Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pro-Life Feminism-Blog #1

The primary goal of all feminism is fairness. Pro-Life Feminism is the opposition to abortion. The pro-life feminists say it hurts women more than it benefits them. They say it is not a necessary right. Pro-life feminists support fetal rights, arguing that fetuses and embryos are human beings and therefore have a right to life. They also are against the abortion-inducing drug, RU-486 and specific abortion procedures. Some also focus not so much on changing the legal status, but making it obsolete by relieving it's root causes at every level of society, for example, providing direct aid to pregnant women. There have been some pro-life feminist groups that have used force, violence, and protests. from 1977 to 1997, there were 33,801 arrests made for violence, disruption, and clinic blockades.
Susan B. Anthony was one of the women in this movement. She founded the American Feminism and was part of the Political Action Committee, which works to elect pro-life women to congress.
I came upon many quotes from pro-life feminists from around the world. Some are:

1.) "One of my most important activities is . . . . to work for the reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision. . . . The approach we are taking is to show that the lives and rights of women have not been advanced or enhanced, but rather destroyed, by abortion-on-demand. We are collecting affidavits from women who have been harmed by abortion, from women who are convinced that authentic feminism is pro-life, and from professionals who know that Roe has weakened the moral fabric of the legal and medical professions."In summary, pro-life feminists feel that the "right" to destroy their own offspring is not a "right" - no one has the right to destroy another human being. True feminism, as I believe, condemns those who support oppression - whether the oppression be against women, men, minorities, or the unborn. Modern feminism has lost sight of the true meaning of feminism in the regards that modern feminism does not acknowledge the value of women who choose to stay home rather than work in the "business" world, or the value of a child if it is in the mother's womb.-Carolyn C. Gargaro
2.)"If women must submit to abortion to preserve their lifestyle or career, their economic social status, they are pandering to a system devised and run by men for male convenience.-Daphne de Jong
3.)Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.-Alice Paul

Many members on one website, http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/pro-life_feminism stated that, "Abortion contradicts the whole concept of individual rights, that a mother should not be able to end her embryos life, which is considered a human being." Also, "The act of abortion is not only seen a violent act against the woman receiving it, but the possible female whose life is being ended. More than one person's rights are involved in a pregnancy."

Another website, http://www.gurlpages.com/activism/rsuffragetes/ribbon.html states pro-life feminists respect ALL human life, and they do not place their morality on people - including the unborn - by deciding who should live and who should die. Some people call pro-life feminists "anti-choice" - well, pro-life feminists *are* anti-choice, when it comes to abortion. They are also anti-choice when it comes to rape or the abuse of women. No one should have the "choice" to rape or abuse women either. No one should have the "choice" to beat a woman or not. Pro-life feminists want REAL choice for women. A REAL choice where women have the option to *choose* effective birth control, effective being the key word. A REAL choice when it comes to having a career and a child - women should not be in the situation where they either have an abortion or risk losing their job. What kind of choice is that? And this sort of thing does happen. What does this say to women? That a pregnant woman isn't as valuable in the workplace? How is that showing a respect for women? How does that type of attitude "liberate" women? Pro-life feminists reject abortion because they reject the use of violence to solve a problem. They want more than to just settle for mere equality of opportunity -- the opportunity to contribute equally to violence and and human rights abuses in society. Pro-life feminists seek to transform society to create a world that reflects true feminist ideals. "True Feminist ideals" are part of a larger philosophy that values all life, including the life of the unborn. Feminists believe that all human beings have inherent worth - a worth which cannot be conferred or denied by someone else. ("Abortion Does Not Liberate Women," Feminists for Life) Abortion is completely incompatible with this feminist vision. Abortion makes the unborn and the mother enemies, and basically pits women against their own children so women can achieve "equality." For in today's society, women have not achieved true equality - they still must, many times, abort to be on an equal level politically, socially, and in the business world.

Pro-life differs from pro-choice for the beliefs they have. Pro-choice feminists say women should have complete control over her fertility and pregnancy, guarantees of reproductive rights, which includes sexual education, contraception, fertility treatments, access to legal and safe abortions, and protection from forced abortions. Yet, both want to minimize the need for abortions.

From all that I have read and researched, I agree with both sides of the argument. Yet, I would have to say I am pro-choice. I believe a woman has a right to have an abortion if she feels it is needed. I do not agree on abortions being used as a type of birth control or for a woman to do it for someone else. This has to be her decision. She is the one that has to live with this for the rest of her life. I think, if it is possible in the situation, she should think of adoption first.

Many activists names I came across are Susan B. Anthony, Carolyn C. Gargaro, Daphne de Jong, Alice Paul, Angela Kennedy, former chair of the Labour Life Group, and Mary Wollstonecraft, author of "A Vindication of the Rights of a Woman".
I found two books on pro-life feminism, "No Turning Back" by Estelle B. Freedman and "Feminism" by Judith Harlan. I also researched different websites such as http:/en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro-life_feminism, http:/ www.gargaro.com/lifefem.html, http:/www.sba-ist.org/, http://members.tripod.com/~SLV80/Prolife, and http://www.geocities.com/livefreecritique/modernfeminists.htn

-Mandie Kohlenberg

1 comment:

Harlan Editorial said...

It looks as if Feminism, a Reference Handbook, is being grouped with pro-life feminism books in your blog. I'd have to dispute that; my book is really an overall view of feminism, its leaders, its organizations, and its politics.
It's always gratifying to know it's being used as a research tool, though, and helping to clarify positions -- personal and public -- about feminism. Good luck with your continuing research.
best, Judith