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Quotes on Abortion.


This section is for quotations that indicate opposition to legal penalties against abortion
  • If you look at the issue, you'll see that this isn't about the children. There are children starving in the sewers of Persia. There are babies in the AIDS wards, chucked out into the streets like … cabbage. If this were really about the children, they'd be doing something about the children that are already here. I don't play that game. ~ Tori Amos
  • The states are not free, under the guise of protecting maternal health or potential life, to intimidate women into continuing pregnancies. ~ Harry Blackmun, majority opinion in Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973
  • People say 'life begins at conception.' I say life began about about a billion years ago and it's a continuous process. ~ George Carlin
  • Why is it that most of the people who are against abortion are people you wouldn't want to fuck in the first place? ~ George Carlin
  • Why is it that when it's us, it's an 'abortion' and when it's chicken it's an 'omelette'? Are we so much better than chickens all of a sudden? ~ George Carlin
  • My friend, O' Lordy
    Went to take care of her own body
    She got shot down in the road
    She looked up before she went
    She said "This isn't really what I meant"
    And the daily news said "2 with 1 stone".
    ~ Sheryl Crow, Hard to Make a Stand
  • Abortion opponents love little babies as long as they are in someone else's uterus. ~ Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General
  • Abortion is an integral part of family planning. Theoretically this means abortions at any stage of gestation. Therefore I favor the availability of abortion beyond 20 weeks. ~ Dr. David Grundmann, discussing his abortion practice in a 1994 paper Abortion After Twenty Weeks in Clinical Practice: Practical, Ethical and Legal Issues
  • We lived our dreams and challenged fate
    In tears she told me she was late
    Then Sally let his pigeons out to fly
    She left one night with just a nod
    Was lost in some back alley job
    I close my eyes and Sally's pigeons fly.
    ~ Cyndi Lauper, Sally's Pigeons
  • In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, the existential choice for a woman is not abortion vs. no abortion, but, as Garrett Hardin has pointed out, abortion vs. compulsory childbearing. (See his Mandatory Motherhood for a biologist's look at the case for abortion.) If others can force her to be a mother... then she is coerced into putting her body at the disposal of the fetus as if she were an unclaimed natural resource or a chattel slave.... Thus, the woman's most fundamental right of choice, the right to control her own body and happiness, is being abrogated. ~ Sharon Presley and Robert Cooke,[1]
  • Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a 'right to life.' A piece of protoplasm has no rights— and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months. To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. ~ Ayn Rand
  • And since a man can't make one
    He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one ~ Tupac, Keep Ya Head Up


This section is for statements indicating opposition to abortion, and to it being a legally available option.

  • Guilty? Yes. 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. 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, early feminist
  • When we look to the unborn child, the real issue is not when life begins, but when love begins. ~ Robert Casey
  • If Americans support abortion, let's vote. . . .Liberals' only remaining big issue is abortion because of their beloved sexual revolution. That's their cause: Spreading anarchy and polymorphous perversity. Abortion permits that. ~ Ann Coulter
  • Taxes are like abortion, and not just because both are grotesque procedures supported by Democrats. You're for them or against them. Taxes go up or down; government raises taxes or lowers them. But Democrats will not let the words 'abortion' or 'tax hikes' pass their lips. ~ Ann Coulter
  • Life is the division of human cells, a process that begins with conception.... The [Supreme Court's abortion] ruling was unjust, and it is incumbent on the Congress to correct the injustice. . . . I have always been supportive of pro-life legislation. I intend to remain steadfast on this issue.... I believe that the life of the unborn should be protected at all costs. ~ Richard Gephardt, as a member of the US Congress in 1984; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • 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,[2] letter to constituent while serving in the US Congress in 1987; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • 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, star of Everybody Loves Raymond
  • I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone. To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art.... If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot. ~ Hippocratic Oath, attributed to the school of Hippocrates.
  • 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. ~ Jesse Jackson,[3] civil rights activist in 1977; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually? . . . Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth. ~ Jesse Jackson,[4] civil rights activist in 1977; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • If something can be dehumanized through the rhetoric used to describe it, then the major battle has been won. . . . That is why the Constitution called us three-fifths human and then whites further dehumanized us by calling us 'niggers.' It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in. order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified. ~ Jesse Jackson,[5] civil rights activist in 1977; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • America: if you want peace, work for justice, if you want justice, defend life! ~ Pope John Paul II
  • 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. . . . When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception. ~ Edward Kennedy,[6] as a US Senator in 1971; now in favor of legal abortion.
  • 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... ~ C. Everett Koop, former U.S. Surgeon General
  • A feminazi is a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed. ~ Rush Limbaugh
  • One of my most important activities is . . . . to work for the reversal of the Roe vs. Wade decision. . . . The approach we are taking is to show that the lives and rights of women have not been advanced or enhanced, but rather destroyed, by abortion-on-demand. We are collecting affidavits from women who have been harmed by abortion, from women who are convinced that authentic feminism is pro-life, and from professionals who know that Roe has weakened the moral fabric of the legal and medical professions. ~ Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe vs. Wade
  • 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
  • We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. ~ Ronald Reagan
  • Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born. ~ Ronald Reagan
  • After tens of millions of [abortion] 'procedures', has America lost anything? Another Edison, perhaps? A Gershwin? A Babe Ruth? A Duke Ellington? … As it is, we will never know what abortion has cost us all. ~ Joseph Sobran, editorial columnist
  • If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people to not kill each other? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. ~ Mother Teresa
  • It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. ~ Mother Teresa
  • Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others. They are committed against those who are weakest and most defenseless, those who are genuinely "the poorest of the poor." They are endorsed increasingly without the veil of euphemism, as supporters of abortion and euthanasia freely concede these are killing even as they promote them. Sadly, they are practiced in those communities which ordinarily provide a safe haven for the weak— the family and the healing professions. Such direct attacks on human life, once crimes, are today legitimized by governments sworn to protect the weak and marginalized. ~ Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1998
  • Abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes. ~ Gaudiem et Spes [Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World], Vatican II, 1965
  • Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations'. ~ The Bible [Jeremiah 1:4-5]
  • Then said Mary unto the angel, "How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" And the angel answered and said unto her, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy Thing Which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her. And Mary arose in those days (of Herod), and went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." ~ The Bible [Luke 1:34-45]
    • This is an account of two pregnancies, one early in life and one late. Mary went immediately to Elisabeth [said to be a one to two day journey back then] after telling the angel "be it unto me according to thy word" and already He was recognized not only by Elisabeth, calling Him "my Lord", but by her unborn child, the "babe", John the Baptist, knowingly leaping in reaction to His presence. Here we have an account of two unborn children, one six months and the other only one or two days from conception, reported as communicating with each other.
  • Abortion stops a beating heart. ~ Pro-Life Across America (attributed)
  • (I'd have a quote, except my parents aborted me) ~ The Sounds of Silence 2004


  • Choose life. Your mother did.
  • Homicide should never be a choice.
  • I think It is very funny that every single person that agrees on abortion has already been born.
  • If it's not a child— you're not Pregnant!
  • It is statistically confirmed that the most dangerous place to be with in regard to the preservation of one's life is in the womb of a mother, who is being told that if she doesn't want her baby she can abort its life.
  • It's a Child— not a choice!
  • Respect the Dignity of Human Life— from Womb to Tomb.

Conditional opposition or support[edit]

This section is for quotations which indicate a rejection of absolute stances in either of the above categories

  • My own views on abortion— I'm not on either pole of that, and neither of the interest groups on either end of this issue would probably be comfortable with my views. ~ Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
  • I don't believe an Alliance government should sponsor legislation on abortion or a referendum on abortion. ~ Stephen Harper
  • I've been very clear in this campaign— I don't believe the party should have a position on abortion. ~ Stephen Harper


These statements, whatever the intent and opinions of the authors, make no declarations that can definitely be positioned in any of the above categories.

  • Neglect of an effective birth control policy is a never-failing source of poverty which, in turn, is the parent of revolution and crime. ~ Aristotle, Politics, circa. 350 BC
  • The fetuses are alive at the time of delivery . . . . very frequently there is [a heartbeat]. ~ Dr. LeRoy Carhart,[7] testifying to Congress about his "partial-birth abortion" practice
  • And I'll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range. . . .In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective. ~ Dr. Martin Haskell,[8] inventor of the "partial-birth abortion"
  • Reporter: Let's talk first about whether or not the fetus is dead beforehand.... Haskell: No, it's not. No, it's really not....In my case, probably about a third of those are definitely are [sic] dead before I actually start to remove the fetus. And probably the other two-thirds are not. ~ Dr. Martin Haskell,[9] being interviewed about his "partial-birth abortion" practice
  • A person's a person, no mattter how small. ~ Horton Hears a Who, Dr. Seuss's (Theodor Seuss Geisel's) children's book on respecting others
  • 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. ~ Frederica Mathewes-Green
  • 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
  • After 20 weeks, where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there. I think, 'Gee, it's too bad that this child couldn't be adopted.' ~ Dr. James McMahon, discussing his abortion practice in the July 5, 1993 edition of American Medical News
  • All plucked flowers and carrots are untimely ripped. All scotched weeds or cadaver eating are abortions. ~ O Anna Niemus
  • I have a different stance on abortion: I'm against abortion, but for killing babies. That way everyone loses, and I win. I'm neither pro choice, nor pro life; I'm pro you-shutting-the-hell-up. The only way I'd be "pro choice" is if it meant I could choose which babies I could abort, and only then if I could lift the age restriction to 80. ~ George Ouzounian (Maddox)
  • Every sperm is sacred
    Every sperm is great
    If a sperm is wasted
    God gets quite irate.
    ~ Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  • If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life. ~ The Bible in [Exodus 21:22]


George W. Bush and John McCain, debating as candidates seeking the US Presidency:

  • McCAIN [to Bush]: Do you believe in the exemption, in the case of abortion, for rape, incest, and life of the mother?
  • BUSH: Yeah, I do.
  • McCain: [But you] support the pro-life plank [in the Republican Party platform]?
  • BUSH: I do.
  • McCAIN: So, in other words, your position is that you believe there’s an exemption for rape, incest and the life of the mother, but you want the platform that you’re supposed to be leading to have no exemption. Help me out there, will you?
  • BUSH: I will. The platform doesn’t talk about what specifically should be in the constitutional amendment. The platform speaks about a constitutional amendment. It doesn’t refer to how that constitutional amendment ought to be defined.
  • McCAIN: If you read the platform, it has no exceptions.
  • BUSH: John, I think we need to keep the platform the way it is. This is a pro-life party.
  • McCAIN: Then you are contradicting your platform.


  1. ^  Statistic noted in Diane M. Gianelli, "Outlawing Abortion Method," American Medical News, AMA, Nov. 20, 1995, p. 70. Actual quote taken from American Medical News audio tape transcript, on file with Barbara Bolsen, AMN Editor.
  1. ^  NBC News affiliate WOWT (Omaha , Nebraska) report found at
  1. ^  Wikipedia entry on Edward Kennedy at
  1. ^  Letter to constituent in Dayton, Tenn., 26 May 1987
  1. ^  How we respect life is the over-riding moral issue article by Jesse Jackson in Right to Life News, January 1977, reprint at
  1. ^

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:

Pro-life links[edit]

Pro-choice links[edit]

COMMENT: I had actually begun several times to create a page that would accomodate the quotations that added in what might be an acceptable section structure for everyone, but abandoned the efforts amidst all the commotion and revisions. One of the worst problems with major revisions and restructuring, especially on a contentious subject, is that it becomes very difficult to see exactly what was added, deleted, or simply moved, whether deliberately or inadvertently. Other duties and activities elsewhere and edits by others here at Wikiquote interrupted my attempts. This latest effort works from the revision made as of 03:39, 4 July 2005. It amends or adds a few comments, but does not delete any quotes, adds a few, and moves some very definite statements against abortion into their proper category regardless of what positions the speaker might have subsequently chosen. On this particularly controversial subject I strongly believe the statement itself should provide the criterion of where it is placed, not any subsequent or previous views expressed by whoever made them. ~ Kalki 5 July 2005 13:35 (UTC)

I here retained the footnote structure that had added, but I generally prefer such notes and links to be provided in the sections with the orginal quotations, rather than creating a seperate footnote section. On "Theme" page attribution-credits I also generally favor having this brief " ~ NAME" structure rather than a separate double asterisk "**" line below the quote, as is more common on pages for individual authors or works, where more extensive comments are sometimes appropriate. ~ Kalki 5 July 2005 14:01 (UTC)