Happy International Women’s Day! Today we’re going to use our blog as a platform for some pro-life feminist writing that we’ve been really impressed by, as well as a few of our own past posts on pro-life feminism. If anyone is inclined to doubt that feminism and a pro-life position are compatible, we hope these pieces will help change their minds. Without further ado:
When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense
– Frederica Mathewes-Green, National Review
This piece is a classic of pro-life feminist writing. Mathewes-Green is the source of the well-known quote “No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg”, which has resonated with and been widely used by both pro-choice and pro-life people.
In this piece, she writes about how she went from having a bumper sticker on her car which said ‘Don’t labor under a misconception; legalise abortion’ to her current position as a pro-life feminist. When you’ve read, you might want to follow up with a look at an old post of ours written when we were still Students For Life Dublin, which riffs on Mathewes-Green’s piece to ask questions about whether and to what extent a person changing their beliefs about abortion’s effect on women is likely to change their mind on the ethics of abortion overall.
The Troubling Ideals At the Heart of Abortion Rights
– Erika Bakiochi, the Atlantic
This relatively recent piece examines the history of pro-life feminism (focusing on the case of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States) in order to argue that a world without abortion would have to embrace a better vision of gender equality too.
Imagine a world without Roe and Casey, but with [US Supreme Court Justice] Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rightfully celebrated anti-discrimination successes in the 1970s. In this world, workplaces and other institutions better acknowledge encumbered women, duly encumbered men, and the child-rearing family’s demands generally. Rather than being “free to assume Roe’s concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society,” as the Casey plurality contemplated, employers are burdened instead by the reality—now too easily cast aside—that most working persons are, and wish to be, deeply encumbered by their obligations to their families and the important work they do in their homes. In such a world, authentically transformed by women’s legal, political, and social equality, today’s overburdened mothers and fathers just might receive the respect they deserve.
‘Why Can’t a Feminist Be Pro-Life?’
– Debate / discussion between various pro-life and pro-choice feminists, hosted by the Catholic University of America
We’re all about conversations at the Minimise Project, and this is a great opportunity to see feminists with different views on abortion actually sit down and talk to one another. The pro-lifers on the panel include Aimee Murphy of Rehumanize International and Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists. Among the pro-choice speakers are Megan Klein-Hattori, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, and Pamela Merritt, who runs a pro-choice group called Reproaction (interestingly, Merritt also volunteers with the Franciscan Sisters of Mary in their ministry to help pregnant women in need, despite their diametrically opposed views on abortion).
Our friends at Secular Pro-Life have a good write up of the event at the link, which also has the full video of the event.
Finally, check out two more piecesfrom us: Thoughts on Pro-Life Feminism, and Ciara’s post A Ghost of a Chance: Turning All Feminists Into Pro-Life Feminists?’
Until next time.