Media Push Abortion as Cure for Climate Change, Climate as Obstacle to Abortion

Craig Bannister | September 8, 2022 | 10:35am EDT
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This year, both before and after the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, liberal media have ramped up efforts to promote the narrative that there’s a symbiotic relationship between abortion advocacy and climate activism, using one issue to justify the other.

The Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which had established a Constitutional right to abortion, was leaked on May 2 of this year, and formally decided on June 24.

In July, a piece titled “How Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies Can Help on Climate” in Yale Environment 360, an online magazine published at the Yale School of the Environment, argued that making abortion “freely available globally” would significantly reduce carbon emissions:

“Too often ignored in devising solutions to slow global warming is the fact that a sizeable number of pregnancies are unintended, and many of the resulting births are unwanted.

“Avoiding unwanted births — by making contraception and abortion freely available globally — would significantly reduce births and therefore (over the long term) human-generated carbon emissions. If the world’s total population were eventually reduced by 10 percent, this would reduce carbon emissions by 3.6 billion tons per year.”

“The benefits of family planning must be broadened to include its value in helping to prevent climate change. It’s a win-win — saving the planet while enlarging human liberties,” the authors concluded.

In March, before the decision was announced, Ms. Magazine warned that overturning Roe would be harmful to the environment, because “Reproductive choices and climate change are intimately and inextricably connected”:

“If the Supreme Court overturns Roe this summer, as experts predict, people will have to travel much father to access abortion care—at a time when the U.S. desperately need to reduce its carbon emissions.”


“For Florida residents, the average driving distance to access a clinic could increase more than 6,000 percent.

What's more, climate change can even cause abortion clinics to close, Ms. claimed, without explanation:

“Whether it’s the impact of climate change on people’s decisions about having childrenmiscarriage associated with pollution, climate change closing clinics, or abortion restrictions increasing emissions, reproductive justice and environmental justice need to be considered together as part of recognizing the role of gender in the climate crisis.”

“Want to help fight climate change? Start with reproductive rights,” a headline in The Guardian advised in late May, shortly before the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe was leaked.

“With overpopulation a key environmental concern, safe access to birth control, abortion and reproductive health services offer a simple solution,” The Guardian piece contended, declaring abortion “one of the most immediate and effective ways to reduce our environmental impact.”

Atmos, a self-described “climate and culture” magazine, also tied abortion to climate - but reversed the connection - in its July piece titled, “How Reproductive Justice Is Climate Justice,” which argued that climate change reduces the ability to obtain an abortion, while simultaneously increasing the need for abortion.

The article claimed both that “extreme weather severely impacts a person’s ability to access abortion” and that “extreme weather increases the need for abortions as gender-based violence often follows these disasters.”

Thus, abortion and climate activists need to “lock arms” with other “justice” warriors, the piece urged, quoting National Network of Abortion Funds Managing Director Debasri Ghosh:

“It’s really time to lock arms with aligned movements, like the climate justice movement, the economic justice movement, the racial justice movement.”

Attempts by abortion advocates to exploit climate change fears has not gone unnoticed by conservative organizations, such as The Heritage Foundation.

“If you look closely, you’ll find that, at the U.N., protecting the Earth often provides cover for unseemly causes like abortion and population control,” a Heritage commentary in May explained.

The ploy of using the climate argument to justify abortion can be rationalized by viewing it as a public relations tactic, the commentary noted:

“This makes good PR sense. Who doesn’t like our home planet? And who doesn’t want clean air and water? Indeed, most people agree we should be good stewards of the environment.”

Causes like abortion and population control are often cloaked in benign-sounding phrases, such as “meeting the need for family planning,” the piece warned:

“In the global arena, ‘comprehensive sexuality education,’ contraception, ‘safe abortion care,’ and maternal health all fall under the umbrella of sexual and reproductive health rights.’

“With so much money in play, it’s no surprise that the International Planned Parenthood Federation is at the trough,” the Heritage analysts concluded.

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