A Socialist Mandate in Chile: Sexual Rights Trump the Right to Life

September 8 is celebrated by Catholics as the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. It is then a sad irony that on this date the Commission of Health of the Chamber of Representatives of Chile approved a partial legislative bill that allows abortion in the cases when the mother’s life is deemed to be at risk, or when the child is believed to have severe or fatal birth defects.

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger

It is expected that the health commission will vote on approval of the remainder of the legislative bill, which would allow abortion in cases of rape, as early as next week. If passed by the Commission, the bill will then be submitted to the Chamber of Representatives for a vote.

As reported earlier, the real possibility of the decriminalization of abortion began to grip the country in January of this year, when President Michelle Bachelet announced that she would submit a legislative bill to that effect. In August, the Commission of Health agreed to prepare the legislative bill for submission and approval among the health commission members on September 8.

As reported by El Mercurio in Chile, in comments made right after the vote was taken that night, Representative Juan Castro said that the Commission of Health maintained “the highest level of coordination” with President Bachelet’s Ministry of Health in order to secure the bill’s progress.

Castro, a member of the Socialist Party and president of the Commission of Health of the Chamber of Representatives commented further: ‘This is an important step towards regaining the sexual rights of women.” In the platform of the Socialist Party of Chile, under the section titled “gender equity” the party promises to “respect and promote the full exercise of the sexual and reproductive rights of women.”

The ideological attack on fertility often referred to as “sexual and reproductive rights” originated in the earliest socialist thought. The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848, declared that one of the aims of Communism “is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.” That Marx and Engels envisioned women’s liberation from motherhood to lead directly to their literally becoming instruments of production as factory workers is worth noting.

Feminist heroes Margaret Sanger and Simone de Beauvoir abandoned the Catholic faith of their families and promoted a socialist worldview for women, sadly while leading very difficult lives marked by sexual promiscuity. Though still hailed as defenders of the rights of women, they held different positions on abortion, with de Beauvoir in support and Sanger strongly against. The causal connection between the sexual licentiousness that inevitably followed their promotion of contraception and the further necessary “birth control” of abortion is now a matter of historical fact.

Though she opposed abortion, the leading eugenicist Sanger laid the groundwork for its eventual acceptance and legalization. As the founder of the Birth Control League (which later became Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the International Planned Parenthood Federation), she described the pregnant woman as a “child-bearing machine” in her 1920 booklet What Every Girl Should Know. In their 2004 book, Architects of the Culture of Death, Donald DeMarco and Benjamin Wiker quote Sanger from a 1914 edition of her newspaper The Women Rebel, when she announced: “Rebel Women claim the following Rights . . . . The Right to Destroy. The Right to Create. The Right to Live and the Right to Love.”

DeMarco and Wiker also quote de Beauvoir, from her 1949 book The Second Sex, when she disparagingly pronounced that a woman is a “producing force” and a “reproducer”. In the same book she commented as well that: “The worst curse that was laid upon woman was that she should be excluded from those warlike forays . . . superiority has been accorded in humanity not to the sex that brings forth but to that which kills.”

In the Marian Year of 1988, Pope John Paul II the Great gave the world his Apostolic Letter On the Dignity and Vocation of Women in which he affirmed:

In our times the question of ‘women’s rights’ has taken on new significance in the broad context of the rights of the human person…. There is a well-founded fear that if they take this path, women will not ‘reach fulfilment’, but instead will deform and lose what constitutes their essential richness. It is indeed an enormous richness. (Emphasis in original)

The strain of socialism that became known as “feminism” has never been about the authentic dignity and the rights of women. It has always been about turning a woman against her own human nature; a deception that – as can be supported by a great deal of social science research – only advances her emotional darkness. Perhaps this helps explain why women no longer find the feminist label attractive outside of academic settings.

Whatever the reason, the women of Chile would do well to reject the destructive, anti-life ideology that is being forced into law at the behest of a feminist president. Women at war with their own fertility and nature will not in the long run find happiness, nor will the citizens of a nation that embraces this corrupt ideology.

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