Come an anniversary, the publication of yet another pro-abortion rehash of the “history of abortion rights,” a partial eclipse of the sun, whatever it takes, large or small, we can be sure that journalists will find a reason to periodically celebrate pro-abortion “pioneers.”
Of course those laudatory profiles no longer include Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the predecessor to NARAL Pro-Choice America, or Norma McCorvey, the “Roe” of Roe v. Wade. Both were converts to the pro-life side. Thus they have been airbrushed out of the glorious history of “abortion rights” just as politicians no longer in favor used to be expunged from official Soviet portraits.
This all came to mind when I ran across a piece today that appeared in City Pages, a small publication in my home town of Minneapolis. Its lament was captured in the headline–“How hospitals outsourced America’s abortion controversy”–to Mike Mullen’s story but its real objective was (yet again) to celebrate the wonderfulness of the late Minnesota abortionist Jane Hodgson.
She is a favorite for many reasons. The legend of Jane Hodgson is that this “mild mannered woman” was radicalized by the plight of pregnant women pre-Roe v. Wade, going from opposing abortion to become a staunch champion of reproductive rights.
Her fate as a pro-abortion heroine was sealed when she became (as the New York Timesput it) “the first American doctor charged for an abortion performed in a hospital.” She knew she would be charged; Minnesota’s abortion law in 1970 was, like most state’s, very protective.
Hodgson shrewdly chose to challenge the laws by aborting a woman who had contracted rubella during her pregnancy. There was built-in sympathy; babies whose mothers had rubella (German Measles) could be born with very serious birth complications.
She received a minor punishment that was put on hold pending appeal. When Roe v. Wadewas handed down, her conviction was overturned. She never served a day in jail and took up a “second career” as one of the most familiar faces of the pro-abortion movement.
For 30 years Hodgson was a lead plaintiff or expert witness in numerous court battles,” Mullens writes. “She sided against laws mandating the consent of parents for minors seeking abortions,” to name just one example.
If anything more were needed to ensure her place in the pro-abortion Pantheon, the New York Times’ Margalit Fox told us in Hodgson’s 2006 obituary that “When she was well into her 70’s, Dr. Hodgson continued to make the 150-mile weekly trip from St. Paul to Duluth, Minn., to perform abortions at a clinic she had helped establish there.”
Here are a few quotes that give you the flavor of Hodgson’s view on abortion.
“In my medical judgment, every pregnancy that is not wanted by the patient, I feel there is a medical indication to abort a pregnancy where it is not wanted. In good faith, I would recommend on a medical basis, you understand, that, and it would be 100% … I think they are all medically necessary … Occasionally we will advise these women to carry their pregnancy to term, but most of these are medically necessary because I am considering the woman’s physical, mental, emotional and social and welfare and family and environment and all that … I am concerned with the quality of life, not physical existence.” …
“A medically necessary abortion is any abortion a woman asks for.” …
“Is adolescent pregnancy a disease? We have laws regarding other epidemics. We have mandatory immunizations, but we have no law prohibiting motherhood before the age of 14 in our supposedly-civilized society. We ought to mandate against continuing pregnancy in the very young say, those less than 14 years.”
But perhaps the most revealing is this from the book “Doctors of Conscience” by Carole Joffe.
“I think in many ways I’ve been lucky to have been part of this. If I hadn’t gotten involved, I would have gone through life probably being perfectly satisfied to go to the medical society parties and it would have been very, very dull.
“I would have been bored.”