1. Susan B. Anthony
The famous suffragette who helped win the right to vote for American women can’t be accused of being “anti-woman.” In fact, Susan B. Anthony believed opposing abortion to be essential to promoting feminism. In her newspaper The Revolution, she called abortion “child-murder” and wrote:
“Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who… drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!”
Revered around the world as a visionary leader, Mahatma Gandhi desired a peaceful culture of life. Abortion is a dreadfully violent act. Gandhi once said, “It seems to me as clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime.” (All Men Are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections (New York: Continuum, 1980) 150)
3. Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa dedicated her life to caring for the weak and the oppressed. She was a social justice fanatic when it came to ministering to the needy. And she was a strong opponent to abortion. She said, “Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.”
Another time, she observed: “Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother.”
She wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power, either. When addressing pro-abortion President Clinton at the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, she stunned the audience into silence with her eloquent denunciation of abortion.
4. Martin Luther King Jr.
You didn’t know he was pro-life? MLK Jr.’s niece, Dr. Alveda King says, “In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now. He was pro-life!” She adds, “He was not pro-abortion.”
Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Bernice King told the 50th Anniversary March on Washington that “life begins in a woman’s womb,” as she highlighted the role of women in the Civil Rights Movement.
Just as black Americans were not considered equal “persons” under the law in MLK Jr.’s day, preborn Americans are not considered “persons” under the law in our day. In his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” he cautioned people not to be like the Romans, who committed infanticide. Planned Parenthood attempted to give Martin Luther King Jr. the Margaret Sanger Award in 1966, but he did not attend the ceremony and he did not write or deliver a speech. As MLK Jr. would say, “How can the dream survive if we are willing to sacrifice the futures of our children?”
5. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
The late stateswoman led the way for the participation of women and girls participation in Pakistani politics. When she led Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations’ 1994 population conference in Cairo, she shocked listeners by confronting those who sought to codify abortion an international right and defending the “sanctity of human life.”
“I dream … of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction,” she said. “This conference must not be viewed by the teeming masses of the world as a universal social charter seeking to impose adultery [and] abortion.” She was one of only two women to address the conference.
At the UN’s 1995 Beijing conference, Bhutto condemned the practice of sex-selective abortion, which targets girls in the womb. “Too often, when a woman expects a girl, she abets her husband in abandoning or aborting that innocent, perfectly formed child. As we gather here today, the cries of the girl child reach out to us.”
6. President Ronald Reagan
In addition to roundhouse-kicking the Cold War in the face, President Ronald Reagan endorsed Personhood and wrote a book on the abolition of abortion. Reagan’s Personhood Proclamation on January 14, 1988 declared that “… protection of the innocents must be guaranteed and that the personhood of the unborn be declared and defended throughout our land.”
7. Mary Wollstonecraft
Widely considered to be the “Mother of Feminism,” Wollstonecraft revolutionized the way society considered women. Her A Vindication of the Rights of Woman became an inspiration for later generations of feminists, like Susan B. Anthony.
Wollstonecraft believed abortion and infanticide were the negative results of social double standards for women and women’s submission to sexual objectification and exploitation by men:
“Women becoming, consequently, weaker, in mind and body, than they ought to be, were one of the grand ends of their being taken into account, that of bearing and nursing children, have not sufficient strength to discharge the first duty of a mother; and sacrificing to lasciviousness the parental affection, that ennobles instinct, either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born. Nature in everything demands respect, and those who violate her laws seldom do so with impunity.”
Who was Hippocrates? Oh just the father of medicine. No biggie. He lived around 460 BC–370 BC so he’s really old school. The Hippocratic Oath (which all doctors were once required to take before practicing) says: “I will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel; and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.” Even way back then, Hippocrates knew that a doctor’s job was to “first do no harm.”
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