HOUSTON (BP) — Several people had no idea who Adolf Hitler was. Others admitted they would murder people in a death camp to save themselves. And after a series of wrenching moral dilemmas posed in a documentary that compares abortion to the holocaust, several pro-choice Americans made a 180-degree turn in a web video that has gone viral on the internet.
The video, called “180,” features evangelist and author Ray Comfort and has amassed more than 750,000 views on YouTube in just two weeks. It equates abortion to the murder of Jews in concentration camps, alternating between man-on-the-street interviews, grainy footage of Nazi rallies, and graphic images of bodies in death camps.
“We’re talking about a holocaust in America, in our country, that’s sanctioned by the government,” Comfort, a Jewish Christian, said in the film.
While “180” exposes peoples’ lack of knowledge about the holocaust (one man asked if Hitler was an actor) and also features the street-preaching evangelism for which Comfort has become known, its main focus is dismantling the moral justifications people give for abortion.
Comfort posed moral dilemmas to people he interviewed, asking, for example, how people would respond if a Nazi officer pointed a gun at them and told them to use a bulldozer to bury alive some Jews who had been shot.
“I’d rather die not doing that, knowing that I was the cause,” one woman said.
Comfort turned the dilemma around by asking about abortion. The film shows footage of an unborn baby’s heart beating at six weeks, six days.
“When does it become a life?” he asked one woman.
“That’s a tough one,” the woman, who was pro-choice, responded.
Comfort then made a parallel: “I’m a construction worker and I see a building and I say to you, ‘I’m going to blow up that building in a minute. There’s a possibility there is somebody in there, but I don’t know. But I’m going to blow it up anyway.’ What would you say to me?”
Just as the construction worker should not blow up the building, Comfort argued, those who aren’t certain when life begins should oppose abortion.
One woman said she didn’t know when life begins but that an unborn child isn’t actually a baby until after three months.
“Hitler declared Jews as non-humans, and that’s what you’re doing when you’re saying, ‘It’s not a baby until three months,'” Comfort replied. “That’s what I think. It’s very subjective. And if you’re not sure, it’s taking a terrible risk with somebody else’s life.”
When another woman speculated that an unborn baby with a birth defect would have a bad quality of life if born, Comfort turned the idea around on her.
“The Nazis are in front of you,” he said. “They’re going to kill kids with Down syndrome. They’re gonna kill them all. [The Nazis actually] did this. You think that’s OK, then?”
“No, absolutely not,” she replied.
“They [have] a bad quality of life,” Comfort said, playing devil’s advocate.
“Definitely not,” reiterated the woman on her opposition to shooting them. “And who’s to say that they have a bad quality of life?”
For those who said they were personally opposed to abortion but believed women should be able to choose, Comfort argued that such a stance was similar to saying they disagreed with what Hitler did but believed he had the right to choose.
“I’d like you to feel like you would in Germany when Jews are being killed all around you,” he told one woman. “You’d be horrified, and we’ve got a holocaust in America, where real babies are being murdered because of a woman’s choice, and it’s legal.”
Regardless of the justification people in the documentary initially gave for abortion, most of them, by the end of Comfort’s interview, concluded that abortion is wrong.
“So have you just changed your mind about abortion?” he asked the woman who earlier told him an unborn child isn’t actually a baby until three months.
“Yes I have,” she replied.
To one pro-choice woman who said everyone needed to rise up against Hitler and the killing of Jews, Comfort asked if she thought everyone should do the same on the issue of abortion.
“I think you have a valid point there,” she said. “I never paralleled those two.”
More than 53 million unborn babies have been killed in the 37 years since Roe v. Wade, according to the video. As an image of Hitler flashed on the screen, Comfort urged viewers never to vote for politicians who advocate abortion.
“Are you gonna vote differently and think differently about this?” he asked the woman. “Yeah, I think I would,” she replied. “I think I definitely would. Because you’re right. I had just said about the holocaust, ‘Where was the world?’ If everyone would have banded together, [they could have made] a difference.”
John Evans is a writer based in Houston.