Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 13, 2000
Pro-lifer ready for debate
But opponents wont discuss, only stage protests
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Scott Klusendorf is a man. He can't have babies, so he has no right to speak against abortion.
"That is the most irrelevant thing I've ever heard," the pro-life advocate told 250 people at Holy Family Church, Nov. 3. "(The abortion) argument doesn't have gender."
On his three-day speaking tour sponsored by Alberta Pro-Life, Klusendorf talked at schools, churches and the University of Alberta. Local pro-choice advocates were invited to a debate at the university with Klusendorf, but none showed up.
Instead, about 20 students demonstrated with coat hangers wrapped around their heads to indicate that illegal abortions are unsafe for women. But sticking to his guns and giving what he's always referred to as "a scientific and logical point of view," Klusendorf left many of the students speechless.
The California native was an associate pastor at an evangelical church a decade ago before deciding to commit full-time to pro-life advocacy.
"We are an army of part-time volunteers against full-time paid professionals."
To change the abortion laws, said Klusendorf, pro-lifers have to start putting efforts and money into expanding a pro-life program which has by and large been out-numbered, out-matched and out-funded.
What slows down the fight is pro-lifers are often distracted, "we need to be taking abortion seriously," Klusendorf said.
Only one question needs to be asked and answered in the abortion debate - What is the unborn? "Everything takes second place to that one question."
Since pro-lifers believe abortion takes the life of a human being, defining the unborn, at whatever stage it may be at as a human being makes abortion wrong. It's that simple, said Klusendorf.
With his elementary explanation of the law of biogenesis, which concludes that the unborn are what its parents are.
"So if the parents are human beings, the unborn are human beings," Klusendorf said. "You don't need to go into some scientific explanation of DNA."
Klusendorf also gave the audience a lesson on abortion debate 101. It is often argued that a fetus is not an actual baby because of its size, its level of development, the environment it is in (hasn't been born yet) and degree of dependency.
None of these arguments make sense, said Klusendorf, who recalled a story of a baby named Rachel who was born at 22 weeks. She weighed one pound and could fit in her father's palm.
If a doctor had come up to Rachel's father and ripped her out of his hand and killed her, we would be mortified, said Klusendorf. But if she was still in her mother's womb and was "ripped out of her mother's womb," that is a legal abortion.
His remarks on the reality of abortion resulted in a lot of shaking heads and looks of disgust from the crowd. But chilly silence ensued when he showed a two-minute video of aborted fetuses. An unplanned crying of a baby in the audience made the video even more powerful.
Klusendorf supports the use of graphic pictures and images of aborted fetuses because it gets to the point.
Despite what abortion advocates may say, the issue is not one of pro-choice, he said. There are even pro-lifers who will defend that abortion should be legal because it gives women a choice.
"If you look at it that way, then every law we have in the book is illegitimate because it takes away our choices," Klusendorf said. "Does a woman have the right to choose to have a pair of scissors at the back of her baby's neck and suck out its life?"
Although Klusendorf agrees that abortion is "at the heart of the great Gospels that our Lord gives to us," he doesn't open a Bible or bring God into his abortion debate.
He debates with logic rather than faith because his talks are not always for Christians and members of other faiths. This is the same way he teaches students to debate the issue. He teaches them the one question relevant to the debate.
He also teaches them that being pro-life involves sacrifices. They will not be popular among their friends. As well, fighting abortion advocates is not cheap and won't bring a six-figure income.
"Right now (our students) are in Catholic and Christian schools, it's safe to be pro-life." But when they go to university or enter the workforce, will they know how to defend their belief on abortion? asked Klusendorf.