Americans should not be surprised when an increasingly leftist political party supporting abortion engages in borderline slander to sabotage a conservative nominee to the Supreme Court, as the Democratic Party did with Brett Kavanaugh recently -- and as it did with Clarence Thomas in 1990 and with Robert Bork in 1987.
Why is the Left -- including a growing number of Catholic clerics -- committed to abortion? Because that commitment proceeds directly from abortion's prominent role in the foundation for socialist ideology: Marxism, which has been re-branded politically as "democratic socialism."
To understand the connection, consider first Dr. Antoinette Konikow's comments in her 1923 pamphlet, "Voluntary Motherhood." Konikow -- who supported Leon Trotsky and helped found the Communist Party of the United States in 1919 -- performed illegal abortions in Boston during the early twentieth century while engaging in socialist activism:
"Women can never obtain real independence unless her functions of procreation are under her own control. The woman married to a worker finds in Voluntary Parenthood the same source of leisure and economic relief that her husband received through his labor union. To her, Voluntary Parenthood means the eight- or six-hour day, instead of the 12 or 16-hour day, which the mother of many children is bound to endure.
“The professional woman through Voluntary Parenthood is enabled to combine her professional work with marriage. Ellen Key (a 19th century Swedish feminist) points out that every professional woman has the serious question before her: marriage or independence. Voluntary Parenthood permits her to combine both." (emphasis and capitals in original, parentheses added)
Now consider Chelsea Clinton’s remarks during a rally to support Roe v. Wade in August, one month after President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh:
"It is not a disconnected fact ... that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right? The net, new entrance of women—that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973."
Marxists believe abortion frees women from domestic and economic pressure while limiting the number of children who could become a burden to the state. In 1920, the Soviet Union became the first European nation to legalize free abortion on demand. By 1924, the Soviets limited abortion to pregnancies that risked the lives of either the mother or the unborn child.
“The birth of a child is for many women a serious menace to their position,” the Russian Communist newspaper "Pravda" stated. Trotsky cited that quote to justify Soviet policy in his book, The Revolution Betrayed, a comprehensive critique of the Soviet Union under Stalin.
"It is just for this reason," Trotsky wrote, "that the revolutionary power gave women the right to abortion, which in conditions of want and family distress, whatever may be said upon this subject by the eunuchs and old maids of both sexes, is one of her most important civil, political and cultural rights."
Legalized abortion on demand also plays a pivotal role in the Left's attempts to redefine American culture by extending state power at the nuclear family's expense. None other than Karl Marx proclaimed that destroying the nuclear family was a fundamental Marxist goal.
"Abolition of the family!" Marx demanded in The Communist Manifesto. "On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. ... The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital."
For Marxists, the nuclear family in a capitalist society degrades both women and children. It turns them into means of production and exploits them economically, with women becoming no more than incubators and domestic servants. Lenin himself called housewives "domestic slaves."
"It was within the family that private property and the division of labor first developed," wrote Richard Weikart, a conservative history professor at California State University, Stanislaus. "The original division of labor was the sex act but other labor was differentiated later on the basis of sex and age, which Marx and (Friedrich) Engels called a natural or physiological division of labor within the family. Private property also arose first within the family, since women and children became slaves of men."
The Marxist solution? Collectivized child-rearing and household programs operated by the state, as Trotsky advocated in The Revolution Betrayed:
"The place of the family as a shut-in petty enterprise was to be occupied, according to the plans, by a finished system of social care and accommodation: maternity houses, crèches, kindergartens, schools, social dining rooms, social laundries, first-aid stations, hospitals, sanatoria, athletic organizations, moving-picture theaters, etc. The complete absorption of the housekeeping functions of the family by institutions of the socialist society, uniting all generations in solidarity and mutual aid, was to bring to woman, and thereby to the loving couple, a real liberation from the thousand-year-old fetters."
The likely consequence? Massive social upheaval.
"The relationships they envisaged for communist society would have little or no resemblance to the family as it existed in nineteenth-century Europe or indeed anywhere else," Weikart wrote. "Thus it is certainly appropriate to define their position as the abolition of the family. Only by making the term 'family' almost infinitely elastic can they be said to have embraced merely a reformulation of the family."
Trotsky's ideas still animate today's Marxists.
"So what would we put in place of the family as we know it? I argue for the importance of building democratic caring communities," Johanna Brenner, a Marxist feminist and a professor emeritus at Portland State University, said in 2017. "These, I think, are a more progressive grounding of relational life than family households -- although I’m not opposed to family households being one part of such communities. Enlarging our affective bonds beyond a small circle, whether defined by blood and kinship or otherwise, is an essential part of any laboratory project."
Abortion thus holds a privileged place among radical feminists. During the 1970s and 1980s, Evelyn Reed embodied the connection between Marxism, feminism and abortion. One of Trotsky's acolytes during his exile in Mexico, Reed reiterated Engel's views of the family in her 1970 article, "Women: Caste, Class or Oppressed Sex?"
"Women were then given two dismal alternatives," Reed wrote. "They could either seek a husband as provider and be penned up thereafter as housewives in city tenements or apartments to raise the next generation of wage slaves. Or the poorest and most unfortunate could go as marginal workers into the mills and factories (along with the children) and be sweated as the most downtrodden and underpaid section of the labor force."
In 1971, Reed founded the Women's National Abortion Action Coalition. In 1978, during a rally commemorating Roe's fifth anniversary, Reed presaged today's incendiary left-wing rhetoric when she condemned what she called "the unholy alliance of the Catholic Church's male hierarchy, the Ku Klux Klan, the Mormon Church and the John Birch Society" against abortion. In 1985, Reed wrote a paperback, "Abortion is a Woman's Right!"
Reed's French contemporary, Simone de Beauvoir, provides the most fanatical example of Marxist feminism's support for abortion.
“I am for the abolition of the family. It is through the intermediary of the family that the patriarchal world exploits women,” wrote de Beauvoir, a Maoist who in 1971 joined other French women demanding legalized abortion in the "Manifesto of the 343 Sluts."
De Beauvoir revealed her fanaticism during an interview with fellow feminist Betty Friedan in 1975. Friedan suggested that women who care for children full-time could receive government vouchers for that purpose.
"No, we don't believe that any woman should have this choice," de Beauvoir replied. "No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one. It is a way of forcing women in a certain direction." (emphases added).
Christina Hoff Summers recognized the inherent totalitarianism as she criticized de Beauvoir in her book, Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women.
"Though she does not spell it out," Summers wrote, "she must have been aware that her 'totally different' society would require a legion of Big Sisters endowed by the state with the power to prohibit any woman who wants to marry and stay home with children from carrying out her plans."
De Beauvoir's haunting remarks -- reflecting nearly two centuries of Marxist thought -- demonstrate that the American Left's ultimate goal in promoting abortion is not personal emancipation, but ideological slavery.