Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Everyone from Biden to the media seized on the story of a 10-year-old girl’s abortion to defend the practice. They didn’t want to talk about the ugly details. And with good reason.
The girl, actually only 9, had been raped by an illegal alien. And, on camera, her mother defended the rapist. Rather than a story about abortion, it was another familiar case of children being abused by the men who pass through the lives of their mothers. And a commentary on the social dysfunction created by illegal migration and broken multicultural communities.
Despite the eagerness to make the faceless child into the face of the abortion movement, less than 4% of abortions involve underage girls. Most however involve broken families.
“I do not view abortion as a choice and a right,” Biden had said in 2006. “I think it’s always a tragedy. I think it should be rare and safe.”
Biden was echoing Bill Clinton’s statement that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”. It was a position that most Democrats of a certain age had adopted to bridge the gap between the party’s pro-life and pro-abortion wings. Biden has since adopted the position that abortion is a feminist sacrament in a party that has jettisoned both women and its pro-life wing.
Bill Clinton, Biden and establishment Democrats of another era understood that abortion was a symptom of broken families and poverty. They still know that, they just won’t say it. It’s why Elizabeth Warren and other Senate Democrats are trying to ban the pregnancy centers that offer assistance to poor mothers. Those same pregnancy centers have faced a campaign of domestic terrorism from pro-abortion extremists which Biden’s DOJ continues to ignore.
Why burn pregnancy centers? Because Planned Parenthood’s clients aren’t feminists, just poor. Warren and her domestic terrorist allies are trying to take away any option other than abortion.
Women who seek out abortions are disproportionately poor and members of minority groups. 75% are low income and half are below the poverty line. 85% are unmarried, among those 61% had been shacking up with the baby’s father, and 61% already had one child. Those making over $100,000 a year have the highest rates of support for abortions and the lowest among those who make only $30,000. From Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, on down abortion is how the Elizabeth Warrens manage the social problems of the underclass.
Eugenicists were divided between the more extreme view, that poverty was a symptom of an inheritable genetic defect, and the more liberal view, represented by Sanger, that the poor were a mixture of genetic defects, who needed to be forcibly sterilized, and irresponsible ‘breeders’, especially minorities such as Italians, Jews, and blacks, who were poor because they had too many children. It was this liberal eugenics that is the pragmatic function of Planned Parenthood even as its ideology trumpets abortion as feminist empowerment for upper class women.
There’s little evidence that abortion has fixed social or economic problems. The multigenerational clients of Planned Parenthood continue to be poor minorities.
Sanger’s contempt for religion had misled her about the role of values in social stability. Children were not the cause of poverty. The poverty rate in 1974, a year after Roe v. Wade became law, was 11%. 5 years later, it was up to 15%. In 2020 it was back to 11%. In 1974, there were 24 million poor people in America. In 2020, there are 37 million.
The poverty rate for married couples is under 5%. It’s at 23% for female householders.
Rather than solving any of the social problems that Planned Parenthood claimed to be tackling, the annual mass sacrifice of babies only serves as a disposal chute for its victims. And so when a child is raped by her mother’s boyfriend, the answer is a speedy trip to an abortion clinic followed by assertions that this system is a vital civil right rather than a moral nightmare.
Democrats, including even Joe Biden, once understood that abortion was the fallout of a failed social system and its broken families, but now abortion can only be discussed as if it were a thing in and of itself, detached from any causes or consequences except perhaps the academic jargon about “pregnant bodies” and the “heteronormative patriarchy” that now infuses the Left.
Media outlets claim, with a mostly straight face, that abortion bans hit LGBT people the hardest.
Meanwhile, on the ground level, leftist activists are firebombing the pregnancy centers that offer an alternative to the mostly poor minority women who are the ones who actually have abortions.
“To effect the salvation of the generations of the future—nay, of the generations of to-day—our greatest need… is to cooperate in the formation of a code of sexual ethics based upon a thorough biological and psychological understanding of human nature,” Margaret Sanger wrote in 1922.
A code of “sexual ethics” based on a raw materialistic understanding of human nature has long since developed by the likes of Alfred Kinsey. The code has brought on an unrivaled hostility between the sexes, hookup culture, the #MeToo movement, STDs, pornography, single parent families, date rape, the sexualization of children and widespread misery and loneliness.
Not to mention abortion.
One wonders what Sanger, who died in 1966, would have made of the wonderful generations of the future she had only begun to witness at the height of Haight-Ashbury. The essence of Sanger’s argument was that nothing more could be expected of people than to live out their drives and society had to protect its own future by eliminating children from the equation.
Women, Sanger had claimed, would be empowered by this exciting new code of sexual ethics.
What that empowerment really adds up to is college students waking up after a drunken encounter wondering if it was rape and single mothers desperately holding on to a man even if he abuses their children, and the problem being “solved” at an abortion clinic.
Abortion has so often been reduced to a debate between the right to life and the autonomy of the mother that we ignore the fact that what we are really seeing is a side-effect of a social breakdown. The larger question is not whether murder is sometimes justified or not, but why do we even live? What is the purpose of our existence and do we even have one?
Sanger began her book with a quote from Walt Whitman that women “are the gates of the body” and the “gates of the soul”, before proceeding to reduce women to the body, the “great fundamental instinct of sex”, as she put it, “expressing itself in the ever-growing broods” of the working poor. “Prohibition” and “restraint” were futile, she warned, and would only lead to “insanity, hysteria, neuroses, morbid fears and compulsions”.
“Remove the moral taboos that now bind the human body and spirit, free the individual from the slavery of tradition,” she urged, and “most of the larger evils of society will perish.”
How is society doing without those taboos?
“I was thirty-nine and scared by the idea that I would not be reproducing the kind of heteronormative nuclear family I had grown up in,” Emily Witt wrote. So the New Yorker writer joined a dating app “for ‘open-minded singles and couples who want to explore their sexuality.’”
“Below the photos is a caption that might read, “31, transmasculine, gynesexual, 3 km away.”
After that, Witt turned in a plaintive article about “the only abortion clinic in North Dakota”.
This is Sanger’s world without the moral taboos or any prohibition and restraint. It’s also a world in which Witt admits that, “The older I’ve got, the more I’ve understood how often sexual freedom imposes itself on people who don’t seek it out.” The torrent of “insanity, hysteria, neuroses, morbid fears and compulsions” has only increased in this world with its alphabet soup of genders and sexualities with sky-high suicide and sexual assault rates.
Whitman failed to understand that the “gates of the soul” come before the “gates of the body”, but Sanger could not conceive of the soul as anything except psychological “chemistry”. And there’s Witt, their spiritual descendant, who browses a world of sexual fetishes and exploitation, along with her “unmarried and childless female friends”, “none of us very young” who “had been ‘hooking up’ with people for large swaths of our adult lives.”
Apart from the moral judgements, Sanger’s world is a lonely one filled with broken people, men who fear to be fathers and women who no longer believe they are women living in a digital ‘Nighthawks’. Abortion is in decline, not because of laws and regulations, but because people are less likely to connect to each other on even on the most casual level that would make a pregnancy possible.
Abortions, childbirths, pregnancies, relationships and marriages are all in a state of decline.
And that is the best of it in the upper tiers. At the bottom is the end of families, homes that aren’t broken, but never even existed, whose children either end up in abortion clinics or prisons.
Breaches of morality are also breaches of our humanity.
Changing all of that requires looking beyond the body and to the soul. According to Sanger, the soul was “nothing but a vague unreality except insofar as it is able to manifest itself in the beauty of the concrete.” She envisioned a humanity whose bodies were as perfect as those of “superb ships, motor cars or great buildings”. And yet our truths lie in what to Sanger was a mere “vague unreality” but whose absence has made all of the achievements a hollow tragedy.
Our ships and cars are better than ever. And our society is more broken than ever.
Abortion doesn’t only represent the death of a child, but of a family and a future. It isn’t only babies who die in abortion clinics, but the potential of two people and the soul of a nation.