Sunday, January 17, 2016

Alice Paul, Pro-life or Pro-choice? Kennie says one way, I disagree

While I was checking out little kennie ham's blog, to see if he responded to the Newsweek article laying bare some of his tactics in trying to get his latest ministry, the ark park, built at taxpayer expense.  I wrote about it in "Newsweek looks at Ham's Folly 2".  Well, in another blog post he identifies Alice Paul, honored recently in a Googe Doodle, as an anti-abortionist/pro-lifer.  I am curious by what standard does he make this claim.  Alice Paul  . . . here is the first line from Wikipedia to give you a better idea:

"Alice Paul (January 11, 1885 – July 9, 1977) was an American suffragist, feminist, and women's rights activist, and the main leader and strategist of the 1910s campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote."(Wikipedia:  Alice Paul)
While Alice Paul might not have been as much of a historical figure like some others, for example Susan B. Anthony or Carrie Chapman Catt, Paul was a leader in the Women's Suffrage movement for many years and was even instrumental in adding women's rights to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  You can check me on it, but at no point does her biography in Wikipedia mention being an anti-abortionist or pro-lifer.  I did a bit a research on Alice Paul, including Alice Paul Institute, and a number of other sites.  Funny, how none of them mention any opposition to abortion.  So where did Ham get his information?

I think what has happened here is little kennie is making some assumptions.  Alice Paul was born a Quaker and also was an avowed Conservative.  While I don't think being a Conservative means the same in her day as it does today, I do think kennie is making an assumption about her position on abortion to further his own ends.  There is a quote attributed to her that kennie used:
"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women." (Wikiquote: Alice Paul)
Not only can I not find a source for this quote, it's not framed within any sort of context or even when she said it.  It can also be taken a number of ways.  Consider what abortion was in the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, a very dangerous procedure often performed by unqualified people.  Was she talking about abortion procedures that were more dangerous than child birth, or modern procedures that are medically safe.  I don't know and I doubt kennie knows either.  He found one quote and ran with it, promoting her an an anti-abortionist or pro-lifer.  I disagree.
I did find this very interesting quote (I added the underline):

"Throughout her life, Alice Paul remained personally conservative and professionally demanding of both herself and her colleagues. She did not relinquish power readily nor could she be easily persuaded to depart from the methods and tactics she had learned from the Pankhursts in England. But her vision for women always transcended her conservatism and rigidity. ‘I think if we get freedom for women, then they are probably going to do a lot of things that I wish they wouldn’t do,’ she said shortly before her death. ‘But it seems to me that isn’t our business to say what they should do with it. It is our business to see that they get it.’" (  AlicePaul)

By the above quote, I really think kennie is reaching here.  Think about it, "her vision for women always transcended her conservatism and rigidity".  What that says to me is that she may have held certain beliefs, she didn't allow those beliefs to stop her drive for women's rights.  Based on the part of the quote I underlined, I think the case could just as easily be made that Alice Paul would be much closer to a modern pro-choicer than pro-lifer.

In my opinion she would probably never opt to have an abortion herself, but she would not deny the right for others to make their own decision.  Do you really think kennie would approve of the whole "it isn't our business to say what they should do with it.  It's our business to see they get it."  I don't see him allowing anyone any sort of freedom.  His work has proven over and over again that you either support him or you are the enemy.  Little kennie not only demands that he be free to do pretty much whatever he wants, in the name of religion, and with other people's money, -- but that he is free to make you do whatever he wants as well.  I'd rather kennie consider me the enemy, at least I know I am in excellent company. 

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