How abortion harms women

The effect of abortion on women

How common is coercion?

Are abortion providers linked to eugenics?

The effect of abortion on women

The pro-life position says that both lives matter. This is a crucially important point. Pro-lifers are often misinterpreted as saying that the baby matters more. This is not the pro-life position. In fact, it directly contradicts the pro-life position, which says that all human beings are equal. The reason the child’s life takes precedence over the mother’s choice is because the right to life is the most fundamental right. This can be seen by the fact that pro-lifers almost always make an exception for the mother’s life: where another life is at stake, pro-lifers typically believe the mother has the right to defend herself against a lethal threat by delivering her baby prematurely.

It would be odd if the pro-life position were inherently anti-women, because in many countries, women are in fact more pro-life than men. Almost all women support at least some restrictions on abortion; it would be extremely strange if it turned out this meant that almost all women had a vicious kind of misogyny.

Pro-lifers have typically held that motherhood is a profound relationship. They have often said it is an inherent part of being a mother that what harms her child usually harms the mother. To most mothers, this also seems like common sense. Pro-lifers have, therefore, pointed to a variety of ways in which abortion harms women – much as many of the early feminists saw abortion as exploitative and anti-women. As social science and psychiatry have been revolutionised in the latter 20th century, more and more evidence has come to light about the ways in which abortion has not been as liberating to women as is often suggested. As well as evidence suggesting that in very general terms, women’s happiness has decreased since the 1970s (in absolute terms and relative to men), despite enormous material advances made by women in that time, there is specific evidence on the many ways in which abortion has harmed them.

Since there are a huge variety of ways in which abortion negatively affects women, some of this material is covered in other sections:

  1. ‘Can men speak about abortion?’ (Excluding men from the conversation puts burdens of unwanted pregnancy on women alone)
  2. ‘Abortion and mental health’ (Abortion is bad for women’s mental health across a variety of mental disorders, including alcohol and substance abuse)
  3. ‘Is sex-selective abortion a serious problem?’ (Sex-selective abortion is almost always against girls and leads to further problems like human trafficking)
  4. ‘What about women’s choice?’ (Abortion legalisation can in some ways deprive women of choice)
  5. ‘Physical consequences of abortion’ (Abortion has damaging physical complications and increased rates of STD transmission via legalisation – STDs in turn causing infertility, cervical cancer and various other problems, even death)
  6. ‘Abortion and maternal mortality’ (Ways in which abortion can increase mortality rates)
  7. ‘Is unsafe abortion economically burdensome?’ (Economic costs to women of abortion legalisation)
  8. ‘Does restricting abortion lead to more unwanted births?’ (Abortion legalisation causes more unwanted pregnancies)
  9. ‘Unwanted children lead to educational and career problems’ (Abortion legalisation can lead to economic difficulties for women)
  10. ‘Unwanted children lead to poverty’ (Abortion legalisation can lead to economic difficulties for women)
  11. ‘Unwanted children and child abuse’ (Abortion legalisation may have led to higher rates of child abuse – and half of children are women/girls)
  12. ‘Does abortion reduce crime rates?’ (Abortion legalisation may have led to higher crime rates, especially among men – which has an impact on women)

What is particularly notable is how many of these have an impact on multiple generations. We know that mental health difficulties, poverty, family breakdown and various other difficulties are often transmitted down within families, with quality of relationships and a mother’s mental health being one of the primary determinants of a child’s happiness throughout their life. Some of the harms last for life: an increase in suicidality, for example.

In this section, I will say a bit more about some of the other ways in which abortion harms women.

Abortion is an insurance option against unwanted pregnancy: it provides women with an option to end their pregnancy even if all other precautions fail. For this reason, in economic terms, it lowers the ‘cost’ of having risky sex – sex with someone with whom one would not want to raise a child. This allows sex with more different people and with less care to use effective contraception. The empirical evidence that abortion has this impact is overwhelming (see, for example, ‘Does restricting abortion lead to more unwanted births?’). In other sections I’ve talked about how this has led to increased STD transmission and unwanted pregnancies.

But the change in sexual dynamics resulting from increased abortion access has far-reaching consequences aside from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Two of the first economists to pick up on this were Nobel prize-winning economist George Akerlof and (now) US Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen. They argued with Michael Katz that increased access to abortion and contraception in the early 1970s led to radical changes in sexual relationships, marriage, out-of-wedlock births, and the number of children living with only one parent. They describe how this has led to the ‘immiseration of women’ and the ‘feminization of poverty’:

“Over the last 25 years disturbing trends have occurred in the United States (and other Western countries as well). Just at the time, about 1970, that the permanent cure to poverty seemed to be on the horizon and just at the time that women had obtained the tools to control the number and the timing of their children, single motherhood and the feminization of poverty began their long and steady rise. As a result, United States poverty rates have been stubbornly constant for the last quarter century.”

Akerlof put it more candidly elsewhere:

“Today we face another problem, another type of disaster. That disaster is the failure of the family system in America, which has fallen apart not just for those who have ended up on welfare but to a significant but smaller degree for those higher in the distribution of economic and social rewards.”

The adverse consequences of single-parent families for children and for the women usually left to bear most of the burdens are substantial, widespread and well-known – as just one example, divorce is widely known to be associated with increased suicidality for both parents and children. Marriage is associated with significantly better outcomes for the partners across a wide range of other consequences. Father absence is associated with a litany of poor outcomes for children. The decline in marriage in the US has been estimated to account for half the increase in child inequality since the 1970s, and more than the increase in child poverty, with African-American children especially affected. Akerlof, Yellen and Katz describe the disproportionate negative impact these economic changes have had on women in particular. More recently, their argument has been developed by Helen Alvaré, among others. A fuller review of the economic benefits of marriage is given by Lerman and Wilcox, and this is a helpful overview of the various negative consequences of family breakdown from Princeton University.

Akerlof argued in a separate paper that these same shifts in marriage customs were primarily responsible for various other ‘social pathologies’: rising crime rates and substance abuse in particular. He argued that the delay in men marrying – in significant part due to abortion legalisation – led to an extended adolescence of men whereby they failed to take responsibility and continued in various scandalous behaviours in which single men are more likely to take part. In short, the delay and breakdown of marriage and fatherhood, two of the primary civilising factors on men, allowed men to refuse to take responsibility and continue in the various social pathologies of their youth, often exacerbated as they get older. An increase in such behaviours can reasonably be expected to have poorer consequences for everyone, and especially women, who are left to shoulder the burden of irresponsible men. Likewise, the relative paucity of marriageable men has been a bad thing for the majority of women, who want to marry and have children with a man.

It goes without saying that poorer women and children, in particular, have been the primary victims – financial and otherwise – of the family breakdown facilitated by greater access to abortion in the early 1970s (and similar times across the West). Likewise, the African-American community has been particularly affected by family breakdown and its economic and other consequences. This litany of consequences of family breakdown is not unique to the US; UK studies have confirmed the same impression, particularly its impact on inequality.

Other subsequent changes in sexual behaviour and the mating market have been documented elsewhere. Helen Alvaré points out, for example, how the resultant sexual market looks far more like a reflection of men’s preferences than of women’s in a variety of ways, including the proportion of men and women who regret sexual encounters. Hill joins Alvaré in noting how the sexual market has been bifurcated into a short-term ‘sex’ market and a long-term ‘mating’ market: while the changes in sexual behaviour suit women in the sex market, they have a far more detrimental impact on the (large) subset of women looking for a long-term partner, who are now more frequently unable to do so.

Unwanted pregnancy is often not very significant for men: they can deny it, or leave, or never even find out about it. But unwanted pregnancy – however it ends – is an enormous burden that falls disproportionately on women. Women are faced with the challenges of pregnancy and single parenthood for the rest of their lives, or the even greater psychological difficulties of having an abortion. Given that the evidence suggests women have a much stronger preference for fewer partners, commitment and stability in relationships than men, a non-committed sexual culture puts women at a considerable disadvantage compared to men.

The facilitation of early sexual debut and multiple partners by increased abortion access is also linked with a litany of negative consequences for women, including risky sexual behaviours, reduced marital satisfaction, reduced educational attainment, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, single motherhood, child and maternal poverty, and overall reduced happiness. Other authors have linked abortion more directly with sexual dissatisfaction, relationship breakdown and divorce in individual cases as well as indirectly through the culture. It is likewise difficult to believe that the recent rise in anorexia nervosa – which has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric condition – is unrelated to these shifts in the sexual climate.

Given that relationships and mental health are the two biggest determinants of happiness, the fact that abortion has caused poorer mental health and poorer relationships is very significant – and perhaps responsible for the decrease in women’s happiness over the last few decades, despite myriad material gains.

There are other ways in which abortion has been harmful for women besides. For example, it makes it more likely that a woman will not have as many children as she wants in her lifetime. The number of women intending to have no children is well below 10% in most European countries, below 5% in most cases and close to non-existent in some. In fact, there is a ‘fertility gap’ in many Western countries; women in general have fewer children than they desire, and contrary to popular belief, women in the US were found to want more children, on average, than men in the US. Women were also more likely than men to say that children were ‘one of the most important things’ to them.

Abortion has likewise been a critical component of sex trafficking, since pregnancy and children make women taken captive as sex slaves ‘unavailable’ for ‘work’. Likewise, it is often forced upon other victims of sexual violence, in part to remove any evidence of the crime. Domestic abusers also frequently force abortion on women. A variety of studies have suggested that around 20-25% of abortions are due to pressure from others, usually a male partner but also often parents or others. In some cases, doctors or abortion providers pressure or even force women to have abortions. For more on this, see ‘How common is coercion?’ below.

In summary, there are an enormous range of ways in which abortion is harmful for women – some very direct, others far more indirect. But in light of all of these, it is no surprise at all that women are, according to the empirical data, no happier than they were 50 years ago, before all of their important and world-changing advances in society. From an empirical point of view, the evidence is relatively clear: abortion is not good for women. Hence the pro-lifer can sincerely say that both lives matter, and that women deserve better.

How common is coercion?

Coercion is very common, accounting for a significant minority of abortions. For example, in one of the most well-known studies, it was found that 25% of Norwegian women having abortions said that ‘pressure from male partner’ was a reason, and on average these women said it was ‘a great deal’ in importance. This was, as in other studies, clearly related to worse psychological outcomes. 9% were pressured by friends, 5% by mothers, 4% by fathers, 4% by siblings, and 2.5% by others. Women could select multiple options so there is probably significant overlap, but it is clear that pressure from others is very common. The authors noted that ‘male partner does not favour having a child’ (36%) could also count in addition as a softer form of pressure. They describe:

“Women in this study gave examples of what they experienced as pressure from the male partner—one man said that if the woman did not have an abortion, she would ruin his future and his whole life. Another man threatened to break up the relationship and let the woman become a single mother. Thus, lack of important social support, sympathizing with the male partner, a broken heart and fear of standing alone may be components of the reason “pressure from the male partner” to have an induced abortion.”

Pressure from friends was not trivial either: “Although only few women gave the reason “pressure from friends” for having an abortion, this reason had a surprisingly strong impact on the subsequent psychological responses.”

Other studies show similar rates of coercion. The Demographic and Health Surveys for Gabon and the Republic of Congo found that in both countries 20-25% of abortions were decided for the woman by someone else, and a survey in the UK found that 7% of women had been pushed into having an abortion. Given that around 30% of women have an abortion at some point in their life UK, and some women in the survey would not have had an abortion yet, a similar figure of 20-25% of women having abortions being coerced is evident.

Pressure from other sources is also known, for example, from parents. The pressure private abortion providers put on women to have an abortion to reach performance targets is now well-known. The CQC, for example, which regulates healthcare providers in the UK, found that at Marie Stopes:

“Staff were also concerned that the pressurised environment and linking of KPIs to performance bonuses meant that there was a culture that worked against patient choice. They talked about implants being fitted whilst the patient was sedated (at the same time as the operation) and the limited time available to discuss the choices prior to this. One staff member described it as “feeling like a hamster in a wheel” and said the word, “Cattle market” came up quite a lot.”

Notably, “Did not proceed” [with abortion] was a key performance indicator, with a target of 98-100% of women leaving with the ‘treatment’.

Former workers at Planned Parenthood have likewise spoken out about the quotas they were given for performing abortions. The Demographic and Health Surveys previously mentioned found significant numbers of women being coerced by parents and healthcare professionals.

This pressure is particularly common on women who have a child with a diagnosed disability. In cases of trisomy 13 and 18, 61% of parents who continued the pregnancy felt pressure to abort from healthcare providers – and presumably a higher percentage of those who ended up aborting. Likewise, even in the liberal democratic West, disabled women themselves are sometimes forced under doctors’ and courts’ orders to undergo an abortion against their explicit will.

Of course, this does not take into account soft or implicit pressure to have an abortion, whether through lack of informed consent, social engineering towards two-child families, economic pressures, or pervasive or pervasive maternity/pregnancy discrimination in employment (including, of course, at Planned Parenthood): within just a year of legalised abortion in Ireland, female pilots were being told to have an abortion or lose their job, for example. The other sorts of societal pressure to abort are diverse and not always overt: in one recent case a rape victim and refugee was rejected her refugee claim because her rape story was deemed uncredible on the basis that she did not have an abortion (See Prewitt’s paper for more discussion of pressure facing rape victims to abort). Lederer and Wetzel have carefully documented the central role that forced abortion plays in perpetuating sex slavery. The horrors of population control programmes in the latter 20th century and their use of abortion are well known.

In sum, coerced abortion is not a fringe phenomenon. It is a very common phenomenon, with explicit coercion taking part in a significant minority of pregnancies, and soft/implicit pressure in many more (probably most). These problems have no doubt been exacerbated by the move towards telemedicine abortion, removing the one safeguard women had against coercion (being seen alone face-to-face), as I describe more in my chapter on telemedicine abortion.

Are abortion providers linked to eugenics?

Major abortion providers today have traditionally tried to downplay their links to eugenics and racism throughout the 20th century. In recent years they have generally acknowledged these links: after years of knowing that Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, was an ally (at least) of racists and an avowed eugenicist, Planned Parenthood finally (in 2021) decided it was time to acknowledge this and that it was a problem. Likewise, with Marie Stopes International changing its name to MSI Reproductive Choices after acknowledging Marie Stopes’ eugenics and racism. Of course, brand awareness is still more important than fully disavowing a racist and eugenicist past, so the organisation still retained ‘MSI’ in its new name: we can only guess what it stands for.

Entire volumes have been written about the history of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Guttmacher Institute (a pro-abortion think tank ‘originally housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’, still receiving financial support though now independent), and MSI Reproductive Choices, and their links with racism, eugenics, and coercive control of women’s reproductive choices in the name of ‘population control’. The best books on these topics are Matthew Connelly’s Fatal Misconception, Angela Franks’ Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Legacy, and there is a small amount of helpful material in Fred Pearce’s The Coming Population Crash.

Let’s begin with the prestigious Guttmacher Institute, regularly seen as perhaps the leading think tank on reproductive health around the world, though it is openly devoted specific political ideologies relating to abortion.

The Institute describes Alan Guttmacher, its forefather, as ‘an eminent obstetrician-gynecologist, author and leader in reproductive rights who was PPFA’s president for more than a decade.’ What they don’t mention is that he was also a leading eugenicist, becoming Vice-President of the American Eugenics Society in 1958 and remaining a member until at least the mid-1960s.

To give some background on this society that Guttmacher presided over, the American Eugenics Society was founded by, among others, Madison Grant and Henry Osborn Sr – both of whom were good friends of an early Planned Parenthood Director, Lothrop Stoddard (the triumvirate set up the Save the Redwoods League together).

Henry Osborn Sr wrote the foreword for Madison Grant’s bestselling book The Passing of the Great Race, in which Grant lamented the threat posed to the superior Nordic race. The book was cited as inspiration by Karl Brandt as inspiration in the Nuremberg trials, and was referred to as ‘my Bible’ by none other than Adolf Hitler. As for Stoddard, he authored The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy and believed that social reform to reduce inequality was ‘one of the most pernicious delusions that has ever afflicted mankind’. He was rewarded within a few years by being appointed a director of the American Birth Control League (later to become PPFA). Stoddard was a member of the KKK, claiming that ‘The black man is, indeed, sharply differentiated from the other branches of mankind… The negro… has contributed virtually nothing. Left to himself, he remained a savage’. When his consultancy and membership of the KKK was revealed, he wrote a letter to Osborn Sr, complaining about the ‘radical-Jew outfit’ which had exposed him (the magazine was Hearst’s International, later to combine with Cosmopolitan).

Guttmacher was a close friend and described himself as an ‘extravagant admirer’ of Osborn Sr.’s nephew, Frederick. Frederick Osborn was perhaps the foremost eugenicist in America at the time, having described the work of Otmar von Verschuer’s work rooting out hereditary diseases as ‘the most exciting experiment that had ever been tried.’ For context, Verschuer was responsible for Germany’s forced sterilisation program in the late 1920s and in a 1944 report described Josef Mengele at Auschwitz as his assistant researcher. Verschuer was later accepted as an honorary member for life into the American Eugenics Society, alongside Guttmacher.

Guttmacher believed that when it came to abortion, ‘the quality of the parents must be taken into account’, including ‘feeblemindedness’. Rejoicing over progress in expanding abortion, Guttmacher said that ‘We’re now concerned more with the quality of population than the quantity’. Although he claimed that voluntary birth control was preferable, it may not be enough. In 1969, the major medical magazine World Medical News reported:

‘[Guttmacher] foresees the possibility that eventually coercion may become necessary, particularly in areas where the pressure is the greatest, possibly in India and China. “Each country,” he says, “will have to decide its own form of coercion, and determine when and how it should be employed. At present, the means available are compulsory sterilization and compulsory abortion. Perhaps some day a way of enforcing compulsory birth control will be feasible.’

While Planned Parenthood has begun, in 2021, to disavow the racism and eugenics of its founder, Margaret Sanger, the Guttmacher Institute, a Planned Parenthood spin-off, is still named after, and extols on its website, this gentleman. We have already talked about Lothrop Stoddard, an early director of Planned Parenthood, but what about the rest of Planned Parenthood?

PPFA and its international umbrella federation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, both have deep historical roots in eugenics and coercive population control. Both were founded by Margaret Sanger, whose ‘harmful connections to the eugenics movement’ were finally recently acknowledged by one PPFA chapter. The chapter even recognised ‘Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color’. A couple of select quotes from Sanger:

‘No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood… no permit for parenthood shall be valid for more than one birth.’

‘The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aims of Eugenics.’

Sanger likewise wrote, in an entire chapter on ‘The Cruelty of Charity’ that ‘Organized charity is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizatioorganizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents. My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the “failure” of philanthropy, but rather at its success.’

Guttmacher’s immediate predecessor as National Director of PPFA was William Vogt, perhaps the most prominent early writer on population control in the world. Vogt, like the eugenicists, wrote in the aftermath of the second world war, a time of heightened human rights awareness, but he warned that ‘The world is now full.’ As a result, he vehemently opposed charity and aid, particularly those efforts that aimed to save lives overseas. ‘The greatest tragedy that China could suffer at the present time is a reduction in her death rate’, he wrote in his best-selling Road to Survival. India had been previously ‘held in check’ by ‘disease, famine, and fighting’, but Vogt lamented that the British had now ruined this homeostasis by ‘building irrigation works, providing means of food storage, and importing food during periods of starvation’, while ‘the Indians went their accustomed way, breeding with the irresponsibility of codfish.’ Future aid was to be conditional on accepting strict population control, and people should be paid to be sterilised: ‘Since such a bonus would appeal primarily to the world’s shiftless, it would probably have a favorable selective influence… it would certainly be preferable to pay permanently indigent individuals, many of whom would be physically and psychologically marginal, $50 or $100 rather than support their hordes of offspring that, by both genetic and social inheritance, would tend to perpetuate the fecklessness.’ On Puerto Rico, Vogt wrote: ‘Puerto Rico is poor in resources and almost without power—except the power to reproduce recklessly and irresponsibly.’ Sanger subsequently helped launch the infamous Puerto Rico contraceptive trials, in which Puerto Rican women were misinformed and experimented upon with dangerously high doses of contraceptives, leaving several dead. Vogt was rewarded for his Road to Survival by being appointed national director of Planned Parenthood within a few years.

In 1952, the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations helped to set up the Population Council, run by Frederick Osborn, the fan of Verschuer’s work in Nazi Germany. When Guttmacher was about to take the Presidency of Planned Parenthood, it was a difficult choice for him between Planned Parenthood and a senior position at the Population Council.

Notes from the initial meetings of the Population Council were recently uncovered by Columbia University researcher Matthew Connell. At this meeting, Vogt – at the time Director of Planned Parenthood – argued vehemently for withholding industrial development from poor countries like India, He was supported by another Osborn, Fairfield. Another pioneer at the meeting, Kingsley Davis, had elsewhere maintained that food aid was worse than useless, and opposed migration to the US of ‘tens of thousands of impoverished, illiterate, superstitious, non-English-speaking, and in many cases, diseased, new citizens.’ Vogt himself also added that there was no case for the US subsidising ‘the unchecked spawning of India and other countries by purchasing their goods’.

Fred Pearce, award-winning environmental consultant at the New Scientist, sums up:

‘From the start, the IPPF was an alliance of the old eugenics lobby and a new generation of women more concerned with reproductive rights. Other original board members now largely airbrushed from the story include its first president, the controversial eugenicist Margaret Sanger, and a future chairman, Carlos Blacker. An Eton-educated psychiatrist and acolyte of Julian Huxley, Blacker had for more than two decades been secretary of the British Eugenics Society—which hosted the IPPF in its London offices.’

Blacker himself did not need to be as enthusiastic about forced sterilisation, since in his view, ‘defectives, being for the most part readily suggestible, should in most cases be easily persuaded’. He left his role at the Eugenics Society to be the Chairman at IPPF. More politically astute, Blacker favoured ‘crypto-eugenics’, which he described as seeking ‘to fulfil the aims of eugenics without disclosing what you are really aiming at and without mentioning the word.’ He credited Frederick Osborn with the idea, and Connelly describes how this was how the Eugenics Society understood its early funding for IPPF.

IPPF continued to be involved in population control scandals globally long after World War II. They were the biggest funders of sterilization under Indira Gandhi, increasing their funding along with UNFPA and the Swedish government’s international aid agency (SIDA) after Gandhi’s National Population Policy was announced. The policy included the clause that ‘Where [an Indian] state legislature, in the exercise of its own powers, decides that the time is right and it is necessary to pass legislation for compulsory sterilization, it may do so.’ Swedish media later dubbed their own government’s involvement as ‘SIDA’s Watergate’.

Connelly likewise describes IPPF’s role in setting up the China Family Planning Association just after the one-child policy was introduced in 1979. In 1980, an IPPF information officer warned, ‘in the not-too-distant future all this will blow up into a major Press story as it contains all the ingredients for sensationalism—Communism, forced family planning, murder of viable fetuses, parallels with India, etc. When it does blow up, it is going to be very difficult to defend.’ By 1981, IPPF had helped to set up the Chinese Family Planning Association, to this day a member association of IPPF.

While PPFA, IPPF and the Guttmacher Institute are now adamant that they support only voluntary family planning, their history tells a very different story. In any case, different scandals have emerged more recently. A recent audio clip released appears to demonstrate PPFA accepting a donation specifically to abort black children, for example.

The Guttmacher Institute is now mostly funded by organisations other than Planned Parenthood. Their donors include SIDA, who helped fund Indira Gandhi’s forced sterilization campaign, the Ford Foundation, who funded the early eugenic Population Council and internally floated the idea of annual contraceptive aerial mist sprayed over India, and Marie Stopes International, which has been sanctioned by multiple African countries and the UK for illegal activity, including (in the UK) performing abortions on children and disabled women without taking legitimate consent. Marie Stopes herself was also a devout eugenicist who advocated for ‘half-castes’ to be sterilised at birth and lobbied for Bills to ‘ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and racially diseased’.

The Guttmacher Institute is also funded by the Brush Foundation, originally the Charles F. Brush Foundation for the Betterment of the Human Race, a foundation established specifically for ‘furtherance of research in the field of eugenics and in the regulation of the increase in population’.

Notably, they are also funded by the UK government, recently implicated in a scandal after the Independent Commission for Aid Impact found that it did not pursue ‘the strengthening of health systems to provide quality maternal care with the same intensity as it did for family planning’. That is to say, ‘family planning’ is still taking priority over saving mothers’ lives. As throughout the history of Guttmacher and his associates, genuine aid is being compromised for the sake of population control.

This is not to say that everything the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood and MSI publish is false. At times, they have published informative research. But it is important to be aware that these are not neutral healthcare and research organisations: they are first and foremost advocates for legal abortion with significant historical ties to eugenic population control and racism which cannot be downplayed or whitewashed.


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