Kenneth Roth, head of the New York-based activist group Human Rights Watch, should apologize for trivializing the Holocaust by making a thinly-veiled comparison to the Nazi genocide to support abortion rights.
In a Twitter post supporting reproductive freedom, Roth endorsed a pro-choice protester’s use of the term “Never Again,” with a photo of a hanger to symbolize unsafe, self-induced abortions. “It’s important for us all to rally behind this ‘Never Again,’ wrote Roth.
“Never Again” became famous as the post-Holocaust motto by which Jews condemned the Nazi genocide, “a prayer, a promise, a vow,” wrote Elie Wiesel.
Paradoxically, by making offensive use of Holocaust imagery, Roth now joins pro-life campaigners who compare abortion to the Holocaust, except that Roth’s implied Holocaust comparison is with unsafe and self-induced abortions.
I am disappointed that Roth would stoop to make a case for reproductive rights in America through the cynical abuse of the memory of those killed in the Holocaust.
Roth’s thinly veiled invocation of Nazi Germany in the abortion debate is an inappropriate comparison on the merits, diminishes the horror of the Holocaust, and only further coarsens our discourse.
With the Holocaust symbolizing absolute evil in the Western world, Roth and others in the political and public arena should resist the temptation to resort to Holocaust comparisons as an instrument for their own ideological purposes, seeking to exaggerate the evil nature of a phenomenon they seek to condemn.