Archive for Feminist Movement

How pro-abortion men hijacked the women’s movement for their own benefit

Posted in Abortion pill, Abortion prior to Roe, Bernard Nathanson, Betty Friedan, Birth Control and Eugenics, Civil Rights, DANCO, Eugenics, Feminism, Frederick OSborn, Lader, Live Action, Margaret Sanger, Men and Abortion, Population Control, Roe V Wade History, RU-486, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2019 by saynsumthn

 

Image: Larry Lader in 2000

Larry Lader in 2000

The “Father of Abortion Rights,” Larry Lader, held eugenic beliefs inspired by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger — but on abortion, they parted ways, with Lader being extremely in favor of abortion. Lader and his colleague Bernard Nathanson were the two men most instrumental in pushing the 1960’s women’s movement towards abortion.

The reason we know this information, says “Subverted” author Sue Ellen Browder, is because Nathanson, an abortionist who later converted to the pro-life cause, had stories to tell.

Image: Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson. Both men worked against the feminist pro-life movement to push abortion on women.

Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson — two men behind the 1960s abortion push in the U.S.

Browder told Live Action president Lila Rose in an interview, “These two men, Larry Lader and Bernard Nathanson, had founded this organization [NARAL] and… Lader knew Betty Friedan very well. They were magazine writers together in New York. Larry Lader had graduated from Harvard University. He was fairly independently wealthy… and his greatest passion was to make abortion legal. And he worked on Betty Friedan for years to try to convince her to insert abortion into her list of demands [within the National Organization for Women (NOW)]….”

“We would never had known it was Lader who at last persuaded Betty to insert abortion into NOW’s package of ‘women’s rights’ if it weren’t for the written testimony of a third party who eye-witnessed events as they unfolded behind the scenes,” Browder wrote in her book. That eyewitness was Nathanson.

“If we’re going to move abortion out of the books and into the streets, we’re going to have to recruit the feminists,” Browder quotes Lader as suggesting.

“Friedan has got to put her troops into this thing – while she still has control of them,” Lader stated.

READ: 8 ways pro-abortion men pushed legalized abortion on America

Friedan, Browder notes, had agreed to write a foreword in the jacket of Lader’s book. “He wrote a book on abortion and it was full of half truths, selective truths and truths out of context. But it was trying to prove to women that they need abortion to be free,” Browder stated. “And Betty Friedan bought it. She gave him a wonderful blurb on the back cover saying what a wonderful book this was. So, she now agreed with him.”

Image: Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Lader wanted to “unleash the fury of women”

Nathanson, who reluctantly agreed to work with Lader in 1967 to convince Friedan’s feminists to support an abortion plank, once admitted, “Larry’s marriage with the feminists was a brilliant tactic.” But Nathanson later regretted the decision.

“In short I found, to my surprise, that I had been subtly dragooned into planning political strategy with Lader,” Nathanson wrote regretfully in his book, “The Hand of God.” Nathanson called himself and Lader “radicals,” writing, “We would settle for nothing less than striking down all existing statutes and substituting abortion on demand.”

The scheme was simple. In “Abortion,” Lader placed the responsibility on women to pronounce abortion as a freedom:

Women themselves must bear the special responsibility of rallying opinion behind reform, standing up and making their demands for justice known throughout the country. Nothing is stronger than the moral power of an idea once it has come of age. And the moral power of legalized abortion will surely prevail when women have directed their anger against the superstitions of centuries, and cried out for the final freedom of procreative choice.

In “Abortion II,” Lader prophetically concluded that to legalize abortion, women would need “to stand before television cameras and describe their own abortions to the public…. It needed brawling women, shouting defiance of the law….” Lader then took credit for convincing women to join, writing, “It took only a few of us in 1966 – the early fanatics – to break the silence and unleash the fury of women. Once the National Organization for Women and Women’s Liberation groups joined the abortion movement, we were ready to shake the country.”

“Significantly, even Friedan, one of the most impressive militants of her time, avoided the abortion issue at first,” Lader recounted in the same book. He wrote, “[W]hile she was writing Mystique, I occasionally suggested that all feminist demands hinged on contraception and abortion and a woman’s control over her own body and procreation. Yet, her book hardly touched this fundamental problem and mentioned Margaret Sanger only peripherally….”

Image: Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique

Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique

 

READ: Film documents Planned Parenthood’s history of Black genocide, eugenics

“The breakthrough came slowly,” Lader wrote. “In June 1966, at a meeting of the Commissions on the Status of Women in Washington, Friedan emerged from the status of woman to activist,” Lader said, recounting how Friedan founded NOW. “Although pounding away at the abortion issue in her lectures, she still hesitated to force it into the NOW platform for fear of splitting off Catholics and conservative professionals.”

Then, in a 1966 news conference announcing Lader‘sbook, the LA Times recounted how reporters began using new rhetoric, calling abortion “a civil rights movement for women.”

One year later, in 1967, Lader would convince Friedan to add an abortion plank into NOW.

“Friedan has claimed that she did not start out consciously to start to a revolution,” Lader noted in his book “Ideas Triumphant.” But, he said, “This is not completely accurate. At the time she agreed to write a plug for my book jacket in 1965, we were discussing how to turn ideas into organizing. The founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966 was pivotal.”

“By bringing NOW and eventually Women’s Lib into the abortion campaign, Friedan assured that the struggle for feminine liberation was solidly rooted in the one base that could turn theory into reality – a woman’s control over her own body and procreation,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.”

Lader’s abortion obsession continued into the 1990’s when he pushed for the legalization of the abortion pill, RU486. In a 2000 press release, Lader bragged about his “plot” to break the law and smuggle the drug into the US.

He told an audience, “We have all sorts of little tricks; we’re tricky people. We smuggled some in from China through a doctor I knew coming in…. We then set up a very small lab… to make a small amount… and then we were very lucky; we found a very good manufacturer in the US and we have been with them ever since.”

Lader died in 2006 from colon cancer. He was 86.

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

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  • ( Part One) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called minority children in America ‘unwanted’
  • (Part Two) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called self a ‘disciple’ of Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger
  • (Part Three) ‘Father of abortion rights’: Minorities need abortion to prevent future ‘drug addicts’
  • (Part Four) Pro-abortion leader hoped abortion would end ‘morality’ and ‘the nuclear family’
  • Larry Lader and Margaret Sanger (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader on Planned Parenthood (here). (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader, Bernard Nathanson and NOW, Betty Friedan and NARAL – Here and here.
  • Men like Larry Lader who pushed abortion and helped Roe (here)
  • Lies about illegal abortion (here)

‘Father of abortion rights’ called self a ‘disciple’ of Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger

Posted in abortion used as birth control, Betty Friedan, Lader, Margaret Sanger, Men and Abortion, NARAL, National Organization for (Some) Women, Planned Parenthood History, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2019 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood founder

Larry Lader, rightly dubbed the “father of the abortion rights movement,” influenced the women’s movement of the 1960s to push abortion. Lader was a writer by trade and became the biographer for Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, even referring to himself as her “disciple.” The two eventually parted ways over abortion. Watch to learn more:

In his biography, Lader said Sanger’s obsession with eugenics (an ideology the two shared) originated with her introduction to Henry Havelock Ellis in 1914, a psychologist and author of several books on sex, with whom Sanger was rumored to have had an affair. At the time Lader’s biography was published, it received some favorable reviews with Sanger herself arranging book signings. It was also reportedly distributed through Planned Parenthood offices.

 

Image: Lawrence (Larry) Lader

Lawrence (Larry) Lader

But, in co-authoring his second book on Sanger, Lader can be credited for remaking her from a eugenic fanatic into, as Planned Parenthood describes her, a heroine. Thanks to Lader, Sanger “the eugenicist” became known instead as Sanger “the birth control pioneer.”

Lader’s books barely mention the word eugenics and certainly fail to connect the evil philosophy to Sanger. But the Planned Parenthood founder admitted to meeting with members of the Ku Klux Klan, openly advocated eugenics, and supported the use of sterilization to rid the planet of the “unfit.”

Forced sterilization as a permanent solution was, in Sanger’s mind, a preferred solution to procreation of the so-called “unfit” over abortion.

Image: Margaret Sanger Story by Lawrence Lader

Margaret Sanger Story by Lawrence Lader

In his push for legalizing the abortion pill RU486, Lader recounted that Sanger had “skimpy” knowledge about abortion and claimed the topic caused a split between the two. “Ironically, I would eventually split with Margaret over abortion – only in a theoretical sense since, by 1963, she was too ill to carry on our old discussions,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.”

“Margaret had always opposed abortion…. Naturally, she was right in the context of her time,” he continued.

According to the LA Times, Lader had observed Sanger’s strong opposition to abortion, “seeing the horrors of the women on the Lower East Side, with $5 in their hands, submitting themselves to butchers.” To Sanger, “birth control was a solution to abortion,” Lader realized.

Lader’s abortion activism birthed with Sanger 

Nonetheless, Lader’s time with the Planned Parenthood founder seems to have been the catalyst for Lader’s own abortion obsession. “I hesitated to deal with the subject after writing my biography of Margaret Sanger,” Lader wrote in “Abortion II.” “In 1955, I evaded it again…. By 1962, I made the first step, soliciting dozens of editors to write a magazine article on abortion, but being rejected by all. A year later, still concerned that I could be damaged as a writer by this connection, I started work on a book that was published under the blunt title, ‘Abortion,’ in early 1966.”

Image: Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

Abortion written by Lawrence (Larry) Lader 1966

On April 14, 1966, during a discussion about abortion recorded by WNYC in New York, Lader was asked about his feelings on abortion. He said:

I did a biography of Margaret Sanger of the birth control movement ten or twelve years ago and from that point on I’ve been extremely interested in anything that denies to women — and to men also, but basically to women — what I consider their basic right to decide whether they should or should not become a mother.

I think this is summed up very well by a great phrase of Margaret Sanger’s which she stated, ‘No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother.’

Image: Margaret Sanger quote

Margaret Sanger quote

And then I add in my book, I state my own statement, the laws that force a woman to bear a child against her will are the sickly heritage of a feminine degradation and male supremacy. In brief, I believe that the right of a woman to bear or not to bear a child is one of the basic human rights and that this cannot be taken away from her….

Lader reiterated the Planned Parenthood founder’s influence in his book, “RU486.” He wrote (emphasis added), “My first book on Margaret Sanger indicated I had a feminist bent. Three crowded years of talking and working with Sanger had completely convinced me that a woman’s freedom in education, jobs, marriage, her whole life, could only be achieved when she gained control of her childbearing. I came gradually to understand that birth control required abortion as a backup measure when contraception failed or wasn’t used at all.”

Prior to the Roe decision, Lader took part in an illegal underground abortion referral service called the “Clergyman’s Consultation Service on Abortion,” founded by the Reverend Howard Moody. Lader made more than 2,000 referrals for women seeking illegal abortions while participating in this “service.”

Then, in 1967, Lader, along with former abortionist Bernard Nathanson (who later became pro-life) hijacked Betty Friedan’s 1960’s women’s movement and influenced the so-called feminist icon to add a pro-abortion plank to the National Organization for Women (NOW), which she founded. Soon after, in 1969, Lader helped Nathanson to found NARAL, originally called the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, and remained active until 1976, when Lader left NARAL for reasons “no one chooses to discuss,” as the LA Times noted.

This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

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Part of series on Larry Lader.

  • ( Part one) ‘Father of abortion rights’ called minority children in America ‘unwanted’
  • Larry Lader and Margaret Sanger (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader on Planned Parenthood (here). (here) (here)
  • Larry Lader, Bernard Nathanson and NOW, Betty Friedan and NARAL – Here and here.
  • Men like Larry Lader who pushed abortion and helped Roe (here)
  • Lies about illegal abortion (here)

How Cosmopolitan and the feminist movement became unlikely allies

Posted in Betty Friedan, Cosmo Magazine, Feminism, Helen Gurley Brown, NOW, Sexual Revolution, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2019 by saynsumthn

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan Magazine, recently in the news again for being dropped from checkout stands by Walmart, helped to push the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It did so by creating a “persona” of the perfect woman it labeled the “Cosmo Girl.” In her book, “Subverted: How I helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women’s Movement,” author Sue Ellen Browder claims that the Cosmo Girl was a “mask the single girl, lonely and alone in the world, could put on to turn herself into the object of a man’s sexual fantasies.” Browder knows this well; she worked for Cosmopolitan Magazine under the direction of its editor, Helen Gurley Brown.

Image: Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan editor

Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan editor

The Cosmo Girl was “an illusion”

Helen Gurley Brown took over Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1965, when the magazine’s circulation was falling. A report by the New York Times detailed the transition:

A secretary-turned-advertising-copywriter, Mrs. Brown first told a sexually somnolent America that single women had lives filled with work, play, and love in her 1962 best-selling book, ”Sex and the Single Girl.” She and her husband, David Brown, the film producer, then parlayed the book into a magazine proposal, which they took to Hearst Magazines. The publishing company gave her Cosmopolitan, a fading 79-year-old publication that had once carried stories by the likes of W. Somerset Maugham.

According to Browder, Brown’s philosophy was, “hard work and sex without the kids will set you free.”

“If you entrusted yourself to Helen’s lifestyle teachings (as many young women did and still do), you’d soon come to believe the way for a smart woman to be free and to succeed in her career and her life was to (1) work hard; (2) take the Pill or use some other contraceptive; (3) if the contraceptive failed, get an abortion,” Browder explains in “Subverted.”

According to Browder, there was no real Cosmo Girl. “She was mostly a product of Helen’s clever imagination, a marketing fairytale,” Browder writes.

Image: Cosmopolitan Magazine 1967

Cosmopolitan Magazine 1967

“It was all an illusion,” Browder told Live Action president Lila Rose.

Browder called the Cosmo girl “a marketer’s and CEO’s dream come true.”

“She worked hard, bought lavishly from the pharmaceutical, medical, beauty, fashion, and travel industries, and to top it off, she did not push for all those pricey, bothersome extras like family tax breaks, maternity leave, shorter work weeks, and more flexible work arrangements,” said Browder.

Feminism or fantasy?

Though Helen Gurley Brown labeled herself a “devout feminist,” other feminists of her day strongly disputed this. Brown wanted to work for Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner, and once suggested that women should try to please men: “If you want a man in your life you have to be nice to them….”

In an interview after Brown’s death in 2012, Hefner told the Hollywood Reporter that Brown had approached him for a job before joining Cosmo. “She wanted to do a female version of Playboy,” Hefner stated. “In the early days, they even had a little symbol like our bunny, a pussycat that appeared at the end of every article. In a parody tribute to Playboy, she even did a nude [April 1972] centerfold with Burt Reynolds.”

“When she founded Cosmo, her views on sexuality and the sexual behavior of unmarried women were radical and the same as mine. In terms of male and female relationships, our philosophy was very similar,” Hefner added. But not all feminists agreed with Brown’s version of women.

In fact, feminist Betty Friedan, who authored “The Feminine Mystique” and went on to help found the National Organization for Women (NOW) as well as NARAL, called Cosmopolitan in 1967, “quite obscene and horrible” and “an immature teen-age-level sexual fantasy.”

Betty Friedan opposed Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown

“As the mother of the women’s movement, Betty [Friedan] hoped to broaden and deepen women’s lives,” Browder writes in “Subverted.” And she agreed with Friedan’s assessment of Cosmopolitan. “We created this fantasy world, the Cosmo Girl, at least in the beginning, before a lot of women began to buy into it; the Cosmo Girl was just a sexual fantasy…. “You never saw a mother in the magazine, you never saw a child in the magazine,” Browder pointed out.

Friedan once said, “Women are the people who give birth to children, and that is a necessary value in society…. You want a feminism that includes women who have children and want children because that’s the majority of women.”

Tragically, Friedan, under the influence of pro-abortion writer Larry Lader, would eventually embrace abortion as part of her women’s movement only to return to her original focus later in life — that the family was important.

In promoting her book, “Second Stage,” Friedan called for her movement to “stop overemphasizing abortion rights and reaffirm the importance of family.” But the damage was done.

Helen Gurley Brown’s vision inside her sexual revolution was much different. In describing the “Cosmo Girl,” the NYT revealedthat Brown concentrated on her looks, not on her activities or aspirations. ”She has always been sexy, slender and bosomy,” Brown allegedly said.

”Bosom fashions are something you don’t have to change,” said Cosmopolitan editor Brown. ”A beautiful bosom is a beautiful bosom. If you don’t have one, you look on with awe and envy; if you do, you wonder, ‘Are mine as good as hers?”’

Abortion united two polar opposites

Despite the internal conflict, once abortion was adopted by Friedan, the two movements essentially merged. In fact, the Cosmopolitan editor joined with Friedan’s NARAL to push abortion politically. In 1974, Brown signed a NARAL-initiated telegram sent to Democrat Senator Birch Bayh, the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments, which was considering legislation to overturn the recent Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

The telegram mouthed the same lies that Bernard Nathanson, a founder of NARAL, helped to create by claiming that reversing Roe would cause many women and especially poor women to “suffer at the hands of back alley abortionists.” Live Action News previously documented how NARAL’s claim that hundreds of thousands of women died from illegal abortion was fabricated.

IMAGE: Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown joins NARAL to protect abortion 1974

Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown joins NARAL to protect abortion 1974

Although NARAL and Brown were objecting to the fact that those testifying before the committee were all men, one of the men who testified, Dr. John D. Biggers of Harvard University Medical School in Boston, sided with NARAL by claiming that legally protecting unborn babies (something that was in effect just a year earlier) could have profound implications on the behavior of sexually active women: “If such legislation is written, every woman who is sexually active will have to assume she is pregnant and modify her behavior in a suitable way.”

That statement alone revealed why Friedan’s women’s movement and Helen Gurley Brown’s sexual revolution movement had to join under the umbrella of abortion to survive.

In 2006, Betty Friedan died at the age of 85. Helen Gurley Brown died six years later at the age of 90.

Cosmo’s objectification of women and friendship with the abortion industry

After Brown’s death in 2012, writer Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett chastised Cosmo Girl as “a brief hiccup in what has otherwise been a longstanding agenda of sexual objectification.” She then called the modern Cosmopolitan Magazine “hopelessly outdated.” Victoria Hearst, the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, claims that Brown turned “a family magazine into a sex rag.”

Image of Victoria Hearst

Victoria Hearst speaks against Cosmopolitan

In 2015, according to WorldNet Daily, Hearst “launched a campaign against Cosmopolitan magazine which she describes as pornographic. Working with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Hearst announced the CosmoHarmsMinors.com website to provide information about the magazine.” She stated that the magazine had declined to become a mere “‘how-to’ sex guide, glamorizing… public or violent sex acts in nearly all their issues,” which would be “deemed pornographic” according to “most states’ material harmful to minors laws.”

An interview with Hearst after the release can be viewed here.

Alveda King

Alveda King spoke out against Cosmopolitan

Pro-life spokesperson Dr. Alveda King, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., endorsed Hearst’s effort, claiming, according to Breitbart, that Cosmopolitan’s content helps “line the pockets of the abortion industry” and that “Planned Parenthood is joining with Cosmo” to “lead that girl into an abortion.”

“[W]hen a young girl reads Cosmo and sees all this supercharged sexuality, buys into the sexual liberty of the day, and involves herself in those types of activities,” she continued, “then the next natural force – or unnatural, depending on how you look at it – would be, ‘Well, I’m pregnant now. I just wanted to have fun; I didn’t want to have a baby.’”

“And then Planned Parenthood is joining Cosmo right there to lead that girl into an abortion,” King added.

Cosmo continues to promote abortion and supports Planned Parenthood, known for covering up child sexual abuse. Today, according to the Media Research Center, Cosmopolitan, which describes itself as a “bible for fun, fearless females,” influencing more than 18 million readers a month, offers plenty to criticize. Newsbusters’ Katie Yoder discussed a Dec. 8, 2014 piece by Jill Filipovic, Cosmopolitan’s senior political writer at that time. Her piece featured Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on “where the pro-choice movement is headed next year.” Yoder also noted that “abortion-giant Planned Parenthood bestowed the ‘Excellence in Media Award‘ to the magazine” that same year.

Image of Tweet

Planned Parenthood grants award to Cosmopolitan (Image Twitter)

In response, Filipovic tweeted how proud she was to receive the “Maggie Award.”

Image of Tweet

Cosmopolitan editor proud of Planned Parenthood award

Planned Parenthood’s top award is named after its founder, Margaret Sanger, known for her advocacy for the eugenics movement. Sanger also admitted meeting with the Ku Klux Klan, but that doesn’t seem to bother the abortion corporation or so-called media outlets, like Cosmo, which praise both Sanger and Planned Parenthood.

Cosmo’s newest Editor in Chief, Michele Promaulayko, was announced in 2016. From 2000 to 2008, Promaulayko had previously served as executive editor of Cosmopolitan. She was also the former editor in chief of  Yahoo Health and Women’s Health. Despite Margaret Sanger’s racist history, Promaulayko currently boasts on her LinkedIn page that “in 2013 Women’s Health won the prestigious Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood.”

Image: Michele Promaulayko and Cecile Richards

Cosmopolitan editor Michele Promaulayko with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards

At an event celebrating her promotion, Cosmo editor Michele Promaulayko can be seen here posing with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.

Clearly, Cosmopolitan magazine’s sexual revolution and promotion of abortion continues to this day.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.

Feminist icon: The way we sold abortion to public caused ‘lack of reverence for life’

Posted in Bernard Nathanson, Betty Friedan, Feminism, Garret Hardin, Lader, Lila Rose, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood History, Subverted, Women's Movement with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2019 by saynsumthn

abortion, pregnancy

Feminist icon Betty Friedan, a founding leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which bills itself as the first national organization to endorse the legalization of abortion, admitted that it was pro-abortion men who drove the push to legalize abortion. Friedan, who falsely claimed she “started the Woman’s Movement,” was once granted the “Humanist of the Year” award. She authored the book, “The Feminine Mystique,” which didn’t even mention abortion in its first publication. Friedan has been quoted as saying, “Ideologically, I was never for abortion. Motherhood is a value to me, and even today abortion is not.”

But the NOW founder was eventually convinced — by these patriarchal men — to push abortion as part of NOW’s official platform.

Friedan’s admission to NARAL supporters was captured in CSPAN’s 1989 video, “Who Decides? Political Action for Pro-Choice.” She referred to the 1960s pro-choice push as the “second American evolution of women.”

“First of all, the word ‘abortion’ was almost never heard in the early 60s. It was never used in the newspapers,” Friedan told the group. “There were many founders of NOW… and they persuaded me this was too controversial to take on, it might split the burgeoning women’s movement,” Friedan stated.

And, in fact, it did.

She added that at the time, the issue was too controversial even for Planned Parenthood.

Image: Betty Friedan speaks to NARAL history of NOW

Betty Friedan speaks to NARAL history of NOW

READ: A look at the past, present, and future of pro-life feminism

Labeling her fight the “NAACP for Women,” Friedan confessed that it was men who convinced her to use NOW to promote abortion. “I remember that there were some men — doctors, lawyers — that had been trying to reform these criminal abortion laws. And they got a sense somehow that the women’s movement might make everything different,” she said. “They had gotten nowhere but they had a sense. So, they kept nagging at me, to NOW, to try and do something….”

“When it was clear that NOW wasn’t going to [promote it] in those first years,” Friedan says the men came to her pleading for help. These men were Lawrence Lader and Dr. Bernard Nathanson (a founder of NARAL who later became pro-life). Because of her book, Friedan had “a little bit of fame,” and “these guys, they loved me, because I was helping to give them some visibility.”

Friedan helped establish NARAL, (known then as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) at the First National Conference on Abortion Laws held in Chicago in 1969. She admitted that at NARAL’s founding, few women attended: “I have to tell you. It wasn’t very large and my hunch is that women were not the majority of people even at it.”

In fact, according to Harvard University Library, two of NARAL’s three member pre-formation planning committee were men: Garrett Hardin and Lawrence Lader. (Lader met Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger in 1953, and in 1955, he published a biography on her, later co-authoring another account of Sanger.)

Abortionist and NARAL founder Bernard Nathanson also played a role in convincing Friedan to push abortion.

In her book, “Subverted,” author Sue Ellen Browder described Lader as being adamant that the women’s movement was key to decriminalizing abortion. “We’ve got to keep the women out front… and some Blacks,” she quotes Lader as telling Nathanson at a NARAL strategy meeting. On a 1967 trip the men took together, Lader said, “If we’re going to move abortion out of the books and into the streets, we’re going to have to recruit the feminists…. Friedan has got to put her troops into this thing – while she still has control of them.”

Browder says Nathanson originally objected to the idea of using feminists to further their movement but later proclaimed, “I was dead wrong.”

Image: Larry Lader in 2000

Larry Lader in 2000

READ: An actress, a singer, and a supermodel show that true feminists are pro-life

In his book, “Abortion II,” Lader recounted his interaction with Friedan: “We had known each other for years, and while she was writing Mystique, I occasionally suggested that all feminist demands hinged on contraception and abortion and a woman’s control over her own body and procreation.” He also wrote that Friedan was hesitant, fearing it would “split[] off Catholics and conservative professionals.”

Image: Abortion 11 by Larry Lader

Abortion 11 by Larry Lader

Lader eventually convinced Friedan to market abortion as a way women could “control their bodies,” crediting Margaret Sanger, who said, “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her own body.”

Over time, Friedan saw problems with her male-created feminism, and noted that her movement’s failure “was our blind spot about the family.” In promoting her book, “Second Stage,” Friedan called for her movement to “stop overemphasizing abortion rights and reaffirm the importance of family.” But the damage was done.

In 1981, Friedan decried the “lack of reverence for life and the mysteries of conception and birth” in pro-choice feminism:

Maybe there was something slightly off in the way we handled abortion. Such slogans as ”free abortion on demand” had connotations of sexual permissiveness, affronting not only the moral values of conservatives but implying a certain lack of reverence for life and the mysteries of conception and birth.

After all, why do feminists seem to be fighting ”for abortion” against women who say they are fighting for ”the right to life”? How can we fight the real battle in such terms? Who is really for abortion? That is like being for mastectomy…

In contrast to NOW, early feminist leaders like Susan B. Anthony referred to abortion as “child murder” and viewed it as a means of exploiting both women and children. They, unlike Friedan, demonstrated that true feminism was pro-motherhood, pro-woman, and pro-child.

    • This article is reprinted with permission. The original appeared here at Live Action News.