Pro-Abortion Feminist Camille Paglia Admits Pro-Life Perspective “Has the Moral High Ground”

Opinion   |   Conor Beck   |   Apr 8, 2016   |   5:41PM   |   Washington, DC

This does not happen every day. A major pro-abortion feminist supportive of “unrestricted access to abortion” admitted that the pro-life cause has the moral high ground.

It would be easy (and probably deserved) to castigate Camille Paglia for impressively and persuasively arguing the merits of pro-life arguments, only to confess that she remains pro-abortion. Yet, she opens up a debate that other feminists want closed, and she does so intentionally.

One of the highlights of her essay, published on Salon, is that she describes herself as “pro-abortion.” Like many pro-lifers, Paglia sees the term pro-choice as “a cowardly euphemism.” Moreover, she says that the pro-life fight on behalf of the defenseless is a more righteous one than the pro-abortion fight that claims it is “personally and professionally inconvenient” to carry an unwanted child.

This portrait of the pro-abortion side is not an unfair one. In a major U.S. Supreme Court case on a law regulating abortion clinics in Texas, 113 pro-abortion women collectively filed a brief to the court claiming that aborting their unborn babies helped advance their legal careers.

Despite supporting abortion, Paglia emphatically says:



Pro-choice Democrats have become “callous and extreme” about abortion. There is a moral hollowness at the core of Western careerist feminism, a bourgeois secular code that sees children as an obstruction to self-realization or as a management problem to be farmed out to working-class nannies.

The use of the term “women’s health” when the real topic at hand is abortion bothers Paglia greatly. She writes, “Progressives need to do some soul-searching about their reflex rhetoric in demeaning the pro-life cause.”

Her relentless attacks on the pro-abortion movement are biting, and it is noteworthy for a pro-abortion feminist to say that Planned Parenthood has become a “covert arm of the Democratic party.”

“How can Paglia be pro-abortion after saying all of this?” one might reasonably ask. She describes the reasons for that briefly in her essay, and ties it to her atheism. Female reproduction, she says, has enslaved women since the origin of the species. Nature, not society or men, is the real female oppressor, according to Paglia.

It is important to remember that some atheists are pro-life and atheist pro-life organizations do exist, and their contribution to expanding the movement is critical since the very religious already tend to be pro-life.

Though she is not a pro-life atheist, Paglia would make a very good one, as the last lines of her essay powerfully demonstrate:

“A liberal credo that is variously anti-war, anti-fur, vegan, and committed to environmental protection of endangered species like the sage grouse or spotted owl should not be so stridently withholding its imagination and compassion from the unborn.”

LifeNews Note: Photo credit Bound4Life.