Gloria Steinem: ‘No Democracy’ Without Right to Abortion

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem speaks, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, during the 13th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, in Boston. The conference opened Thursday against a backdrop of expanding allegations of sexual misconduct against prominent men in Hollywood, politics and the media. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Left-wing activist Gloria Steinem told Planned Parenthood advocates Wednesday “there is no democracy” without the right to make the decision to have an abortion.

Speaking at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England’s spring luncheon in Stamford, Connecticut, Steinem condemned the Trump administration for making a clear distinction between family planning and abortion with its rule governing Title X family planning grants.

“Our ability, men and women, to make decisions over our own bodies is the first step of democracy,” the feminist said, according to the Stamford Advocate. “There is no democracy without that.”

The new regulation prohibits the use of the funds to “perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”

The rule reinstates President Ronald Reagan’s “Protect Life Rule,” which bars the “co-location” of federally funded family planning clinics with abortion clinics.

Steinem said the new rule is not unexpected.

“The first step in every hierarchy is controlling reproduction of women,” she said. “It’s called patriarchy.”

The Advocate reported:

Steinem said she has never called Trump “president” since he lost the popular vote by 2.8 million votes, and said she supports getting rid of the Electoral College.

She also made disparaging comments about Trump’s appearance, referring to him as “nasty” and “flaccid.”

“No wonder he has to pay,” she said, referring to Trump paying for sex.

Steinem, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Barack Obama, praised the work of abortion vendor Planned Parenthood.

“There is no organization in this country or maybe on earth that is more important than Planned Parenthood because you are addressing the basic equality for which all other equality springs,” she said. “Male or female, we get to make decisions over our own physical selves. Nothing is more important than that.”

Amanda Skinner, president of the Planned Parenthood affiliate, also said women’s “reproductive rights are under attack like never before.”

“President Trump and his allies are hellbent in turning back the clock to a time when women were devalued and dismissed,” she continued. “In this kind of environment, it is more important than ever to stand up for your values and to take action.”

Steinem also praised black women for being the “heart and soul of the women’s movement.”

She added, however, that Congress still fails to represent the general population of the nation.

“It just doesn’t look like a democracy yet,” she said, adding it is “kind of great” that the United States will no longer be a white-majority country soon.

Steinem said white males “feel entitled.”

“[T]hey’re born into a hierarchy that said they had a natural position just because they were white, just because they were male,” she said.


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