Can feminists be pro-life? | The Tylt
Can you be a feminist and pro-life at the same time? This long-simmering debate boiled over when pro-life group New Wave Feminists was removed from the list of official partners of the Women's March. Critics say that feminism needs to be open to people with different beliefs about reproductive rights. But others argue that being pro-choice is fundamental to feminism, and think the term "pro-life feminist" is an oxymoron. Does being feminist mean you can't be pro-life?
Can feminists be pro-life?
Pro-life groups like New Wave Feminists want a seat at the women's rights table. Many critique feminist leaders for being monolithic in their thinking around abortion. At Slate magazine, Ruth Graham wrote that by excluding women who oppose abortion rights, "Feminist leaders leave many potential allies on other issues behind," and quoted new wave feminist founder Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa:
“We have a different opinion, but there are so many ways our beliefs overlap. The idea that feminism is this club, and you can be anything you want but not pro-life is so ironic.”
But some remember the days when abortion was illegal, and say reproductive choice and women's rights are inseparable. So for many feminists, calling yourself pro-life negates any claims that a pro-life person can be pro-woman. At Bustle, Cate Carrejo wrote:
You can't be pro-life and a feminist because the pro-life movement inherently advocates for the subjugation of women, and there's no way to get around that fact....The essential ideal of feminism is that all women deserve the freedom to make their own choices, and fighting to limit access to a safe and legal medical procedure for women is very anti-feminist.
Critics want to know why the Women's March rejected the different views of a feminist group. The pro-life feminists were comfortable marching with pro-choice feminists, and open to their point of view. What happened to the values of open-mindedness, big tents, and tolerance?
Others say being anti-choice is essentially anti-woman.
For the record: There is no such thing as a "pro-life feminist." If you're against a woman's right to choose, you ARE NOT a feminist.— noah michelson (@noahmichelson) January 21, 2017