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On the June 20, 2021 episode of Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, actress Joan Collins, now 88, asserted a myth (unfortunately too often believed by many women) that she had an abortion because she thought having a baby “would have been the death” of her career.

“It would have been the death of my career, and I was by then 26. Of course I hesitated but I realized that if I was going to have a child I was going to be able to bring the child up properly and I believed very strongly that I’m in charge of my body. I was a feminist before the word was heard and I shall do what I felt was right for me. It would have been wrong to have done that. It would have ruined my life.”

In just those few sentences, however, Collins reveals several false and anti-feminist statements. 

The Misogyny of Abortion 

Actual feminism does not pit women’s careers against their motherhood but supports both. For decades, however, the abortion industry has claimed to represent women’s rights but increasingly pushes more extreme propaganda and policies to exploit women for profit, abandoning the “safe, legal and rare” mantra for the more radical “shout your abortion.” 

Tragically, such erroneous messages have become pervasive, echoed by public figures, perpetuating misogynistic discrimination against pregnant and working mothers not only in the entertainment industry but all business fields. To claim that working women cannot “bring [children] up properly” and that children ruin careers sends an offensively sexist message to working moms and all parents that they are unable to succeed in their vocational endeavors unless they kill their children. 

Further, Collins had a dangerous illegal abortion, yet more women died from legal abortion after Roe v. Wade. Legalizing dangerous abortion procedures just moved “back alleys” into clinics, which remain unregulated and unaccountable despite countless violations. In fact, 30% of abortions cause complications, some life-threatening, yet abortion activists oppose pro-life laws which require safer standards. The abortion industry must bury the truth that abortion is not safe, and in turn, must keep selling the lie that it benefits women. 

Abortion’s Discrimination Against Working Mothers

Collins is sadly far from alone in her misguided belief that mothers cannot have successful careers. 

Dolly Parton revealed she chose not to have children to advance her career, claiming, “I wouldn’t be in a position to do all the things I’m doing.” Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks, now 72, chose to have an abortion during the height of her career in 1979, rather than parent her child with Eagles singer Don Henley, adding, “I was doing a lot of drugs … I would have had to walk away”; yet abortion trauma can exacerbate substance abuse while being supported by the father and getting sober due to her pregnancy clearly would have been better for both her and her baby. Nicks tried to defend her decision to produce music that would “make people happy and heal so many people’s hearts,” but did so at the expense of her own. Ironically, Nicks asserted the feminist motive that there was “not another band that has two lead women singers [and] writers,” while succumbing to the misogynistic lie that women are not capable of being successful without aborting their babies.

Similarly, in her speech after winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress, Michelle Williams claimed, “I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose,” to rousing applause from those who claim to support women’s rights. However, such a flippant statement offends millions of mothers who have chosen to raise their children while working hard to achieve their goals and diminishes millions of women who not only suffered the hardship of deciding to have an abortion but also physical and mental health trauma caused by abortion. Both pro-life and abortion proponents agree having an abortion is a “painstaking decision that will affect the woman…for years to come,…and it’s much more serious than ticking a box on your way to a successful career.” 

The sinister truth is the abortion industry deliberately undermines the somber reality of abortion in order to sell more. Though such anti-feminist lies are perpetuated by those with public platforms and have manipulated societal views, overwhelming majorities of people on both sides of the issue support more restrictions and health and safety standards. 

However, the abortion and entertainment industries continue to promote abortion as necessary for working women. As the first to go on record against Harvey Weinstein “and that kind of sickness,” actress Rose McGowan acknowledged, “Hollywood and the media machine are rotten to the core…and they do damage,” adding, “society also plays a part in a weird form of oppression.” During her appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, the penetrating discussion inadvertently highlighted pro-life principles, as Carlson responded,

“The idea that the individual is crushed by forces larger than her, and that deep down it really is rotten, and that people are treated as disposable objects rather than human beings with souls…”

McGowan noted “rage” against “the monsters in power” who have “tortured… women and humans,” and “the message it sends to every girl and every boy that you are disposable.” Though she supports other women’s causes against such assault and coercion, sadly, McGowan, who had an abortion after becoming pregnant despite being on birth control, believed she “could not bring a child into [the] world and simultaneously change the world.” 

Numerous women, however, have been mothers with successful careers, including Aretha Franklin, Maya Angelou, Shirley Temple, Niki Taylor, Naomi Judd, Loretta Lynn, Suzanne Somers, and Sofia Vergara, while others have courageously chosen adoption. Collins was 26, an age when millions of women balance motherhood, family, education, and work, proving children do not ruin careers but that a cultural change toward supporting mothers and families is needed, as countless more women still feel the pressure of worrying “about career responsibilities and afraid that [they] could not exist as both a career woman and mother.”

The Abortion Industry’s Increasingly Extreme Propaganda

As such an anti-feminist false narrative remains prevalent, not only perpetuating discrimination against working mothers and leading to more misleading and extreme pro-abortion propaganda, the abortion and entertainment industries have disturbingly even hailed abortion as a desirable status in order to continue exploiting women for increasing revenue. 

Lena Dunham said she “wished she had had an abortion.” Comedians Michelle Wolff and Sarah Silverman both made grotesque remarks about abortion. In Wolff’s blasphemous “Salute to Abortion,” she claimed abortion made her feel as “powerful” as God, while falsely claiming abortion does not kill a baby. However, Planned Parenthood’s own pamphlet admitted abortion “kills the life of a baby and is dangerous to [a women’s] life and health.”  Abortion has killed women and millions of babies, and countless women (and men) have been severely harmed, not empowered, by abortion. 

One mother explained the harm: “All my ‘right’ did was cause a lifetime of pain. There was no empowerment in that,” adding that “she wonders if knowing the reality of abortion — what the procedure was like, the humanity of her baby, and the pain it would cause her — would have helped her to choose life.” In fact, 80% of women choose life if given a sonogram, but abortion clinics purposefully deny women such information and healthcare services in order to deceive women that they have no other choice but violence for their children. By contrast, pro-life centers provide real empowerment, real choices, and support. In fact, ethical health clinics vastly outnumber Planned Parenthood and provide more services.

Intentionally misleading women to exploit them for growing profits, the abortion agenda, in turn, is increasingly greedy, dishonest, and extreme, even making a mockery out of a heart-wrenching decision which deeply affects women and men. During an interview with Bill Maher, Silverman offensively claimed, “It’s goo…and they’re born, and…you’re on your own, slut” and said pro-life laws make her “want to eat an aborted fetus.” She added, “I don’t like to admit… I’ve never had an abortion,” to which Maher sarcastically retorted, “Thank you for being brave enough to admit you’ve never had an abortion.” Mocking such a difficult, dangerous and detrimental decision and shaming women who do not destroy their own children is a far cry from supporting women’s interests and exposes the dark chauvinistic underbelly of the abortion industry. 

Proliferation of the Abortion Industry’s Anti-feminist Harm

Actress Busy Philipps is among those who have echoed Joan Collins’ and so many others’ troubling view that abortion benefits women, insinuating that women are incapable of success as working mothers. 

In a vehement speech to abortion activists, Philipps claimed she has a “beautiful office,” her “own late night talk show,” a “hybrid car,” a “beautiful f— home,… two beautiful and healthy children,” and her “husband, who had taken the year off to parent so [she] could focus on [her] career,” emphasizing, “And I have all of this, all of it, because I was allowed to have bodily autonomy at 15.” 

However, many noted her pain and anger while she tried to claim she was only able to achieve success because she had killed her baby while she herself was still a minor. In fact, abortion causes even higher rates of mental health trauma and suicide in teens, yet the abortion industry, largely led by Planned Parenthood, continues to push dangerous pro-abortion propaganda and policies onto younger and younger women, even promoting sex to minors, violating parental consent and enabling abuse, rape and trafficking.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib also joined in during the abortion activists’ event with a misleading claim that pro-life politicians are “commercializing” women’s bodies to make them “less than.” In truth, it is the rhetoric and practice of abortion activists that exploit women for profit, promote using women for sex, and claim women are incapable of success as mothers. 

Such anti-feminist messages enable abuse. Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcom exposed she was told to “do cocaine and have lots of sex” to lose weight, despite the fact she was underage, had been groomed by older men and assaulted, and developed eating disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, and had a nervous breakdown. Obviously, if such harmful demands resulted in pregnancy, young women are pressured to abort, risking even more trauma. In spite of other scandals, the brand featured a pregnant model for its recent Mother’s Day campaign, revealing that demanding more support for women can influence industries to embrace working moms.

Despite claiming to be pro-woman, the entertainment and abortion industries and leftist platforms penalize women who choose to be moms, yet laud women destroying their children, while perpetuating such misogynistic beliefs that women must do so in order to achieve their goals. However, countless mothers (and fathers) excel in their careers while impressively managing the responsibilities of parenting, thus debunking the myths spread via the abortion agenda. 

Turning the Tide 

One such mother and actress Sophia Di Martino acknowledged Disney accommodated her needs, from remote video auditions while she was pregnant and unable to travel to costumes specifically designed for ease of breastfeeding during filming,

“It’s not easy being a working Mama! Genius…designed…costume so I could pump easily & nurse my baby between takes. Little (big) things like this that made it possible for me to do my job & be a parent. I’m forever grateful.”

Public opinions such as those expressed by social media users chimed in their praise, revealing society’s growing desire to support women’s motherhood in the workplace:

“Long way to go for working moms but the industry is waking up. Love to see it.”

“Employer being supportive of a mom with a career rocks.”

True Feminism Supports Women’s Motherhood and Vocation

The real feminists are the women and men speaking out against the lies and protecting and supporting women and children. Another actress, Unplanned’s Ashley Bratcher has fought pro-family discrimination. When Bratcher got the lead role to play Planned Parenthood-director-turned-pro-life-advocate Abby Johnson, she discovered her own mother had saved her life, changing her mind during an abortion appointment. Today, Bratcher is a proud pro-life working mother who has even taken her child on set during filming, demonstrating how the workplace can provide flexible accommodations to support moms, rather than pressuring women that their children are hindrances to success. Bratcher also helps provide scholarships to cover education costs for young mothers with unplanned pregnancies who bravely choose life. 

“Not only will the scholarship financially support the decision of mothers to continue their education, but it will also connect them to an organization that will support them throughout their pregnancy and beyond. Abortion does not empower women. What empowers women is when they choose life for their children and they can still pursue their dreams. Because they can, sometimes it just takes a little help.”

When actress Alyssa Milano opposed a pro-life bill that protects women and children, Bratcher reached out with a passionate message:

“Mother to mother…Hollywood may be silent on women’s rights… but with radical [abortion] laws…being passed, it’s more critical than ever that we are using our voices to fight for the rights of women. [Y]ou’re forgetting about the rights of women within the womb. If feminism is all about equal rights, then where are her rights? 

Having just learned…my life was spared on an abortion table…put a few things in perspective…Over 61 million lives never reached their full potential…

We don’t believe in putting a price tag on the value of a human life…[and] will no longer sit idly by as innocent lives are taken by the thousands each day. If you fault…choosing to be morally correct over politically correct, then that says more of your agenda than the goal…to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. 

Abortion is so 1973. Welcome to…a time in which medical advances preserve the life of babies born as early as 21 weeks…three weeks earlier than what most states…consider ‘viable’ in their abortion legislation. 

You want a working environment that is safe, respectful, tolerant and full of love? I know a place just like that and I call it home. Women do not seek abortions because they feel strong or empowered, they seek them because they are scared. They seek abortions because society and the new-age feminist movement perpetuates the lie that women cannot be successful and be mothers. Those of us on the other side of the fence are here with open arms saying, ‘Yes, you can!’ 

[We] won’t be bowing down to Hollywood anytime soon. The glitz and glamour has lost its appeal and America is watching.”

The abortion propaganda which says working women cannot succeed as moms perpetuate the workplace is not “safe, respectful, tolerant, and full of love” for pregnant women and working mothers. Every day, hard-working women and parents juggle jobs and family obligations. Rather than advocate for misogynistic and dangerous abortion, it is a far more feminist position to support parental leave, child care, adoption, prenatal child support, and other accommodations. Additionally, pro-life organizations help provide for women and families, including resources such as baby supplies, free parenting classes, and financial and housing aid even many years after birth. 

The Abortion Agenda Hijacked Real Feminism 

Early feminists understood “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women” and that “when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.” 

Live Action president Lila Rose rightly queried, 

“How did we get to this place, when original feminism, the first feminists, were staunchly pro-life, pro-family, and working tirelessly to achieve many of the rights we enjoy today as women, which, we are equal in dignity as men. How did women’s rights become synonymous with taking the rights of another? By knowing the history of how we got here, we can pave a better path into the future for women, children, and families and rise above the patriarchy, which insists that women kill their own children.”

The women’s movement opposed abortion, but was hijacked by the sexual revolution, eugenicists, and wealthy men who exploit women for profit both via abortions and through the workplace to evade accommodating pregnant women and working mothers. Original feminists fought against such discrimination as being fired from their jobs for becoming pregnant. Such discrimination still exists today, and the abortion industry’s message against working mothers is complicit. 

Abortion Behemoth Discriminates Against Mothers

Despite pretending to champion women’s rights, Planned Parenthood still discriminates against pregnant staff and new mothers. An exposé published by the New York Times revealed “employers saw accommodating expecting mothers as expensive and inconvenient. Others were unsympathetic to workers seeking special treatment.” Dozens of current and former Planned Parenthood staffers and organizers of the Office and Professional Employees International Union accused the abortion corporation of “sidelining, ousting or otherwise handicapping pregnant employees,” including declining to hire pregnant job candidates, making pregnant employees work long hours without “rest periods, lunch breaks or overtime pay,” and firing new mothers or demanding they delay maternal leave or return to work early. 

Further, Planned Parenthood fails to provide prenatal care for pregnant women, instead pressuring and manipulating women, even minors, to abort in order to exploit them for profit, despite dangerous health risks including infection, injury, infertility, PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. In fact, Planned Parenthood increased abortions while decreasing other healthcare services, and even covers up injuries and deaths

The abortion agenda deceptively masquerades as pro-“choice”, but alarmingly, over 60% of women report experiencing coercion and receiving no counseling, and over 80% are not properly informed. By contrast, pro-life organizations give more options, full truthful information, myriad healthcare services, and supportive resources.

The Abortion Agenda Manipulates Women

The abortion agenda pushes the narrative that when women are faced with their career and motherhood, they can only choose one, and their only choice is abortion. Joan Collins claimed she did what she “felt was right” for her, but endangering her own health and destroying her child was right for neither her nor her child. Sadly, Collins stated “it would’ve been wrong” to have her child, but what is actually wrong is the abortion industry’s lies that mothers cannot succeed in order to exploit women for profit by pressuring women to violate their innate instincts to protect their children and their own bodies.

Despite abortion activists’ deceptive ”my body, my choice” propaganda, Collins’ assertion that she was “strongly in charge” of her own body does not equate to a misconstrued “feminist” right to destroy her child’s body. Being truly in charge of one’s own bodily autonomy occurs before another person’s life is conceived. It is not actual feminism, nor liberation or equality to have one’s body used sexually then abandoned when her body does what it is naturally and uniquely capable of doing— creating life. While the abortion agenda exploits and endangers women for sex and profit, true feminism honors women’s dignity, respects their bodies and sexuality, and supports women’s health, including their distinct ability to produce children, their motherhood, and other aspiration

Collins’ admission that “of course [she] hesitated” to abort her child also reveals women’s inherent desire for options other than killing their own children. True feminism and the pro-life movement provide women with such support without asking women to betray their own bodies or the bodies of their children. 

Similarly, Alyssa Milano revealed she had two abortions in 1993 when she was in her 20s, and “she was worried about her career” and had “her entire life still in front of her,” confessing that despite being in a relationship and on birth control, 

“I still got pregnant. It was devastating. I was raised Catholic and was suddenly put in conflict with my faith. I had a career and a future and potential. Also, I suffered from sometimes crippling anxiety. I chose to have an abortion. It was not an easy choice. It was not something I wanted, but it was something that I needed.”

Milano was still taking birth control when she found out a few months later she was pregnant again, and “once again…made the decision to end that pregnancy.” Milano, now married with two young children, claimed her “life would not be the same without those two abortions.” 

“I would not have my children, my beautiful, perfect, loving, kind and inquisitive children… I would not have my career. I would not have the ability or platform I use to fight against oppression… I would never have met my amazing husband…whose steadfast and immeasurable love for me sustains me through these terrifying times. My life would be completely lacking all its great joys. I would never have been free to be myself. And that’s what this fight is all about: freedom.”

However, abortion sells an illusion but does not provide freedom; it can worsen anxiety and often traps women in grief. While claiming to “need” abortion to succeed in their careers, women’s (and men’s) careers have actually been ruined due to the aftermath of abortion, including depression and substance abuse. Tragically, Milano claims she would not have her children, but she is without two of her children who were also “beautiful, perfect, loving, kind, and inquisitive children” who would have also been her “great joys.” She claims to fight oppression but fails to see that abortion enables oppression of women and children.

Further, Planned Parenthood teaches employees rebuttals to women’s reluctance to get abortions, including religious and moral objections, such as Milano felt. The abortion giant exploits women’s vulnerabilities and deliberately markets birth control with a high failure rate to exploit women for future profits via abortions. In fact, over 50% of women seeking abortions were on birth control, exposing the abortion industry’s deliberate deception to exploit women for revenue. 

To protest pro-life laws, Milano ironically called for women to go on a “sex strike” until women “had control of their own bodies back.” However, it is the patriarchal abortion industry that actually controls women’s bodies with its sexist lies that women cannot succeed without killing their children. Abstinence from promiscuous sex and supportive pro-life, pro-women, and pro-family policies are the precise means to reclaim dignified autonomy.

Women Can Succeed as Mothers AND Achieve their Dreams 

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, mother of seven, and Sarah Palin, mother of five, both with special needs children, are just two of so many examples of women who reached heights in demanding careers while also successfully raising children. In fact, Palin’s daughter, Bristol, who courageously chose life for her son when she was just 16 and now has two more children, was recently named Culture of Life’s Global Ambassador.

Another strong woman who defeated discrimination against working mothers is the most decorated track and field Olympian, nine-time Olympic medalist, Allyson Felix, who fought back when Nike attempted to cut her sponsorship pay 70% when she became pregnant. Initially worrying “having a child would be risking [her] career and disappointing everyone,” Felix even tried to hide her pregnancy. 

But Felix decided, 

“Why was I trying to do all this without anyone noticing? I was so excited to be pregnant. I’ve always wanted to be a mother. I feel so incredibly blessed. This shouldn’t be a secret.”

After an early delivery via C-section at 32 weeks due to health risks, Felix shared her experiences

“to help other women who were worried like I’d been…of what starting a family would mean to their careers. To let them know that I too have those anxious feelings about sharing the news with my employer, and the repercussions I could possibly face.” 

When Nike initially refused to guarantee Felix would not be punished if she became pregnant, Felix’s courageous efforts to secure maternal protections led to arguably one of her most significant achievements not only for herself but for countless women. Nike changed its policies across all sports to no longer financially penalize women for having a child, and the brand even featured an ad with pregnant athletes.

Felix’s victory over discrimination served as an important milestone for women, including heptathlete Lindsay Flach, 31, who competed in the current Olympic trials while 18 weeks pregnant. Like Felix, initially, Flach said, “To be honest, I was going to the tryouts and I was trying to keep it on the down low, because I just wanted to finish my career on my terms,” but then publicly posted a picture of her baby bump, captioned, “The secret is no secret anymore,” adding, “There are so many stories about running…and working out while pregnant, so I’m glad I could be a piece of proving a woman can do it.”

Felix added, “We are all more than athletes. Our voices have power. It’s about the power of the collective and empowering women to speak up…as they do amazing things in all different fields.”

Felix added, “Watching her [daughter] grow changed my motivation. It’s so much bigger than on the track. It’s me as a mom…and as an advocate for women.” While other athletes argue “getting pregnant is the kiss of death,” Felix noted, 

“Becoming a mom…shifted my focus to thinking about this world that my daughter will grow up in. I don’t want her to have the same battle. [Motherhood] gave me that final bit of push that I needed and helped me find my voice so that I could speak on these very important issues. Whether it’s as a professional athlete or in the corporate world or whatever, I think it’s really sometimes seen that you’re going into this next chapter of life [becoming mothers] and I just think that’s a misconception. There’s no reason that you can’t have your best performances after becoming a mother, or do your best work. [Motherhood] is something that takes you to the next level and gives you even more reason to go after whatever that goal is.”

Current America’s Got Talent contestant, comedian Gina Brillon echoed Felix’s message, “I got [my] work ethic from my parents. I didn’t mind having to work every job….[B]ecoming a mom just changed everything for me. I have to show him that you can live your dreams. One day my son will see I made it there. I am here…for my son [and] family.”

Another current AGT contestant, magician Dustin Tavella, who adopted a young child with his wife, highlighted the real “magic” is when “somebody makes a decision to change someone’s life forever no matter what it costs them,” and added, 

“My wife and I [are] not the heroes of this story. The real hero of this story and the person I want to honor is the woman [who] made the hardest decision that any mother could ever have to make. The decision to change the course of a little boy’s future no matter what it cost her…[his] birth mom” (as she was shown in a photograph holding a sign with the inspirational word “power”).

Not only do children not ruin careers, but motherhood often provides the inspiration for women to reach even greater heights; and society should support—not pressure, exploit, or harm—mothers and children. Countless public figures with impactful careers have been born to young working mothers who courageously chose life. 

Despite supporting the “Shout Your Abortion” movement, Oprah Winfrey thanked her mother, 

“[B]ecause I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills. Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard. I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.”

Grammy-winner Alicia Keys’ mom conceived her during challenging circumstances. “She was making a really big choice. And at the time, I’m sure she didn’t even know why she was making that choice exactly. But she knew what she needed to do…I can’t even imagine…But if you had to…She had to go to work, I had to go to school. We had to live.” In turn, Keys chose life for her own child in an uncertain situation.

While discussing then-candidate Joe Biden’s flip-flop from supporting the life-saving Hyde Amendment, Bill Maher admitted “they told my mother after my sister — very difficult birth — she shouldn’t have another one, so knowing that I could have been on the cutting room floor…”

Steve Jobs was adopted and wanted to meet his birth mother “mostly to see if she was OK and to thank her, because I’m glad I didn’t end up as an abortion. She was 23 and she went through a lot to have me.” 

Jeff Bezos’ mom “was 17…and she was still in high school…in 1964. I can assure you that being a pregnant teenager in high school was…was very difficult for her…[T]hey tried to kick her out of school…My grandfather went to bat for her, so the gift I had was…this incredible family.”

Pro-Life Restores True Feminism

For decades and generations, from Joan Collins to today’s performers, leaders, and everyday working mothers, the abortion industry has increasingly sold the anti-feminist lie that having children is a barrier to women’s success. Whether in entertainment, sports, politics, healthcare, business, or any field, supporting women’s motherhood and family, education, vocation, and other aspirations is undeniably more feminist than discriminating against mothers, exploiting women for revenue, endangering women’s health, and killing their children.

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Noelle has a Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Arts & a Doctorate of Law. She is pro-life based on moral principles & law.

The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.