The niece of Dr. Martin Luther King told students at Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School Thursday that human rights are for everyone, including the unborn.
Alveda King, a born-again Christian and pro-life advocate, was in Guelph as a guest of the Guelph Area Right To Life and spent an hour with around 200 senior male and female students at the high school, discussing her family's legacy and how her view of human rights extend far and wide.
"Civil rights. Human rights. It all goes together," said King, who now lives in Atlanta.
"Women absolutely have a right to choose what we do with our bodies, I'll argue anybody down who says we don't," King said. "But then the baby needs a lawyer. Where's the baby's lawyer?"
King, 65, was 17 when her famous uncle was killed. A year later her own father A.D. King, also a civil rights activist, died under mysterious circumstances.
"A lot of things happened to my family, but we are taught to love and forgive so that God will forgive us," she said.
She herself has had quite a journey, as a teacher, state legislator, actress, pastoral associate, and human rights activist and now the voice for the pro-life group Silent No More Awareness Campaign that sees women share their experiences regarding negative experiences they had with abortion.
She told students she had "two forced abortions" when she was younger and it wasn't until 1983 that she took up the cause of the pro-life movement.
"I did have some secret abortions myself, which I repented from when I was born again in 1983," King said.
"I drank the abortion Kool-Aid temporarily because I thought it was the answer," she said.
"We need to figure out how we can protect women, keep women healthy, have a good community, without killing anybody. And it can be done," King said.
In response to a written question from a student about abortions for victims of rape or incest, King said an abortion just adds to the trauma.
"Rape, abuse and incest are serious problems ... But tests show that when a woman has been terribly abused, then you ask her to take more abuse on her own back because getting an abortion, regardless of the reason, can be connected to breast cancer, cervical cancer, strokes, heart attacks ..." King said.
"There should be a way to help every person in the world without pain or death, that's all I'll say," she said.
King shared several things with the students, including the time she was arrested for pulling two policemen off her friend and that she is a huge Star Trek fan.
King will speak to students at a Catholic high school in Kitchener on Friday.