Remarks made about abortion in the wake of President Trump's pick of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court are revealing.
Most Americans who defend abortion rights are conflicted over the issue: they may want it to be legal, but they also support many restrictions on it. Whether those restrictions involve the reasons for abortion, the time of gestation, parental notification, or some other limitation, the bottom line is that these Americans are uneasy about abortion. Indeed, they reject the boundless right to abortion encoded in Roe v. Wade.
Importantly, these Americans are not represented by abortion activists and pundits who claim to be speaking for them.
Sadly, there are those who love abortion. The most recent expression of this comes from Michelle Wolf, the foul-mouthed “feminist” known for bashing women she hates. On Sunday, she dressed up in red, white, and blue, and marched across a stage in honor of her “Salute to Abortion!” She told her Netflix show fans, “God bless abortions!” She was given a rousing ovation.
This love affair with abortion is nothing new. In 1975, atheist Anne Nicol Gaylor published a book titled, “Abortion Is A Blessing.” It was endorsed by the two most prominent feminists of the day, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem (Steinem had an abortion when she was 22). In 2009, Rev. Katherine Ragsdale, an Episcopalian priest, echoed this refrain, exclaiming that “abortion is a blessing.”
Those who love abortion like to lie about it.
An hour before President Trump announced that Judge Brett Kavanaugh was his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, Cecile Richards, the former president of Planned Parenthood, said on MSNBC that before Roe, “young, healthy women died routinely in emergency rooms.” The next day, Senator Patty Murray said that Trump's pick would bring us back to the day when “women had to go into back alleys for health care.” Health care?
Here are some hard facts. Prior to Roe, women were not dying "routinely" of illegal abortions, whether in emergency rooms or alleys. In 1972, the year before Roe was decided, according to the CDC as cited by the Guttmacher Institute, there were 39 women who died nationwide as a result of an illegal abortion.
How do I know this? The data are not found in a pro-life journal—they were published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, they are cited in a journal published by the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization once affiliated with Planned Parenthood.
The passion—indeed the delirium—that these folks have for abortion is almost as terrifying as the procedure itself. They need our prayers. They also need to be defeated.
Bill Donohue is President and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of seven books and many articles.
Editor's Note: This piece formerly cited the Guttmacher Institute with the statistic that "there were 39 women who died nationwide as a result of an illegal abortion." This citation has been update to reflect that the statistic is from the CDC as reported by the Guttmacher Institute.