Pro-Lifers Seek to Dispel Pro-Abortion, Feminism Link
(CNSNews.com) - Fed up with liberal abortion groups linking feminism inexorably with pro-abortion views, a host of "pro-woman organizations" are launching a campaign to re-define the feminist movement and work on solving underlying problems that lead women to choose abortion.
"Forty-million abortions are a reflection [of the fact] that we have failed women and [that] women have settled for less," said Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life of America, speaking at a Capitol Hill forum on Wednesday.
Foster and her allies come to the cause armed with studies from the liberal, pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute showing a lack of financial resources and emotional support as the primary reasons women say they have abortions.
"It is time for us to systematically eliminate the coercive factors that drive women to abortion," she said.
The Women Deserve Better coalition, which includes Feminists for Life, plans a series of events and briefings this year, culminating with the 30-year anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, to broadcast their message and call attention to the physical, emotional and practical needs of women, needs that the coalition contends are neglected by pro-abortion groups and the for-profit abortion industry.
Foster said that policy makers need to start by focusing on those at highest risk of abortion-college women, young working women and low-income women.
Colleges, she says, should follow Georgetown University's lead by offering housing, childcare and maternity benefits in student health care plans.
Employers should follow the example set by Steelcase Corp. of Michigan by offering childcare, flextime and telecommuting to pregnant women. And pregnancy care centers need to be better funded so they can offer medical care and educate women about adoption and other parenting options.
In cases of rape-the situation often cited as justification for abortion-Foster wants states to eliminate the rapist's parental rights and early parole and deny him access to pornographic material and weightlifting equipment. "Our prisons should not be turned into rapist training camps," she explained.
Abortion clinics are also a target of the campaign. "Why do we have tough regulations for veterinary clinics but allow abortion clinics to go unregulated?" asked Connie Mackey, vice president of the Family Research Council. "The lack of inspections and reporting requirements is unacceptable."
In launching the pro-life campaign, Foster and groups like the Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America (CWA), along with celebrity spokeswomen Margaret Colin ("Independence Day") and Patricia Heaton ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), are taking on liberal groups like the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL)\b that lay claim to feminism.
"Women's rights" has become a euphemism for abortion, complained CWA President Sandy Rios.
"The entire suffragette movement, without exception, advocated the rights of the unborn," said Foster.
Women like Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Alice Stokes Paul (1885-1977) opposed abortion and advocated equal rights for women, she said. "Genuine equality doesn't come at the expense of someone else."
In fact, said Foster, Paul opposed linking the 1960s and '70s-era Equal Rights Amendment movement with abortion, calling the procedure "the ultimate exploitation of women."
The Women Deserve Better Coalition is also comprised of the Family Action Alliance, the Life Resource Network's Women's Task Force, Priests for Life, National Post- Abortion Awareness Campaign, the Pro-Life Secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Women and Children First.
Neither NOW nor the Feminist Majority returned calls seeking comment.
E-mail a news tip to Christine Hall.
Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.