When Pro-Choice Is Anti-Choice

I am pro-life because our world today is broken and hurting, and I want to love the broken and the hurting. The fact is many women in our society are in pain. They live in an oppressive, unloving society. Planned Parenthood says it wants to serve women and even wants fewer abortions to occur in the United States. However, the facts prove otherwise.

In order to present an alternative to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’ speech on April 20, Georgetown Right to Life invited pro-life activist Abby Johnson to speak on campus. Not only did Johnson work for Planned Parenthood, she also directed a Planned Parenthood clinic and was named employee of the year in 2008.

Planned Parenthood lies to women, and Johnson saw it firsthand.

Johnson got involved with Planned Parenthood because, as an organization, it claims to want fewer abortions to occur. This is a fair and reasonable goal for Planned Parenthood to have. Yet Johnson was told by her supervisor that this is a lie. When discussing the budget, Johnson noticed how the group doubled the amount of yearly required abortions for her clinic. Johnson asked her supervisor why this was so if the organization tried to reduce the number of abortions occurring in the United States. Johnson’s supervisor laughed in her face and said, “Abby, why would we want fewer abortions? That’s how we make our money.”

This is exploitation.

As a feminist — and yes, a pro-life feminist — I am filled with anger at the exploitation of society’s most vulnerable members. Poor women, likely minorities, are counseled into receiving abortions as a solution for unplanned pregnancies. At Planned Parenthood, for every woman who is given an adoption referral, 174 women receive abortions. This statistic, and the fact that Planned Parenthood enforces abortion quotas, suggests the group views abortion as the best option for the women who come to its clinics with an unplanned pregnancy. The anecdotal evidence put forth by Johnson suggests a dark twist to the narrative: Planned Parenthood steers women toward abortion because abortion is how it makes money.

Women deserve better.

When I found out Richards was coming to speak at Georgetown, I was shocked. I was concerned about the use of Lecture Fund’s university-provided funding to sponsor a biased speaker. Truth be told, Richards’ speech was unchallenged, as supposedly nonpartisan Lecture Fund moderators gushed about how much they loved Richards and how pro-choice they were. The Lecture Fund had the opportunity to open up a real dialogue about reproductive rights, but it chose not to.

The Richards event also opposed Georgetown’s Jesuit values. This week Georgetown Right to Life offered a stark contrast to the “throwaway culture” message put forth by Richards, offering a message consistent with our school’s mission and values. I am not Catholic, but I have a deep respect for our university’s principles and its dedication to the dignity of human life. Richards represents an institution that exploits people who should be protected, and I am not just talking about unborn children. Richards might truly believe she is helping women, but as the president of Planned Parenthood, she surely knows about the hypocrisy within her own organization.

Richards is a prominent figure in the pro-choice movement, but her organization is anti-choice. It does not want to give women options. It wants to give women abortions. It does not want women to choose for themselves. The disparity between Planned Parenthood’s supposed mission and its actual intentions astounds me.

The pro-life movement provides a clear contrast to Planned Parenthood. I want the best for pregnant women everywhere, and I believe women choose abortion when they do not feel that they have any other options. I admit the pro-life movement seeks to remove an option for women, but this is because abortion is not a viable option. An abortion forces a mother to destroy another life, often because she is put in a vulnerable and desperate state.

Former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Ezra Taft Benson once said, “You are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.” An abortion is not like other choices. The consequences are too high. In a society with a rule of law, you are not free to choose in every situation. You are not free to make a decision that hurts another person or one that commits a crime against society. Abortion is both a personal crime and a crime against humanity. It is the destruction of an innocent life and it creates a culture that is dulled to injustice.

The heart of the pro-life movement is in rectifying injustice. My heart breaks for women everywhere, because I love them and think they deserve better. I ache for children who will never know life outside the womb because I believe every human deserves the opportunity to have life. I want to love both the mother and the child, but Planned Parenthood wants to do neither.

Amelia Irvine is a freshman in the College. She is the media co-chair for Georgetown Right to Life.

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23 Comments

  1. It’s got to be embarrassing when you’re self-identifying moniker, pro-life feminist, is an oxymoron. Just another unexpected outcome of postmodernism.

    • CommonSense says:

      It’s also got to be embarrassing when you leave such a comment and reveal such ignorance that exists within the pro-choice movement. Feminism fights for the equal rights of women; nowhere does that require one to be pro-choice. Abortion is a leading cause of trauma, depression, and even suicide for women. I do not see how such side-effects of “choice” provide well-being to women, the goal of feminism. Please, next time, before insulting the author, try to comment on the substance of the argument, not of her identity.

  2. RTL has a panel of crisis pregnancy center workers – one of whom explicitly states her vested interest in persuading women not to choose abortion – and in the same week generates this half-baked story of how PP is trying to force women to abort. Find a real argument or at least a better lie next time. I feel so sorry for whomever actually believes this kindergarten journalism.

    • CommonSense says:

      “Half-baked story?” I would encourage you to look up Abby Johnson, former clinic director and once had the “esteemed honor” of being Employee of the Year, at Planned Parenthood, and see if what Ms. Irvine states is “half-baked, a lie, or kindergarten journalism.” I know the truth hurts, but insults are not going to make the pro-choice movement’s message any more appealing.

      • You’re so right – thanks for showing us indiscriminate pro-choicers the light. I should really check my sources next time and begin to rely on credible, objective, non-partisan sources such as Abby Johnson.

        • CommonSense says:

          Ah, how adorable your comment is! You should definitely do so, as she was one of the former employees, and I reiterate, Employee of the Year, for Planned Parenthood, for eight years. So, most definitely, she is a “credible and objective” source. You don’t respect her partisanship because it impedes the fantasy pro-choicers want to believe that fetuses are not people; that abortion is a macabre, sadistic procedure; and it is far more detrimental than beneficial to women. Your sarcastic humor definitely serves your argument well.

    • There are also pro-choice Republicans I think abortion is irrelevant when talking political parties
      I lean to life too, but disagree Planned Parenthood is evil. It offers free service so low cost health screenings for women who can’t afford them otherwise Abortions make up 3% or less of its services. Let’s work to prevent sexual crimes and unplanned pregnancies. Of course a former employee is gonna demonize it.

      • CommonSense says:

        I disagree that “of course a former employee is gonna demonize it.” Abby Johnson was not wrongfully terminated or leaving on bad terms with Planned Parenthood. It was the organization’s private obsession with abortion procedures that prompted her to uproot and leave. Many people retire from organizations, firms, institutions, and the like and will not demonize it just because they were a “former employee.”

  3. Come on…seriously? The argument that YOU are the one who wants to give women options, by taking away their option to an abortion…is utterly absurd. Women are smart enough to decide for themselves whether abortion or adoption is right for them, and they should be freely given both options. It is you, not the pro-choice movement, that wants to take that right away.

    • Just to be clear: I never said that the pro-life movement wants to give women options. In fact, I admitted just the opposite, “I admit the pro-life movement seeks to remove an option for women, but this is because abortion is not a viable option.”

      I think you missed a core element of my argument. The pro-life movement is anti-abortion. However, Planned Parenthood specifically is anti-choice, not pro-choice, and coincidentally pushing abortions helps PP’s bottom line. I wanted to highlight a certain hypocrisy within the pro-choice movement that many pro-choicers don’t think of.

      • The majority of people who go to Dunkin Donuts end up getting coffee. Dunkin Donuts is forcing women not to drink fruit juice!

      • Right, but the only evidence you provide to support this claim is anecdotal at best. At worst it’s just flat out wrong. Your claim that 174 abortions occur for every adoption referral is based on very subjective interpretations of statistics that are either incorrect or misleading in the first place (http://www.factcheck.org/2015/09/planned-parenthoods-services/).

        The abortion quota claim has been vehemently denied as well, and your only evidence to support it is an entirely anecdotal quote from Abby Johnson. Abby Johnson, who is also a pro-life advocate. Anecdotes from people who share your views are not evidence that they are correct.

        “The pro-life movement provides a clear contrast to Planned Parenthood. I want the best for pregnant women everywhere, and I believe women choose abortion when they do not feel that they have any other options. I admit the pro-life movement seeks to remove an option for women, but this is because abortion is not a viable option. An abortion forces a mother to destroy another life, often because she is put in a vulnerable and desperate state.”
        There’s a very clear pivot in your argument here. You claim that pro-choice is actually anti-choice because they are pressuring women to get abortions when they don’t necessarily want them. But then you admit that the pro-life movement is actively trying to remove the abortion option. Who then is really anti-choice? In the unlikely event that you are correct about planned parenthood pressuring women to get abortions, because of some supervillain scheme to trade dead fetuses for money, these women still have the option to say they won’t get an abortion. If it were up to you, that would be their only option.

    • CommonSense says:

      In fact, the only option the pro-life movement does not give is abortion while the only “choice” the pro-choice argument seems to advocate for is abortion, as Abby Johnson and Ms. Irvine have brilliantly brought to the fore and exposed to the lies and hypocrisy of Planned Parenthood. No one is doubting the ability and intelligence of women to make decisions for themselves. I want to know what the pro-choice movement has to say about the feminists and women who have switched to being pro-life after seeing abortions on an ultrasound? What about the millions of women who suffer post-abortion trauma and depression? How are such effects in any way beneficial to women? The pro-choice movement is so dedicated to their biased agenda of only protecting abortion that they do not take into account its side effects and the fact abortion, in and of itself, as a procedure, is no laughing matter or a matter of politicization. It was legalized to be used under “rare and necessary” circumstances, which was used under the Democratic Party’s platform in 1996. Now, thanks to the pro-choice movement’s politicization of a procedure that takes away God-given human potential and life, they try to umbrella all women and demonize those who disagree as traitors, or “anti-women” and anti-feminists. Ms. Irvine, you are right on! Great article!

  4. “At Planned Parenthood, for every woman who is given an adoption referral, 174 women receive abortions”

    Still waiting for the expose on adoption agencies that don’t regularly facilitate abortions.

    • Are you admitting that Planned Parenthood is largely an abortion clinic? That would seem to be the implication of your analogy.

    • My thoughts exactly. I genuinely read this wondering if the author knew the mistake she was making and didn’t care or was really so oblivious. She continues to recognize her evidence is anecdotal and doesn’t seem to care. She wants to take the word of one former prolife PP employee with every motivation in the world to exaggerate and lie over all the contrary evidence and common sense that PP offers many services to women including abortions and people get abortions there because that’s what they want.

  5. Mark McAdams says:

    Ms Irvine’s quietly eloquent counterargument to Planned Parenthood is greatly appreciated. I am actually glad that Georgetown allowed the Cecile Richards speak on campus without incident, at least none that was reported. It serves as a decided contrast that many out of favor speakers often get on campus, especially if they are conservative or libertarian. The divide in thinking about this issue is so great that even the means of discussing it without vitriol is beyond our capacity to reason. . The best we can do is express how we feel and vote how we wish to be governed. But at least let us be clear: those of us who are against abortion believe it is as egregious as slavery and may some day be viewed as one of the most collectively destructive acts in human history. We believe it damages us personally and deprives of us of the hope that each and every individual human can provide us all. To us, every premature human death is an opportunity forever lost. Dreams destroyed. But at least for posterity we can say that now at this point in time in history there were human beings who took a stand and hopefully our ancestors will look back with pride that we did not stand silent.

  6. A responsible person has the responsibility not to create a life then murder it.
    An irresponsible person not only fails to take responsibility for their action they then murder the unborn child.
    The world grows darker every day thankfully there are brave people like Ms. Irvine shining a light in that darkness.

  7. No, what’s anti-choice is as a pro-lifer, your hope that the government will legislate women’s bodies and make their choices FOR them. Good luck making the basis of your argument “anti-choice” when you’re advocating for taking away all choices. That’s all.

  8. I appreciate the article because I believe it is well-written, but I take issue with one significant point.

    “I was concerned about the use of Lecture Fund’s university-provided funding to sponsor a biased speaker.”

    Are you trying to suggest that if the Lecture Fund invited a cardinal or some other religious figure, that their speech would be in any way neutral or unbiased?

    In my opinion, one of the greatest privileges that the Lecture Fund has is to invite speakers that have different ideas and beliefs. This is a university, and as such the Lecture Fund should not have to submit to any particular religious dogma unless they want to run the risk of being openly biased themselves.

  9. Great article that makes an interesting point. Yes, they claim to be pro-choice, but they’re only pro one choice: abortion. This hypocrisy had to be pointed out.

  10. Mary C. Wareham says:

    I thank Amelia for her article. The week for Life that was held was an example of truth, light and goodness coming out as a contrast to the evil of Georgetown’s promotomg the manipulation and exploitation of vulnerable women that is PPs business. Our society has lost the understanding of the sacred nature of conjugal union and that God’s blessing and permission to enter that Garden of joys that are a dim reflection of our union with Him in heaven, is only granted to the married. Outside of marriage, sexual union is called fornication, a mortal sin which destroys God’s life in our soul, and a sin of the senses for which Jesus was scourged. View a you tube of the scourging in The Passion of the Christ. It may cool your “ardor” the next time you are tempted to this sin. Sex is not recreation. Its misuse destroys in many ways, including fostering the idea that a person must die so i can live as i wish. We must and eventually return to purity and chastity. Grandma

  11. What an eloquent and thoughtful piece, Amelia! Thanks very much for writing it and to the Hoya for publishing it. Defend Life!

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