The Women’s March that took place last weekend advocated for the position that, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights.”
I couldn’t agree more. Human rights are for everyone.
That’s why I can’t agree with all of their Unity Principles, particularly those surrounding “Reproductive Freedom.” According to the organizers, that makes me unqualified to march and unqualified for feminism.
What does it mean to be a feminist? Someone who believes in equal rights for women.
Or, as the good folks at SNL put it…
(Also, who knew SNL is still funny?)
I am pro-life because I believe in equal rights for women, not in spite of that.
I believe that women see utilitarianism as the offense to human dignity that it is.
And I believe that the pro-choice position reflects a fundamental, if unconscious, belief that women’s very nature is a threat to our own well-being. If women’s bodies require violent, invasive remediation in order for us to achieve equality with our brothers, then we aren’t equal at all. We are a substandard product in need of an upgrade.
That. Is. A. Lie.
Men and women are equal. We are just as valuable, just as necessary, and just as good as one another. But we are not the same; we are complementary. “Femaleness” is not a liability or a bug. It’s a feature. “Femaleness” is not a death-bearing disease. It is life-giving power.
One of the most important things I want to teach my children is that they are good. They are created in the image and likeness of God, and nothing in the way they were created requires eliminating or upgrading. They have inherent dignity. That’s also true for every person they meet, and it’s their duty and privilege to see and honor that dignity in others and in themselves.
There is a reason that the pioneers of the early feminist movement- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Mary Wollstonecraft, among others- were all explicitly and vocally pro-life.
Women have historically been treated as property. They’ve been at the mercy of those who wield greater social and physical power. They have been viewed as infantile, incapable of making the best decisions for themselves and in need of a merciful authority figure to do it for them.
The acceptance of abortion as a legitimate way to solve the serious and complex problems surrounding a crisis pregnancy is not a repudiation but an affirmation of all those ways women have been subjugated.
Abortion treats the unborn human fetus as the property of his mother.
Abortion places the unborn human fetus at the mercy of those who are (literally as well as metaphorically) bigger and stronger.
Abortion says that we may decide for another human being that her life is not worth living because of the poverty, disease, or disability she may face.
Abortion puts women and other vulnerable populations such as refugees, the disabled, the sick, and racial minorities at grave risk. It’s no coincidence that the nation’s largest abortion provider was founded by a eugenicist. Abortion is the message that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems, especially problems that involve people who are unwanted by other people.
Only a fool would pretend that the situations in which pregnant women often find themselves aren’t difficult and complicated. Pro-lifers should and must do a better job of assisting women and reforming the social structures that make an unplanned pregnancy a potential crisis. But offering up abortion as a solution is the antithesis of feminism. It is the antithesis of social justice. It is the antithesis of inclusivity, tolerance, and intersectionality. It is violence wielded against the powerless to advance the interests of the more powerful. As long as the contemporary feminist movement eschews the founders of their own movement on this point, they jeopardize the very women they claim to advocate for.
Human rights are for everyone.
They are for women and girls.
They are for sick people.
They are for disabled people.
They are for people of every race and religion.
They are for gay and straight people.
They are for people of every nation.
They are for old people and young people.
Human rights are for everyone.
I want my daughter to know that she is equal to her brother, perfect the way she is, and not a liability to herself, but a source of life-giving power. I want my children to know that every human being on the planet has equal dignity and value. And those aren’t lessons I can impart if I accept the disposal of sick or unwanted or inconvenient human beings as a legitimate solution to social problems.