Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Alice Paul: “Abortion is the Ultimate Exploitation of Women”

Yesterday, President Obama designated the “Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument” in Washington, D.C.  This is the building that not only served as the headquarters of the Women’s Party beginning in 1929, but was the home for such early leaders of political rights for women as Alice Paul.


Not surprisingly, while President Obama justly sang the praises of such giants in the struggle for human dignity as Alice Paul, the historical narrative was decidedly slanted to fit current liberal political themes.  Scrubbed from the historical record and never mentioned in President Obama’s speech was the courageous and consistent stance that Alice Paul took against abortion over the decades, speaking up when others promoted the Equal Rights Amendment and womens equality as supposedly linked to abortion “rights.”

Just a few months ago, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List wrote in Time magazine (here): “Many of today’s feminists see abortion as one of the touchstones of their movement. Yet many of the early leaders of the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S. believed that the rights of mother and child are inextricably linked and that the right to life and the right to vote are rooted in the inherent dignity of each human person.”

Alice Paul would have emphatically agreed.  Living until her 90’s and the 1970s, Alice Paul called it like it is, saying that “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.”


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