Refusing to Choose: True Feminists Support Life

by Gayle Plato-Besley, M. Ed.

This week, I received a great e-mail letter from Serrin Foster, the Feminists for Life President.  Foster stated how the feminists of the Roe v. Wade case from 35 years ago twisted the ideals and principles of the original feminist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century.   Elizabeth Cady Stanton, friend and co-writer of suffrage material with Susan B. Anthony, originated Mother’s Day.  She celebrated her seven children and praised motherhood in a time when being a mother was not often honored nor recognized as a special calling. 

Stanton wrote:

“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading  to women that we should treat our children as property and dispose of them as we see fit (letter to Julia Ward Howe,1873)”
Both Stanton and Anthony were vehemently against abortion; they advocated for social acceptance of women, mothers, families and children as full beings.  It is sad that the concept of feminism has shifted to such an anti-family, negative association of motherhood and success.  It is a tragedy that women have evolved so little that we’ve accepted the con that having a baby is an impediment, a trap, keeping us from growth.   

Serrin Foster wrote:

“By accepting pregnancy discrimination in school and workplace and the lack of support in society for pregnant women and parents, especially the poor, Sarah Weddington (Roe v. Wade  case winning attorney) and the Supreme Court betrayed women and undermined the support women need and deserve. Since then, millions of women have paid the price, struggling in school and the workplace without societal support. After all, when it’s her body, it’s her choice, it’s her problem.” 

With the Right to Life movement experiencing years of relegated falsehoods, and being portrayed as a fringe group of religious reactionaries, there is a time and place for understanding.  All life matters and the original defenders of women were moms.  They loved their kids and wanted to help other mothers experience all glories of life.

Thankfully, abortion numbers are down but over a million children were terminated this last year.  Of the terminated, children of color  are disproportionately represented.  Also, a large number of women aborting are college age(http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html).  

Legislation has been introduced to counter the overwhelmingly abortion-choice focused women’s health centers on college campuses today.  Many young women can tell of how they receive literature, counseling, and even funding to help them terminate pregnancies, leaving out the baby’s father in the process, and taking on the burden of social norms -telling these ladies that children will ruin their lives.  The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007 , was introduced in bipartisan fashion by Senators Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.  “This legislation supports women who wish to be both students and mothers,” said Senator Nelson. “By fostering a parent-friendly environment in our nation’s universities, we can help these students who have made the decision to balance parenthood and education.”

As noted, the legislation asks for a mere pittance of what abortion activism receives. 

The bipartisan Senate bill, if passed into law, would establish a pilot program to provide up to $50 million in grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The on-campus office would serve parenting students, prospective student parents who are pregnant or imminently anticipating an adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption. Legislation with the same name was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Sue Myrick, R-N.C., in February.

College, employment, and personal development are not choices instead of parenthood. Harmony is blending unique aspects, as is any family.  Many of us were unplanned and thankfully so as that is the way of nature.  Families are part of that natural course of life. If you agree with the thought here, please visit the experts-

While I am just a member giving a donation once in awhile and receiving e-mails, the best place for more information– please visit http://www.feministsforlife.org

 


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