Just in case everyone does not already know, I'd like to briefly talk about Feminists for Life, an organization that Sarah Palin, vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party, is a member of. I first heard of Feminists for Life when I was on the DC Metro commuting to my job. I saw a poster that said: "Women Deserve Better Than Abortion."
The poster was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus of the Catholic Church, but the slogan, the poster made clear, came from Feminists for Life. I was overjoyed, because for the first time the anti-abortion movement, which I supported, was acknowledging the terrible damage that an abortion does to the mother. I jotted down the FFL website URL and went to their website, called them, and then joined.
The Feminists for Life's founder is Serrin Foster, who was kicked out of the National Organization of Women when she declared that she was pro-life. As Foster has brought to the fore through Feminists for Life, the suffragette movement was opposed to abortion and fought for laws against it. Their compelling logic was that if women did not want to be treated as pieces of property by men, then they in turn could not treat their children, their unborn children, as pieces of property.
Feminists for Life founder Serrin Foster addressing students at Georgetown University in February of this year.
This, of course, is in sharp contrast to the feminist movement of today, whose slogan is a woman's right to choose [abortion]. But as Feminists for Life has made clear and as many, many women know, often a woman is not "choosing" in any meaningful sense of the word. Often she is being coerced, by the baby's father, by her family which may demand abortion on pain of being thrown out of the house. She is coerced by pressures on her to make a career or by financial difficulties. In short, she is not choosing, but bending, giving up her baby because conditions are unfavorable and no one will support her in having her child.
I believe that no matter how much a woman believes that she has a right to an abortion, the very act of deciding to kill her own baby, causes extreme distress and will change the woman's life forever. She may believe that in having an abortion, she has done the right thing, or the only thing possible. Perhaps she will never look back. That does not mean that she has not been damaged. It does not mean that her capacity to love has not been damaged It does not mean that even without knowing it, she slips into depression, which to her, may seem to have no reason at all. It does not mean that she sinks into a cynicism whose origin she may not even know. It does not mean she does not suffer guilt. It does mean that at some point in her life she will not suffer a deep pain of regret. It is impossible to kill life within you and not lose something precious in yourself.
The suffragettes believed that if a woman had an abortion that society had failed her. In other words, it was not the woman who had failed society by being pregnant. Society had failed any woman, who believed there was no alternative for her but to abort her baby. The idea that society must support women to have their children and to raise them or give them up for adoption is a much healthier attitude than an attitude that leads to murder of the child in one's own womb. I say murder of a child, because scientific evidence continues to mount that from the moment of conception, a child represents a unique genetic combination--it is the only one, there can never be another just like it. Further, we know now that at a very early point in the womb, the child can feel pain. Left to develop, this child in the womb will become a new precious human being out in the world.
There is only one, unique in itself from conception.
The Feminists for Life has therefore concentrated its efforts on college campuses, to try to force colleges and universities to offer the resources that will permit a pregnant woman to stay in school and to complete her education, rather than face the choice of either abortion or dropping out of school. Their work has borne fruit as abortions on campuses have declined.
For all of these reasons, I support the Feminists for Life, although I do not think of myself as a feminist. And I hope you will support it too.