Saturday, October 4, 2008

Support Feminists for Life

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.


Virginia Harris said...

I want the past to be remembered, so that it does not become our future.

Suffragettes are often quoted as being in opposition to abortion, but I don't think most people today can fully appreciate the context of their opposition.

I do not believe that suffragettes would advocate the jailing of women, who for whatever reason, make this choice.

Can you imagine not being able to vote?

Thanks to the suffragettes, women now have voices and choices!

Few of us know ALL that the suffragettes had to go through to win votes for women. But before they did, and still today, abortion is too often the ONLY option for pregnant women.

I believe that that is what suffragettes opposed, and still would oppose today - women having no choice to have their child, even if they want to.

Adoption was not and is not a viable option for most babies born from unplanned pregnancies - these children face life in horrible institutions called orphanages, even though their mothers are alive, but are unable to care for them.

Discrimination in education, employment and housing made it virtually impossible for a woman to provide a home for a child who was born out of wedlock, whether as a result of rape or consensual relations.

My own great-grandmother was raped and impregnated, but fought to keep her child. Against terrible odds, she managed to do so.

I have written a unique e-mail series that tells her story, and goes behind the scenes in the lives of eight of the world's most famous women to reveal the shocking and oftentimes heartbreaking truth of what life was REALLY like for women before we won the vote.

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Linda said...

The fact is that the suffragettes opposed abortion and fought for anti-abortion laws, most of which were passed in states over the course of the 19th century.
Otherwise, I take exception to your view that "Adoption was not and is not a viable option for most babies born from unplanned pregnancies." Of course, adoption was the norm in the years before Roe v. Wade. My dear brother was adopted in 1963. American couples who were unable to have children did not have to go to Romania, South America, China, or India to find children. They could find babies in the United States. My brother came to us when he was 5 days old through a private adoption process arranged by attorneys, which was completely legal. After Roe v. Wade my brother probably would not have been born--and what a terrible loss that would have been. Adoption was the norm before the Supreme Court decision for abortion. Young girls who became pregnant withdrew from school for a period of time, had their baby, and put the infant up for adoption in one way or another. The scandal surrounding the pregnancy was mild.
Clearly since the free sex revolution of the 1960s-70s, no one is worried about scandal. However, while millions of babies are murdered by their own mothers--who are very often coerced into doing so--thousands of childless couples are forced to fly all over the world seeking children to adopt.
Adoption is a difficult and painful option for any woman, but it is a loving option that is definitely superior to murder.
Every child is unique and has a right to life. Although abortion seeks to enable free sex with impunity, Feminists for Life has recognized that the woman suffers in abortion and the organization seeks to find alternatives for a young woman. I think that is all to the good. Abortion is destructive to both child and mother.

Anonymous said...

"But before they did, and still today, abortion is too often the ONLY option for pregnant women.

I believe that that is what suffragettes opposed, and still would oppose today - women having no choice to have their child, even if they want to." ...

"Adoption was not and is not a viable option for most babies born from unplanned pregnancies..."

Surprising statements. I've seen the 800 number advertisements of people trying to adopt a baby. I've known people who tried for years to adopt a newborn in the US, some never succeeding (can't adopt a child that's already been put to death).

The below link is just one of the sites quoting early feminists on abortion, and they called abortion child murder and infanticide.

Anonymous said...

Linda is correct. When my husband and I tried to adopt in the early 1990s, there were no babies available throught the Virginia state social services system. Upper middle class families we were acquainted with eventually spent $60,000 or more working with elite private foundations to locate children. Eventually, we adopted abroad.