NARAL Falsely Claims Susan B. Anthony Supported Abortion

National   Steven Ertelt   May 29, 2013   |   5:20PM    Washington, DC

Upset that a prominent pro-life group is named after the pro-life women’s suffragist leader, the pro-abortion group NARAL took to twitter today to attack the Susan B. Anthony List.

“Susan B. Anthony would be irate if she knew her name was being used by SBA List to fight AGAINST women’s rights,” NARAL claims, using women’s rights as a euphemism for abortion.

 

However, NARAL’s tweet ignores an article in a newspaper owned for several years after the Civil War by Susan B. Anthony in which she describes abortion as “child murder.”

The NARAL claim dismisses other evidence: Anthony remarked in her diary after a visit from her brother that her sister-in-law engaged in a self-induced abortion that did not go well and left her bedridden.

“She will rue the day she forces nature,” Anthony writes.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, has written before about Anthony’s pro-life views and attacks on them from abortion activists.

“Susan B. Anthony was passionate and logical in her arguments against abortion. The Revolution was her brainchild, co-founded with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a weekly women’s rights newspaper that acted as the official voice of the National Woman Suffrage Association and in which appeared many of her writings alongside those of her like-minded colleagues,” she notes.

“Most logical people would agree, then, that writings signed by ‘A’ in a paper that Anthony funded and published were a reflection of her own opinions,” she said.

Dannenfelser goes on to point out more quotes from Anthony that the authors failed to address.

In one house editorial in the Revolution, appearing on July 8, 1869, Anthony wrote, “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!”

Dannenfelser also cites Anthony’s words to Frances Willard in 1889: “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of children of my own has it been for me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”

“So, while the Life cause isn’t the issue that earned Susan B. Anthony her stripes in American history books, historians would be wrong to conclude that Anthony was agnostic on the issue of abortion,” the pro-life women’s leader said.

“Anthony understood that fighting for women included the rights of her unborn child,” she concluded.

Documents from the museum at Anthony’s birthplace home in Adams, Massachusetts, confirm Anthony’s pro-life heritage.

Sally Winn, the then-executive director of the museum, said of Anthony’s opposition to abortion, “I think people would be hard-pressed to find any evidence to the contrary.”

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“We have one section that is on Susan B. Anthony’s opposition to Restellism — which was a term for abortions in that era,” she told the Bennington Banner newspaper.

The museum has more than 80 issues of Anthony’s newspaper, The Revolution, which makes more than 100 references to abortion and Winn said each of the references is in direct opposition to abortion. She also points out that the newspaper did not accept advertising for abortion.

*  “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!” [The Revolution, 4(1):4 July 8, 1869]