One doesn’t usually equate being pro-life with a belief in feminism, but that is exactly how Serrin Foster sees it.
Foster is president of Feminists for Life (FFL), and visited Temple University’s campus on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to discuss her organization’s views on abortion and feminism.
According to their Web site, FFL bills itself as a “nonsectarian, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that seeks equality for all human beings and champions the needs of women.”
In addition, FFL’s Web site states that they are against all forms of violence, including abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and capital punishment because “they are inconsistent with the core feminist principle’s of justice, nonviolence and nondiscrimination.”
Furthermore, the organization states that its pro-woman, pro-life stance is a 200-year-old American tradition.
In her lecture, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” Foster told Temple students how many early American feminists, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, strongly opposed abortion and would not have supported the National Organization for Women in their pro-choice stance.
Foster’s major point was that abortion merely masks larger social problems, such as lack of financial and emotional resources for pregnant women.
She said that many women feel coerced into having an abortion by people who tell them that having a child will ruin their life, or that they will not be able to get or finish their education if they are pregnant.
“Children do not ruin the world,” Foster said.
“Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women.”
Foster said it is important to begin questioning these issues in order to systematically eliminate abortion in this country.
She also questioned the belief that the elimination of abortion will set the feminist movement back.
“We will not be silenced if we can’t have abortions,” Foster said.
Foster also discussed the idea that the right to have an abortion helped women in their struggle for equality in the 1970s.
She said that this was not a valid reason for abortion to remain legal because “genuine equality doesn’t come at the expense of anyone.”
Some feminists claim that the right to an abortion is empowering for women and gives them control over their bodies and their futures.
However, Foster said that it is not empowering for a woman to lie down with her feet in stirrups and have someone come at her with a sharp object or a vacuum cleaner.
In the end, Foster said that her most important goal was to “work with people on both sides of the debate to systematically eliminate the reasons women have abortions.”
If you would like to learn more about Feminists For Life, visit www.feministsforlife.org.
Carrie Tolerico can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.