Why Do Pro-Lifers Compare Abortion to the Holocaust?

The similarities between the Nazi and abortion Holocausts go far deeper than a high body count. There are many points of similarity between the Holocausts:

  1. Deceptive language
  2. Ideology formed by doctors
  3. The speed of the murders
  4. Philosophical justification

holocaust children


Resistance to the “Abortion vs. Holocaust” Analogy

Pro-choice adherents usually object when pro-lifers refer to an American “abortion Holocaust.”

Sexologist Sol Gordon wrote, “In our view, individuals who exhibit the least human dignity are those who compare the Holocaust, the mass murder of 6 million Jews, to abortion. There exists no comparison more immoral or depraved. It is both illogical and outrageous….”1

The pro-choice Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice said that it “shares the outrage of our member Jewish groups and other member religious bodies over statements by persons in the anti‑choice movement equating the practice of abortion with the Nazi Holocaust.”2

If the comparison were obviously false, it should soon fall into disuse. However, if pro‑abortionists feel driven to denounce it with such vehemence, we can conclude that it is at least partially true or they wouldn’t feel so threatened by it.

However, pro-choice adherents do not respond with the same vehemence when other political platforms use the Holocaust analogy on serious issues. They did not object when Oregon environmentalists said that “Salmon were found dead in a net pen below the Ice Harbor Dam Monday, where scientists were monitoring the migration…. This isn’t just a case of salmon murder. It’s a Holocaust. What do we do to stop it?”3

Nor did they raise their voices in protest when Ingrid Newkirk, founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), compared Jews to chickens. She claimed that “When it comes to feelings, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.  They are all mammals.  They all feel pain…. 6 million people died in concentration camps, but 6 billion chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses.”4


Abortion vs. Holocaust: The Language

George Orwell coined the term “Newspeak,” describing it as the destruction of descriptive and accurate language in support of the ideology of English Socialism, or IngSoc. He wrote, “The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”5

In Germany, the “Reich Committee for Children” murdered tens of thousands of Jewish, Gypsy, and handicapped children. The grandly‑titled “Committee for Research on Hereditary Diseases and Constitutional Susceptibility to Severe Diseases” identified those ill persons who would be eliminated. These unfortunate people were carried away to concentration camps by the “Non‑Profit Patient Transport Corporation,” and their passage was funded by the “Charitable Foundation for Institutional Care.”6

child euthanasia in nazi germany

Child euthanasia in Nazi Germany

The Nazis used a galaxy of soothing terms when referring to the extermination of Jews. These included “resettlement,” “evacuation of the infested area,” “cleansing,” “disinfection,” “special treatment” and “discharging.”7

Nazis also used dehumanizing terms to refer to those whom they wish to exterminate. Adolf Hitler referred to Jews as “maggots in a rotting corpse;” “a plague worse than the Black Death;” “mankind’s eternal germ of disunion;” “drones in the human hive;” “spiders sucking blood out of the people’s pores;” “a pack of rats eating one another;” “the eternal bloodsucker;” “the vampire of peoples;” and “a harmful bacillus that spreads,” among many other degrading terms.8

In the political realm, the Nazis attacked their opponents with such terms as “reactionaries,” a “small but vocal minority,” “terrorists” and “non-progressives.”

By comparison, current-day “women’s choice physicians” perform “evacuations of the uterine contents” or “voluntary interruptions of pregnancy” in “reproductive health centers,” and dispose of the “sub-human non-personhood,” “protoplasmic rubbish” and “human waste” in little ovens built for the purpose of disposing of late-term aborted babies.

The similarities between the words employed by the Nazis and the pro‑abortionists to label the essential elements of their respective Holocausts ― the victims, the killing, the killers, the killing places, and the opposition ― are absolutely striking.


Abortion vs. Holocaust: Medical Leadership

Another point of similarity between the Holocausts is that their philosophy and methodology was developed by qualified physicians.

The early North American pro-abortion movement was led by doctors, including Warren Hern, Bernard Nathanson, Henry Morgentaler, Willard Cates and Alan F. Guttmacher, whose language resembled very closely that of their contemporaries in Nazi Germany. For instance, Nazi doctor Fritz Klein said, “The destruction of Jews is analogous to removing a gangrenous appendix from a diseased body.” Guttmacher, a former President of Planned Parenthood and Vice-President of the American Eugenics Society, stated that: “Abortion is precisely equivalent to operating on an appendix or removing a gangrenous bowel.”

One of the earliest Nazi modifications to the German Penal Code was made by the Hamburg Eugenics Court in 1933. It reads, “A doctor may interrupt a pregnancy when it threatens the life or health of the mother. An unborn child that is likely to present hereditary and transmissible defects may be destroyed.” The American Law Institute (ALI) Model Penal Code of 1962, which was cited in the majority opinion of Roe v. Wade, used nearly identical justification: “A licensed physician is justified in terminating a pregnancy if he believes that the pregnancy would impair the physical/mental health of the mother or that the child would be born with grave physical or mental defect.”

During the Nuremberg Doctor Trial of 1947, Dr. Gebhard Rose said, “The victims of this Buchenwald typhus test [victims who were intentionally and fatally infected] did not suffer in vain and did not die in vain. People were saved by these experiments.”

In their defense of experiments on living late-term aborted babies, Drs. Willard Gaylin and Mark Lappe claimed, “In the case of abortion, the fetus is doomed to death anyhow, but perhaps its death can be ennobled when the research has as its objective the saving of the lives of other, wanted fetuses.”


Speed of Murders

Finally, both Nazi doctors and American abortionists pride themselves on their speed.

According to the Nuremberg Trials transcripts of Auschwitz doctors on trial, inmates injected with lethal doses of phenol died quickly: “Two or three prisoners in one minute.”  The speediest of the phenol technicians was Josef Klehr, who “injected two prisoners at a time.”9

The famous Chicago-Sun Times series “The Abortion Profiteers” reported, “Dr. Ming K. Hah, reputed to be the fastest abortionist in Chicago… Eight abortions per hour, forty per day. His productivity rate is so impressive that he sometimes performs two abortions simultaneously.”10


The Philosophy of the Abortion Holocaust

Most importantly, we must remember that all of the expressions of the anti‑life mentality are based on a purely utilitarian ethic, where the end always justifies the means.

Adolf Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf  [“My Struggle”]; “Everything must be examined from this point of view and used or rejected according to its utility.”11

In the current age, a refinement of utilitarianism called “situational ethics” is commonly accepted in the United States.

However, we must ask ourselves honestly whether killing any child is ever permissible, even for a “good reason.”

(Warning: video contains graphic material.)



One Difference…

One of the few differences between the Nazi and American Holocausts is that the ability to make the decision to kill has been delegated from the Nazi death camp (Vernichtungslager) commandants and doctors to individual citizens.

The killing still occurs on a massive scale. But instead of the murders being concentrated in just a few places, they are scattered all over the country, and the choice to abort is made by the child’s parents.  From this perspective, the American Holocaust could be considered worse than the Nazi Holocaust, since many abortions are performed for reasons of personal convenience.

+ Endnotes

[1] Sol Gordon. Personal Issues in Human Sexuality, page 65.

[2] Mary Jane Patterson, President of the Board of Directors of the ‘Religious’ Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). “Abortion and the Holocaust:  Twisting the Language” [RCAR, Washington, C.], 1987.  This booklet is stylishly written and laid out on only the finest paper.  It features five short essays by apostate `Jews’ and phony `Christians’ that are masterpieces of Doublethink and propaganda.  This booklet is mandatory reading for any pro‑lifer who wants insight into just how clever pro‑abort propaganda can be.

[3] Rocky Barker’s Letter from the West. “Don’t Trust Group That Pretends to Protect Salmon.”  Post Register, May 14, 1995.

[4] Ingrid Newkirk, founder and director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), quoted by syndicated columnist Stephen Chapman in the December 6, 1989 Chicago Tribune.

[5] George Orwell. “The Principles of Newspeak:  An Appendix to 1984,” written in 1948.

[6] James Tunstead Burtchaell. “The Holocaust and Abortion.”  Supplement to the newsletter of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Volume 9, Number 11.

[7] If not otherwise cited, these quotes and facts are provided in William Brennan. The Abortion Holocaust:  Today’s Final Solution [Louis, Missouri:  Landmark Press], 1983.

[8] Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf [“My Struggle”].  Written in 1925 and released by Trans Ralph Manheim Publishers, Boston, 1943, pages 257 and 404 and 405.  Also released by Houghton, Mifflin of New York in 1971, pages 214 and 215.

[9] Bernd Naumann. Auschwitz: A Report on the Proceedings against Robert Karl, Ludwig Mulka and Others Before the Court at Frankfurt.  Translated by Jean Steinberg [New York City:  Frederick A. Praeger Publishers], 1966, pages 151 and 295.

[10] Pamela Zekman and Pamela Warrick. “Dr. Ming Kow Hah:  Physician of Pain.”  Chicago Sun‑Times, November 15, 1978, pages 1, 4, and 5.

[11] Adolf Hitler. Mein Kampf [“My Struggle”].  Written in 1925 and released by Trans Ralph Manheim Publishers, Boston, 1943, pages 257 and 404 and 405.  Also released by Houghton, Mifflin of New York City in 1971, pages 214 and 215.

Brian Clowes, PhD

Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. love on November 21, 2019 at 2:23 AM

    A DUP MLA has said the number of people murdered by the Nazis in concentration camps during World War Two is comparable to the number of abortions since laws were relaxed in England, Scotland and Wales.

  2. Barbara Chavez on September 13, 2019 at 10:14 PM

    I see no difference in the murder of the Jews & other people & the killing of innocent unborn babies. I always vote for the Republican party for that reason. The other three parties ; Democratic, the Green party & the Libertarian all promote the murder of the innocent & sexual perversion.

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