Big Abortion gets big mad over ‘abortion on demand’ controversy

abortion, pro-lifers, Planned Parenthood

Is “abortion on demand” simply a euphemism invented by “anti-abortion” people, as some pro-abortion groups have been recently claiming? The simple answer is no; it has long been a slogan of the ‘abortion rights’ movement. And it has replaced the old “safe, legal, and rare” mantra, which President Bill Clinton made famous in 1992.

Alexandra DeSanctis wrote in a 2019 Washington Post op-ed, “by 2012 the Democratic Party excised the word ‘rare’ from its official platform, writing instead that it favored ‘safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.’”

“You don’t have to go back to the 1990s to find Democrats speaking in a more moderate vein. As recently as her 2008 presidential primary run against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton routinely used the phrase ‘safe, legal and rare,’ even adding, ‘and by rare, I mean rare.’ But by her 2016 campaign, she’d dropped such talk,” wrote DeSanctis.

pro-life feminist, women

Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa and her daughter confront Stop Patriarchy (2016)


Today, abortion advocates write things like, “I think you should be able to order an abortion on Amazon like you’re renting Blade 2.”

And therefore, it’s easy to see how President Joe Biden recently upset his pro-abortion base by saying: “I’m a practicing Catholic. I don’t want abortion on demand, but I thought Roe v. Wade was right.”

At, Susan Rinkunas wrote:

Biden also noted his disapproval of ‘abortion on demand’ during a White House meeting on the anniversary of the Roe ruling. Whether this comment is a favored ad-lib or something his speechwriters cooked up, it needs to go, immediately. Biden’s long-standing personal distaste for abortion makes him incapable of forcefully campaigning for women to have more rights than fetuses.

Planned Parenthood falsely attributes ‘abortion on demand’ mantra to pro-lifers 

Following the statement, Biden’s base immediately took to social media to express their outrage against his politically expedient position.

One of the most outraged was Planned Parenthood president Alexis-McGill Johnson, who took to Twitter/X to falsely claim that “‘Abortion on demand’ is right-wing language that reinforces stigma and spreads misinformation. Abortion is health care. The only thing we demand is full equality. Full stop.”

McGill was immediately put in her place by former NARAL board member Renee Bracey Sherman who responded by writing, “Not to add to the confusion but I’d like to add to some historical context to this. ‘Abortion on demand’ was and is an abortion rights movement slogan, but use and connotation has changed over 50 years as the repro orgs abandoned it and right-wing politicians mangled the meaning.”

“If Biden insists on hinging his entire campaign on abortion because it’s more popular than he is, it would behoove him to actually use the messaging that we use to talk about abortion, without stigma, rather than throwing all of us who had abortions on demand under the bus,” Bracey Sherman added in the thread.

Feminist attorney Kate Kelly also responded to McGill’s inaccurate claim on Twitter/X, writing, “In the 1970s, Cindy Cisler and her group New Yorkers for Abortion Law Repeal put out their ideal abortion law. She said, ‘This is the abortion law we want.’ It was a blank sheet. How have we ceded so much ground that we’re afraid of even using the words ‘on demand’??”

The pro-abortion workers union @ReproWorkers also weighed in. “We’re not management so we’re not exactly sure how to translate whatever this is, but as abortion workers: we demand abortions whenever we want them, for whatever reason we want them, for free. And Joe Biden can go f*ck himself if he thinks we care about his opinion,” the group wrote on Twitter/X.

In August of 2023, @ReproWorkers was clear about their goal, writing on Twitter/X, “Abortions on demand up until the day of birth” — because as their Repro Worker Aid Fund at GoFundMe clearly specifies, “When states ban abortions, workers lose their livelihoods.” 

ReproWorker tweets Abortions on Demand until day of birth (Images: Twitter "X" and GoFunbdMe)

ReproWorker tweets Abortions on Demand until day of birth (Images: Twitter “X” and GoFundMe)

Dear Biden: What’s wrong with saying ‘abortion on demand’?

Slate, like many in the Biden base, asked, “What’s the problem with ‘abortion on demand'”?

“Biden seems to say the word abortion only when he wants to remind people that he doesn’t care for it. He also selectively invokes his faith regarding abortion, but not on other issues on which the church has a stance, like war or poverty,” Rinkunas wrote in Slate.

“Biden simply can’t have it both ways: He can’t run for the presidency with abortion as his centerpiece—a strategy that inherently recognizes that abortion is popular and many voters are ‘big on abortion’—while also using every opportunity he gets to further stigmatize it,” Jezebel wrote.

“Yet, this is what we get from Biden time and time again. Even before becoming president, he cited his Catholicism on the campaign trail and identified as personally ‘pro-life,’ clinging onto the Hyde Amendment (a budget rider that prohibits federal funding for most abortions) until the Democratic base all but forced him to let go in 2019. He rarely says the word ‘abortion,’ opting instead for unhelpful euphemisms. Ironically, if anyone should be dodging the other to avoid being infected by their unpopularity, abortion should be dodging Biden,” Jezebel added, before archiving the article.


Abortion advocates tell Biden what "On Demand" means compilation (Images: Twitter "X")

Abortion advocates tell Biden what “On Demand” means compilation (Images: Twitter “X”)

‘Abortion on Demand’ Language Originated with Pro-abortion Activists

As previously stated, even Renee Bracey Sherman, the Black reproductive justice activist, former Planned Parenthood consultant, and current co-executive director of the pro-abortion storytelling organization We Testify, said: “‘Abortion on demand’ was and is an abortion rights movement slogan.”

This is confirmed in the book, “Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate before the Supreme Court’s Ruling,” where authors Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel noted that the term “abortion on demand” originated with abortion rights groups in the 1970s, and “not, as many have since assumed, with abortion opponents seeking to characterize the abortion-rights agenda as extreme.”

Abortion on Demand Originated with proabortion group (Image: Before Roe V. Wade by Linda Greenhouse)

Abortion on Demand Originated with proabortion group (Image: Before Roe V. Wade by Linda Greenhouse)

“The phrase ‘abortion on demand’ originated during the 1960s and 70s as a call to action because at the time only ‘therapeutic abortion’ was allowed, meaning abortions needed a doctor’s approval and a medical condition. The alternative was an ‘elective abortion,’” wrote Bracey-Sherman in her Twitter/X thread.

“Abortion activists wanted abortion decisions to be in the hands of people seeking care, not under the determination of doctors. The call for ‘abortion on demand’ meant that abortion would be available when someone wanted one, no reasons needed,” she added.

‘Abortion on Demand’ Language Pivots

Over time, phrases like “abortion on demand” and even “pro-abortion” diminished as the public began to learn the truth about what abortion was.

“After abortion was legalized nationally, ‘abortion on demand’ as a phrase was used less and less. It was still understood generally, as ‘elective abortions,’ but some understood that the lack of clarity impacted what it meant and favored more specific language,” Bracey-Sherman claimed.

She also stated, “this is about this same time that we see mainstream repro orgs move away from ‘pro-abortion’ to ‘pro-choice’ and the ‘right to choose.’ It was a clear decision to move away from more radical demands.”

“Fast forward to the last decade+. The anti-abortion movement had later abortion ban wins because they recognized they could describe it in graphic detail and make people confused and uncomfortable. They also knew Dems wouldn’t boldly defend access, so they flipped the meaning,” Bracey-Sherman added.

“They started calling later abortion ‘abortion on demand’ or ‘abortion until birth.’ Eventually, they started calling any and all abortions ‘abortion on demand,’” she claimed.

Abortion On Demand Tweeted by abortion advocates (Images: Twitter "X")

Abortion On Demand Tweeted by abortion advocates (Images: Twitter “X”)

Perhaps Bracey-Sherman needs a reminder that the previously mentioned statement, “Abortions on demand up until the day of birth” was NOT the verbiage of an “anti-abortion” group, but was tweeted by pro-abortion advocates — specifically abortion workers.

Abortion on Demand Up to Birth (Image: @ReproWorkers Twitter “X” )

The DOJ put a pro-life grandmother in jail for protesting the killing of preborn children. Please take 30-seconds to TELL CONGRESS: STOP THE DOJ FROM TARGETING PRO-LIFE AMERICANS.

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