Oklahoma Public School Students Shown Film Comparing Abortion to the Holocaust
In May, students at an Oklahoma public high school were given copies of a DVD comparing the Holocaust to abortion—with no warning of the content of the film—after a local family asked the school if copies of the DVD could be passed out to students.
Surprisingly, and perhaps unknowingly, the school agreed to pass out the film to students as long as the students got permission from their parents first. The film, entitled 180, begins with Holocaust and concentration camp imagery before making the comparison between Hitler, Nazi Germany and people who are pro-choice.
Superintendent Marte Thompson said that a student aide accidentally gave out copies of the movie before parents had been asked to give consent. Once school officials realized the nature of the DVD, all copies were confiscated and returned to the local family.
But one student’s stepfather said the students weren’t even informed about what kind of DVD they were receiving—the students came to their lockers to find notes telling them to pick up their free DVDs. And concerned parent Marty Angus says the students watched the movie in class.
"I thought it was graphic and a clear violation between church and state and it was just awful to be shown to a high school student,” Angus told a Fox affiliate.
The film was produced by the Christian ministry, Living Waters. When it was released in 2011, the Anti-Defamation League called the film “one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years.”
"The creators of the film clearly don't get it," said Abraham Foxman, Anti-Defamation League National Director and a Holocaust survivor. "No Christian who understands Jewish suffering should resort to inappropriate comparisons to the Holocaust to send a message that abortion is wrong. This was one of the most painful chapters in human history. Must the memory of the 6 million and millions of other victims be continually misused and abused by those with another agenda?"
In 2011, Personhood USA, an anti-abortion group, claimed that it e-mailed the film to 600,000 voters in Mississippi to try to convince them to vote in favor of a personhood amendment to the state constitution. Voters defeated the measure.
Dahlia Grossman-Heinze is a reporter-blogger for Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter @salvadordahlia.