This week, the Women’s March on Washington announced only pro-choice supporters are welcome at their event. According to them, supporting abortion is a foundation of feminism and a prerequisite for pro-women advocacy.
In doing so, the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington made it clear that not all women are welcome in their march. In fact, they want you to know that you aren’t pro-woman unless you are pro-abortion.
This means, they would exclude women like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who were leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. But these trailblazers of women’s rights are not feminists according to the so-called “Women’s March on Washington” because in addition to being pro-woman, they were pro-life. So who gets to define what it means to be pro-woman?
We invited some pro-life women who are actively engaged in the culture to weigh in on the Women’s March because the organizers do not get to define what it means to be pro-woman according to their own agenda. Here is what they said:
“While it’s fun to be part of the cool kids crowd, this is one lunch table I’m happy to not have been invited to. Women’s rights aren’t trademarked by Planned Parenthood like they believe, and I’m going to the Women’s March on Saturday, along with the Pro-Life Generation, to represent women who have been betrayed by the very abortion industry that claims to protect and empower them. It’s going to be our signs, our faces, and our voices that will speak for those marginalized by the promoters of the Women’s March and their abortion industry partners.”— Kristan Hawkins, President of Students for Life
“While organizers of the ‘Women’s March on Washington’ have the prerogative to screen partners for their event, excluding those of us who support the dignity and human rights of pre-born children is unfortunate, curious and out of step with many original feminist principles. Supporters of the March are described as being diverse; this should include diverse perspectives on the hotly debated topic of abortion. Countless women, myself included, view the protection of all children, born and pre-born, as among the most empowering work we will ever do. It’s unfortunate that March organizers are unwilling to acknowledge this diversity and act more inclusively.”— Kelly Rosati, Vice President, Community Outreach for Focus on the Family
“The Women’s March says abortion advocacy is the foundation of feminism. Only 15% of women in America identify as feminists. The vast majority have come to realize that feminism no longer stands for believing women and men are equally gifted and valuable. It now means that men are beastly, imperious beings who must be put down. Most women don’t believe that, or want to be associated with it. Particularly the millennial generation, who also see abortion activists as old bitter feminists.
“The Women’s March mission statement says they stand together to nonviolently defend the human rights of the most marginalized among us so that all persons can attain their full human potential. With 60 million abortions since Roe v. Wade, the pre-natal child is the most marginalized segment of society, whose lives are violently prevented from attaining their full potential. So I call the Women’s March to stand on their behalf.
“The bottom line is this. If the supporters of the Women’s March advocate for both sexual liberty and human justice, they need to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask what they support when those two things come into conflict. As it stands, they have thrown their weight behind the personal indulgence of sexual freedom at the expense of the life and well-being of the pre-natal child.”— Erin Brownback, Messaging and Communication Specialist
“I am pro-woman, yet refuse to identify myself as a feminist. A good example for why, is the march organizer’s decision to remove a pro-life women’s group from its list of sponsors. Sure, the rally hides behind a veneer of protesting violence against women and unjust gender structures in society. But 21st century feminism ultimately fixes a woman’s self-worth on abortion access and advocacy. And that’s the same message these march organizers are sending. If you’re a woman who also protests the destruction of unborn life, then your voice is not only unwelcomed, but diminished. Thankfully, my self-worth isn’t found in feminism. It’s found in the merciful One who paid my ransom from sin with the blood of Jesus Christ.”— Chelsen Vicari, Institute on Religion & Democracy
“Pro-life is pro-woman. It is time the feminist movement listens to pro-life female voices. Given their strong beliefs on abortion, pro-life women constantly look out for the health and wellness of abortion minded women, advocate for better medical treatment and facilities, promote increased involvement of fathers, and assure accurate information is provided before a pregnancy decision is made. Being pro-life is at its core being pro-woman. Inclusivity means allowing all voices a chance to be heard.”— Alison Howard, Director of Alliance Relations, Alliance Defending Freedom
“The Women’s March on Washington is deliberately excluding the voices of roughly half of women in America, who believe that pro-life and pro-woman go hand in hand. The message of the Women’s March is clear: if you are one of the millions of women who believe in the dignity and humanity of all people, born and unborn, then you are not welcome to participate.”— Melanie Israel, Research Associate for DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation
As these women have ably communicated, the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington do not get to define what it means to be pro-woman.
There is another March happening this January, and it is the March for Life. Kellyanne Conway, the first woman to manage a successful presidential campaign is scheduled to speak. She is also making history as the first sitting White House official to address the event. She shares why the choice to speak at the March for Life was an easy one for her: “I consider myself a member of the pro-life rank-and-file,” she says. “Just one of the tens of millions of Americans who fear the cavalier way innocent human life is treated today.”
This is the 43rd year of the March and her attendance is already bringing renewed media attention to the event by forcing national news outlets to cover her speech, when in the past, they have refused to cover it altogether. So regardless how hard the pro-abortion advocates may try, they will not get to be the only voice speaking on behalf of women in this country.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared on reconnectwithcarmen.com and is used by permission from the author.
Carmen LaBerge is a writer, speaker and host of the daily Christian talk radio show The Reconnect. She uses her influence to bring together other church and ministry leaders to stand together for the cause of Christ in the culture.