NRL News

Women’s March “raising thorny questions about what it means to be a feminist in 2017”

by | Jan 18, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

I make it a point that when pro-abortion outlets, especially the heavyweights who carry so much water for the Abortion Industry, produce a balanced story, to acknowledge this deviation from the norm.

And “Views on Abortion Strain Calls for Unity at Women’s March on Washington,” by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, goes far beyond a throwaway line or two about pro-life feminists being refused a seat at the table at Saturday’s march.

Stolberg offers a fair-minded historical overview which (in my words, not hers) documents the absolute intolerance of the pro-abortion feminist establishment toward women who do not see unborn children as their mortal enemies but who also see themselves as feminists.

As an illustration, Stolberg writes about something we addressed yesterday–a Texas pro-life feminist group tossed out after a momentary acceptance as a “partner,” the organizers of the Women’s March nomenclature for official recognition.

Why? “Linda Sarsour, a Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American Muslim racial justice and civil-rights activist, and one of four co-chairwomen of the march” called “the initial decision to include the group ‘a mistake.’”

Stolberg puts the context of the battle that has gone on for decades among “Second Wave” feminists between those who see “the right to abortion as essential to women’s empowerment” and a whole host of women who do not, including “Catholics, Protestants and evangelical Christians, as well as churchgoing African-Americans, a number of whom considered themselves liberal on other issues.”

Stolberg quotes extensively from veteran pro-abortion academic Carol Joffe who says, “I think this march will be discussed for a very long time, because this march raises in a very powerful way the question of who can rightfully be called a feminist, what does feminist organizing mean in the 21st century.”

In case anyone might think Joffe is advocating a Big Tent feminism, she immediately tells Stolberg, “Is it even possible to have a conception of American feminism that does not involve pro-choice and pro-contraception?”

Which, of course, begs the question and ignores all those women who clearly see no contradiction between being pro-life and being a feminist.

To her credit Stolberg also places the “bitter rift” in the larger context of the ascension of a pro-life President, one of whose counselors and former campaign manager–Kellyanne Conway–will speak at the March for Life in Washington, DC, and the drive to defund Planned Parenthood and reroute the money to full service clinics which do not have as the main item on their menu of services killing unborn babies.

She notes that 53% of White women voted for President-elect Donald Trump, “who flocked to him primarily for economic reasons, pollsters said, but also because he made explicit promises to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that found a right to abortion within the privacy clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.”

(What Stolberg could have mentioned is how important the Supreme Court was in people’s vote. 56% of those who voted for Trump said it was the most important factor, compared to 41% for Hillary Clinton–a whopping 15 point advantage for Trump.)

Finally, Stolberg reminded her readers that women are at least as pro-life than men (actually more so, but we’ll let that pass). A pro-abortion Democratic pollster’s reductionist explanation is “because the question is inextricably tied to faith, and women tend to be more religious than men.”

I’m not sure how far that explanation takes anyone, but it is certainly true that Clinton narrowly lost the Catholic vote and lost the Evangelical vote overwhelmingly.

As the day of the Women’s March approaches, stories are more clear about the central role of NARAL and Planned Parenthood. “Both groups have a powerful presence here in the capital and are expert at organizing protests,” Stolberg wrote.

When asked if pro-life feminists “could march in solidarity with the march,” Mitchell Stille, NARAL’s national political director, sounded “irked.”

Of course. When it comes to the centrality of the right to off unborn babies, NARAL and PPFA are not going to allow gauzy rhetoric about being “affirming,” “open,” and “intersectional” to get in the way.

Categories: Abortion