Quotes on Abortion are listed in alphabetical order (according to the name of the speaker).
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- "Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State."
- Edward Abbey, One Life at a Time, Please (1988)
- "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 [abortion]. 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!"
- Susan B. Anthony, women's suffrage movement leader, The Revolution, 7/8/1869.
- "[I]n face of erroneous interpretations of freedom, [Pope John Paul II] emphasized in an unequivocal way the inviolability of the human being, the inviolability of human life from its conception until natural death. The freedom to kill is not true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery."
- Pope Benedict XVI, homily, 5/7/2005
- "I think a noble goal for this country is that every child, born and unborn, ought to be protected in law and welcomed into life."
- George W. Bush, U.S. Presidential debate in Boston, 10/1/2000
- "Those of us who are pro-choice are also, passionately, pro-life. Most of us love babies, love children, and love our liberty—not to mention loving sex and our right to have it when, how, and with whomever we choose."
- Rachel Kramer Bussel, "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck", Village Voice, January 13, 2006
- "I am opposed to abortion and to government funding of abortions. We should not spend state funds on abortions because so many people believe abortion is wrong."
- Bill Clinton, now in favor of legalized abortion, in a letter to Arkansas Right to Life, 9/26/1986
- "If Americans support abortion, let's vote. . . Just this past term, in Stenberg vs. Carhart, the court expanded the apocryphal abortion right to an all-new right to stick a fork in the head of a half-born baby."
- Ann Coulter, lawyer and political commentator, 12/28/2000
- "The the difference between the way of life and the way of death is great. Therefore, do not murder a child by abortion or kill a newborn infant."
- The Didache, book of Christian apostolic teachings, circa 80 A.D.
- "now the profile of our country looks a little less hard nosed / but that picket line persisted and that clinic's since been closed / they keep pounding their fists on reality hoping it will break / but I don't think there's a one of us leads a life free of mistakes"
- Ani DiFranco, Lost Woman Song
- "Pro-lifers should dig themselves / Cause life doesn't stop after birth / And to a child born to the unprepared / It might even just get worse"
- Digable Planets, La Femme Fétal
- "The one regret I have about my own abortions is that they cost money that might otherwise have been spent on something more pleasurable, like taking the kids to movies and theme parks."
- Barbara Ehrenreich, "Their Dilemma and Mine" (1989), reprinted in The Worst Years of Our Lives (1991)
- "[Abortion opponents] love little babies, as long as they're in somebody else's uterus."
- Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, Redbook Magazine, 8/1994
- "(This) subject lies deeper down in woman’s wrongs than any other...I hesitate not to assert that most of (the responsibility for) this crime lies at the door of the male sex."
- Matilda Gage, early feminist, in The Revolution, 4/9/1868
- "For God…has conferred on men the surpassing ministry of safeguarding life…Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes."
- Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World),Second Vatican Council, promulgated 12/7/1965
- "It seems to me clear as daylight that abortion would be a crime."
- Mahatma Gandhi, in All Men Are Brothers: Life and Thoughts of Mahatma Gandhi
- "The custom of procuring abortions has reached such appalling proportions in America as to be beyond belief...So great is the misery of the working classes that seventeen abortions are committed in every one hundred pregnancies."
- Emma Goldman, anarchist, activist, in Mother Earth, 1911
- "During my 11 years in congress, I have consistently opposed federal funding for abortions. In my opinion, it is wrong to spend federal funds for what is arguably taking of a human life. Let me assure you that I share your belief that innocent human life must be protected, and I am committed to furthering this goal."
- Al Gore, Former U.S. Vice President, , now in favor of legalized abortion, in a letter to a constituent, while U.S. Senator from Tennessee, 5/26/1987
- "The goal was ‘every child a wanted child’; it should also have been ‘every abortion a wanted abortion’, but the two sides of the phony debate were never to meet."
- Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman
- "No one, neither the patient receiving an abortion, nor the person doing the abortion, is ever, at anytime, unaware that they are ending a life..."
- Dr. William F. Harrison, abortion doctor, from the essay Why I Provide Abortions 1996
- "The early feminists found abortion to be the ultimate exploitation of women. [Women had to] become men to compete. We bought into that. We're smarter today. It's more empowering to go through with your pregnancy."
- Patricia Heaton, Washington Times, 4/14/2005
- "I reject that criticism because this is indeed another kind of holocaust, by another name. At last count, more than 40 million unborn children have been deliberately, intentionally destroyed. What word adequately defines the scope of such slaughter? [After 9/11] the American people responded with shock, sadness and a deep and righteous anger — and rightly so. Yet let us not forget that every passing day in our country, more than three thousand innocent Americans are killed [through abortion]."
- Jesse Helms, in Here's Where I Stand, 2005
- "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."
- from the Hippocratic Oath, attributed to the school of Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” circa 400 B.C.
- "The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."
- Irish Constitution, 8th Amendment, adopted by popular referendum, 10/7/1983
- "There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of [a] higher order than the right to life ... that was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned."
- Rev. Jesse Jackson, U.S. civil rights activist, now in favor of legal abortion, in National Right to Life News, 1/1977
- "America first proclaimed its independence on the basis of self-evident moral truths. America will remain a beacon of freedom for the world as long as it stands by those moral truths which are the very heart of its historical experience. And so America: If you want peace, work for justice. If you want justice, defend life."
- Pope John Paul II, St. Louis, Missouri, 1/28/1999.
- "While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized -- the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old."
- "'If you won't stand up for your own child, somebody has to.' He believed it, and he was convinced it was God's view. It made sense to him. But he also knew she could reject it out of hand simply because he was a man. How could he understand? No one was suggesting what he could or could not do with his own body. He had wanted to tell her he understood that, but again, what if that unborn child was a female? Who was standing up for the rights of that woman's body?"
- "The preservation of life seems to be rather a slogan than a genuine goal of the anti-abortion forces: what they want is control. Control over behavior: power over women. Women in the anti-choice movement want to share in male power over women, and do so by denying their own womanhood, their own rights and responsibilities."
- Ursula K. Le Guin, Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places (1997)
- "Given the National Organization for Women’s membership and proclivities, it’s no wonder that people now view the NOW gang as being obsessed with only two issues: abortion rights and lesbian rights."
- Rush Limbaugh, in The Way Things Ought To Be, 1992
- "Pro-choice and pro-life activists live in different worlds, and the scope of their lives, as both adults and children, fortifies them in their belief that their own views on abortion are the more correct, the more moral, and more reasonable. When added to this is the fact that should 'the other side' win, one group of women will see they very real devaluation of their lives and life resources, it is not surprising that the abortion debate has generated so much heat and so little light."
- Kristin Luker, Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood (1984)
- "...The fact that only poor women are denied reproductive freedom when abortions are illegal is unpersuasive to those who oppose abortion on moral grounds."
- Kristin Luker, Dubious Conceptions (1996)
- "No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg."
- "Once you decide the uterus must be emptied, you then have to have 100% allegiance to maternal risk. There's no justification to doing a more dangerous procedure because somehow this doesn't offend your sensibilities as much."
- Dr. James T. McMahon, American Medical News (U.S. Congressional Record, 1996, p. H10634)
- “We think abortion is a bad thing. No woman wants to have an abortion.”
- Kate Michelman, then Executive Director of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, in a taped Philadelphia Inquirer interview 1993
- "And, by the way, my belief is that if men were the ones getting pregnant, abortions would be easier to get than food poisoning in Moscow."
- Dennis Miller, Ranting Again, 1999
- "I don’t think government has the proper role in forcing a woman to have a child or forcing a woman not to have a child. And we’ve seen that around the world. This is something that should be privately decided with the family, woman, all the other private factors of it, but we should work toward preventing the necessity of abortion."
- "Fewer women would have abortions if wombs had windows."
- Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortion doctor turned pro-life, in his book Aborting America, 1979
- "I am in no position to judge other women, you know. But I mean, why did she get pregnant? It's not good for women to go through the procedure [abortion] and have something living sucked out of their bodies. It belittles women. Even though some women say, 'Oh, I don't mind to have one,' every time a woman has an abortion, it just crushes her self-esteem smaller and smaller and smaller."
- Dolores O'Riordan, lead vocalist of The Cranberries, You! magazine, June/July 1996
- "People are interested in having babies; they're just not interested in having 15 babies. The average American woman spends 23 years of her life preventing pregnancy. No one's going 23 years not having sex."
- Cristina Page, author of How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics and the War on Sex, as quoted in "I'm Pro-Choice and I Fuck", Rachel Kramer Bussel, Village Voice January 13, 2006
- "Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women."
- Alice Paul, author of the 1923 U.S. Equal Rights Amendment
- "Responsible parenthood involves decades devoted to the child's proper nurture. To sentence a woman to bear a child against her will is an unspeakable violation of her rights: her right to liberty (to the functions of her body), her right to the pursuit of happiness, and, sometimes, her right to life itself, even as a serf. Such a sentence represents the sacrifice of the actual to the potential, of a real human being to a piece of protoplasm, which has no life in the human sense of the term. It is sheer perversion of language for people who demand this sacrifice to call themselves 'right-to-lifers.'"
- Leonard Peikoff (Objectivism, in the Chapter on Government)
- "Is birth control an abortion? Definitely not; an abortion kills the life of a baby after it has begun."
- Planned Parenthood pamphlet, 8/1963
- "Inevitably, attacking abortion as a great evil means attacking providers and patients. If abortion is so bad, why not stigmatize the doctors who perform them? Deny the clinic a permit in your town? Make women feel guilty and ashamed for choosing it and make them sweat so they won't screw up again? Ironically, improvements in contraception have made unwanted pregnancy look more like a personal failing. 'Why was I so careful? Because I never wanted to have an abortion,' wrote 32-year-old Laurie Gigliotti in response to Saletan's op-ed, describing her super-vigilant approach to safe sex. You can just see how unwanted pregnancy will join obesity and smoking as unacceptable behavior in polite society. But how is all this censoriousness supposed to help women control their fertility? If half of all pregnancies are unplanned, it doesn't make sense to treat them as individual sins."
- Katha Pollitt, "Subject to Debate" column in The Nation, 2/5/2006
- "We are always told that violent anti-choicers are a mere fringe. Obviously, few anti-choicers commit murder or arson. But, as the Matthew Shepard case reminds us, extreme vocabulary creates a climate of moral permission for extreme acts. This is a movement whose main spokespeople, many of them mantled in clerical or political authority, regularly use words like 'baby killers', 'murder', 'holocaust', and 'Nazis', thus legitimizing just about anything. After all, the conspirators who tried to assassinate Hitler are heroes."
- Katha Pollitt, "Subject to Debate" column in The Nation, 11/16/1998 (reprinted in Subject to Debate (2001))
- "Young women need to know that abortion rights and abortion access are not presents bestowed or retracted by powerful men (or women) -- Presidents, Supreme Court justices, legislators, lobbyists -- but freedoms won, as freedom always is, by people struggling on their own behalf."
- Katha Pollitt, "Subject to Debate" column in The Nation, 5/1/2000 (reprinted in Subject to Debate (2001))
- "What would the alternative be? Abortion by prayer? By edict? Upon seeking consensus? After groveling? Women have thought long and hard about this decision before they ever get to my clinic. In fact, most of them have been agonizing for days or even weeks, some to the extent of rescheduling their appointments several times."
- Suzanne T. Poppema, discussing the phrase "abortion on demand", in Why I Am An Abortion Doctor (1996)
- "One method of destroying a concept is by diluting its meaning. Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives."
- Ayn Rand, "A Last Survey — Part I", The Ayn Rand Letter Vol. IV, No. 2, 1975.
- "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born."
- Ronald Reagan, quoted in New York Times, September 22, 1980
- "The fact that a majority of the States reflecting, after all, the majority sentiment in those States, have had restrictions on abortions for at least a century is a strong indication, it seems to me, that the asserted right to an abortion is not ‘so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental…’"
- Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, U.S. Supreme Court, one of two dissenters against the majority opinion in the landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade, 1/22/1973
- "In a society where women entered sexual intercourse willingly, where adequate contraception was a genuine social priority, there would be no 'abortion issue'. . . Abortion is violence. . . It is the offspring, and will continue to be the accuser of a more pervasive and prevalent violence, the violence of rapism."
- Adrienne Rich, feminist poet and author and advocate of legal abortion, in Of Woman Born, 1976
- Glendon: Why did you and so many other constitutional lawyers stop criticizing the Court’s abortion decisions after most of you had been highly critical of Roe v. Wade?
- Sacks: I suppose it was because we had been made to understand that the abortion issue was so important to the women in our lives, and it just did not seem that important to most of us.
- "It is a noteworthy fact that not one of the women to whom I have spoken so far believes in abortion as a practice; but it is principle for which they are standing. They also believe that the complete abolition of the abortion law will shortly do away with abortions, as nothing else will."
- Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, "Women in Germany", Birth Control Review, 12/1920
- "But unlike abortion today, in most states even the slaveholder did not have the unlimited right to kill his slave."
- Rick Santorum, U.S. Senator, 7/05/2005
- "The state could have been concerned about rendering society callous to infanticide ... the horror of seeing a live human creature outside the womb dismembered. Can't that be a valid societal interest?"
- Justice Antonin Scalia, questioning attorneys during oral arguments in US Supreme Court case Stenberg vs. Carhart, 4/25/2000
- And since a man can't make one / He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
- Tupac Shakur, Keep Ya Head Up
- "The pro-life groups were right about one thing, the location of the baby inside or outside the womb cannot make much of a moral difference. We cannot coherently hold it is alright to kill a fetus a week before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything must be done to keep it alive. The solution, however, is not to accept the pro-life view that the fetus is a human being with the same moral status as yours or mine. The solution is the very opposite, to abandon the idea that all human life is of equal worth."
- Peter Singer, Princeton ethicist, "Bioethics: The Case of the Fetus", in the New York Review of Books, 8/5/1976
- "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's suffrage movement leader, in a letter to Julia Ward Howe recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library, 10/16/1873
- "It was 1957 and I was living in London, working as a waitress. I had no money and no friends and was trying to figure out what to do. There was no way I could give birth to someone and also give birth to myself. At the time, to get an abortion in England you needed two doctors to write a letter stating that it was [medically] necessary. I could not make myself feel guilty for a moment. It was the first time I took responsibility for my life. You know, when you are desperate, it’s easy to make the decision to abort. Ambivalence seems to be a function of legality."
- Gloria Steinem, appearing in the documentary film Speak Out: I Had An Abortion, 2005
- "Of course I'm following the Supreme Court nominations - I have a uterus! I'm stocking up - I got three abortions on the way here. . . I'm pro-choice. . ."
- "One doctor said, `In France, we think that abortion is more moral earlier.' And I thought to myself, we think so too in the United States, but we don't dare say it."
- Charlotte Taft, abortion counselor and consultant, "When abortions come late in a pregnancy; Though rare, most aren't for medical reasons", US News & World Report, 1/19/1998
- "...the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing - direct murder by the mother herself...because if a mother can kill her own child, what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me? There is nothing between."
- Mother Teresa, in her Nobel Lecture given upon receiving the Peace Prize, 11 December, 1979
- "When I or people like me are running the country, you'd better flee because we will find you, we will try you and we'll execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that you are tried and executed."
- Randall Terry, leader of Operation Rescue, Addressing doctors who perform abortions, in a speech to the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance, from The Hotline, May 9, 2000
- "Whether in the name of traditional sex roles or in the name of a traditional sexual morality, much opposition to abortion seems really to be about the control of women."
- Laurence Tribe, in Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes (1990)
- "In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning. . . Any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level according to the national legislative process. In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe."
- United Nations International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action, paragraph 8.25, adopted by 179 countries, 1994
- "Even if you are pro-choice, no one likes to see a dead fetus."
- Vilma Valdez, Education Director Planned Parenthood of Greater Miami, The Miami Herald, 10/24/1992
- "George W Bush, go to hell! And while you’re at it, we want you to take Ashcroft with you. And don’t forget Rumsfeld. And please carry along Condi Rice. . . I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion."
- Maxine Waters, member of US Congress, at the televised pro-choice March For Women's Lives, 4/25/04
- "The word 'privacy' does not appear in the Constitution. Then again, neither does 'travel.' But if you were to ask any American, 'Do you have the right to travel where and when you like?' they'd say 'yes.' And the Supreme Court has upheld this right."
- Attorney Sarah Weddington, the lawyer who argued Roe v. Wade, "A Delicate Decision", Westchester County Weekly, 1/22/1998
- "At the heart of the controversy in these cases are those recurring pregnancies that pose no danger whatsoever to the life or health of the mother but are, nevertheless, unwanted for any one or more of a variety of reasons -- convenience, family planning, economics, dislike of children, the embarrassment of illegitimacy, etc."
- Justice Byron White, U.S. Supreme Court, one of two dissenters in Roe v. Wade, 1/22/1973
- "Abortion is not the emancipation of women. Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women. When they ask us, 'What about the woman,' we will not say, 'What about the baby?' We will give them a good answer. We will say, 'We refuse to choose between women and their children. We will fight for you who deserve better than abortion.'"
- Sally Winn, vice president of Feminists for Life, at the annual March For Life, January 2003
- "Men must no longer insult all womanhood by saying that freedom means the degradation of woman. Every woman knows if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth."
- Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for U.S. President, member of the Equal Rights Party, in The Evening Standard (Wheeling, WV), 11/17/1875
- "Whoever has read the WEEKLY knows I hold abortion (except to save the life of the mother) to be just as much murder as the killing of a person after birth is murder."
- Victoria Woodhull, first woman to run for U.S. President, member of the Equal Rights Party, in Woodhull's and Claffin's Weekly, 12/2/1871
- "It's a nasty, dirty, yucky thing and I always come home angry. . .I've become very good at it. I've become one hell of an abortionist. But it's not something I tell my kids about. . . Have you ever seen one? . . I don't care what anyone say, it is not a tonsillectomy, not just any old medical procedure. It's terminating a potential human life."
- Dr. David Zbaraz, abortion doctor, "ABORTIONIST; Doctor Joins Suit for Right to Do Operation He Hates", Washington Post, March 3, 1980
- "Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place?"
- "People say 'life begins at conception.' I say life began about a billion years ago and it's a continuous process."
- "When we look to the unborn child, the real issue is not when life begins, but when love begins."
- "Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children - but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born."
- "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."
- Florynce Kennedy
- "To those who were robbed of life: the unborn, the weak, the sick, the old, during the Dark Ages of madness, selfishness, lust and greed for which the last decades of the twentieth century are remembered..."
- Dr. C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General
- "It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard."
- Dorothy Parker, On going into hospital for an abortion.
- "We should not be surprised at the epidemic of child abuse. Obviously there is a connection between what we can do to a baby in the first nine months of life in the womb, and thereafter."
- Paul Ramsey, Princeton ethicist
- "A man who takes it upon himself to prescribe how others should dispose of their own lives - and who seeks to condemn them by law, i.e., by force, to the drudgery of an unchosen, lifelong servitude (which, more often than not, is beyond their economic means or capacity) - such a man has no right to pose as a defender of rights. A man with so little concern or respect for the rights of the individual, cannot and will not be a champion of freedom or of capitalism."
- "I want to get an abortion. But my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving."
- (I'd have a quote, except my parents aborted me)
- The Sounds of Silence, 2004
- "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."