Gloria Steinem: Aging, and living for someone else

In a recent interview with Gloria Steinem for the UK’s Guardian, the unwavering feminist icon recounts her abortion at the age of 22: “I used to sit and try and figure out how old the child would be, trying to make myself feel guilty. But I never could!”

But perhaps more revealing was what the now 77 year-old Steinem said in the interview regarding aging:

“…Ageing is a bit like what being pregnant must be like, by which I mean that your body knows how to do something that you don’t know how to do – and it’s quite interesting. Your body loses what it needs to support someone else, and it keeps what it needs to support you. That’s very smart. Just watching the process is somehow fascinating.” [my emphasis]

It seems to me that Steinem has just admitted to something she has been publicly denying for more than half a century. Her absence of guilt does not negate the stubborn fact that “someone else” exists when a woman is pregnant.



  • debrr

    I went and read the article. She had a difficult childhood and was abandoned by her father and older sibling then had to care for her mentally disabled mother. She didn’t visit her father when he was dying because she was afraid that she would get stuck taking care of him too. She did say that she regretted that one. It appears that she was never nurtured herself or was ever given a sense of the value and dignity of human life. People,in her opinion, whether preborn or invalids, appear to be parasites that keep you from being able to do what you want to do. She has no idea of sacrificial love and the sacredness of life. So sad, we really need to pray for her conversion of heart.

    • Whitney

      It sounds like you’re trying to make excuses for her act of premeditated murder. I don’t see why we should feel sorry for her one iota.

      • debrr

        Sorry you misunderstood me Whitney. I am not making excuses. I am trying to understand how another woman who was pregnant thought it was okay to murder her child because she didn’t want to be a parent. You said yourself that she will spend eternity in the absence of God. You have condemned her to Hell. God doesn’t want ANYONE away from Him for eternity. That is why I said we need to pray for her. Imagine what it would do for the prolife movement if Gloria had a conversion of heart and did express remorse. How awsome would it be if she was at the march in DC with a “I regret my abortion” sign?

        • Whitney

          But she doesn’t regret it. Therefore, she has condemned herself to Hell regardless of yours, or my, opinion.

          • Michael F

            Whitney, nothing is final before the moment you die. Look up the story of St. Theophilus the Penitent.

  • Panda Rosa

    From the title, I was expecting the article to be about dealing with aging relatives, of the silent trials of tending to an older parent increasingly struggling to deal with the confusion of life’s details. It’s a problem no less wearing than that of an ill-timed pregnancy.

  • lucy

    Rachel, Gloria supported a woman’s right to choose abortion regardless of whether the fetus was considered a person or not. Your point, in that sense, carries no weight. Even if she felt guilt, the guilt would have been about not taking personal responsibility of avoiding getting pregnant and not about having an abortion. Choosing what to do with one’s own body is a fundemental human right and does not change when a woman is pregnant. Calling a fetus a human being does not change the fact that a fetus is part of a woman’s body regardless of what any religion says.

    • Mary

      Lucy–A fetus is not part of a woman’s body–the fetus is another body that happens to be temporarily attached to, but not part of, a woman’s body. While a woman may wish to be free to do what she wants with her own body, it is not HER body which is decapitated, dismembered, disemboweled and decorticated, is it? No, it is the body of the FETUS that is brutalized–so she is not “choosing what to do with one’s own body”, is she? She is in fact choosing to rip apart someone else’s body, not her own. If she truly WERE choosing what to do with her own body,and such dismemberment and decapitation as happens in an abortion were her choice for her own body, we would not idly stand by and let that happen, would we? No, we would not. We would not allow her to choose to do that to herself, and we would take steps to protect her from doing this to herself, even though she might “choose to do this to her own body.” So I believe that the statement “chosing what to do with one’s own body is a fundamental right” is flawed on two levels–one,society has an interest in each person and does NOT let each person do whatever they want to their body,(ie, commit suicide) without taking steps to prevent i, and two, it’s another person’s body, not the woman’s, which is destroyed in an abortion in any case.

    • Whitney

      She HAD a choice what to do with her body, and she chose to have casual sexual encounters with it. Once she became pregnant, there was no (moral) choice – she must have the child and bear the consequences of her actions. Instead, she took the route of legalized sinful murder. She has only postponed dealing with consequences – when she meets her Maker, He will reveal to her the scope of her casual murder. She may not feel guilty now, but she will feel guilty when she must spend eternity in the absence of God and the constant presence of suffering.

    • Michael F

      lucy, by your argument, I would have the right to point a gun at anyone I wished, and then move my finger back against the trigger because I wanted to (my finger, after all, is indisputably part of MY body, so can’t I do what I want with it?). That, obviously, is not the case. And even if it were, see Whitney’s argument: The woman has already made the choice.


    The “someone else” may not have the means to make Ms. Steinem to feel guilt, but still has the power to bring her back to her abortion, and this is a beginning. Her spritual understanding of the act of an abortion as described is poiniant when she speaks of how her body works beyond the control of the intellect of a woman.

    It is not a choice after the woman becomes pregnant, it begins a family.



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