Conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro, who is outspokenly Pro-Life, made an appearance at the University of California-Berkeley last week. The event gained national attention when faculty and staff protested his appearance because of his strongly conservative political stance. To many, Shapiro’s principled Pro-Life position is viewed as part of his strongly conservative ideology. Despite ongoing protests so vocal that the administration offered counseling sessions for students distressed by Shapiro’s appearance, the event did take place last Thursday.
During the question-and-answer segment, anti-Life students repeatedly raised issues related to abortion. Shapiro’s answers show that, political ideology aside, he has sound arguments for his defense of all human Life. His rapid-fire responses show the many weaknesses in anti-Life arguments that devalue the preborn and threaten the Right to Life of all people. By articulating the connection between abortion and other Life issues, Shapiro also demonstrated that the foundation of the Pro-Life position is not being opposed to abortion but instead recognizing the sanctity of human Life for all people.
In a particularly stunning exchange, a student presents Shapiro with a series of arguments abortion activists commonly make. In two minutes, Shapiro refutes argument after argument demonstrating the scientific and moral foundation of the Pro-Life position.
Watch the full response here:
The student begins by asking Shapiro: “Why do you think a first-trimester fetus has human value?” Many people who recognize that the preborn baby, especially after the age of viability, is in fact human, claim that a preborn baby early in development does not have essential elements required to be called a human being. Through this convoluted way of thinking, some abortion activists object to late-term abortions but advocate for abortions committed early in pregnancy. Later in the argument, the student clarifies that he personally views sentience, or some sophisticated level of brain activity, as the necessary attribute to be considered a human being with full moral value.
Shapiro responds not only to the student’s specific claim but also addresses other arbitrary claims by anti-Life activists, such as defining human Life as when a person has a heartbeat. He points out that many adults are kept alive by pacemakers, and people in a coma from which they might wake have limited brain activity. No one would argue that people with pacemakers and people can be killed because they do not have moral value. He distills the Pro-Life position saying, “The problem is any time you draw any line other than the inception of the child, you end up drawing a false line that can also be applied to people who are adults. So, either human Life has intrinsic value or it doesn’t.”
In the succinct exchange, Shapiro conveys the essence of every Pro-Life argument. Anti-Life activists often attempt to sidetrack exchanges with Pro-Lifers by raising tangential political issues. Shapiro shows us how Pro-Lifers can stick to core principles, namely the sanctity of all human Life, to refute every argument for abortion. Watch the full exchange for more examples of Shapiro’s exemplary defense of Pro-Life values.