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The amazing women whose tireless advocacy powers the pro-life movement

by | Mar 25, 2021

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Dr. Mildred Jefferson

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, I wanted to reflect on the awe-inspiring women who have contributed greatly to the cause of advancing protection for innocent human life.

When I was quite young, I read a biography of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and was deeply impressed by it. I admired the way this suffragette fought for both the abolition of slavery and equality for women. 

Reflecting on the tragedy of infanticide, Elizabeth wrote, “There must be a remedy for such a crying evil as this. But where shall it be found, at least begin, if not in the complete enfranchisement and elevation of women?”

Women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony was also a staunch defender of human life. The newspaper that Anthony published spoke out boldly against abortion, defining it as infanticide and child murder. Through her outspoken defense of mothers and children, Anthony fought for a true equality that recognized the rights of all women—born and preborn.

In more recent times, Dr. Mildred Jefferson carried the pro-life torch aright. The first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, Jefferson led the National Right to Life Committee with a profound dignity and grace. Her advocacy of life was noted in the first paragraph of her New York Times obituary, which labelled her an “outspoken opponent of abortion.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (seated) and Susan B. Anthony

Jefferson had been hailed as the greatest orator of the pro-life movement. In an article in The American Feminist, she was quoted as saying, “I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”  

These courageous women, and so many others today, fought for the imperfect, the humble, and the unplanned. They exuded a respect for the dignity and value of human life at all its beautiful and wondrous stages.

Let us pause this month to recognize the amazing women whose tireless advocacy powers the pro-life movement. Their sacrifices on behalf of the cause of life inspire us all to redouble our efforts to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Categories: Pro-Lifers
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