America’s Abortion Epidemic: An Untold Story of Feminism and Marxism


Since the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade was overturned two years ago this June, pro-life advocates have faced numerous political setbacks. Seizing this pro-abortion wave, Democrats recently announced a $100 million initiative to promote abortion in a bid to regain control of the House of Representatives. On the state level, efforts to expand abortion rights are appearing on ballots across the nation.

What seems absent from the public discourse on abortion is a straightforward question: What is driving the high numbers of abortions? While abortion in various forms has been practiced for millennia, the significant increase in recent years is unusual. Legalization and advancements in technology have certainly played a role, but other factors have led millions of women in affluent nations to terminate their pregnancies on an unprecedented scale. What is the underlying cause?

The sexual revolution is often cited as the root cause of widespread abortion. Although it played a significant role, the current status of abortion required more than just the radical changes from the 1960s. During the years of Roe, while pro-life advocates focused on legal challenges, the pro-abortion side targeted cultural shifts. Their success depended on the broad acceptance of feminist ideology, and they achieved remarkable results.

Feminism: A Spawn of Marxism

One influential feminist who linked the sexual revolution with feminism was Kate Millett (1934-2017), author of Sexual Politics. Millett gained prominence for her book and initiated women’s studies programs in American universities. She was a follower of Wilhelm Reich, who authored The Sexual Revolution in 1936. Millett brought Reich’s Marxist ideas into wider cultural application. The sexual revolution became the pathway through which Millett, along with others like Angela Davis, spread feminist ideology. Millett believed that just as men demonstrate their toughness through acts of war, women could show their strength by terminating their pregnancies.

Millett and her fellow activists did not create feminism; it had already been quietly developing as a tool of socialism and communism. As early as the 1890s, the socialist magazine Lucifer incited women with the “gospel of discontent,” promoting independence from husbands and children. By the 1920s, the Soviets had allied with feminist women whom they previously viewed as bourgeois. They discovered that women’s discontent made them easily manipulated supporters of the communist cause.

One key figure in the feminist/communist alliance was Betty Friedan. Friedan convinced many women that domestic life was akin to a “comfortable concentration camp.” The solution, she argued, was productive work outside the home, echoing the views of Marxist collaborator Engels, who claimed that work would liberate women.

However, “productive” work requires women without childcare responsibilities. What was often overlooked is that work alone does not bring freedom. The failure of work to liberate can be seen in the infamous inscription at Auschwitz: “Arbeit Macht Frei.” Work will make you free. This was a lie then and remains a lie today.

For feminism to flourish, it also had to propagate lies that fostered female resentment: men as oppressors, women as victims, women should emulate men, and feminism benefits women. These ideas easily enticed women with promises of exciting lifestyles, recognition, high salaries, and numerous sexual partners. Effective marketing and a thriving economy made Marxist arguments appealing. Feminism encouraged women to ascend the corporate ladder while simultaneously participating in the hook-up culture, which resulted in unintended pregnancies, STDs, emotional distress, and superficial relationships.

Yet, work and casual relationships do not eliminate female fertility. Instead of curbing risky behavior, feminism, alongside other advocates of unrestricted sexual freedom like Hugh Hefner, promoted abortion as a solution for unwanted pregnancies.

Hanging on to Feminism Despite its Wreckage

Exposing a false narrative, especially one deeply embedded in intellectual and emotional commitment, careers, reputations, and wealth is challenging. The smoking industry, for example, took years of lawsuits to reveal its public health impact.

However, feminism is not like smoking. While lawsuits can eliminate a harmful product, eradicating a toxic ideology responsible for 44 million abortions globally in 2023 alone is far more complex. These abortion figures surpass those of smoking deaths at its peak.

Many supporters of feminism dismiss it as a kind-hearted movement, overlooking its Marxist roots. Although women have more opportunities now than a century ago, much of this progress is due to technological advancements, like dishwashers and washing machines, or economic growth from the Industrial Revolution and post-war booms, which enabled families to educate daughters as well as sons. To attribute all women’s advancements solely to feminism is a narrow, ideological interpretation of history.

What feminist proponents often overlook is the significant damage caused by the movement. The 44 million aborted children had parents involved in the decision. As Jordan B. Peterson states, “You may be finished with your past, but your past isn’t finished with you.” This damage is difficult to hide, often manifesting as hardened hearts among women.

And yet, this is what is purportedly beneficial for women. Today, women are more depressed, suicidal, medicated, and isolated than ever. Marriage and birth rates are plummeting, gender conflicts are intensifying, the term “homemaker” is controversial, and definitions of womanhood are muddled. Despite this, society clings to feminism, akin to a smoker who cannot quit, even when severely affected.

If we aim to genuinely help women and protect the most vulnerable, we must reject the fallacy that feminism has been beneficial. We need to embrace the values of family, the importance of children, and the beauty of marriage. Although it’s not perfect, it would be an improvement.

Work for both women and men must be redefined to serve not just individual independence or self-importance, but to support the means to cultivate a healthy family and a fulfilled life in its various forms. Work should serve us, not the other way around.

Feminism fuels abortion. It’s time to stop feeding this cycle for everyone’s benefit.

Carrie Gress
Carrie Gress
Carrie Gress is a Fellow at the Washington, D.C. based think-tank, Ethics and Public Policy Center and a Scholar at the Institute for Human Ecology at Catholic University of America. She has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America. Carrie’s work has appeared in numerous publications, and she is a frequent radio and podcast guest.

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