Susan B. Anthony – Anti-Abortion Crusader

Susan B. Anthony has been celebrated as a feminist icon by the modern feminist movement because of her tireless work in bringing women into the political mainstream. Feminists pushed hard to get her image on the almost-never-used Susan B. Anthony coin. Anthony got involved in the women’s rights movement when she joined a temperance society but was denied the right to speak at meetings because she was a woman. Temperance societies were the precursors to the prohibition movement (1920-1933). Her anti-alcohol position makes her a religious fundamentalist, hardly an invitee to Democrat gatherings where the stuff flows in ample portions!

It may surprise a lot of people, but there are pro-life, anti-abortion Democrats. What won’t surprise anyone is that the Democrats keep anti-abortion Democrats hidden from public view. Not a single pro-life Democrat spoke at this year’s Democratic National Convention. The same was true in 1996 when then-Pennsylvania governor Robert Casey (1932-2000), an articulate and ardent Democrat pro-life advocate, was denied the speaker’s platform at the Democratic National Convention because he was pro-life. Democrat leaders want pro-life voters to keep their party in power but not pro-life views or policy advocates visible to their pro-abortion base. This means that Susan B. Anthony would not have been given a voice at any Democrat function because she was anti-abortion. In The Revolution, the paper she published with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Anthony referred to abortion as “child murder” and “infanticide”:

Guilty? Yes, no matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh! Thrice guilty is he who, for selfish gratification, heedless of her prayers, indifferent to her fate, drove her to the desperation which impels her to the crime.[1]

And we can add, guilty is the medical profession that gets rich from the blood that is spilled in the name of a woman’s right to choose. Choose what? Choose to kill her pre-born baby.

Stanton, a founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869, held a similar anti-abortion view:

When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit. There must be a remedy even for such crying evil as this (abortion). But where shall it be found? At least, where begin, if not in the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women.

Civil libertarian and pro-life advocate Nat Hentoff points out that when PBS aired “Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony” (1999), there was no mention of their anti-abortion views. Ken Burns, best known for his masterful documentaries on the Civil War, Baseball, Jazz, Thomas Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark, knew the anti-abortion views of Stanton and Anthony but decided not to include them because he did not want his documentary to be “burdened by present and past differing views on choice.”[2] In an on-line discussion forum, Burns was asked by “Maggie” from California why he omitted “all the compelling and well documented information about Susan B. Anthony’s and Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s profound anti-abortion stances.” Here was Burns’ response: “The omission was primarily because of time constraints. To have stated their complicated position would have been quite difficult to be comprehensive.”[3] There is nothing complicated about their position on abortion. What Burns really means is that he didn’t want PBS to reject the project and bring the wrath of the pro-abortionists down on him.


[1] The Revolution, July 8, 1869. [2] Quoted in Nat Hentoff, “Revisionist Her-Story.”