Planned Parenthood’s abortion of women’s rights

Surely the cruelest of all ironies is the idea that the abortion-on-demand somehow strikes a blow for women’s rights. Such thinking is a bleeding wound in our national conscience and logical incoherence on the part of radical pro-abortionists.
The recent videos of two Planned Parenthood employees casually discussing harvested fetal organs has struck a cord, and loudly (here and here). The organization, for its part, continues to blame the sting operation. Deflecting blame must be part of their New Employee Orientation. Call it “Euphemism 101.”

This organ harvesting revelation could lead Congress to defund the behemoth non-profit. Defunding will be a political fight of Jurassic proportions. It may not be possible in the immediate futureOther ways exist to render PP’s services unnecessary.

Planned Parenthood, of course, needs for women to continue believing they stand for women’s rights. But does it?

For women to support the abortion of females is philosophical cannibalism and physical destruction in the name of progress and personal freedom. If one person’s freedom stops where another’s body starts, then abortion is the most heinous behavior ever foisted on a generation. Abortion is no more about women’s rights than Charles Manson’s infatuation with The Beatles was about music appreciation.

Oddly enough, early feminist leaders realized abortion has absolutely nothing to do with women’s rights or personal freedom. The British writer Mary Wollstonecraft wrote:

Women…sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affection…either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast if off when born. Nature in everything demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom violate them with impunity.

Feminist Erika Bachiochi rejected abortion as a woman’s right issue concluding:

[A]bortion hijacked feminism. Rather than elevate the status of the feminine virtues in the public square and teach the power of serving, as a true feminism ought, mainstream feminism, having allowed itself to be corrupted by the abortion imperative, taught women to place ambitions and desires of the self above those in need, and to value power more than truth and love. Some women, persuaded by this corrupted feminism, have sacrificed their very womanliness—most manifest in the ability to bear a child—by having abortions in order to continue pursuing success in the public square. Such a course of action is inherently anti-woman…Hearts will not change concerning abortion until women…insist through both words and deeds that acts of love are far more impressive, attractive and noble than acts of power.

I encourage you to read this entire article Feminism and Gendercide of Unwanted Girls at Quadrant Online. Citations from the above quote are found there.

Alice Paul, who drafted the original version of the Equal Rights Amendment, referred to abortion as “the ultimate exploitation of women.”

Martha Bayles noted in The Atlantic:

not enough attention has been paid to the twisted logic of pro-choice rhetoric.

Those words were written in 1990.

Bayles, again:

The original pro-choice argument is rooted in the classical liberal affirmation of every man’s right to own his own body. Critical of liberalism for its failure to extend this right equally to women, pro-choicers define abortion as the essence of every woman’s right to own her own body. In Abortion & The Politics of Motherhood, Kristin Luker’s 1984 study of attitudes on both sides of the abortion debate, one activist put it this way: “we can get all the rights in the world…and none of them means a doggone thing if we don’t own the flesh we stand in.”

The obvious, scientific objection to this argument is that a fetus is not simply part of a woman’s body. He or she has his or her own body growing inside of Mom.

The early feminists, some well-known and some not, were overwhelmingly pro-life. Among them were Susan B. Anthony, Pearl S. Buck, Jane Addams and Louisa May Alcott. Others include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sarah Norton, Eleanor Kirk, Victoria Woodhull, and Mattie Brinkerhoff.

Even Margaret Sanger, who’s legacy includes Planned Parenthood, was not a proponent of abortion because it destroyed an existing life. She preferred contraception before the fact, not after. From Sanger’s autobiography:

To each group we explained simply what contraception was; that abortion was the wrong way–no matter how early it was performed it was taking a life; that contraception was the better way, the safer way–it took a little time but was well worth it in the long run, because life had not yet begun. (p 217)

Cristina Odone, writing in the UK Telegraph, lays it out well:

When parents can abort a baby because it’s a girl, they are guilty of the worst kind of sexism. Rape, porn, the tyranny of beauty that compels little girls to perform plastic surgery to attain perfection: these are nothing in comparison to the mindset that will not allow for girls to be conceived in the first place. Our daughters – and not just in immigrant communities – are learning that a girl’s life is worthless. Feminists should be up in arms about this. They are not. While they have fought tooth and nail the sexist app that allows little girls to perform plastic surgery on a Barbie, most have stayed silent on a far worse crime against women.

Why do some still support abortion on demand? Abortion because “I wanted a boy, but it’s a girl”? Abortion because “I’m too young for stretch marks”? Because radical feminists believe the right to abortion trumps everything. And Planned Parenthood stands at the front of that line, aborting the rights of unborn women every day.

Abortions provide more than 50% of Planned Parenthood’s clinical incomeIt’s one reason Planned Parenthood’s abortion-to-adoption rate is 149-1. “Family planning” seems a bit skewed when in the hands of Planned Parenthood employees.

Planned Parenthood’s legacy is the questionable ethic of dealing in human flesh and body parts, even more than contraception. Money from dead children has proven to be their stock-in-trade. An arm here, a heart there, and a liver as a bonus, all in the name of “women’s rights.” It is gruesome, Frankensteinian stuff. It’s the stuff of Mengele’s nightmares.

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A version of this post appeared earlier on this blog.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

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  • Brad Raley

    For all the times I agree with you, this essay sounds more like something out of the far right–complete with the continued use of the words, “radical feminist.” Incredibly dismissive of absolutely legitimate reasons feminists would support choice (not cheering abortion, mind you) and also missing the historical contexts you note. You are correct, by the way, about early feminists opposing abortion, but that is taking abortion out of its historical context, as well as taking early feminism out of its own.

    • martyduren

      Hi Brad,
      Thx for commenting and for agreeing…most of the time ;^)

      I realize a difference between feminists and radical feminists, just as many would between Christians and Fundamentalists. I agree there are contributing factors to a woman’s decision to abort, thus I hoped my use of “abortion on demand” and the examples of convenience distinguished them from incest, health, and other legitimate, and difficult, decisions. My apologies if I was not clear enough.

      Even so, I consider it a contradiction to support the rights of only born females if unborn females are not even extended the right to life. Also, this brief post was not an attempt to consider all contributing factors.

      As to historical context it seems the American moral compass changes direction. In our own history, for example, we’ve stopped committing genocide against Indians, stopped enslaving Africans, stopped eugenics experiments, and so on. That fact that feminist history included voting and other rights they hoped to obtain does not seem to diminish their clear and repeated statements on abortion.

      Would Sanger and Susan B. Anthony have been pro-abortion had they lived long enough? Perhaps. But, when they did speak to the subject they considered it wrong.

      • Brad Raley

        Fair enough on the variability of abortion issues. I still disagree with your take on Planned Parenthood, simply because I think that they have stood in the gap for women for generations when the rest of our society simply looked the other way–either for birth control or for general women’s health.

        We approach the general idea of abortion differently, clearly. I hate the idea, but also hate the idea of telling the key stakeholder that she has no choice in the matter.

        As to the historical context, I also disagree with your analogy. My point about context was about a couple of things. First, that we err when we assume that Group A in the 19th century has the same underpinning, understandings and assumptions as Group A in the 20th or 21st, just because they share the same name. Baptists, for example, used to stand loudly for separation of church and state, now they call for prayer in schools. Baptists in 1800 opposed slavery, but the Southern Baptists spent over a hundred years defending slavery and then segregation. Same name, and same supposed ideology, yet completely different. One other example is environmentalism. In the 19th century, Muir and others pushed to protect wilderness and nature–as defined outside human construction. Cities weren’t natural. They didn’t battle pollution or water issues. They were concerned with nature way out there. 20th century movements started to be concerned with how our interaction with nature impacted our individual health–most glaringly with the atomic testing, and byproducts of manufacturing chemicals. Same supposed group–completely different assumptions.

        19th century feminists were quite conservative in many ways, and were more concerned with the vote than equality, and most of them believed that a woman’s higher duty was to family and motherhood. (All fine and good, mind you, but please remember that some of us are childless and don’t want to hear that our marriages or spouses are less than because of that). So they opposed abortion from that angle. As did every other part of society–partly because, I suspect, their cultural memory of fearing population loss was very recent. Partly because in 18th century understanding, a woman disappeared into a family upon marriage and her individual identity disappeared with it. (We still have that relic when married women are referred to as Mrs. Brad Raley).

        Yet during the 19th century, we saw birth rates in the US decline, with no clear explanation as to why. Those birth rates declined before abortion started to rise, but abortion and contraceptives can’t be dismissed here. Women, on their own, sought to control their own fertility, and they did it without a movement or manipulation or sanction. I can’t easily dismiss that, especially when I know that maternal death rates are a real issue (certainly then, but also now).

        Finally, my frustration with all of our discussion (not you and I) about abortion is that I see our culture doing everything we can to make it harder to take care of that child once born, while also making it harder to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and trying to make it impossible to abort that pregnancy if unwanted. I certainly understand the tragedy there, and that it isn’t simple, but I cannot understand an approach of “no birth control, no abortion, no medical help, no nutritional help, no concern about either maternal death rate, infant mortality, or, as we just read here in Oklahoma, 1 in 4 children in deep poverty.”

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