“When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society—so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.” Mattie Brinkerhoff, The Revolution ● 1869
When I created the slogan “Women Deserve Better® than Abortion, I didn’t simply mean saying “no” to abortion, it meant saying “yes” to the resources that support pregnant women and their children—before and after birth.
Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Abortion masks the unmet needs of women in the workplace, schools, home and society. Abortion hurts the most vulnerable in society—the poor, the working poor, women in difficult and often abusive relationships, and students and women in the workplace whose basic needs are ignored.
Feminists for Life is dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions. Women deserve better than abortion.
Women have sought real solutions since entering the workforce. Women want—and deserve—equal opportunities for pay and position in the work place. Flex time, job sharing, and telecommuting. Comprehensive health care. Maternity benefits and parental leave. Affordable, quality child care. Shared parental responsibility. Child support.
Feminists for Life has been leading a similar discussion with students, administrators, and professors on college campuses. Both students and faculty want more resources. Affordable housing. Financial aid and scholarship security. Maternity coverage in student health plans. Accessible child care. Flexible class scheduling. Counseling services. Publicized policies that support pregnant women and parents. Students and staff need a central place on campus to coordinate these services.
No woman should be forced to choose between relinquishing her education and career plans or suffering through a humiliating, invasive procedure and sacrificing her child. We refuse to choose.®
Abortion represents a failure to listen and respond to the unmet needs of women. Why perpetuate failure?
Pro-life feminists recognize abortion as a symptom of, not a solution to, the continuing struggles women face in the workplace, on campus, at home, and in the world at large.
Feminists for Life is a renaissance of the original American feminism. Like Susan B. Anthony and other early American suffragists, today’s pro-life feminists envision a better world, where no woman would be driven by desperation to abortion:
- A world in which pregnancy, motherhood and birthmotherhood are accepted and supported.
- Campuses and workplaces that support mothers in practical ways rather than forcing them to choose between their education or career plans and their children.
- A society that supports the role of mothers and values the role of fathers and helps fathers provide both financial and emotional support for their children.
- A culture where parents are respected, whether they stay at home or return to work.
We have worked for low-income women. We have worked to prevent violence against women, including pregnant women. We have worked to protect women from being forced into unwanted abortions. We have worked to reduce poverty among women and children, prevent coerced abortions due to threats to withhold child support, and instead encourage the active support of fathers in the lives of their children. We have led the revolution on campus through the FFL College Outreach Program to meet the needs of college-age women who have the highest rate of abortion. Since the College Outreach Program began in 1994, there has been a dramatic 30% decrease in abortions among college-educated women. We believe that education is key to fighting the feminization of poverty. Sixty-nine percent of abortions are performed on the poor, working poor and economically disadvantaged. FFL Pregnancy Resource Forums on top campuses across the country inspired Pregnancy Assistance Fund which will, in part, help transform campuses in support of pregnant and parenting students, birthmothers. We advocate workplace solutions that benefit both employee and employer. And we have educated the pro-life and feminist movements about America’s rich pro-life feminist history.
Our message that Women Deserve Better® than Abortion is redirecting the polarized debate toward holistic, woman-centered solutions.
When I found Feminists for Life I knew I was home. I wasn’t interested in criminalizing women who had abortion. I am driven by freeing women from abortion through resources and support.
You too can be proud to be a part of the solutions. Join us, because women don’t have to settle for less, because there is a better way. And yes, this invitation extends to men who have a right to share in the joy and responsibility of caring for our children.
For more reasons you can be proud to be a member of Feminists for Life, FFL President Serrin M. Foster invites you to go to www.feministsforlife.org/news click on “accomplishments” and then to the “Support Us” button.
® Women Deserve Better, Refuse to Choose, and The American Feminist are registered trademarks of Feminists for Life of America.