By Dave Andrusko
“These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.” — From a July 21, 2007, speech delivered by the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, who was then President of Episcopal Divinity School and is now the newly installed President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. According to NAF, she’s served as interim president and CEO since September 2018.
NAF, the Abortion Industry’s trade organization, offered an interesting and informative summary:
Ragsdale is an Episcopal priest who has been outspoken about abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and public policy issues affecting women and families throughout her career. She has testified before the U.S. Congress as well as numerous state legislatures about the importance of abortion access and was a featured speaker at the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NAF, she served for 17 years (9 of them as chair) on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. Rev. Ragsdale has preached about how abortion is a blessing and has been active in clinic defense work and other activities to support abortion providers for more than 35 years.
Why her interim status ended now is an interesting question. But Rev. Ragsdale is, if you think about it, the perfect choice.
- She has this lengthy history of involvement in abortion that few could match.
- She is willing to say anything, and put a religious gloss on it as well.
- She is unyielding in her objections to anything—anything—that might put the slightest crimp in the machinery of abortion, including those bothersome parents. I recall years ago she testified in opposition to a proposed law that, if few exceptions, that would require any abortionist to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor who is a resident of another state. This, obviously, was intended to address the serious problem where minor girls are whisked out of states with parental notification laws to states that don’t.
For her part the Rev. Ragsdale said not only did she oppose the legislation, but that the Episcopal Church “passed a resolution opposing parental-notification laws.” She talked of how she had taken a minor to an abortion clinic without her parents’ knowledge and, although it did not involve taking her across state lines, were the proposals to be come law, she’d break the law “in order to help her.”
“I have no choice because some years ago I stood before an altar and a Bishop and the people of God and vowed ‘to proclaim by word and deed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to fashion (my) life in accordance with its precepts…to love and serve the people among whom (I) work , caring alike for the young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor.”
Apparently subverting parents’ rights and facilitating the destruction of the weakest of God’s children were not part of those precepts.
Finally, Claire Chretien tells us
In an April 2019 speech at a Kentucky Reproductive Freedom Fund fundraiser, Ragsdale claimed that the Bible says nothing about abortion and that it’s dishonest and manipulative to call the human in the womb a “baby.”
“‘One inch from life,’ they say while showing a picture of a Gerber baby,” Ragsdale said of pro-life advocates who oppose partial-birth abortion. The audience laughed.
“Apart from ‘one inch from life’ being a lie, the Gerber baby image is a lie,” she continued. “And actually, using the word ‘baby’ is a manipulative lie.”
So the “High Priestess of abortion” (as her critics have dubbed Rev. Ragsdale over the years) will now assume a position whose “previous CEO and president, Vicki Saporta, brought in a salary of $392,018 in 2017, according to the organization’s publicly available tax records.”
A match not exactly made in heaven.