A certain mythology surrounds Simone de Beauvoir, one that presents her to the world as an independent thinker, a spokesperson for women and an advocate of freedom. In truth, she is none of these. The core of her philosophy is derived from the existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre; she does not, by any means, speak for all women; and the range of freedom she endorses does not include, among other things, the freedom to marry and raise one’s own children.
DeMarco writes about de Beauvoir’s position on abortion and “choice”:
She did speak of the importance of freedom in securing the “right” to abortion. She was the first president of Choisir (To Choose), a pro-abortion organization in France. She frequently allowed illegal abortions to be committed in her apartment and was instrumental in bringing about the legalization of abortion in her country. Nonetheless, she was not pro-choice when it came to more life-connoting arrangements, such as women raising their own children in their own home. As she told Betty Friedan in a published interview, “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”