Seven things I learned at the women's convention about feminists and abortion
by Abby JohnsonAbortion was a big focus of of the Women's Convention held in Detroit, but so was racism, a lack of diversity, and an obsession with women's genitalia. Here's what I saw.
I attended the Women's Convention in Detroit. This conference was sponsored solely by progressive organizations, including premiere sponsor Planned Parenthood, my former employer. I chose to attend because wherever there are pro-choice voices, there ought to also be a pro-life voice.
While I am a pro-life woman, I am also a woman who is concerned about rights for the disabled, maternity leave, the death penalty, health care, domestic violence, breastfeeding rights, etc. While I am a single-issue voter, I certainly don't live a single-issue existence. Many causes affect my family and me, and I intend to be a voice for those as well. However, nothing should take more precedence than innocent death, and that's exactly what abortion is: the death of innocent life.
Abortion was a big focus of the women's convention, but so was racism, a lack of diversity, and an obsession with women's genitalia. Here's what I saw.
1. The abortion industry is more brazen than ever
Even in the eight years since I have been away from the abortion industry, things have changed. When I worked for Planned Parenthood, our mantra was to keep abortion "Safe, Legal, and Rare". That is not the case anymore. Now, it is all about access, no matter the consequence. No matter if women are harmed. No matter if clinics are dirty. Access. No matter what.
We attended the "Planned Parenthood track" over the weekend, and learned a few things. First, Planned Parenthood is totally done using the word "choice". They explained that by saying "choice", we are assuming that one of the choices could be wrong. Huh? Anyway, now they are using the word "decision". They feel that sounds much more positive and somehow helps to eliminate abortion stigma. They talked nonstop about eliminating abortion stigma. They want abortion to be normal.
In one panel we attended, a post-abortive woman (times six) and clinic worker at the Houston Women's Center named Kenya Martin stated that "abortion should be no different than having a tooth pulled". She even said women should throw "abortion parties" the day they have an abortion and rent "party buses" to celebrate their "decision". Yes, she really said that.
The abortion industry is no longer hiding behind their "family planning" services. They are super proud of the abortions they commit. One woman in a panel, who worked for Planned Parenthood, even said Planned Parenthood should stop saying abortion is "only 3 percent of their services". She said Planned Parenthood shouldn't try to hide that the "majority of what they do in the clinics is to provide abortions". Another thing I learned: these women are super honest about what the abortion industry is all about when they think no pro-lifers are around.
2. These women are still really hung up on their privates
I'm sorry to repeat the crudities, but seriously, it's getting ridiculous. One of the sessions was entitled, "Not all pussies are pink and not all women have pussies." Women were walking around in their handmade pink "p-ssy hats". Rose McGowan said during her general session speech that her "p-ssy grabs back". I don't want to know what she has going on down there if that is a reality.
These women have no idea what being a woman is all about. They have reduced themselves to a body part and nothing more. By the way, don't forget that you can identify as a woman and have a penis. They reminded us of this over and over again, as with every speaker introduction they would announce the pronouns the speaker preferred. "Hi, my name is Mary, and my pronouns are she and her." But wait, why the emphasis on the p-ssy hats if you don't even have to have what they're depicting to be a woman?
The vulgarity all around this conference was enough to make even this former secular feminist blush. I wish they understood that being a woman encompasses who we are. We are mothers. We are nurturers. We are not vaginas. We are innately feminine. We are whole beings, not simply parts.
3. White guilt ran rampant
Basically, they want you to understand that if you are a white woman, you are wrong - about everything. And you need to feel guilty about being white. You should feel very, very sorry about it.
This racial division at the conference was very interesting to watch. The Women's Convention had an app with a newsfeed that updated throughout the conference. Any conference attendee could post. I saw a few comments from women saying that they didn't appreciate feeling like "being white was wrong". I understood their point. After all, one of the sessions was called "Confronting White Womanhood".
Hardly any white women had a chance to speak at this conference, even though the overwhelming majority of attendees were white women. This conference talked about unity, but nothing was more divisive than the constant attacks on white people.
Their conference attendees noticed. There was quite a bit of contention over this issue among the participants. It seemed that the Women's Convention only wanted to focus on women of colour, but collect ticket sales money from white women. Not to mention that one of their premiere sponsors, Planned Parenthood, is run by a - gasp - white woman. I guess elevating some white women to places of power is okay with them, as long as they encourage abortion.
Did I mention the disproportionate amount of abortions in the black community? Well, let's not talk about that. That may make them look racist or something.
4. Secular feminists are terrified of pro-life feminists
Presenters said multiple times, "There is no place for anti-choice beliefs in the feminist movement." They are genuinely scared of pro-life feminists. They are scared of the momentum pro-life feminists have gained in the past few years.
To dispel that fear, they pounded that line over and over again throughout the weekend. To them, being able to kill women in the womb is totally pro-woman. Being able to exploit women's fears of not being strong enough to be a parent is empowering. But pro-choice feminists know nothing of women's empowerment.
"Oh, you are pregnant and in school? Well, there's no way you are strong enough to finish your educational goals and be a mother. We will capitalize on your fear, make you feel weak, and give you an abortion." Or maybe, "Oh, your boyfriend just left you and you are pregnant? Well, there's no way you are strong enough to be a single mother. Let's just get this abortion taken care of so we can keep convincing you just how weak you are."
Pro-life feminists refuse to choose. We can be mothers and have careers. We can finish our education with children in tow. Is it a challenge? Yep. But women are made for challenges. We are strong enough to handle the challenges presented to us. It's what we were made to do.
Pro-life feminists believe in women and their ability. Prochoice feminists only see women as weak and something to be exploited. This conference only convinced me that pro-life feminists must hold onto our movement with every fibre of our being. We are winning women to our side because we capitalize on women's strength - and that terrifies them.
5. The least diverse conference I've ever attended
One of the things I love the most about our annual Pro-life Women's Conference is the diversity we have there every year. We don't all believe the same things, but we all stand against the senseless taking of life in the womb. We have Democrats for Life in a booth next to the Susan B. Anthony List. We have Family Research Council in a booth down from Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians. We have religious pro-life groups working with secular pro-lifers.
We are a movement of differences, diversity, and unity. This Women's Convention was not. The only groups represented were there to push pro-abortion beliefs. No other beliefs on abortion were to be had. In fact, I had a pro-choice woman scream in my face and take my picture once she recognized who I was.
I hadn't tried to hide it. I registered under my name, with my work email address. I even wrote the organization I was involved with, And Then There Were None. Yes, they want to hear voices, but only voices that agree with their own.
6. They want to run your state
The political panels we heard made clear that the pro-choice movement has one political objective: They want pro-choice women to run in every gubernatorial race across the country.
I think they have caught on to the reality that the power lies with the state. It's time to pay attention, pro-lifers. They are coming for your state to push their anti-family, anti-life positions. It's not because they care about your state. It's not even because they care about politics. It's because they want to insert their voices in all places, including our government.
They want to overturn every pro-life law on the books. We must be vigilant in opposing their politics. We have worked far too hard to have unqualified activists overturning what we have done.
7. The pro-choice movement knows nothing about pregnancy medical centres
I actually laughed out loud when I heard a woman on a Planned Parenthood panel state that "pregnancy centres receive millions of dollars from the federal government". Really? I don't know what pregnancy centres she is referring to. Certainly none I know or have ever worked with.
Pregnancy centres operate almost solely on private donations. They may receive a few grants here and there, but "millions"of dollars in federal money? Oh, no, you are certainly confused. You must be thinking of Planned Parenthood. They are the ones who receive millions of dollars, more than half a billion, to be exact, from the federal government.
The abortion lobby runs around calling these centres "fake clinics", which is hysterical because many have more levels of accreditation than any Planned Parenthood centre. In fact, many pregnancy centres go through rigorous state and national accreditation programs.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood goes through none of them. If you ask if their centres are accredited, they will tell you they are "self-accredited". That means a group of people from their own Planned Parenthood affiliate comes into a couple of centres, looks around, and gives a stamp of "Planned Parenthood accreditation". So, let me be clear: A group of Planned Parenthood employees enter a Planned Parenthood facility and give themselves a pat on a back and a faux accreditation. Nothing fishy about that at all.
Meanwhile, these pregnancy medical clinics are out providing real, accredited medical care by medical professionals. But sure, they are fake clinics. If anything is a fake clinic, it is Planned Parenthood. They never have physicians even step on site unless they are there to perform abortions. In the eight years I worked at Planned Parenthood, our medical director never once graced us with his presence. Eight years with no direct medical supervision.
Overall, I am glad I attended the Women's Convention. We did have a lot of good conversations with women who would whisper to us, "I'm pro-life, too." But being a pro-life woman at this convention was not welcome. They claim to care about the voices of all women, but that is far from true. They are only interested in creating an echo chamber - one that chants abortion slogans until they ring in your ear like a loud gong.
Abby Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood manager who now runs And Then There Were None, which helps abortion workers leave their jobs. She is also the author of Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line (2011). The above article originally appeared in the U.S. journal, The Federalist (November 7, 2017).