"Pro-Life Feminists" New Strategy to Bridge the Gap in Women's Issues
Last January, the “Women’s March” was organized largely as an act of defiance against President Donald Trump. The marchers donned pink “pussy” hats, and many held signs that demonstrated their solidarity with organizations like Planned Parenthood.
The goal of the march was to show that women are united in their desire for equality (including their desire to have easy abortion access). But that set up a tricky situation for the “New Wave Feminists,” those who call themselves feminist, but oppose abortion.
One year later, the second “Women’s March” took place in Washington D.C. and in many cities across the country. The March for Life took place on the same weekend as the Women’s March, so the New Wave Feminists decided to crash both marches in Dallas, Texas to spread their message.
This breaks normal political boundaries; the Women’s March would be a movement of the political Left, the March for Life mainly on of the political right. However, this particular group seeks to transcend those boundaries to achieve real progress in our society, one of those goals being the eradication of abortion.
On their website, they lay out their vision, something that is distinctly “feminist” but also one that advocates protecting life at all stages.
It's a belief that all human beings should be free from violence for the duration of their lifetime. That means we're anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-torture; and we extend this philosophy to our earliest moments of existence by also being anti-abortion.
We get that this last one is kind of tricky seeing as the unborn fetus is inside of someone else's body and often considered part of the woman's body itself. But science shows us that the fetus has its own body, separate DNA, a separate heart beat and brain waves, and is a totally unique genetic creation.
Many would say that the fetus is actually the most vulnerable member of the human family and yet, because it is smaller, weaker, and can't tell us to stop, we've decided it's okay to dispose of it however we see fit.
It's the ultimate in "might makes right" thinking, which women were subjected to for most of history, and in many parts of the world still suffer under. Because men were stronger and had most of the power and resources, they were able to treat us as property.
Now we are passing that same type of oppression down to our unborn children… and calling it liberation.
Their goals are different than many pro-life organizations though, because they don’t merely want to make abortion illegal, they want a world where it is not even necessary or even considered.
Look, we don't work to make abortion illegal. We work to make it unthinkable and unnecessary. And we do that by getting to the root of the need for it.
It’s a more thorough approach to the issue than the “make abortion illegal” methodology. If abortion is made illegal, but there are not resources for women who get pregnant but are struggling to provide for their child, it’s difficult to claim a huge moral victory (obviously, children’s lives are being saved, but we have to consider what happens after birth as well).
This group participated at the Women’s March in Dallas, and brought their pro-life message with them. Their pro-life slogans sometimes elicited responses of “My body, my choice!” However, there are some who have embraced the New Wave Feminists’ message.
Rachel Lamb leans Left on most political issues, but she found comradery with the New Wave Feminists, and came to change her mind on abortion because of the New Wavers' work.
“I identified as pro-choice as recently as 2010,” she said, according to the Dallas Observer. She was uncomfortable with many of the other beliefs associated with pro-life people.
In the New Wave Feminists, she found a bridge to cross the gap on this issue. She no longer sees feminism and pro-life stances as being opposed. In fact, she and the other New Wavers believe they inherently coincide, and are changing the language surrounding the debate to effectuate that change, an attitudinal change.
Their methodology is alternative and not something many pro-lifers would necessarily advocate, but the strategy is one that may just work. Their platform adds another level of moral argumentation, one that appeals to their audience and not just to those already inclined to agree.
Perhaps their approach is one we should consider for other political discourses. If we can frame the narrative in a way that bridges a gap first, and then use our facts and logic to persuade the other side, it could go a long way in healing the terrible divides in our country.