Love Unleashes Life.” So thank you very
much for coming. And for those tuning
in as well, too. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

Author:

100 thoughts on “Stephanie Gray: “Abortion: From Controversy to Civility” | Talks at Google”

  • my sincere thanks, Google, for inviting Stephanie Gray to your headquarters and sharing her talk on-line – she is a gracious, compassionate and compelling speaker, thank you for giving a voice to the voice-less (unborn) in a way that creates room for everyone, regardless of their viewpoint

  • Such great story telling with moral points! good to watch no matter where you are in abortion/pro life debate! makes you think through your logic.

  • So awesome that Google would invite a pro-life person to speak to give the other side of the story! It's inspiring to see the openness to dialgoue.

  • OpticalArxenal says:

    Oh good lord, not this language manipulation again… Human is a word that doesn't mean that much, human being denotes a person, as in an individual who has a basic brain capacity that allows it the basic thinking, feeling, percieving and reacting to input etc etc…"But how about people with disorders who can't feel pain, are they less human?!" No, don't be daft, it's a disorder, it's not supposed to be that way, but it is, it's a broken bit that can be remedied (or not in some cases, regrettably), but that doesn't make them less human.

    A fetus within elective abortion limits (in the vast majority of countries) cannot think, feel, do anything thaT a later fetus/born human can, thus there's no moral dilemma of terminating the pregnancy, thus killing the fetus, other than what you personally invest emotionally. How you feel is entirely your business, and you're entitled to your feelings, all fine and dandy. But you can't force it onto others.

    And no. You don't automatically get to be considered a person. Development matters. Brain development specifically, and that's mostly what the bill of human rights (in this relation) is based on. A fetus without a brain is not a person.

    So kindly can it with these manipulative speciesist and emotionally blackmailing speeches.

  • In Islam, the "pro-life versus pro-choice" issues didn't exist because there's a clear definition of when a foetus became a human, which is on the 120th day. In secular society, the problem is, the "pro-life" argument assumes that a foetus is a human-being since it was an embryo, this is an over-simplification and it conflicted a lot with with people's choice and freedom (and it conflicted with science too). I hope science find a "line" that define when a human isn't an embryo, so that people stop using these pro-life's irrational generalisation & emotion to push lawmaker & government to create a law that punish people .

  • oh man at 46 min she mentions what is hard… I really wish she mentioned adoption, although hard, still one of the options.

  • Vivian Rudowski says:

    this is a brilliant and very moving talk about being human in all areas of life – thank you for posting

  • but clearly cannot have civil discourse talking about why women arent represented in tech… quite tje opposite for such a tolerant culture. Shame bell @ Google. 😝🔔🕭🔔

  • Philoreia Purcell says:

    Philosophy not based upon Science is NOT philosophy. PHILOS+SOPH[IA] = Love of Knowledge. Knowledge is simply the end game of Science. Science is preformed not only through biological, & physical, & chemical, researches, but also through mathematical, logical, & imangenational, researches. Those researches illuminate through the Art of the models, imagical & physical, that come from them, the Nature of Existence & the Reality it produces, & it is that Nature which Science, including philosophy, has as its one subject.

  • Philoreia Purcell says:

    Consciousness is the one proper determination of personhood. Consciousness is logically best calculated as a basic, elementary, aspect of Existence, present thus in all things that are abstracts of Existence with lives & paths to make in the Reality Existence generates. That is the scientific approach to understanding personhood, & it should be extended not only to humans at all stages of life, but also to all things, flora, fauna, mineral, chemical, atom, physical, imageny, etc.
    Now, the abortion debate is riddled with fallacy & overly limited ideology. Abortion is immoral, it is the killing of a person, AND it is immoral to force a person [be it a woman, an hermaphrodite, a man] to act as a life-support unit for another person against that first person's will. The sole moral solution to this paradox is to pour our joint resources into the development of an artificial womb, which will allow the protection of the child from death & the liberation from a terrible torture the person who is carrying the child. That is what we all should be striving for. Both sides must lay down their arms & raise up their minds & resources to such wholly accurate solutions to this grave issue. Then we can at last move on in a completely satisfactory way.

  • I've got to admit she gives some pretty convincing arguments. For the most part I'd say I'm pro life, however i can see some circumstances where abortion could be incredibly useful. For instance if a child gets raped and becomes pregnant. The child has a higher risk of death, so abortion might be a good option. Especially since the fetus can not feel pain under 20 weeks of conception because the nerves system has not fully developed. Yet the pregnant child can feel excruciating pain. So while it is unlikely that i would have an abortion, I think it should be legal.

  • Abortion will eventually be abolished. And it will not be because of political rhetoric but more so, medical advancement .

    As non surgical guaranteed contraception develops; along with advance knowledge of the fetus which was once inconceivable. Plus technological advancements more profound than the ultrasound which allow parents to interact and dare I say, play games with the fetus at earlier stages become increasingly possible; abortion will be abolished.

    And I can see those people looking back at our age with disgust, much like how we look back at earlier civilization which left deformed, disabled or unwanted female newborns in the cold to die

  • "I find advocates of abortion distressingly unwilling to address the question of when human life/personhood begins and when they do, their answers are not difficult to refute. It wasn’t until years later that I figured out it was largely irresponsible sexual behavior that was making abortion more and more a “necessity” rather than confusion about when human life begins. (Thus my interest in contraception.)"

    "The root principle of birth-control is unsound. It is a glorification of the means and a contempt of the end; it says that the pleasure which is a means to the procreation of children is good, but the children themselves are no good. In other words, to be logical, the philosophy of birth-control would commit us to a world in which trees were always blooming but never giving fruit, a world full of sign-posts that were leading nowhere. In this cosmos every tree would be a barren fig-tree and for that reason would have upon it the curse of God." –Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  • thisisanewusername says:

    This dumb bitch won't answer what the penalty for an abortion should be. Typical cowardly "pro-rape" tactics. Fuck these people.

  • SullivansProjects says:

    I had really bad cancer last year and am still struggling but an 18-year old girl in Hospice with Huntington's Disease I know has joy and enthusiasm for life that made me never feel despair for myself. So you're 100% right I am living proof.

  • Thank you Miss Gray for this beautiful perspective on LIFE..)))))))).All Life Is Precious (((((((( Believe me youll regret what youve done

  • Excellent. And as a fellow Catholic I appreciate the fact that she didn't even need to insert a religious argument. This is simply an issue of basic human right to life for the most vulnerable members of humanity. Anyone, Faith or no Faith can comprehend this.

  • Dreamers Disease says:

    Technically when a male ejaculates the sperm are already life and technically you kill millions of sperm when only one should be able to make it. So is the life the human or the life of the sperm? Why are you putting humans higher than other organisms. Cause humans are not any higher. Ego.

  • Julianna Rose Childrens Foundation says:

    Our quesrions to Ms Gray would be1. Do you believe in organ donation? If so, how do you justify killing a person, we say killing because, if you believe all humans are in fact alive, regardless of age or current abilities or cognition, then do you think keeping someone on life supoort soley to harvest organs for another, is in fact 'killing' them? If not, why? 2. If you believe a womens womb is life supoort for an embryo and fetus and without it, via abortion, the embryo or fetus would die, and you believe this be ending a person's life, do you then think a life supoort machine providing life to persons connected, if removed, either by virtue of organ donation or by family or person own request is also murder or suicide, respectively? If not, why?
    3.Recently my daughters high school class watched this video and was then assigned questions to answer. My daughter, an articulate, intelligent, sefless, caring young women, took offense to your using people with disabilities to further your personal agenda. People with disabilities don't exists to empower you, Ms. Gray, or to inspire you or to make people without disabilities feel better about themselves or grateful they don't have a disability. It's offensive you would make a generalized statement that most people, if asked if they became disabled would they want to live(that way) and most would say no. Although your attempt at encompassing literally all people, from survivors of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, people with disabilities, young teens, rape survivors and even your last photo of what appears to be an older women who regrets having had an abortion, to Captain Sully, in your quest to prove your position, was quite imoressive, it seems you have spoken for just about everyone except those who don't regret it, except those who want the choice and except those who didn't fit your position, other then your own attempt at counter arguments So our next question is, why? And do you think A dialogue that is one sided is a conversation? If so, how?
    5. Your analogies of a mom and baby on sinking car and fetus in one hand and baby in the other and you can only save one is flawed. You say we save the weaker, the less able, instinctively so baby was save before mom on the sinking car. But the fetus and baby analogy doesn't work. The baby in your hand is alive, breathing, thinking, cognitively aware and can survive without mom if she were to die, whereas the fetus is already dead if it's in your hand . How do you justify asking a person to choose between a baby and a ferus. Our last question is, Have you asked any willingly pregnant moms if they HAD to choose between saving their own life & by extension, their unborn fetus or embryo or saving the life a their child in their arms, at home or away at college, which would they choose? Or a woman whose already a mom to other kids if they had to choose between saving their own life or their fetus/embryos life, which would they choose?
    As a mom to three I can easily say I'd save the lives of my children before my own and Id save my life before a fetus or embryo so I can be here for my children who are already here. I can try to have another but my kids only have me. That's me. I don't speak for all mom's or all women and would never insinuate that I do or that my opinion is the only right opinion and I would never use other people's suffering or abilities to further or attempt to prove my opinion. That's what an opinion is. Your lecture was based almost entirely on the backs other peopleside experience, experienceso you your self obviously have no experience with. How do you preach and make money off of other people's stories and think that's ok?

  • She talks about personhood (good) but then decides that an embryo qualifies as a member of the "human family" and therefore deserves human rights based on semantics and her interpretation of the meaning of "human family" in the "universal declaration of human rights" which states that all members of the human family have inalienable human rights including the right to life.  Very convenient to make the decision that "human family" = homo sapiens (even before birth), or that to be a "person" requires only having the potential to be conscious, rational and self-aware, rather than actually being those things.  Her arguments are all very convenient, but all self-referential.  When you take out that one semantic trick, the rest of her arguments fall away.  Instead we are left with the only real debate being at what point does personhood, or humanity, actually begin.  She says that the only logical place is at conception.  It may be the most convenient place, but no, it is by no means the only logical place.

    She also projects her own interpretation on other people's actions.  For example, she says that decision to save a baby from drowning before the mother is prioritizing the weak over the strong.  That interpretation is ridiculous. The decision is prioritizing the probability of saving two lives over saving just one (duh!). Likewise, when those oxygen masks drop down in an airplane, you put your own mask on before putting it on your child.  Is that prioritizing the strong over the weak?  No, it is again prioritizing saving two lives over just one.

    She's good at what she does, and she can wind you around, but in the end does not make a convincing argument.

  • Melissa Gardner says:

    Mary Lou

    The problem with what she said is that she never actually addressed the dependency argument and instead talked about inherent parental responsibility (which doesn’t exist)

  • The Acid Muskitears says:

    So… lemmie get this straight. At 13:00 she mentions that the embryo is growing, and thus living… i see it that the mother's body is putting it together. If we remove the mother from the equation, is it still growing? If i put together legos in my free time is my creation living? It was created from a human, and it is growing… does that make it living? No!

  • The Acid Muskitears says:

    17:07 so… what you're saying is that when the sperm merges with the egg, that is the moment life starts. That is like saying that by rolling a bowling ball i got a strike. Basically, my point is that, rather than saying that if i do this then this is the outcome, how about saying "this is a neccicary step for the wanted outcome"

  • I love this! Her approach is so civil, so calm. Even if you disagree, you’ve got to appreciate that she’s starting discussion without starting conflict.

  • If civil society prioritizes the weak as Gray argues, then our society should do all it can to help children and not separate them from their parents at the border, it should make sure we have enough money to provide housing for homeless elderly, it should provide enough money to provide universal health care for all.

  • We enter the human vessel at first breath or latter. God is concerned with souls development. Adults and children should not be imprisoned for being involved with abortion. A co-worker one morning said to me. I was shown you in a past life in a dream last night. You were a military officer. You were wearing this blue hat and it was you. I told him yes that the blue hat was part of my military uniform. What I did not say was my name at that time period. I was married in my uniform. I died in a battle and I know exactly where that occurred. In 1987 I had experiences that taught me many things. An out of body experience. Experience with the light and sound of God. I met a woman. I was shown her past. As a girl, she lived in a house with her grandparents out upon a dirt road. They loved her very much. I was shown that later her husband, a young blonde haired man and young blonde haired niece died in a car accident due to his drinking alcohol. Two coffins were buried upon a grassy hill. One large coffin and one small coffin. She agreed that that which I was shown was indeed true. I told her about her husband standing behind her while she is seated at the dinner table. Do you ever feel him there? Her reply was " yes ". I went further back into her past lives and was shown one of her as a nun. An embodiment for minutes, hours or years be that male or female does not guarantee escape from revolving in and out of the physical embodiments. " Soul " is that which we are. We do not have a soul as we are " soul ". After having the out of body experience I wanted to know of people who knew about this. I was told by a man at a Metaphysical bookstore that Eckankar knows about being out of the body. I traveled to an Eckankar center and borrowed some books. I found that Eckankar taught about the experiences I was having. Past lives, the light and the sound of God and more was in the teachings. ECKANKAR—The Path of Spiritual Freedom.

  • Suffering isn't the only amoral infliction to place onto living beings. If you were to kill a human being in their sleep, in a way that was completely painless and that caused them no suffering, is that acceptable? Just because the human didn't suffer, it would be fine to kill them? I would argue that it is STILL wrong to kill someone, even if they can't feel it and even if they won't suffer. I think we all have to admit that things can be amoral for a variety of reasons. I think one of the MAJOR reasons it is considered amoral to kill innocent humans is partly because we know we are taking away their future. Killing a tree is not the same as killing a fetus. A tree will NEVER become a thinking, conscious being. A fetus, however, is actively developing more and more complex levels of consciousness. Their future is fully a head of them. This is also one of the reasons why it is considered especially heinous to harm or kill children. This is why it's especially tragic when a child dies as opposed to a 95 year old person in their sleep. One human has already lived their entire life, the other human had their life stolen from them. So, I would argue that once a unique human life begins (at fertilization) there is a VERY good reason why that organism would have moral value within our society. If you believe ALL human beings regardless of their age, stage in development, size, location, and capabilities are of value, then abortion is amoral and wrong. Just because a human being is less developed, doesn't mean it is less human or less worthy of life. With the logic of "certain levels of neurological capability means the entity is 'human enough'", infants would be "less human" than 3 year old toddlers, and 3 year old toddlers would be "less human" than teenagers, and the list goes on and on. It is nonsensical. We recognize that ALL of these humans are valuable, they are just at different stages of their life and have different capabilities respective to their stage in life.

  • David Hendrickson says:

    As a deeply pro-life guy myself (and not just pro-birth at that), I have a couple of legitimate questions: How should we date people's ages? When I was three months along inside my mother, was I three months old, or was I negative six months old? And depending on how that question is answered, why don't we give citizenship to children based on the country they were conceived in instead of the country they were born in?

  • She is incredibly articulate and although she is religious, she does not use religion to argue, which is particularly effective. Excellent.

  • It's so wonderful; to see such wonderful throng of conscientious Americans; marching for the rights of the unborn.

    In EVERY OTHER march; people are marching for themselves; in one way or another.

    For THEIR rights.

    Not to minimize, the need; for civil rights; for those who are walking the Earth.

    But let's not forget: that the unborn cannot march; for themselves. So GOD BLESS each and every person who took time, to travel to Washington D.C. to stand up; literally, for those who cannot yet stand up for themselves.

    To declare; "I exist!"

    And I have RIGHTS!

    Remember, that the US Supreme Court, in Roe Vs. Wade was a decision of FIVE human beings.

    You only need five people. To make a majority decision on the Court. And those five people. Misguided as they were, are not responsible, in a way; for the deaths of over 40 MILLION American children.

    Imagine the Viet Nam Memorial, which encourages us to remember; through the immortalization of names, the some 55,000 dead servicemen that gave their lives in the fight for the freedom of the South Vietnamese.

    I've been there; it's a wall about half the length of a football field, and about 7 feet high.

    If a wall, on the same proportions, was built for the victims of legalized abortion, it would stretch from the lawn outside the Washington Monument in D.C. to the city of Baltimore; and nearly back again.

    THAT is how many children have been pillaged. Have been plundered. Have had their little arms, and little legs; RIPPED off with sharp forceps, designed to grab, and bite and pull.

    Imagine, sticking a pair of sharp tongs into a woman. Into the very depths of a woman, and reaching in the dark for something to grab hold of.

    Aided by ultrasound, and modern imaging these forceps are guided to little hands, and feet, and limbs of the most helpless members of our society.

    And members of our society they are. For as Dr. Seuss said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

    And these little human beings have LIFE. Have feelings. Have a soul.

    And their little limbs are moving, in a fluid, a solution of nutrient rich amniotic fluid designed to PROTECT them from bumps and bruises in case their mother abruptly bumps into something, belly-first.

    These little people whom God designed to be protected, are then RIPPED APART.

    The forceps grab one of their limbs. And with a sharp TUG; rips it off. And as the baby cries out in horror and pain and shock inside it's mother's womb; the place that should be the safest place on Earth, no one hears their cry except God. And his angels.

    And then as their dismembered arm; or leg, is placed on a cold metallic tray along side the table where this horrific operation is conducted; to the horror of God himself, that instrument of pain, and death is placed BACK INTO his mother and his OTHER LEG IS GRABBED, and pulled wholly or in part from it's socket. Tearing flesh, and bleeding blood into the otherwise pure, and life-giving fluid surrounding him.

    His other leg is placed on the metal tray, and back into the woman who should for all sake of reason and rightness be PROTECTING him; is forced the sharp set of tongs. The teeth of them grabbing his arm. And ripping it off. It is placed on the tray.

    Then the horror continues.

    As his other arm. Is ripped off.

    Finally as all of his limbs are dismembered from his body, his little skull is crushed.

    Pieces of him are pulled off at random. Anything the abortionist can get hold of.

    This is a crime against life of the highest degree.

    A crime against God.

    A crime against humanity!

    And as the pieces of his skull are taken out one at a time, and his brains and bodily fluid sucked from his mother's womb with a vacuum nozzle, finally she is scraped clean.

    With a rough, large spoon.

    To ensure that not one trace of him is left inside her.

    Because she has so much malice and hatred for him that she hired an assassin to kill him before he could even take his first step.

    Before he could cry in the air, before he could laugh, or sing, or dance, or leap for joy; everything that made him a person was destroyed.

    Now is this always only a mother who wants her child dead? No.

    Sometimes a mother takes her young daughter who is with child to this doctor and demands that he perform this atrocity upon her.

    And upon her son.

    Sometimes a husband demands that a wife kill her son otherwise he will leave her.

    Sometimes it is a boyfriend.

    Or in this sad, sick age we live in, even a homosexual lover who finds that her female partner is with child.

    And demands that if the woman wants to continue in this sinful relationship that she must be FREE FROM MEN. And must destroy this life within her.

    Which was created by her reaching back towards the normal side of human relationships.

    For only a MAN and a WOMAN TOGETHER can make a child.

    No two women can accomplish the task. Nor can any two men without a woman have a child.

    For God created woman so "man would not be alone."

    "It is not good for him to be alone" said the Lord.

    And so He created a partner for Adam.

    And he did it by taking some of Adam's own flesh. An intimate part of him. His rib.

    For what is closer to your heart than your rib.

    And so a woman should hold a place CLOSE to a man's heart.

    And too many husbands and boyfriends are UNWILLING TO BE fathers!

    Too many women are unwilling to be mothers! And yet in their sin they are creating children and then tossing them aside!

    Asunder! They are killing the very thing they have, with God; CREATED.

    This cries out to heaven for vengeance. For justice.

    And of course; for prayer. For only through prayer and fasting are some things accomplished.

    Remember when the Disciples asked the Lord, "Why are our prayers not being answered?"

    And it was because they were PRAYING but not FASTING!

    They were not offering a SACRIFICE in the form of hunger to the Lord that He might then REWARD them for their hunger, for their empty bellies with a great grace of ANSWERING THEIR PRAYER!

    And how many women, now have empty bellies. But not because of hunger and fasting and sacrifice but because of the sin of infanticide.

    The sin of murder.

    The great sin of killing; your own child.

    These women need stronger men in their lives. And good men.

    This is not a problem of women but of society.

    Our society is wholly and completely sick if it thinks that what I have described is okay. That it is agreeable. That it is justified. That it is moral. That it is right.

    And their little limbs are moving, in a fluid, a solution of nutrient rich amniotic fluid designed to PROTECT them from bumps and bruises in case their mother abruptly bumps into something, belly-first.

    Except the UNBORN person.

    And nowadays people don't even describe a child en utero as anything but human!

    They admit it! They admit that this is a human life; and they kill it anyway!

    This is an atrocity! And such an unspeakable horror that I hesitate to even write it; but someone must.

    Someone must finally stand up and say THIS IS THE END! This is enough. This will no longer be.

    For people say I am pro-choice. But what they mean is, "I am pro death."

    For choices have objects. You would not sit down at a restaurant and have a waiter or waitress come up to you and say, "Have you chosen? What would you like?" Only to reply; "I choose."

    "Choose….. …..what?" They would say. "I choose…" You would emptily reply.

    Choose what?

    Choose death. You would say.

    For that is what abortion is.

    The textbook definition of murder relates to premeditation. To end human life deliberately. Through premeditation.

    What happens in an abortion? One premeditates, or one's family, spouse, mother, boyfriend, or someone premeditates on killing your child.

    And then they go through the motions, the actions, the decisions, the choices… of making an appointment. Of driving there in a car.

    Of getting out of the car.

    Of walking across the parking lot; perhaps past prayerful men and women holding signs that say things; like; "ADOPTION: THE LOVING OPTION."

    One then chooses to open the door. To announce one's name. To sit and pretend to read a magazine while the shock and horror begins to set in.

    That it will soon be too late.

    That you have paid, in advance; and that your $400 or $500 or $700 has been spent with ONE end in mind.

    The death of your flesh and blood.

    And then; your name is called.

    Do you stand up?

    Do you?

    I humbly suggest that you stand up BEFORE THAT.

    That you stand up with me. That you stand up with the faithful and conscientious members of this great Nation that say this is the end.

    That there must not be one more child killed in this manner.

    That life is sacred because it comes from God.

    And that God weeps when those steps are taken to the back room, where the sharp scissors and forceps and metal trays await the limbs and body of your baby.

    ~Luke Aaron Venters~

    From his desk, Jan 21, 2019

    Polson, MT

    #whywemarch #uniquefromdayone

    ____________

    #marchforlife2019 #marchforlife #abortion #prolife

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdyrKIFztrY

  • theworldaccordingtovivian says:

    I've been on the fence recently coming from being pro-choice and this talk really got me to pretty much commit to pro-life. so many great counterarguments and examples that pretty much prove every part of the pro-choice argument wrong, and done in a kind and knowledgeable way.

  • Carmina Costello says:

    This talk is full of false equivalency and logical fallacies. It’s based of unrealistic self sacrifice, just a brainwashing hypothesis like mandatory military or mandatory organ donor.

  • If we found it on MARS would it be considered LIFE?

    Shesh…this is so simple! Talk about bias. I can't believe this is seriously a debate. Like, how is it possible that people get upset about animal cruelty and they they aren't even moved when babies are killed? How is it possible that they don't NATURALLY want to fight for and protect their own offspring? Yet these people don't WANT "fetus's" to be humans because they want to justify killing it because it makes their lives difficult. Well….plan your parenthood before you get naked and frisky! People just want to do what they want and not reap what they sow. They're selfish. You play with fire without preparing and you're going to get burned. And that doesn't mean you get to kill a baby, It just means you need to respect the power of creation you've been given. Man up and do what you have to..and if you don't want more kids DON'T DO IT AGAIN. This crap is so simple a child who wasn't murdered in the womb could understand it. The womb…the very place a baby should feel safe…secure….a "safe space" you could call it. And yet we RIP THEM OUT, break their necks, and suck their brains out. So damn sad. I admit it…I am Christian and I do believe in God and this is heinous. I pray for the murdered babies and that God will forgive us for what we've done. I know there are biblical verses about this…about how God hates the shedding of innocent blood…and Jesus said "beware, all who would hurt these little ones..for it would be better if they had a millstone wrapped around their neck and thrown into the depths of the sea." How can you believe in God and accept this practice?

  • Future generations will look back upon our age as barbaric as the time of slavery. If you want to support women, maybe support helping them to carry and find adoption and having laws to keep them on their career tracks.

  • DonswatchingtheTube says:

    The legislation takes away dialogue. It puts doctors at conflict with the law and compels them to participate or even promote a stance that might conflict with their ethics.

  • I really like the way you get to people. You do it in such a way that they look at the big picture before they make an irrational decision from which they cannot come back from. Thank you

  • How the hell has Google not censored this?????????? Amazing.

    Edit: Nevermind. I noticed it was a couple years ago when they were still pretending not to silence the voices of people they disagree with

  • Nigel Onetasty says:

    It's simple as this. Sex leads to kids. Fact. If you're not ready for kids… YOU'RE NOT READY FOR SEX!!!!!!! Pro-life unless proven rape. (I know rape is sensitive as hell as to speaking up, but if people became responsible for their actions, then it might be easier for people to speak up. I'm pro man up or don't nut up like a douchebag who lets their hormones dictate who they are). If someone is 'hot', chances are that it's 99% looks. Chances are, you're sharing them with 5 other people in that week. I love how some people are just too stupid to look past this 'hotness" to realize any of this. Society and it's f'd up advertisements 'sex sells'. Just wish people thought for themselves instead of what society deems people should follow. MEDIA RELIGION. PROLIFE

  • Cory Schmidt says:

    I agree with the moral argument, but the government's role is NOT to dictate morality. Abortion rates go up in pro-life countries, and they become unsafe for the woman. The same is true for drugs. The same is true for anything that has a demand and isn't properly regulated. I'm vegan. I personally think ALL pro-life people who are NOT vegan who blatantly and unapologetically hypocritical. That said, I will NEVER advocate for meat and dairy production to be full blown illegal. If you want to talk about removing subsidies and increasing child tax credits, paid leave, etc. I am 100% with you. If you want to talk to making it outright illegal, I'm out! I refuse to stand by a position that in order to enforce, would require jail time for women and doctors. Fuck out of here with that.

  • Antoinette Parry says:

    Why don't you go back before furtilization. It's still alive. The egg is still alive and the sperm is still alive. Should I say the three hundred million sperm are alive but only one makes it to it's destination. Sad isn't it? Shame about the rest, they all wind up dead.

  • Amazing how talking about abortion can become your ricebowl. Talk and talk and talk…money comes in by yapping.

  • The idea of consciousness being the determining factor of whether or not one is alive and human is ridiculous. Is a two year old conscious of gravity when it goes to the edge of a cliff? Is it aware of the consequences if it slips and falls off that cliff? No, but an adult would know. Therefore consciousness is something obtained over time with experiences and maturity, and hardly a determining factor for what constitutes a human life.

  • Lifelong Learner says:

    1 If a fertilized egg has the same right to life as a developed human, anyone knowingly stopping a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus is forcibly taken to prison for homicide. Do we want to live in that society?

    2 If we argue the only difference between a fertilized egg and a developed human is time, do we overlook that time can change what something is? Doesn’t medicine offer a woman the choice to grow the fertilized egg or not? Should the state force her to grow the egg in her body?

    3 Is it “civil” to accuse someone of selfishness and forcibly imprison them for stopping a fertilized egg from attaching, in the name of resolving “controversy”?

    4 Is the speaker, or any reader vegetarian? If not, can we say slaughtering a cow is less selfish than stopping a fertilized human egg?

    5 Is abortion an intrinsically ambiguous moral and legal question? Could recognizing the ambiguity and respecting viewpoints foster civil conversation?

    6 To what degree is the speaker employing Socratic method from first principles, or rationalizing a tribal view, as someone raised Catholic by active pro-life volunteers? To what extent do we all rationalize a tribal view?

  • John Niederreiter says:

    This is the first time I hear Ms Grey talk. I am an avid Pro-Lifer, but I recognise that the debate is very adversarial and sometimes does more harm than good. I am completely confounded by Ms Grey's approach. Even though she has a firm grasp of the logic and the science behind the issue of abortion, she is not "in your face" or condescending. Moreover, her compassion and love are so obvious that there were even a couple of instances that brought me to tears. She is a great model for those who wish to engage the present pro-abortion culture. As for me, I am taking note

  • If you havent already watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIRcw45n9RU

    Check him out, I dont care your thoughs but do it and get back to me after.

  • Womens rights, childrens rights, noone ever talks about mens rights, but hey I am not here to cause controversy.

  • Timothy Igbenije says:

    Best Pro life speech ever…waoow! Thank you Stephanie for your inspiring talk!
    I am prolife but I have learnt more about life beyond antiabortion…very deep perspective!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *