Pro-Lifers: We're the New ‘Hippies’ Fighting Against Establishment Feminists
(CNSNews.com) - "We are the hippies fighting against the man now," declared Helen M. Alvaré, co-founder of Women Speak for Themselves, at a rally of pro-life women and their young children outside the White House Thursday to protest Obamacare's contraceptive mandate.
"The [feminist] establishment is doing something that is no longer interesting, creative, or freeing - and we are!" she told the women gathered in solidarity against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate, which they say violates their religious beliefs.
Gerri Laird, a teacher of natural family planning at the Cabrini Center for Family Planning in Lorton, Va., put it more bluntly: "Our fertility is now a commodity regulated by the government.
"Contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs all damage a major healthy, functioning part of a woman's body and they can also affect her marriage. Now how is that ‘free and equal’?" she asked.
Maya Noronha, an attorney who attended Georgetown Law School, denounced classmate-turned-contraception advocate Sandra Fluke, whom she said neither represented her as a woman or the university itself.
"I went to Georgetown Law, but my classmate Sandra Fluke does not speak for me. I want to defend a school that promotes chastity and defends life, but Sandra Fluke does not speak for me," Noronha said.
"The administration would have everyone believe that Hispanic women want, more than anything, free access to birth control and abortifacient drugs, even paid for by their employers, even when this violates their religious liberty. This is not true," Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, one of 11 speakers at the rally, said in her remarks.
Christie, a member of The Catholic Association's Advisory Board, traveled to Washington from Miami to criticize what she called the Obama administration’s misportrayal of what Hispanic women believe when it comes to the issue of life.
"Latino immigrants, like other immigrants to the U.S. before us, did not come here looking for handouts. We came here looking for freedoms we were lacking in our own countries."
In an interview with CNSNews.com, Christie said, "The Latino community needs to hear voices from our side of the issue more often and more forcefully."
"I think we need to make a better push to access the media and let our voices be heard in that part of the country. I mean, it's a growing demographic, a young part of the country...we are having more children than Caucasians, so we need to reach them. We can't let the media speak for everyone, we have to speak for ourselves.
Women Speak for Themselves, a grass-roots organization that is focused on pro-life, religious women who reject the views of the feminist movement that claims to represent them, was organized shortly after the final rules for the HHS mandate were announced in January.
On June 28, HHS issued its final set of adjustments to the mandate that left in place most of the requirements that employers subsidize contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs, but provides no exception for religious organizations.
Since January, over 40,000 women have signed on to a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, HHS Secretary Kathleen Seblius, and members of Congress condemning the mandate and calling on the Obama administration to allow religious institutions and individuals an exemption so they can continue to practice their faith.
"Those currently invoking "women's health" in an attempt to shout down anyone who disagrees with forcing religious institutions or individuals to violate deeply held beliefs are more than a little mistaken, and more than a little dishonest," the letter reads.