A woman who taught dangerous, self-induced abortions and referred women to back alley abortionists prior to Roe v. Wade is being celebrated as a heroine in modern America.
Slate recently profiled 90-year-old Patricia Maginnis, an early leader of the pro-abortion movement in America.
Maginnis taught classes on self-induce abortions and started an “underground railroad” of abortionists to refer women to in the 1960s. She also advocated for legalizing abortion on demand, supposedly to protect women from the dangerous abortions that she also was promoting.
Earlier this year, the National Women’s History Alliance recognized her as an “unsung hero in the fight for reproductive justice.”
A native of Oklahoma, she grew up poor in a large family with an abusive father and an overworked, overburdened mother, according to Slate. Maginnis quickly decided that she did not ever want to have children of her own, but she still wanted to be sexually active.
As a young woman, she joined the Women’s Army Corps and began working in a hospital in Panama. There, she said she saw women who suffered from botched abortions, women who were “forced to give birth” and babies born with “terrible abnormalities.” Supposedly, the solution to all of this was to legalize the killing of unborn babies.
Later, when she went to college at San Jose State, she got pregnant while using birth control. She aborted her unborn baby in Mexico. Maginnis said she became pregnant two more times and had two more abortions.
“I was not in the family-ing business, and a child coming from me was not going to happen,” she told Slate. “I simply thought my parents were ruthlessly forced into parenthood, and they … took it. They accepted it. My mother would tell you she enjoyed having children. I didn’t go through childhood with that impression.”
REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.
At least one of her abortions was self-induced. According to the report, her anger about her abortions still comes through strongly, even after half a century.
The second time she got pregnant, Maginnis recalls, she was deeply frustrated at the prospect of being forced to leave the country again for an abortion. But by then, she says, “I had figured out, if I start just giving my uterus no rest, that fetus is going to fall out.”
Startled, I ask Maginnis to explain. She elaborates that her plan was to “squat down and take my clean, scrubbed fingers and manipulate until I could get it to rebel and kick the fetus out.”
“So you could reach your cervix?” I ask.
“Oh yeah, very easily. You probably could too.”
“Does that work?”
“I manipulated, I worked on it, and finally, at five months, the fetus went into—I went into labor. It took a long time and a lot of work.”
In 1962, she created the Society for Humane Abortion. A few years later, she also began the Association to Repeal Abortion Laws, which is considered a predecessor to the radical pro-abortion group NARAL. She and two friends also ran the Army of Three, a type of “underground railroad” for abortion that supposedly helped link more than 12,000 women to “safe” abortions.
Her goal was “to repeal abortion laws, endorse elective abortions, and offer women any resources it could in the meantime.” Her groups organized do-it-yourself abortion classes and handed out DIY abortion kits that included gauze, a thermometer, cotton and a syringe, according to the report. They also instructed women about how to respond to police interrogations if they were questioned about an illegal abortion.
When California legalized abortion for “severe” physical and mental health issues in 1967, Maginnis said she taught women how to manipulate the law to obtain elective abortions through “the arts of phony psychosis and false hemorrahge.”
Decades later, as pro-life advocates work to restore protections for unborn babies, abortion activists are worried. The U.S. Supreme Court now has a conservative majority, and state legislatures have passed a record number of pro-life laws in recent years.
Asked what abortion activists should do in response, Maginnis said, “Keep talking about the issue.”
But that is what pro-lifers want, too. They just want society to talk about all the facts surrounding the issue, including that abortion is never safe. A unique, living human being always is supposed to die in an abortion, and mothers often suffer afterward, too. Maginnis’s own long-held anger about her abortions is evidence of the length of this pain.
Legalized abortion did not empower or free women in 1973. Instead, it led to the deaths of about 60 million children and countless suffering mothers who wrongly were told their abortions would make them free.