Testimony before United States Senate Judiciary Committee, 1975
in support of S.J.Res. 119 and S.J.Res. 130
by Pat Goltz, International President, Feminists for Life, Inc.
Senator Bayh, members of the committee, and members of the audience:
I am Pat Goltz, international president of Feminists for Life, Inc. We are based at Box 5631, Columbus, OH 43221. We have members in 40 states, Canada, Britain, and Mexico. We have an international information network, and come before you today to share with you some of the information we have gathered on the questions of abortion and euthanasia. We are for the legal and social equality of women and men. We are here in support of a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which would protect human life from conception until natural death. Our primary reason is a feminist one: the only consistent philosophy a feminist can have about other instances of human life is one of granting dignity to all of them. We are demanding an end to class stereotyping for women; we cannot and dare not introduce a new class stereotype based on age, mental and physical condition, or degree of unwantedness. We who were once defined as less than human cannot, in claiming our rights, deny rights to others based on a subjective judgment that they are less than human. We are all interdependent, the independent woman no less than the unborn child; the child no more than the most independent of us. Without each other's help, we would all perish. Our government and our society exists to protect the rights of each individual, and the most basic right is that of life itself; no other right can be exercised where that right is not guaranteed.
Throughout this talk I shall refer to the unborn child primarily in the masculine. My reasons are several: 1. We do not expect to wait on our rights until the language changes to accommodate us. 2. This is a convention of the English language, and the masculine refers to both genders where the gender is not known, and 3. It will be less confusing. We do not depend for our dignity on using the feminine gender in certain contexts; our dignity is inherent.
Abortion has been presented as a solution to the problems faced by women with untimely pregnancies. The vast majority of these problems can be put into one category: discrimination. We are unilaterally opposed to discrimination based on either sex or maternal status. We reserve the right to be treated as equals, and to be mothers at the same time. We will not accept the current either/or choice. Abortion is a non-solution. Each time a woman resorts to abortion, she entrenches discrimination. Each time she resorts to abortion, she removes her voice from the arena in which equality for women is being demanded and won. She allows some part of the male power structure to force her into a destructive act, in order to be treated with the dignity which is inherent in her. She may do serious damage to her own spirit. Many women who promote abortion do not do so out of zeal; they are driven to it. It is the only way they can live with their consciences. This is the reason why their movement has the characteristics it does. They are not vocal until they find another person or institution to attack. They have allowed their bodies to be raped by the abortionist's knife, and like the victim of sexual assault, it is a traumatic experience. It interrupts physical, hormonal, and psychical life streams. It is no wonder that in every poll, more men favored abortion than women. It is no wonder that women who have been subjected the longest to the male education establishment (the college educated) are most likely to support abortion. Women are in tune with the earth, the ecology. We do not destroy; we create. Women recognize that human personhood begins biologically--at conception. We insist on our right to exist in our full sexuality, which includes the reproductive function as an intimate part of our psyche. We do not have to sacrifice our sexuality in order to be equal. We will possess our full sexuality; and we will be equal. We insist that society provide for us and our children--all of them, not just the ones the men want.
Some who call themselves feminists claim that men are making the decisions for our lives. And so it is. They talk about all the men who testified here, and the few women who did. They talk about this committee being made up solely of men. And they conveniently forget that the abortion decision in the Supreme Court was made by seven old men! It is convenient to claim that pregnancies are being forced on women, by men, but that abortion isn't. They simply ignore the facts. They ignore that the Playboy Foundation, whose motto is sexual exploitation of women, promotes abortion with its money. They ignore the fact that Rockefeller money teams up with government money (voted by men) to promote abortion. They ignore the fact that Rockefeller is a male chauvinist, who remarked to a young woman carrying a pro-life picket sign, "Don't knock it, girl. You might need one someday." They ignore the fact that abortion makes women more subject to sexual exploitation. If one does not have the truth, one ignores the facts. One selects the rhetoric that pleases one. Let us see who are the prominent people in the abortion movement. With a few exceptions out of the feminist movement itself, they are all male: Hefner, Rockefeller, Guttmacher, Packwood, Lamm, Edwards, Tietze, Ehrlich, Israel, Hall. If your choice is based on who is promoting it, abortion loses.
Pro-abortion feminists also conveniently forget that at major conferences on abortion, the attending feminists have been treated shoddily. A movement which is really aimed at the liberation of women would welcome the feminists.
One technique which anti-life people use, of which you should be aware, in order to watch for it, is the "hard case" technique. In this technique, the most difficult case is chosen for presentation to the public, no matter how infrequently it occurs, and that case is used as justification for full permissiveness in the abortion laws, or euthanasia practices. The hard case for the abortion question is the case of rape. The hard case for the euthanasia question is the person suffering from painful terminal cancer who is being kept alive by heroic methods employed by an allegedly sadistic doctor.
We will comment on the rape-incest case. Most legislators who are basically pro-life find this the hardest to deny. However, Feminists for Life denies it. Let us take incest first. Incest is against the law primarily because children of incestuous unions are much [somewhat] more subject to genetic deformity than average. As such, incest belongs with "fetal deformity," not rape, and should be treated as such. Incest is used only as an excuse for abortion, because no person willingly reports incest under other circumstances; it is too hard on the reputation of the people involved. Rape is the only case in which a woman does not willingly consent to intercourse. It is felt that since she did not consent, she should not be penalized by having to continue to carry the child. However, abortion is also traumatic. The solution to the rape problem is not abortion, but the creation of a society in which rape is unknown. The immediate solution is to teach women to report their rapes immediately so that pregnancy can be prevented. Failure to do so is implied consent to provide life support to the unborn child who may result. The immediate solution also consists of forcing changes in attitude toward raped women so that they are not treated as common criminals if they report their rapes. In rape, with pregnancy resulting, there are actually two victims: the mother, and her baby. It is not just to kill one of the victims for the father's crime.
A comment must also be made about the term "compulsory pregnancy" which the other side uses. It is an emotion-laden term, and its purpose is emotional. Its result is to take the discussion out of the realm of the rational. In actual fact, even accidental pregnancies cannot be called compulsory since the woman consented to intercourse. Completing a pregnancy does not, however, require a woman to raise the child. The "compulsory pregnancy" rhetoricians deny adoption because it weakens their case. They claim adoption is inhumane!! They further deny that there is any implied agreement on the part of the woman to supply life-support systems to a child who otherwise would not live, but many of them get violently angry if it is suggested that the father has not given an implied agreement by his intercourse, to support the mother financially even though anybody or any group could substitute. In other words, the father, whose role is not unique and irreplaceable, is to be held responsible for his actions, but the mother, whose role is irreplaceable, is not to be held responsible for hers. This very position contradicts the claim by the same group that we should not have equal rights without equal responsibilities and therefore should submit to the draft if the Equal Rights Amendment is ratified.
A word about unwantedness is also necessary. The concept of unwantedness creates classes of people. Among the people included in the second class thus created are adopted children, children of single mothers, biracial and other nonwhite children, and females. A short example of each: regarding adopted children, this comment by Abigail Van Buren: "I think all children should be wanted by their natural mothers, don't you?" Regarding children of single mothers: some abortion authorities consider illegitimacy as practically synonymous with unwantedness every time they cite how abortion will cut down on illegitimacy. If necessary they are prepared to use coercion to make the statistics even better. Concerning the nonwhite, a Columbus woman who is active in the black community once remarked to me that abortion should be allowed for biracial children because neither the black nor the white community accepts them readily and they meet more discrimination than most nonwhites. As the mother of an adopted biracial child, I felt like telling her, "as long as being biracial is considered a sufficient excuse for abortion, biracial people will not be fully accepted by either community." Concerning girls, Caroline Bird, in Born Female, tells us that more couples hope that their unborn children turn out to be male than female. If completely successful sex selection were practiced, there would 125 boys born for every 100 girls. This quote by Orlando J. Miller, MD, illustrates the resultant view when combined with the abortion mentality:
"In a social climate in which unwanted pregnancy is sufficient indication for abortion, criteria for selective abortion might be broadened considerably, e.g. eliminating carriers of a sickle cell or cystic fibrosis gene or even of two X chromosomes at the request of the parents, who have their own ideas of what constitutes the optimal brood of offspring for them, qualitatively as well as quantitatively."
It may come as a surprise to some that a very widespread and viable feminist movement dedicated to the preservation of unborn life, and the life of the elderly and defective, exists. The reason for this quite simple: suppression. In a movement supposedly geared to the destruction of stereotypes, a movement which is supposed to guarantee our right to be free to be ourselves, namely the pro-abortion feminist movement, we find the strangest of fascist tendencies. Women are socially ostracized in feminism for speaking in favor of life. Thus, pro-life feminists surfaced like the steam from an overheated boiler; it built up until the boiler could no longer hold it and then it exploded. We receive numerous stories of suppression. The National Organization for Women suppresses any woman who is pro-life. It does not matter how sincere her feminism on the basic issues. I will give a few examples: California, 25 women excluded from the local NOW chapter--they rescheduled their meeting place and informed only the pro-abortion women. Oregon: the NOW newsletter denounced us as pretending to be feminists. Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City: NOW members actively kick out pro-life members. Houston: NOW women who are pro-life successfully suppressed and isolated, from all over the country, not daring to speak out on abortion at all. Ohio: a pro-life NOW member denounced in public in the rotunda of the State House; the president of the chapter ordered her not to discuss abortion with any NOW member at any time or place. The NOW chapter refuses to sell advertising space to Feminists for Life, although the revenue is needed badly. Other feminist groups act likewise: Massachusetts women's liberation group, all 300 of them, kick out one pro-life member. Birthright chapters hassled all over the country by feminists. The League of Women Voters in some New England states orders their members to drop out of Right to Life. Altoona, Pannsylvania: the local NOW chapter tries to threaten any radio station which plays Seals and Crofts' "Unborn Child," and succeeds. Other places where the song is suppressed include Boston and New York City.
Another reason why strong feminist support for unborn and other unwanted life has been obscured is the nature of the treatment in the media. As one woman, a feminist reporter from Canada, put it to me recently, "The press tried to find a plank in the feminist platform they could support without jeopardizing their own entrenched power structure to invasion by qualified women. They found it: abortion." Another example of what the press has done is their response to our recent picketing of the national convention of NOW: in most cases the name of the picketing group was not even mentioned, and the two major wire services left the strong implication (by conveniently quoting Ms. Wilma Scott Heidi, outgoing NOW president, immediately following their description of the picketing) that we were "right to lifers." While we do not mind that designation, it is misleading, because not all right to lifers are feminists, the movement being as broad based as it is, and because we feel that the mislabeling implication, if intentional, was done because the media do not wish to admit that there is feminist opposition to abortion. If the media are not afraid of us, let them call us by our right name. We are PRO-LIFE FEMINISTS. We support full equality for women. Our reason for picketing was twofold: the denial of rights to unborn women by the preexisting feminist groups, and the social ostracism and fascist techniques used against feminists who are pro-life and not afraid to say so.
People who know they have the truth do not fear open debate. We are suppressed because they know we are right!
We keep hearing the claim that we are a tiny, vocal minority. A few figures prove otherwise. In Ohio, before the Supreme Court Decision, the Ohio Abortion Alliance had 800 members, as reported to me by its president. At the same time, the Ohio Right to Life Society had 40,000 members. Currently, the Ohio Abortion Alliance has been dissolved, and it is estimated that the Ohio Right to Life Society has between 100,000 and 150,000 members. The National Organization for Women has 36,000 members currently, while the League of Women Voters has 160,000. The LWV is believed to have recently decided to support abortion. If so, it would be the largest organization that does. However, the pro-life movement at present is estimated to number at least 3.5 million.
The pro-abortion people sought at first to repeal or modify firm abortion laws by means of a state referendum. They succeeded by a narrow margin in Washington state, before the sleeping giant of the grass-roots pro-life population woke up. They missed badly in Michigan and North Dakota, where referenda were voted down overwhelmingly 2 to 1 in Michigan (after only about 3 weeks of pro-life publicity) and 4 to 1 in North Dakota. It is interesting to note that the pro-abortion forces often cite Michigan because they believed the victory there was due to a very Catholic influence, so that they could exercise their religious bigotry, but they never mention North Dakota, because as everybody knows, North Dakota is only about 14% Catholic, and if every one of them had voted pro-abortion, the referendum would still have been defeated by an overwhelming majority. Having discovered who the real minority was, the pro-abortion forces tried in only a few places to achieve permissive abortion in the legislatures, but fought their battle after that predominantly in the courts, which could be responsive to clever propaganda primarily because they are not answerable to the electorate. And so, even though pro-abortion people make loud noises now and then about a national referendum, they have never actively sought one because they know they are the vocal minority. If I am wrong, let them prove it.
Consider the polls: when Gallup or Harris polled a small group of people on abortion, their questions did not even contain the word "abortion." Asking how anyone can take a poll about anything without using the term referring to the subject in question, another poll was conducted, using the word "abortion," which gave the viewpoint to pro-life by a sizable margin.
Abortion is bad for society. Other persons testifying before me have claimed that abortion reduces welfare costs. What they are doing is citing the obvious and ignoring the possibility of new factors. First of all and most importantly, you are not doing the poor a favor by having as your reason the reduction of costs. Moreover, some abortion leaders have stated that abortion is not intended as racial genocide, it just happens to work out that way. I am giving you a copy of the Wynn Report, from England, which cites the damage caused to subsequent children by abortion. The abortion leaders here have admitted they simply don't know anything about the effects of abortion beyond a few weeks. One instance of damage to subsequent children alone will suffice to show the true cost to society of abortion. A common result of first trimester abortion is prematurity in subsequent children. Prematurity is a major cause of cerebral palsy. Where abortion equals live births, prematurity for the population as a whole nearly doubles. I called United Cerebral Palsy and asked them the cost to society of cerebral palsy. I was told, billions of dollars in lost productivity alone, not to mention the cost of special equipment and training. If we do not stop abortion soon, we can expect the cost, both financially and in terms of human lives, to double very soon. And that cost in financial terms alone will be in billions of dollars. In communist countries the abortion laws have been tightened because of the cost to society and to women. Will we learn from their experiences or must we subject millions of women to abortion to make our own statistics? As Santayana said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it."
Abortion is bad for women. It is bad whether legal or illegal. Legal abortionists have compromised the basis of their medical ethics: they have compromised away their healing art and become the technocrats of death. Why should they respect the right to life and health of the women? The statistics prove they do not. Legal abortion results in an overall complication rate to women which is horrendous: 35% of all women aborted in Germany suffer long-term ill effects [damage to their reproductive organs]. In Japan, the figure is 29%. In Canada, 39% among teenagers. In Czechoslovakia, 20-35%. In Australia, two studies show figures of 20% and 70%, the latter in a public hosiptal. The death rate from statistics taken in numerous countries is twice as high for first trimester abortion as it is for pregnancy and childbirth. Logic alone should verify this point: which is more dangerous for women: the natural process, or the abrupt interruption [disruption] of it? If you are interested in preserving the health of women, pass a Human Life Amendment and enforce it. Dr. Christopher Tietze, who is pro-abortion, and a renowned demographer, says that legalizing abortion does not reduce illegal abortion rates. Other authorities claim that 90% of illegal abortions are done by competent doctors. What legalizing abortion does is to increase the total done, because you have the legal abortions on top of the illegal ones.
Are the doctors interested in the health of women? Not when 7 out of 9 male urine samples tested in abortion clinics in London were reported as positive for pregnancy. Not when results are similarly falsified in major cities in the United States. Not when the most notorious abortionist in Canada, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, is known to be aborting women, 20% of whom are not pregnant. The abortionists are candid: they are not for women's rights; they are for their own financial gain, their own self interests.
From a former abortionist: "It was easy to see these women as animals." From those still active: "The great thing about the Abortion Act is that it has given us the opportunity to perpetuate Hitler's progressive thinking."
"Financially, after years of struggle, I can't help feeling a little like the Texan who drilled for water and struck oil."
"A syndicate invited me to be its medical director for up to $250,000 a year."
"But if the courts declare abortion laws unconstitutional, the doctors will say, 'Now it is against the law not to do abortions'--and then they will do them, for in some cases they may be sued if they don't."
"Each country will have to decide its own form of coercion. At present, the means available are compulsory sterilization and compulsory abortion."
"A failure of the voluntary restraints has made government controls [on population] absolutely necessary."
"Population control, whatever form it takes, must be mandatory to be successful. We must consider enforced contraception, whether through taxation on surplus children, or through more severe means, such as conception-license replacing or supplementing marriage license."
"Just as we have laws compelling death control, so we must have laws requiring birth control--the purpose being to ensure a zero rate of population growth."
The abortionists are using women's bodies to promote a government ideal of population control: they are gaining financially from using women's bodies to perpetuate the government's population policy.
They have indicated to each other that the tactic is to obscure the humanity of the unborn child, and the fact that abortion kills a baby. They instruct each other never to call the unborn children "babies" but always to call them "fetuses." Thus they have used a scientific term to somewhat obscure meaning, as a niggerizing term much like the term "broad" as applied to women. The purpose: to dehumanize. Do they honestly believe that this child is only a blob of tissue? Well, as one satirical author from Canada would have it, everyone knows that the baby's body is instantaneously formed at the moment of birth! Feminists who hold that unborn babies are only blobs of tissue are known in pro-life feminist circles as "blob feminists." Furthermore to those who claim the baby is part of the mother's body, we state: either we women are sometimes part male, or we are all female and proud of it. Or to put it in the words of a 9 year old: Did you ever see a woman with testicles?
But what do pro-abortionists say about the humanity of the unborn? About the nature of abortion?
"Abortion is the taking of a life." --Mary Calderone, MD
"Fertilization, then, has taken place; a baby has been conceived." --Alan Guttmacher, MD
"A woman's right of privacy may well include the right to remove an unwanted child at least in the early stage of pregnancy." --Judge Gerhard Gesell, in US vs Milan Vuitch.
"The staff are now required to be involved in the induced abortion of a large fetus which neither resembles a 'blob' ...or a 'group of cells'--but very much resembles a baby." --Christa Keller, Pamela Copeland, abortion counsellors
"The fetal deformity clause is not included for the sake of the fetus (no one can speak for him no matter how hard some try) or for the sake of society, but for the sake of the pregnant woman." --Jimmye Kimmey, Association for the Study of Abortion.
"Since the old ethic has not yet been fully displaced, it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception, and is continuous, whether intra- or extra-uterine, until death. The very considerable semantic gynmastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because, while a new ethic is being accpted, the old one has not yet been rejected." --from an editorial favoring abortion-on-demand in the Journal of the California State Medical Association
So it appears that women's bodies are not only being used to promote population control, but they even lie to women about the unborn child, and about what abortion does. If there was ever a philosophy which was degrading to women, it is the philosophy that we must lie to women, cheat them, and fool them, in order to get their money, and reduce the population. Do women want to be the instruments to perpetuate Hitler's progressive thinking? No, we do not.
I'd like to talk for just a moment about euthanasia. Feminists for Life has not had to stress euthanasia as much because so far, we have not received the kind of suppression on this issue that we receive on the abortion issue. But euthanasia is an area of no less concern. It appears to be self-evident that one possible reason for the promotion of euthanasia is because women are treated as second-class citizens. You will note that the Supreme Court declared that abortion is to be permitted because the unborn are not human "in the whole sense." Well, neither are the elderly, the retarded, the unwanted infant, or the physically deformed. Who comprise the majority of the elderly? Women. 60% of the persons above age 65 are women. They are considered a burden on society because most of them are poor: they don't get enough social security. In past societies women were not persons "in the whole sense" either. We are opposed to euthanasia because it takes innocent life, over half of whom are unwanted women.
Do we need abortion and euthanasia for women? The answer to that question is no. That is, if we are willing to care enough. There are many ways in which women can be helped without creating destruction. I will name a few. Enforcement of existing laws against discrimination, such as the fifth and fourteenth amendment, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunities Act of 1972, the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Public Health Service Act as amended in 1971. The ratification and implementation of the Equal Rights Amendment. True equality of opportunity in wages, training, and advancement in the employment field. Nondiscrimination in employment and other areas regarding the pregnant. The establishment of matenity communes, where single women with children, born and unborn, can go and live and share resources. Hospices for the elderly. An effective natural birth control method, such as the Ovulation Method, which allows women to control their fertility before conception without drugs, devices or surgery, and is 98.5% effective. The creation of a masculine image which includes the strength of character in a man to take the responsibility for his sexual acts: the recognition that consent to sex on the part of men is an unspoken contract guaranteeing that he will support a woman and her unborn child until birth takes place. The creation of a society in which rape is not considered possible. Where men do not regard rape as a mark of manhood, and where women are capable of defending themselves from attackers, and do not hesitate to do so. A society where raped women are not presumed guilty until proven innocent. Corporations who are willing to take the blame for the pollution they cause, rather than blaming the future generation, and babies in general. An ecological movement that teaches individuals to respect the environment, starting with the elimination of litterbugs. A society dedicated to the proposition that we should remove political barriers to food and fertilizer distribution instead of people. A society which is not dedicated to planned obsolescence. A society which is dedicated to the proposition that the way to stabilize the population is to help the third world nations become fully developed technologically and educationally. That recognizes that just as technology can be used to create problems, so can it be used to solve them. That recognizes that each human crisis leads to progress. That recognizes technology as the servant and not the master of men and women. That does not direct itself against the bodies and minds of women. In other words, a society which respects each and every one of us as a unique and irreplaceable individual, entitled to life, liberty, and property. Dare we demand so much? How can we demand any less?
We urge you to favorably report the human life amendment out of committee speedily. Time is of the essence. For the children killed today, tomorrow will be too late.
A final comment about choice of language in the human life amendment: the purpose of the amendment is to reverse the Supreme Court decisions of January 22, 1973. Any reasonable amendment should do this. However, it is our feeling that a good amendment will have the following characteristics:
1. It will specifically define human life as beginning at conception or fertilization, which is synonymous.
2. It will provide protection for all innocent life from conception until natural death, and include the aged, ill, incapacitated, and the physically and mentally handicapped.
3. It will prohibit both state and private action or inaction which will lead to deliberate destruction of innocent life without due process of law.
4. It will not permit abortion for physical health or mental or social considerations, but will permit abortion when there is an immediate physical threat to the life of the mother, from the pregnancy.
5. It will not permit the states to allow abortion or positive euthanasia to be legal. We do not cry "states' rights" in reference to sexual discrimination; we will not permit the cry "states' rights" for killing based on ageism.
We must correct the negativism of the death cult speedily so we may concentrate on true, positive solutions to human problems. Let us get the Human Life Amendment ratified and then let us begin to work on the solutions, starting with this committee.
Background graciously provided by: