What Is a Pro-Life Feminist?
By Pat Goltz
In 1972, Cathy Callaghan and I cofounded Feminists for Life. Our members collected the words of the suffragists on abortion. Unanimously, they saw abortion as murder, and as the negation of feminism. I once had the privilege of talking to Alice Paul. She was a leader in promoting the Equal Rights Amendment. She confirmed the views of the feminists of her day. She lived to see her life's work destroyed by the abortion issue. As I talked to her, I truly felt her great pain.
I watched as abortion defeated the Equal Rights Amendment. I was present when members of STOP ERA testified, in my state legislature, that the E.R.A. would make it impossible to outlaw abortion. And I watched as the committee members voted NOT to ratify, and that vote stuck.
Since then, our fight for equality has stagnated. Then, we made about 72c for every dollar a man made. That hasn't changed. There has been little progress in increased education or career advancement for women. Women-led families still live in poverty. Rape is still a serious problem.
When a pregnant woman faces discrimination, she can either fight alone, or she can have an abortion. If she chooses abortion, the fundamental injustice is untouched. The woman and her child formed a dyad. We instinctively protect our children. When a woman has an abortion, she not only kills her child, she violates her innermost being. It is a suicide by proxy, a self-immolation. Now, because of her agony, she can no longer fight injustice. And when another woman faces discrimination because she is pregnant, again she fights alone. This only perpetuates our slavery. With abortion available, there will never be equality.
Feminists have always stood for the weak and defenseless. We seek to protect all human beings regardless of age, sex, race, or place of residence. We oppose the violence of abortion because we know that without the right to life, all other rights are meaningless.
Now we can answer the question, "What is a pro-life feminist?" A pro-life feminist is simply a feminist.
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