On March 15, as the video clips in the previous post show, three rock star Representatives from the Pro-life Women’s Caucus spent one hour on the floor of the House of Representatives talking about Women’s History Month, the original feminists – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul, and their views on abortion.
These relatively short speeches by Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Renee Ellmers (R-NC) and Virginia Foxx (R-NC) provide an essential history lesson, one that is hardly ever taught in our schools. Or at the very least, I am sure that I never learned these things in any of my academic studies (which includes high school, college and graduate school!).
The quotes of the original feminists make the case clear. Being an authentic feminist means being pro-life.
Rep. Jean Schmidt provided a wonderful overview of the history of feminism, including the writings of early feminists related to abortion.
First, she commented on Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s audacity as she dared to leave the house when she was pregnant – something that was simply not done in that time. Furthermore, Cady Stanton wrote in a 1873 letter to Julia Ward Howe, ‘‘When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women to treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.’’ This, sadly is a genuine explanation of abortion. Abortion hurts women by forcing them to treat their children (boys and girls) as property that can be disposed of “at will”, by making those children expendable – the way that women were so often depicted in earlier ages.
Rep. Schmidt went on to quote, Susan B. Anthony’s thoughts on abortion as published in “The Revolution”:
‘‘Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life; it will burden her soul in death.’’
How often do we witness the pain of a woman who has had to endure the pain of abortion(s)? Just yesterday I read a story submitted on another pro-life blog. A woman whose shame about her multiple abortions made her lock all those feelings inside herself for years…until finally she was graced with the opportunity to share them with her husband. The unborn child who is lost to abortion does not suffer alone – each mother is irrevocably changed…not to mention the fathers, sisters and brothers who suffer because of the loss of a child or sibling due to abortion.
Finally, towards the end of her speech, Rep. Schmidt reminded us of Alice Paul’s famous one line description of abortion. “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.” As Rep. Schmidt pointed out – abortion is often seen as a “right wing” issue, but Alice Paul – author of the original Equal Rights Amendment – was certainly not seen as “right wing”.
Rep. Ellmers followed Rep. Schmidt, speaking about the physical and psychological dangers of abortion. Then Rep. Foxx came to close with information about taxpayer funding of abortion, citing a Quinnipiac poll that revealed 70% of women are opposed to the use of tax dollars for abortion. Reps. Foxx and Schmidt pointed out that this number is extremely important since it is often believed that it is predominantly women who want abortion.
In doing additional research for this post, I stumbled upon a fascinating BBC website. Under its Ethics section, the BBC has a detailed description of feminist arguments for and against abortion. You can view these arguments by clicking here. I was shocked to find even this small recognition that some feminists do oppose abortion and, though the coverage may not be entirely comprehensive, at least it is not completely omitted…as it has been in so many history lessons.
Abortion IS the ultimate exploitation of women. Women deserve better than abortion. I am so thankful for our Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, who take the time and expend the courage to stand up and speak the truth for women and in support of women.
May their words extend beyond the halls of Congress to the women and young girls of today. May these words give courage to those who are faced with other, sometimes louder voices that scream about how abortion is necessary for the realization of feminist ideals. And may these truths help end the taxpayer funding of all abortions, including abortion giant Planned Parenthood.
Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women. I just can’t say it enough. Truth is contagious.