One of the most stimulating arguments I have heard for the pro-life movement is this: we consider a clump of cells on Mars as life, yet what’s inside a woman’s womb is just a clump of cells and therefore is not life.
I’ve had the great fortune to attend the March for Life in Washington DC for two years in a row, along with a special conference on life at Georgetown University. This year, one of the speakers was the president of the organization Feminists for Life, Serrin Foster. According to her, most of our feminist foremothers were severely pro-life. She quoted several of them, including Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother of feminism, who condemned those who would “either destroy the embryo in the womb or cast it off when born” in her very famous work A Vindication of the Rights of Women. This talk really resonated with me this year for one reason, and an obvious one at that. For years I have seen feminists in the media bashing men and yelling about the right to choose. The right to choose whether a child in the womb has the right to life.They talk about how it’s convenient, how they just aren’t ready and don’t want to submit this baby to the harshness of a single mother world, seeming to forget about other options like adoption. I remember when my parents first explained abortion to me. It was all over the news that day that the Susan G Coleman foundation had stopped funding Planned Parenthood. I asked my parents what that was, and they reluctantly told me the process. That day I felt like the dark side of the world was revealed to me. I understood the process, but I remember just asking my parents why. I kept repeating the word why over and over. Why would anyone think it’s okay to eliminate another person, to erase their existence and snuff out their soul, just because they don’t want to be responsible for raising it, they feel like they aren’t ready, or they feel they had no other choice than to abort (which to me seems like the opposite of a “woman’s choice”).
Growing up I was surrounded by pro-life influences. I was raised Catholic, but for a few years I completely rejected the church, as I think most cradle Catholics do at some point. I hated going to church, hated praying, made fun of my parents for it, and rolled my eyes whenever they mentioned anything related to our faith. But, during this time, I always stood firm in my pro-life beliefs. I learned the moral and scientific reasons for being pro-life, beyond theological reasons, and these reasons strengthened my vigor to fight for justice. First, I believe everyone has a right to experience life, even if they were conceived in rape or incest, because it wasn’t their fault they were conceived, and each human is born as a blank slate, which could be an opportunity to raise a non-rapist. Second, contrary to popular belief, studies show that women have a 30% increased chance to get breast cancer if they have an abortion. These are not religious beliefs but philosophical and scientific reasons which I think speak for themselves.
The big number floating around the march this year was 60 million. That is how many babies are estimated to have been killed since the Roe v. Wade decision. Think about how our world would be different if we had those 60 million people living among us. One of them could have been the first female president. One of them could have found the cure to cancer. We have no way of knowing how many of these babies lost were women. What about their rights? Shouldn’t we fight for their equality and right to live in this world? Or is the right to life not what these women at the women’s march are fighting for?
I’ve been surrounded by strong women my entire life. My mother was a homemaker for the beginning part of my life, then went back into the workforce to help my father. My sister published a book by herself when she was only a teenager. Both of my aunts support their families with their careers. My grandmother is fighting cancer and still finds time to watch football on the weekends. My nana is taking care of my ailing papa all by herself. These strong women have been huge influences in my life, and yet none of them disagree that every human has a right to life. None of them disagree that the wage gap and sexism should end.
One of the main themes of this year’s march was Love Saves Lives, and I strongly felt the sense of positivity that came with everyone else at the march. Everyone had a smile on their face and a song in their heart. As we listened to the rally before the march, there were two bald eagles circling the stage, and if that’s not a sign from God, I don’t know what is. I took that love and positivity to heart, and opened myself up to the previously scary door of feminism, and together with Serrin Foster’s inspiring words, I discovered a new platform of life that makes me proud to be pro-life and a feminist.
I love women, and I want to protect them, especially all the women who don’t have the opportunity to be born and experience life, as unequal as it is right now. But I want to fight to change that, just as much as any pro-choice feminist you see at any Women’s March. I love men, and I want to restore the culture of fatherhood and I believe they can be vital in using their position to fight the wage gap. Being a pro-life feminist is easier than people think, and the women in the womb who have a chance to live in this world are the reason I marched.