The Emma Goldman Institute for Capitalism

Title

The Emma Goldman Institute for Capitalism

Description

Today’s “March for Life” takes the 19th Amdt as its theme. The anti-abortion movement regularly invokes Susan B Anthony, ElizCadyStanton & Alice Paul. Suffragists indeed inspire people of varied opinions - but anti-abortion groups are lying about what they stood for. 🧵

The idea that Anthony or Stanton or Paul wanted the government to decide whether you get pregnant and stay pregnant is absurd. So what do anti-abortion groups cite as evidence of their claims? Is it true? @AnnDGordon & @LynnSherr have the receipts 👇and Constitutional Law giant Reva Siegel reups it all this week w/Stacie Taranto 👉

TL;DR? The “anti-abortion” claims rest on 3 scraps, all falsehoods.

First, an article published in Stanton & Anthony’s newspaper The Revolution, falsely attributed to Anthony herself. The 1869 article denounced “child murder” and labeled abortion “a most monstrous crime.” Anthony edited but didn’t write it - rather, the opposite, repeatedly.

2) Anti-abortionists claim ElizCadyStanton wrote Julia Ward Howe that it was “degrading to women” to think of children as “property to be disposed of as we see fit.” They can’t cite a source for the letter, allegedly written on a day Stanton & Howe were together at a conference.

Last, Alice Paul’s references to the harm of back alley abortions are twisted to suggest she opposed it. Paul so fiercely believed ♀️ should make their own choices that she opposed paternalistic protective labor laws--women’s most significant political achievement of the 1910s.

That’s it - that’s the “evidence” of suffragists’ opposition to abortion. In 70+ years of speeches & letters - a corpus so massive the edited highlights run 7,000 pages - they claim 3 threadbare references to alleged anti-abortion feeling. And they’re fake.

That’s pathetic - but what’s really gross is that their story relies on misappropriation and willful misunderstanding of the entire century of struggle. The movement began in the 1830s, when a tiny number of deeply radical women began to voice objections to American society. Objection to the fact that women who were enslaved were property. That women who were not enslaved were legally erased when they married. That everything women owned or made or did - including their children - was their husband’s property. That rape by a husband was not a crime.

Bodily autonomy was the essence of what became abolitionism & suffrage. The political & intellectual leaders of the movement: Stanton, Anthony, Lucy Stone - said repeatedly that the rt to control your own body, to decide if & when to get pregnant, was at the center of their work. The notion that a fetus had rights equivalent to an adult woman would be ludicrous to them.

So how did suffragists become posthumous spokespeople for the opposite of their lives’ work? See eg, Stanton International; Susan B Anthony List; Alice Paul Group. You can look them up. Or #PurpleSashRevolution, or watch a cringe-worthy spoken word:



Like Martin Luther King, the achievements of suffragists are being sanitized & co-opted to serve agendas they would revile. First by neutering suffragists of the actual political content of what they stood for. Then worse: perverting their message to stand for its utter opposite.

Naming anti-abortion anti-sex anti-birth control groups for people whose entire lives were devoted to the political and personal liberation of women is a posthumous assassination. It’s the Emma Goldman Institute for Capitalism or the Rosa Parks Center for White Pride.

Creator

Daily Suffragist

Date

24/01/2020

Relation

Don't want to link to them, but "Susan B. Anthony List" is just one of the anti-abortion groups named for a suffragist.

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Citation

Daily Suffragist, “The Emma Goldman Institute for Capitalism,” Daily Suffragist, accessed October 16, 2021, https://dailysuffragist.omeka.net/items/show/221.

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