Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards upset quite a few women this week after she attributed women’s success to the birth control pill rather than women’s own abilities.
On Monday, the highly-paid CEO’s Twitter feed was full of “facts” about her abortion chain and its services. Amid scandal after scandal, Planned Parenthood is trying desperately to convince the public that it needs nearly half a billion taxpayer dollars.
Among her many tweets was this statement about hormonal birth control:
Fact: A University of Michigan study found that 1/3 of women’s wage gains since the 1960s can be attributed to the Pill.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 28, 2017
And it upset pro-life journalists Kelsey Harkness of The Daily Signal and Georgi Boorman of The Federalist. The two women criticized Richards for praising a drug rather than women for female achievements and success.
For all her supposed advocacy for women, she attributes wage gains to the pill, not to women working hard, taking risks, making sacrifices, and bringing their brains and talents to the game. Hmm. So in order to gain equality in the workforce, women needed to take drugs. By her other “fact” tweets, one gathers that Richards still believes women need the pill to compete with men and maintain parity in the workplace.
So the biggest factor in your career success is how you manage your lady parts. Richards is saying: Women, you need the pill to be as good in your careers as men are. That’s not a very empowering message. Feminists, if they are at all consistent, should read this as: I can’t believe you think I need the pill to be good at my job and make as much as men do.
Planned Parenthood loves to talk about empowering women, but it also devalues one of the biggest strengths that women have over men – the ability to bear children. Pro-lifers sometimes differ on the subject of birth control, but many agree that the abortion chain treats women’s fertility and ability to bear children as a disease to be beaten back rather than a strength to be embraced and celebrated.
The abortion chain pushes birth control and abortion on women, claiming that they need to suppress their fertility and kill their own children to succeed. They offer basically nothing in the way of infertility treatments and prenatal care for women who want children. Planned Parenthood’s definition of success seems to be based on a male-normative model – the same patriarchal model that it claims to be fighting. In its eyes, women only are successful when they achieve the same salaries and careers, powerful political and social positions, notoriety and fame as men.
But success is not just about careers or money or fame or power. Success also involves raising children, strengthening families and relationships, and building compassionate, loving societies. Not every woman can have children, and success is measured in many, many ways. But women deserve to be valued for their own strengths and abilities, not men’s.