Chelsea Clinton created a controversy last week by arguing that abortion has been good for women’s economic progress. She made the comments at a “Rise Up for Row” event in New York. The “Rise Up for Row” movement began after President Trump announced his appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the Supreme Court.
Her comments came as she speculated about arguments that appeals to the economic benefits abortion could get pro-life Americans to reevaluate their opposition to Roe v. Wade. She told the audience: “Whether you fundamentally care about reproductive rights and access rights, because these are not the same thing, if you care about social justice or economic justice, – you have to care about this. It is not a disconnected fact – to address this t-shirt of 1973 – that American women entering the labor force from 1973 to 2009 added three and a half trillion dollars to our economy. Right? The net, new entrance of women – that is not disconnected from the fact that Roe became the law of the land in January of 1973… So, I think, whatever it is that people say they care about, I think that you can connect to this issue.”
Pro-life advocates pounced on Clinton’s comments as an example of the pro-choice lobby’s indifference to human life. In a series of tweets, Evangelist Franklin Graham responded to Clinton, arguing that she sounded like the Nazis talking about Jews.
Graham said: “@ChelseaClinton, daughter of former President @BillClinton & @Hillary Clinton, claims that abortion added trillions of dollars to the economy. What a lie. Hitler probably also claimed that killing Jews would be good for their economy.”
He continued saying, “Legalizing abortion hasn’t added anything to our country, it has only taken away & cost this nation more than 60 million lives – lives precious to god. Think of the contribution they would’ve made. I believe God will judge America for allowing the murder of unborn children.”
Graham concluded saying, “To everyone who has had an abortion, it is murder in God’s eyes. But I’m happy to tell you that God will forgive you, take away the shame & guilt you’ve carried all these years, and save you for eternity if you turn to Him and put your faith and trust in His Son Jesus Christ."
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson said that Clinton’s arguments sounded like pro-slavery arguments from the 1800’s. “In the 1800’s, slave owners said slavery was about economic rights. Always and without fail the arguments of the abortion movement in the United States mirror the arguments of slave owners. Both are grave evils.”
Clinton responded to Erickson, saying, “Hi Erick – protecting reproductive health rights is first about protecting women’s human rights and health. From 1973-1985, American women’s deaths from abortion declined 5-fold. And, reproductive rights are about women’s economic rights and agency. It’s… not the same at all.”
Juliana Knot, writing at the Federalist, observed that “Clinton’s arguments show how little the left values human life.” She said that the debate about abortion must center on human dignity, then proceeded to show the flaws in Clinton’s economic argument by showing that the babies who were aborted would have contributed much more to our economy than $3.5 Trillion had they lived to see adulthood.
The “Rise Up for Row” tour continues this week, with stops in Las Vegas, Denver, and Des Moines.
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff