Saturday, March 11, 2006

Who's That Cady

Planned Parenthood's Web site boasts a new article upholding Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a champion of "the right to choose." I'm guessing they mean "the right to choose abortion," but it's hard to tell, as the article strangely omits any mention of what Stanton's views on that issue actually were.

The article does mention vaguely that "the right to choose whether and when to have children [was] a right Stanton and many of her 19th-century cohorts, sadly, eschewed." But it immediately writes off such sentiments as innocent ignorance: "perhaps they could not even imagine the possibility ... that the ability to decide whether and when to have a child is as essential to the fight for women's independence as the vote." Because of this presumed ignorance — of course Stanton would have supported the "right to choose" had she been properly educated — the article's author, Planned Parenthood staff writer Laura Lambert, feels no compunction about Stanton's writings to the service of the abortion-supporters' agenda: "Elizabeth Cady Stanton's words on suffrage are instructive in the struggle for the right to choose ..."

In case Lambert is Googling herself and would like to correct her omission, here are some quotes from Stanton on the subject. I found them on the Feminists for Life Web site, but a Google search shows them on non-pro-life sites as well:

She classified abortion as a form of "infanticide." The Revolution, 1(5):1, February 5, 1868

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."
Letter to Julia Ward Howe, October 16, 1873, recorded in Howe's diary at Harvard University Library

"There must be a remedy even for such a crying evil as this. But where shall it be found, at least where begin, if not in the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women?"
The Revolution, 1(10):146-7 March 12, 1868