The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Jane Fonda, Stalin, Hitler, and Ceausescu

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Jane Fonda has had a varied and somewhat controversial career. She was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft battery in North Vietnam in 1972. Since then she has been known as “Hanoi Jane.” She’s had a successful acting career (two Academy Awards), turned out a series of fitness videos from 1982 through 1995, married media mogul Ted Turner, is working on her fourth marriage to a younger man (he’s 67, she’s 71), and continues to say and do stupid things. Although claiming to be a Christian, Fonda is an outspoken advocate of abortion rights. On March 29, 2005, Planned Parenthood honored Fonda with the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization’s pro-abortion and eugenicist founder.

In a recent blog post, Fonda stated that a “power struggle . . . has existed from the very beginning of the 120-year fight over reproductive rights. Every dictator—Stalin, Ceaucescu [sic], Hilter [sic]—has made anti-choice a central component of their agenda.” The important words here are “their agenda.” Stalin’s support for abortion had nothing to do with religion. He was an atheist. It had everything to do with building up the military. In a 2003 New York Times article titled “Birth Control in Russia,” we find this utilitarian tidbit: “In 1936, Stalin banned abortion to stimulate the birth rate. In a widely resented decree that was dropped after his death, Stalin made it clear that the nation’s couples should produce workers and soldiers as vigorously as new Soviet industries were turning out trucks and steel beams.” By the way, Russia is losing population at a rapid rate—“almost 700,000 annually.”

In 1966 there were four abortions for every live birth in Romania. Women were aborting their children because they did not want to bring them into the dark world of Communism. In that same year, Nicolae Ceauşescu (1918–1989) issued Decree No. 770 prohibiting abortion and artificial contraception. Like Stalin, Ceauşescu was an atheist. He was not motivated by religion or concern for families or unborn children. His anti-abortion policies were strictly utilitarian, “an attempt to build his country into a colossus through population growth.”[1] In an ironic twist, Ceauşescu’s anti-abortion policies led to his downfall since it was the children born after the Decree went into effect who took Part 1n the revolution of 1989 that led to the tyrant’s execution.

Fonda’ third anti-abortion example is Adolf Hitler. Once again, certain facts are ignored in her claim that tyrants are against abortion in the same way that those who “grant . . . personhood to the fetus” are against abortion. Curiously, Fonda doesn’t say anything about the one-child policy and forced abortions of the Communist Chinese. In Broken Earth, Steven Mosher writes that “[Chinese] vigilantes abduct pregnant women on the streets and haul them off, sometimes handcuffed or trussed, to abortion clinics. [Some] aborted babies cry when they are born.” You can read about some of the shocking details of China’s one-child policy here. But back to Hitler. Richard Weikiart puts Hitler’s anti-abortion policies in proper historical and ideological perspective:

Hitler’s opposition to abortion is sometimes portrayed as evidence of his traditional Christian moral values. However, Hitler never appealed to religion, God, or divine revelation to ground his opposition to abortion. Rather he insisted on vigorous enforcement of extant antiabortion laws because he considered German population expansion vital to the improvement of the Aryan race. Also, Hitler did not oppose abortion per se, but only abortion of healthy, Aryan babies. Abortion was permitted—even encouraged or required—for those who might produce “inferior” offspring or for Jews. The ultimate authority was not God, the Bible, religious tradition, or any fixed moral code containing the command, “thou shalt not kill.” Rather, for Hitler the highest arbiter of morality and political policies was the evolutionary advancement of the human species. In the final analysis, Hitler based his morality on a racist form of evolutionary ethics. Claudia Koonz[2] is right when she argues that the Nazi ethic was a secular replacement and repudiation of traditional Christian ethics.[3]

Fonda and her pro-abortion allies have more in common with the tyrants of history than they realize. More than 100 million preborn babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade, about the same number who had been murdered by the tyrants of the 20th century.

Endnotes:

[1] Jane Perlez, “Romania’s Communist Legacy: ‘Abortion Culture,’” The New York Times (November 21, 1996).
[2] Claudia Koonz, The Nazi Conscience (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 1–2, 254–255. Also see Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (New Haven, CT: Yale Nota Bene, 2001), 317, 355.
[3] Richard Weikiart, Hitler’s Ethic: The Nazi Pursuit of Evolutionary Progress (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 8.

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