Believe it or not, abortion wasn’t originally part of the women’s movement, and it wasn’t introduced to the larger women’s movement by women. Instead, it was introduced by two pro-abortion men who wanted to repeal abortion legislation: Bernard Nathanson and Lawrence Lader. Nathanson was a well-known abortionist who eventually renounced his pro-choice beliefs and his connection to abortion groups, exposing the lies he told with NARAL (which he helped to found) to legalize abortion. Lader’s role in the fight to legalize abortion began with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and went all the way to the Supreme Court and the infamous Roe v. Wade decision, which forced abortion on the nation.
Lader was a writer by trade, and in 1961, he published a book on abolitionism before shifting his focus to population control, sterilization, and the abortion pill.
Through a series of events, Lader and Nathanson influenced feminist icon Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women (NOW) toward endorsing abortion, according to Friedan herself. Author Sue Ellen Browder notes in her book, “Subverted,” that Lader and Friedan met in 1942. Friedan would later call Lader the “Father of the Abortion Rights Movement.”
“Lader knew Betty Friedan very well,” Browder told Live Action President Lila Rose in a recent interview. “They were magazine writers together in New York. Larry Lader had graduated from Harvard University. He was fairly independently wealthy… And his greatest passion was to make abortion legal. And he worked on Betty Friedan for years to try to convince her to insert abortion into her list of demands.”
Browder points out that Lader was concerned about overpopulation, crediting this influence to Dixie Cup founder Hugh Moore, who called overpopulation “the greatest threat to world peace.” In 1960, according to Lader, Moore launched the World Population Emergency Campaign to “put a solid financial base under IPPF [International Planned Parenthood Federation].”
“Hugh Moore was the perfect compliment to Margaret Sanger,” Lader wrote in his book, “Breeding Ourselves to Death.” Interestingly, the foreword to the book was written by population control doomsday predictor, Paul Ehrlich. According to “World Population Crisis: The United States Response,” by Phyllis Tilson Piotrow, Moore’s initial strategy was to “alert businessmen to the [population] crisis. A deliberately provocative pamphlet entitled ‘The Population Bomb‘ was distributed to 10,000 American leaders whose names were taken from Who’s Who. Letters, dinners, and meetings were organized to win over influential people by a polite equivalent of shock tactics.”
“In Moore’s mind,” writes Browder, “Too many babies (particularly among the poor) were the root cause of poverty, crime, and wars. If people weren’t stopped from reproducing like rabbits, Moore insisted, the horrible consequence would be world-wide starvation.” And, she adds, “Lader agreed with him.”
Lader ominously warned in his biography of Moore, “… [W]e must reduce birth rates or await the inevitable disaster. We are on the way to breeding ourselves to death.”
Lader’s “Abortion” book
“Abortion,” Lader’s first publication, published in 1966 by Bobbs-Merrill, was cited several times in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. Lader began his introductory remarks in the book by noting, “Abortion is the dread secret of our society.” He went on to call abortion “the ultimate control by woman over her own pro-creativity.”
In 1973, Lader published a second edition, “Abortion II.”
In “Abortion,” Lader appears to focus on the eugenic ‘benefits’ of abortion.
While Lader doesn’t use the term specifically, he makes a subtle reference by bemoaning that the “balance” of adoptable babies had shifted from white babies to minority children, which he called “unwanted.” Lader writes that the critical problem was that “in New York and many cities with minority populations, the balance has not only altered but altered radically; the excess for infants for adoption are mainly Negro and Puerto Rican.” Lader then says the rising costs of welfare to care for what he refers to as “illegitimate children” is “steep.”
If this eugenic mentality sounds familiar, it’s probably because it mirrors Lader’s mentor of sorts, eugenicist Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood.
Lader meets Margaret Sanger
“I considered myself her disciple,” Lader said.
The Los Angeles Times pointed out that, “Sanger was so charismatic, so convincing, that Lader dropped all pretenses of journalistic objectivity.”
Sanger and Lader despise the Catholic Church
Lader and Sanger both resented the Catholic Church because of its moral stance and charity to the poor. Lader intentionally labeled the Church a “villain” of sorts in his quest to push abortion. “The authoritarian control of the Church over family and procreation has been threatened on many levels,” Lader claimed in his book, Abortion II. “The termination of the fetus – or murder, as the Church sees it – is only a starting point.”
Lader’s mockery of the church on abortion reveals a total lack of understanding regarding the brutality of abortion. Below, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino explains a second trimester D&E, typically committed between 13 and 24 weeks gestation. In this procedure, the child is dismembered while still alive, and is then removed from his mother’s womb piece by piece:
In 1975, Lader helped to found the Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM) where he unsuccessfully sued the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church, because of its “political lobbying” on abortion. He lost, and the case was eventually dismissed.
In part two, we will detail how Lader’s abortion activism was birthed with Sanger.