The anti-working class nature of abortion

From a very interesting Left-wing conservative blog: “A recent article in The New Yorker regarding the rising abortion rate for poor women and women of color despite an overall decline of the U.S. abortion rate is a strong reminder of not only the growing class divide in the United States, but also the essentially anti-working class nature of abortion itself. While pro-choice figures will certainly discuss the need for better access to contraception, I doubt many prominent voices in the mainstream media will call for an end to the underlying economic problems that cause low-income women to seek abortions in the first place.
The anti-capitalist pro-life position receives little attention in the United States. France, on the other hand, has had a more interesting history of combining unabashedly socialist economics with strong pro-life positions. The French Communist Party once had a strong pro-life platform that not only included opposition to abortion and contraception as weapons aimed at the throat of the working class, but also supported positive policies such as generous supplemental salaries for the fathers of large families. More recently,  the French organization Socialistes Pour la Vie, held a march with signs baring slogans such as “Protect the Workers of Tomorrow” and “Right to Housing, Right to Work, Right to Life.”
The persistence of pro-life socialism in France is likely a product of the failure of Social Darwinism and eugenics in that country. As the French scholar André Pichot notes:

“France, as we have said, never had any specifically eugenic legislation, nor even a very strong eugenic movement. What is sometimes called eugenics in France is more properly described as public health policy. To speak of eugenics in this case is a play on words: etymologically, ‘eugenics’ simply means the science of good births, and in France these good births were seen as resulting from the health of the pregnant woman, conditions of childbirth and breast-feeding, rather than from selectionist measures to sterilize individuals deemed genetically incorrect. This particular aspect of French ‘eugenics’ was chiefly due to the influence of Pasteur and Lamarck, and no doubt also to Catholicism. France was strongly attached to the work of Pasteur, a national hero, and long remained reticent towards Darwinism, preferring the work of Lamarck. It is good form nowadays to claim that this held back the development of biology and genetics in our country (which remains to be proved), but it at least had the benefit of sparing us eugenic folly.” (Pichot 2009: 161).

A “French” model of pro-life activism would therefore combine a reverence for the life of the unborn along with a public health platform focused on improving the health of pregnant women and their children. This platform is opposed to the selectionist eugenics that heavily influenced the pro-abortion movement in the United States through such malignant figures as Margaret Sanger.

The socialist element would be similar to that advocated by former French Communist Part leader Maurice Thorez and his wife Jeannette Vermeersch and would include full employment, the nationalization of key industries, and supplemental salaries for the fathers of large families. A pro-life movement that holds unborn life sacred while promising economic reform measures designed to end unemployment and poverty would effectively destroy the argument that abortion is necessary for the welfare of poor women.” (

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