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Planned Parenthood: Abortion Is ‘Critical Expression of Freedom’

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AP Photo/Jim Salter, File

Abortion is critical to the freedom and imagination of Americans, according to the head of Planned Parenthood. But in reality, it’s the reason why millions don’t exist today – their freedom lost along with their lives.


In an interview that went largely unnoticed by the media, Alexis McGill Johnson spoke about the “dire” landscape for “abortion rights” on the podcast Undistracted. In an April 8th episode, the president of the nation’s largest abortion provider attributed new abortion restrictions to “this last gasp of patriarchy.” Among other things, she criticized President Biden for not using the word “abortion,” accused pro-life politicians of white supremacy, and called for an end to “dehumanization.”

Abortion was key to all of it.

“We have seen a tremendous increase in restrictions and bans and we’re obviously very concerned about the landscape right now,” she began. COVID, the “reckoning on race,” and the “economic downturn” are at the “intersection when we talk about access to something like abortion, which we remind people is actually health care.”

Except for one main distinction: Health care saves lives. Abortion ends them.

According to McGill Johnson, the GOP stood in the way of abortion access, especially during the pandemic.

“Instead of saying abortion is a time-sensitive, safe medical procedure, they limited access,” she said, referring to recent actions taken by Republican state politicians.

The podcast host, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, brought up that there were more than 500 abortion restrictions introduced in 44 states in the past year. McGill Johnson blamed lawmakers for “this last gasp of patriarchy,” “misogyny” and “misogynoir” – a term referring to a type of racist sexism.


“It is literally about wrestling with historical control of our bodies, our reproductive systems, our ability to choose freedom and our imagination,” McGill Johnson declared, especially when “there’s no state where access to abortion or supporting access to abortion is not supported in the majority.”

“Every single state supports access to a majority under Roe,” she claimed, “and so clearly it’s a small group of largely white male legislators who have wrestled control of power.” 

But McGill Johnson forgets that the national pro-life movement is largely run by women, including Jeanne Mancini of the March for Life, Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List, Abby Johnson of And Then There Were None, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, Catherine Glenn Foster of Americans United for Life, Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists, Lila Rose of Live Action, and Carol Tobias of National Right to Life. Just to name a few.

McGill Johnson is right that there’s support for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide. But, as Timothy P. Carney, a senior columnist at the Washington Examiner, noted last year, “that’s because most people don’t know what Roe did, and they don’t know what overturning it would mean.”

“Roe invented a constitutional right to have an abortion up until the moment before birth,” he wrote, but according to recent polling “Only about 18% of the public supports that position.”

Planned Parenthood did have some things going for them though, like the Biden administration. McGill Johnson listed the steps the president has taken to back abortion, but she still had one qualm: President Biden has yet to say “abortion.”


“He has work to do in talking through things, actually saying the word ‘abortion,’” she complained.

“The power of the White House, the power of the presidency to normalize and destigmatize abortion, I think, is one of the important things that he should be thinking about,” she urged. “He could actually spend some capital on repealing Hyde, you know, the Hyde Amendment bars folks from using their health insurance to access safe and legal abortion.”

It also protects the conscience of taxpayers. First introduced in 1976, the Hyde Amendment bans federal funding – taxpayer dollars – from going towards abortion, with the exceptions of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. 

Among other things, McGill Johnson proposed Biden “issue a clean budget that does not have Hyde in it.”

That’s when the host asked about President Biden’s self-proclaimed Catholic faith, which challenges abortion as a grave evil. “How much do you think his faith is at play here?” she wanted to know.

McGill Johnson stressed that she was a “person of faith and I support access to abortion.”

While “his faith may be at play for sure,” she said, “it should not prevent him from actually using the word [abortion]. It shouldn’t actually prevent him from ensuring that the language that he uses doesn’t stigmatize people who are seeking access.”

Going back to abortion bans and restrictions again, McGill Johnson brought up white supremacy.

“White supremacy is ultimately about reinforcing racial hierarchy and patriarchy and misogyny,” she tried to explain. “What we are seeing is a group of largely white male legislators” who “are using their power to control the bodies of largely people of color.”


Or maybe – just maybe – they challenge abortion as an act that intentionally destroys an innocent human life.

According to McGill Johnson, “What upholds white supremacy is dehumanization.”

“You can’t confer freedom on people that you don’t think are human,” she said, and “abortion rights are part of conferring a right to control your own self determination.”

“Your bodily autonomy is about your ability to make choices that will help you execute on your own imagination for what you want to do and who you want to be and how you want to live your life and your community,” she concluded. “Abortion rights just sits right in there, I think it is actually the ability to control your body is one of the most critical expressions of freedom.”

McGill Johnson is right that bodily autonomy is important. But she forgets that the unborn have bodies too.

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