by Lisa Stiller
On Saturday, Jan 21 I will join over a million of people taking part in one of over 600 women marches being held throughout the nation, organized as a protest of the “Trump Agenda”. I am walking as a pro-life feminist.
Depending on the city, the marches have different organizers. But most of the marches have at least one prominent organizer at the forefront that is affiliated with a pro-abortion organization (Planned Parenthood, NARAL, etc). The rallying cry for most includes wording clearly referencing “protecting women’s health”, “protecting reproductive choice”, “marching against the war on women,” all code for protecting abortion “rights”.
Because of the endorsement of abortion, at first, I was hesitant to join. But because abortion does not define a women’s agenda, I decided that as a pro-life feminist, I had so many reasons to stand up to everything Trump and his administration stand for. In fact, the Women’s March website lists “reproductive freedom” as one of 12 huge injustices they are standing up against.
The problem is that organizers are asking walkers and cosponsors to sign on to the march’s agenda. They are also failing to accept those who espouse any ideology which includes opposing abortion.
But as a pro-life feminist, I find Trump’s agenda totally repugnant.
Being a feminist means taking a stand against violence, against misogyny, against intolerance, anything that erodes human dignity. It means standing up for equality for women in the workplace, at home, and in the public sector. This is what our early feminists stood for. And their feminism did not include support for abortion: Alice Paul, author or the 1923 Equal Rights Amendment, said: “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women”.
Being a pro-life feminist means standing up for the right to have access to affordable health care, child care, decent housing, and paid family leave.
It means equal opportunity in the job market with equal pay.
It means the right to be free from sexual harassment, exploitation, violence, and misogyny.
It means the right to choose whether to marry and the right to choose whom to marry.
A pro-life feminist stands up for equal rights for all, born and unborn, and stands up against injustice towards anyone or any group.
A pro-life feminist stands against all violence, and for peaceful solutions to conflict.
And all of these are targets of the Trump administration.
As a pro-life feminist, I believe that abortion hurts women. It demeans women. It exploits women. As a pro-life feminist, I oppose all violence and instead uphold a consistent life ethic with respect for all life. Abortion is an act of extreme violence. Abortion advocates tell women they have the right to kill their child in order to be free, to not have an unwanted child ‘ruin’ their life, that their bodies belong to themselves and therefore it is OK to destroy a human life if it is in the way. If these same abortion advocates spent their time, energy, and money fighting for those things that support children and families, rather than fighting for the right to destroy live human beings, there would be far fewer women seeking abortions.
Trump is not pro-life. He is better described as pro-birth (well, maybe: he became pro-birth only when it was politically convenient.) He stands against women and children and the poor everywhere you look. He claims to oppose abortion but wants to reduce social service funding, take away health care from pregnant women and children, and destroy public education for our children. Restart the arms race, build a fence, deport immigrants.
So I will march against the Trump agenda. As a pro-life feminist.
In doing so I will not be intimidated by anti-life organizations, who rather than reaching out to their whole-life/consistent life sisters, to work for all of those things we value in common, continue to vilify the very people they need to stand against the injustices that Trump could wreak on our country and world.
Lisa Stiller (Portland, OR) 775-232-2823 firstname.lastname@example.org
National Board Member: Democrats for Life of America
National Board Member: Consistent Life Network