While at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland on January 22, Planned Parenthood acting president Alexis McGill Johnson spoke with CBS News about the state of abortion access in the United States.
The number of abortion clinics in the US has decreased in recent years, and she is concerned about the rise of “abortion deserts.” Increasing restrictions have resulted in limited access for women who seek abortions. Johnson’s goal is for all women to have access to abortion services. She said that getting an abortion can pave the way to a successful career, an endeavor that is much easier accomplished without a helpless infant to care for day and night.
“We know that if we want women to succeed in business if we want to increase the level of participation of women at the CEO level or the C-suite level, it’s incredibly important for women to be able to control their reproductive health because we know that access to controlling and planning when…you will be pregnant, also impacts your ability to engage in the economy,” said Johnson.
Even without abortion, women already have the ability to choose when they become mothers thanks to basic knowledge of our reproductive systems and a wide array of both hormonal and nonhormonal contraceptive options. The Pill’s release in 1960 gave women the first reliable form of birth control.
It has since been joined by the patch, the shot, the ring, IUDs, condoms, sponges, spermicides, female condoms, vasectomies, tubal ligations, and more. If none of these options appeal to a woman, she can always practice abstinence as a sure-fire means of preventing an unwanted pregnancy while she completes her education, builds a career, travels internationally, or pursues whatever child-free lifestyle she chooses.
By mentioning the negative economic effects of women becoming pregnant, Johnson urges society to collectively place more value on a woman’s climb up the career ladder than the separate yet dependent life that forms in her womb. Many things in life are more important than workplace success. The rhetoric needs to shift from encouraging women to join the full-time workforce as a matter of course to valuing and respecting women for the most unique job that only they can perform: gestating life in its earliest form.
Johnson and other Planned Parenthood supporters claim that abortion is basic healthcare. A condom is basic reproductive healthcare. Birth control pills taken daily are basic healthcare. Abortion is a choice that one person makes to end another person’s life. There are so many choices to make earlier in the process of sexual reproduction, from abstinence to the Depo shot and even a dose of Plan B, that abortion isn’t a moral solution to preventing pregnancy.
Many pro-choice women share their personal abortion stories in an effort to normalize the procedure. Some of them had other children, then chose to abort because they felt they lacked resources to care for another child. They say they are better mothers because of it, and sometimes even go on to have other children after it. Choosing an abortion for the sake of convenience is immoral, and should not be considered basic healthcare by any standards.
Pro-life advocates are not condemning women who choose abortion. We are not fighting against these women or any others. We are defending their unborn babies’ basic right to live. Abortion isn’t basic healthcare; it is a life-ending medical procedure and should be treated as such.