Victoria’s Sacred: Part Two

Elizabeth Hanna Pham

Bringing back the concept of the woman as sacred requires that we, women, act like she is. Because if we act like it then men will too. And lingerie companies will. And the music industry will.

The problem is many of us don’t really feel like we are sacred. We may not even believe that we are. But feelings can always be overcome. And when a fact is true, sometimes we need to merely act as if we believe it, and then the belief (and the feelings,) will follow.

Let’s start with the outside. Wear what you would wear if you truly believed you held something sacred.

Wear makeup it if you think it adorns you well, but don’t wear it as a mask to hide behind. Don’t be as concerned with the trend, or the label, or how perfectly straight you can get your hair to go. I was amazed going from a high school with uniforms to college how the majority of college girls all dress the same. And I don’t think anyone would claim it to be a very pretty outfit (nike shorts, t-shirt, leggings, tennis shoes.) And yet don’t we want to be the girl who is completely “herself”—who dresses in her own style and doesn’t need to blend? We want to be comfortable like her. We are just scared that we aren’t beautiful enough. We don’t believe we are sacred. So choose to believe it. Ask yourself what you would wear if you truly believed you were beautiful.

And then think about too, how much you would reveal, if you truly believed you were sacred. It is true that in an ideal world covering up would not be necessary, considering how beautiful and sacred the female body is. But our culture has damaged the bond between sacred and sexual, and baring all can detract attention away from the sacred. We know this, and that is why we all have a line somewhere with regard to modesty. But think about modesty in terms of what you would wear if you did not fear disapproval or rejection. What would you wear if you knew you were beautiful and did not need to draw attention to your sexuality? Sometimes we feel entitled to show off, and when we are chastised our interior response may be you’re just jealous. Besides, if nobody else covers up, who will pay us attention if we do?

But here again, we must choose to commit to the fight. And wait patiently on the men to follow. Because they will.

For deep inside every man is a jaded little boy who wished he could be a knight and wants that princess who he can protect and adorn. But we have taught him that that princess does not exist. That instead, he can have quick pleasure and excitement from the toys we make of ourselves. But if we want men to get away from the TV screen on the night of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, we have to stop watching. We must exit the race. For it is a futile one. The sexy, the shocking, even the cute—it all ends. It all fades. The only thing that remains is the sacred. And we must embrace it and protect it and demand that it be respected by others.

I want to finish with the fairy tale of Cinderella. Cinderella teaches us the most important lesson about beauty. She did not have the luxury of buying beautiful dresses (up until the Fairy Godmother arrival.) She wore rags and she spent her days cleaning and scrubbing and well, being alone. If anyone could have determined that no one found her beautiful or wanted her it would be Cinderella. But Cinderella is the fairy tale princess. Why? Because she was by far the most beautiful. She did not let anything destroy her goodness, her virtue, her must precious self. She loved as if others loved her. She wore her rags as if they were a ball-gown. She sang as if people listened. She knew that she was a princess and so she did not let anything embitter her or make her think otherwise. She made her whole self beautiful by primarily making her heart beautiful. And as we know, if the heart is beautiful, well, a bodily imperfection becomes laughably insignificant.

But then there is always the objection:

What if my Fairy Godmother never sends me the prince.

This is a loneliness that many women have to deal with and it is the reason fairy tales are blamed with giving little girls false hope. But the unspoken truth of Cinderella is that she would have remained a princess even if she had never gone to the ball. Cinderella was happy even in the midst of her loneliness. Even while no one seemed to notice her beauty. And that is the wonderful thing about womanhood. Like a lonely temple in a desert, it does not lose its beauty just because no one is admiring it. The beautiful woman is a happy woman because she is living her life like she should. And the sacred within her is the most important part of her. She nurtures it, she adorns it, and she shares it. The beautiful woman loves. And when a woman loves, her angel wings take her higher than any plastic Victoria’s Secret imitation ever could.


Victoria’s Sacred: Part One

Elizabeth Hanna Pham

When I was about thirteen I received some perfume from Victoria’s Secret. It was called dream angel. Of course I expected, with such a name, that it would smell like roses or vanilla, or some heavenly scent I had never encountered before.

It smelled like fingernail polish remover. I probably left it in the front of my counter to be the cool teenager I was trying to be, but I could never stomach it enough to wear it.

About eight years later I was sitting in front of my computer. It was a night in the Fall and my Facebook newsfeed was blowing up, as it tends to do, when there is some important sporting event or national crisis or holiday taking place. But the guys and girls weren’t posting about their favorite team or what they were eating for Thanksgiving. For guys, the statuses went something like this:


And the girls, like this:

…Never looking in the mirror again.

My Facebook friends were watching the Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

I’ve only seen a snippet of it, but the part I saw included an interview with one of the “angels” (what they call the lingerie models.) She spoke about dreams and following them and how any girl can be whatever she wants to be if she just believes, etc. and generally, this seemed to be a large part of the feel of the show. Building self-confidence. Empowering women. And while it may empower the models in some ways, we can’t help but notice that it does quite the opposite to most of the female viewers. Again, you need only look at the Facebook statuses. Most girls and women I know who see a Victoria’s Secret model think not, oh that’s so empowering, I feel better about myself, but instead, oh wow, I’m so ugly. She’s so hot. How can I ever look like her?

This is a pretty widely accepted fact, and I hope it is not news to anyone. It is how Victoria’s Secret sells. They make us want to look like their models and then they show us exactly how (although they sell us a little short without providing airbrushing or computer touch-ups or gene manipulations.) But by the end of it, we rarely feel much better about ourselves. Many humanitarians give answers to this problem. Often the answers involve some sort of reason for why the models aren’t really that great so that we can feel better about ourselves. These answers usually go something like this:

Those Victoria’s Secret models are too skinny. They are unhealthy. Real women have curves.


Those are TOTALLY fake.


You know, what, no one looks like that in real life. So who cares? There’s no point in envying, because it’s not real.


Well, they might be hot, but they’re dumb. It’s much more important to be smart.

While these statements may be well intentioned they usually don’t help much. Too often, the women who say them (or who listen eagerly to them) continue to buy push-up bras, continue to cake on makeup, and/or continue over dieting. These answers avoid the problem and by pointing fingers and making more judgments they promote more envy and insecurity among us and egg on the inner battle.

Some will answer the problem with the classic “every girl is beautiful” concept. Dove does this in many of their ads by taking “regular women” (makeup-less, different shapes and sizes) and having them model in underwear. But while many of us may feel comparatively better about ourselves because of this type of campaign, it doesn’t seem to be enough. We want to know why we’re beautiful. Deep down we all fear that one day we won’t be as pretty, or perhaps that we aren’t pretty, and then, well, it doesn’t matter how “beautiful” “every girl” may be—we don’t feel it and nobody treats us like we are. And we want to know we are beautiful even while standing next to a Victoria’s Secret model.

I am going to suggest that the answer to this problem lies in our recognition of the fact that we are sacred. There was a time when this was commonly accepted. There was a time when a man would kneel down and kiss every woman’s hand because she was a woman. But by the fault of both men and women we have created a culture in which women are either treated as men or as sex objects. Rarely something in between, and too often they are treated as both. Many women don’t like the idea of being labeled because of their womanhood. But the truth is, this labeling is the only way our daughters and sisters and mothers and friends—ourselves—will ever truly feel beautiful. We need to bring back the age-old concept of the woman as sacred. In Part Two, I will address how we go about doing this.

A Tale of Two Sex Hormones

Anthony Esolen

Contributed by Anthony Esolen

In 1999, at the ripe old baseball age of 35, Barry Bonds, one of the five or six greatest players ever to carry the bat, was finally beginning to wear down. Even aside from the effects of aging, the long baseball seasons take their toll on the body: nagging little injuries, a pulled muscle here, a sprain there, a touch of arthritis, a fractured bone that never quite healed right. The muscles don’t contract with the same old lightning speed. You’re smarter, and you make fewer mistakes, but your batting average drops, you lose range in the field, and you’re out of the lineup more often. So it was with Bonds that year. He batted just .262 and played in 102 games, his lowest figures in a decade. What with his power and his batting eye, he was still a great player, but his best years were behind him.

Except that they weren’t, not exactly. Bonds arrived in camp the next year with a new body. He had put on weight, but lost body fat. And his bat speed was breathtaking, so much so that pitchers were afraid of leaving the ball anywhere over the plate. In 2001, the 37-year-old Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs, 24 more than he had ever hit before, and slugged .863, almost 200 points more than his previous high. From 2000 through 2004, Bonds’ records are wholly unlike those of any other player in baseball history, as witness his unimaginable 232 walks in 2004, when he was 40 years old.

Well, we know the reason for these strange results, and for the sudden ability of otherwise ordinary infielders to slam the ball over the fence to the opposite field. It’s “steroids,” the popular term for artificial testosterone, ingested to repair and build muscle. Some of these steroids may be legally prescribed for certain medical conditions, normal aging not among them. Similar drugs that were legal at the time, like the androsterone taken by Mark McGwire in 1998 when he hit 70 home runs, meet with the reproach of fans anyway. Lovers of baseball have, with remarkable unanimity, decried these years as the “steroid era.” They accuse the players of a kind of cheating that goes far beyond the gamesmanship, say, of a pitcher “cutting” the ball on his belt buckle, or a man on second stealing signs from the catcher. In fact, they seem unwilling to elect any of the cheaters to the Hall of Fame, at least until many years pass by.

They are also not going to accept the argument that the ingestion of testosterone is a matter of individual choice. That is because of the nature of the game. It would give an advantage to the players who “juice”—a considerable advantage, as it turns out. It would also compromise the venerable history of the game, making it impossible to judge the worth of contemporary players against that of players past. In other words, to allow the use of testosterone would immediately immiserate those who do not use it; and it would alter the game itself. It would do so, moreover, by means of a tissue-growing hormone that poses obvious medical risks: the growth of cancerous tissue, for instance.

Yet, when one compares this sex hormone, testosterone, to the sex hormone now in the news, estrogen, it is hard to see why, on medical and social grounds alone, the one would be severely restricted and the other so freely dispensed that people are ready, not simply to affirm its legality, but to mandate that people and institutions violate their religious faith to purchase it for women who want it.

There are some medical uses for estrogen, as there are some medical uses for testosterone. These are not at issue. The Catholic Church does not oppose the use of estrogen to treat a disease. But there is also an immediate health-related benefit that testosterone secures. It builds and repairs muscle. That is, taken by itself, a good thing. If it helped Barry Bonds to swing a bat, it would help Barry the Miner to swing a pickax, or Barry the Infantryman to climb up a cliff, or Barry the Roadworker to heal from the battering his frame takes when he spends a day with the jackhammer. Yet we judge, correctly, that these Barries should not be ingesting testosterone. As I see it, we do so for three reasons: the benefit is not necessary; the benefit is outweighed by the risks of the drug; and the use of the drug by some men would put others at an unfair disadvantage—it would immiserate them. The first two reasons have to do primarily with the individual; the third, with society.

Now compare this drug to estrogen. Unlike testosterone, estrogen does not confer any obvious medical benefit upon a woman who ingests it. Its use when ingested for non-medical reasons is to fool the body into the condition of pregnancy when it is not actually pregnant. If anything, the drug is attended by a host of troubles, from minor annoyances to those severe enough that some women cannot use it. Testosterone will help Barry lift things up and put them down, and that, considered alone, is a good thing. We need strong men to lift things up and put them down. But estrogen enhances no such practical performance.

Someone might justify the use of testosterone on the grounds that our bodies are always repairing muscle; indeed the only way to build muscle is to tear it down and “persuade” the body to compensate by building even more. I do not buy the argument. I only note that it makes at least a superficial claim to being medical in nature: it has to do with a bodily function that needs repair. But the use of estrogen as contraception is not medical at all. Quite the contrary. A couple who use estrogen to prevent the conception of a child do not ingest the drug to enhance the performance of their reproductive organs, or to heal any debility therein. Their worry is rather that those organs are functioning in a healthy and natural way, and they wish they weren’t. They want to obtain not ability but debility. They want not to repair but to thwart.

Here it is usually argued that the drug is medical because it prevents a disease. But that is to invert the meaning of words. When the reproductive organs are used in a reproductive act, the conception of a child is the healthy and natural result. That is a plain biological fact. If John and Mary are using their organs in that way, and they cannot conceive a child, then this calls for a remedy; that is the province of medicine. It is also the province of medicine to shield us against casual exposure to communicable diseases—exposure that we cannot prevent, and that subjects us to debility or death. Childbearing and malaria are not the same sorts of thing.

Moreover, estrogen, like testosterone, is a tissue-growing hormone, and therefore subjects the woman who ingests it to a much higher risk of developing cancer, not to mention other serious medical troubles. Indeed, if it were not dangerous, drug companies would not be struggling to keep the dosage as low as possible. So the widespread use of estrogen actually involves widespread and grave medical harm. In a country as large as ours, with breast cancer as common as it is, even a smallish increase in the risk of cancer would mean thousands of deaths; and the increase in risk is not small.

And this brings us to the heart of the matter. The argument for the use of this drug is not medical (since it does not remedy anything, it does not shield against communicable disease, and it actually subjects the user to medical risk). It is social. It is simply this: Without the drug, many millions of sexually active women would become pregnant who do not wish to be so. But now we are not in the realm of individual choices alone. We must address the whole of society. We must address the common good.

Here is where the comparison with testosterone helps clarify matters. Again, if Bonds uses the drug, that immediately immiserates those who do not wish to use it. It helps this player, here, turn on the inside fastball. But no player is an island unto himself. The drug hurts everyone, because it hurts the game itself; it is destructive of the common good.

The same is true of the artificial estrogen. It “helps” this couple, here, do the child-making thing, without making a child. It “helps” that couple, there, do the marital thing without being married. But it immiserates all those couples who, in a healthier age, would not wish to do so. It alters everyone’s view of what marriage and sexual congress are for. The result is, as anyone with a little common sense could predict, that there are far more children born out of wedlock now than there were before the artificial estrogen changed the whole nature of the game. We have produced now generations of people who have never known an intact marriage. The sexual revolution has devastated the lower classes, and renders us ever less willing to practice the difficult and self-denying virtues, while we are ever more willing to surrender genuine liberty for the illusions of license.

Anthony Esolen is Professor of English at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, and the author of Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child and Ironies of Faith. He has translated Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata and Dante’s The Divine Comedy.  This article appeared on March 8, 2012 at Public Discourse: Ethics, Law and the Common Good and is reprinted here with Dr. Esolen’s permission.

Talking About Ella The Way We Talk About Eve

Marjorie Murphy Campbell

Tobacco companies continue to market cigarettes like the brand Eve to women by associating smoking with an image of liberation, autonomy and even sexual independence and pleasure.   Ads like this one for Eve cigarettes seem ludicrous given the known hazards of smoking, a habit anything but liberating or sexy.    

By and large, women simply know better now and view this corporate targeting of girls and young women for self-destructive consumption as offensive.

Or have we learned lessons from the tobacco industry’s lucrative exploitation of women?

Take Ella for example.  Watson Pharmaceuticals markets and sells Ella as an oral medication which, taken within 5 days of sexual intercourse, effectively disrupts or prevents pregnancy. 

EllaOne tablets contain the active ingredient ulipristal acetate, which is a selective progesterone receptor modulator.  It works by acting on the body’s receptors for the naturally occurring female sex hormone, progesterone. It is not fully understood how this medicine prevents pregnancy. It is thought to work by preventing ovulation and fertilisation and also by altering the lining of the womb, depending on which stage of the menstrual cycle the woman is at.

One dose of this “hormonal inhibitor” can cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness and headache, abdominal and menstrual pain, as well as tiredness and mood swings.  More rarely reported side effects include kidney problems.   

The dose sells for approximately $40.  

Watson Pharma is anxious to develop and tap the female market on this product which promises a veritable treasure chest of cash.  Consider the short history of Ella’s cousin, Plan B, another “morning after” pill.

The popularity of the morning-after pill Plan B has surged in the year since the federal government approved the sale of the controversial emergency contraceptive without a prescription.  Plan B sales have doubled since the Food and Drug Administration authorized the switch for women 18 and older last August, rising from about $40 million a year to what will probably be close to $80 million for 2007, according to Barr Pharmaceuticals, which makes Plan B.

From the experience with female-targeted tobacco, women should fairly be asking a range of questions about this medication:  How does it work?  What affects does it have on my body?  Are there long term consequences to using one, two, three, even more, doses of Ella?  Can I get cancers or other diseases from using Ella?  Can Ella impact my future health, including my future fertility?  How does my access to, and use of, this drug impact my sexual partner, my sexual outlook and my emotional health?  Will I be more vulnerable to STDs?  Will Ella improve my sexual autonomy and control as promoted in its advertising?

The immediate objection to the Ella-Eve comparison is that the U.S. Federal Drug Administration has approved the use of Ella as “safe” – while the U.S. Surgeon General continues efforts to convince the public that cigarette smoking is “unsafe.”  Women want to believe that the government – and its stamp of approval – offers the singularly significant reassurance to the female market that the product will not harm them and that women do not have to think about these questions. 

But the FDA’s imprimatur is anything but convincing.  Here’s the undisputed reality: 

1. “It would be fair to say that EllaOne is so new that not a lot is known about its mode of action, or possible long-term effects.”  “The manufacturers say that it ‘is thought to work by stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg’. They also state that ‘it may also alter the environment in the womb’.”

2.  “There are no long-term studies on the safety of [morning after medications] in women under 17, after repeated use or effects on future fertility.”

3.   “Ella should not be taken if you are already pregnant.  There is little information on whether Ella would harm a developing baby.”

4.  “Using ella may make your regular hormonal birth control method less effective.”

5.  Ella provides no protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

What is the import of this reality?  This means that the FDA approval of the use of Ella is akin to approving smoking an occasional Eve cigarette – but even that single use may result in significant consequences, including impacting a current pregnancy and increasing likelihood of an unintended pregnancy and exposure to STDs.

The “unknowns” about Ella, like the unknowns about tobacco, have not slowed Watson Pharmaceuticals’ effort to convince females that Ella will keep their romantic sex-life healthy and happy while insuring their “eggs” do not go out to “play” with the sperm searching for its own “date”.  Their website features a handy “refer a friend” automated, personalized email feature so that girls and women can spread the word and enlarge the market.

Ella may, in time, prove to be an acceptable drug with no long term, deleterious impact on women’s health or the environment.  Or, once studied and understood, it may prove to a profoundly profitable pursuit targeting, creating and cultivating a female market upon which the long term health and even environmental consequences will prove dire – like cigarettes.   Is Ella an Eve in disguise?  It’s impossible to say – but it is not impossible to discuss if women of all faiths and political stripes would put down their agendas and talk about Ella the way we all talk about Eve. 


Talk About Eve

Marjorie Murphy Campbell

Why do women today reject tobacco products that pollute air and body while embracing hormonal products arguably as harmful? 

I suggest we talk about fertility controlling drugs like “Ella” with the same concerns and skepticism we discuss tobacco products like “Eve” – both products targeting females to create market demand among girls and young women.  In today’s post, I look at the development, sales and marketing of cigarettes, like Eve, and how women learned that, despite serious health consequences, they had been manipulated and duped into smoking.  Tomorrow, I will explain why we should be talking about products like Ella, a “morning after” pill, with the concerns and skepticism we learned from our disastrous experience with tobacco.  

Since 1971, when the Liggett Group introduced the demurely named “Eve” line of cigarettes, some number of women have inhaled enough designer smoke into their lungs that they are now dead.  They have died from the cancers, heart disease and strokes associated with prolonged use of nicotine.  Since 1971, men, women and children who enjoyed the company of the now deceased Eve smokers have suffered discomforts and aggravated conditions breathing the very feminine Eve smoke blown their way.  

We all regard the imagery used to sell Eve cynically.  There is nothing feminine in a smoker’s cough or nicotine addiction, any more than a well dressed corpse wearing cute, tidy Tods.  We know this because of the tireless and focused efforts of thousands of tobacco opponents who, using media, litigation and advocacy, have exposed the shameless marketing techniques of “engineered consent.”  Creating demand among women by associating products with female liberation, independence and autonomy distracts from and neutralizes the (now) well known long term consequences of smoking. 

The market for female-targeted cigarettes – like Eve – was first engineered when long term health and environmental consequences of smoking were unstudied and undocumented.  Tobacco companies continued to develop the market even as they ignored, denied and then concealed smoking’s long term impacts.  Author Allan Brandt has chronicled the industry’s lucrative success in coaxing females to choose smoking. 

Many would link cigarettes with a new sexual accessibility among adolescent women, a marker of independence and autonomy . . . a symbol of beauty, glamour, and sexuality for women.  Women at colleges and universities quickly became committed to the important meanings the cigarette conveyed about them.  Smoking became a “choice” and a powerful symbol of breaking with convention. 

Eventually, social policy took notice of both the long term consequences of smoking and the marketing stunts of tobacco companies.  While unable to illegalize smoking, social policies and initiatives developed to severely disfavor the “choice” to smoke, using steep taxes and graphic warnings while also tightly restricting smoking in public as well as advertising. 

Today, a woman can choose to smoke, but she does so at substantial expense and fully informed that she places her future health and quality of life at risk.  Society frowns upon – even shames – her choice to smoke for its impact on her health as well as the impact on the larger environment.

Many of us who grew up as the dangers and deceit of Eve were stubbornly and slowly exposed now marvel at women’s willingness to ingest hormone-tampering drugs – like the morning after pill Ella.  Are these “liberating” sex-promoting, hormonal products – some of which are “as easy (for women over 17) [to obtain], as say, buying cigarettes” – the female nicotine of the 21st Century?   There are critical questions to ask and answer as girls and young women are vigorously targeted as a developing market much the way tobacco companies targeted and developed a market in cigarette smoking.  Indeed, the female-targeted pharmeceutical market is poised to explode.

Hormonally-based, fertility controlling drugs may become even easier to get than cigarettes as drug companies convince government to mandate their availability to women free of charge

In tomorrow’s post, I propose that we apply the lessons learned from “the glamour and autonomy” of female-targeted cigarettes to the developing, hot market for “sexually liberating” hormone-tampering drugs like Ella.  Just how much do we actually know about the impact of these new drugs – marketed to promote independence and power in a woman’s sex life – on a women’s long term health and on the health of the environment?

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

Serrin M. Foster

Girls Deserve Better than Statutory Rape and Secret Abortions:   Would you let some man take your daughter to surgery without telling you? How about taking her across state lines?

Unbelievably, there is no legal protection against taking a child across state lines for an abortion even if you live in a state that requires parental notification or approval for an abortion upon a child.

Who takes under-aged, pregnant girls across state lines for abortion?  ~most often, it’s noncustodial, older men who are sexual predators seeking to conceal the crime of statutory rape or other noncustodial adults involved in sex trafficking of minors.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Feminists for Life has long championed protections against sexual assault.  We are the only pro-life member of a task force which helped pass the Violence Against Women Act and we are the only feminists who testified before the US House Judiciary in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (Laci and Connor’s Law).

Feminists for Life opposes all forms of violence against women and children – including abortion and rape.  Every rape is non-consensual.  Every rape is forced.  Every rape is wrong.  There are no exceptions.  There are no exceptions for sexual assaults committed by family members or friends.  There are no exceptions for sexual assault by strangers, sex traffickers or johns, for statutory rape of minors or group sexual assaults, for sexual assaults of boys or for rape by coercion or facilitated by alcohol or drugs (such as Rohypnol).  Whether domestic or international, every rape is wrong.  and justice for all.

Feminists for Life demands an end to violence and discrimination in every circumstance.  We encourage efforts that prevent violence against women through resources, support and education. We favor prosecution of those who commit acts of violence against women and children.

Feminists for Life urges consistency in our laws, focus on prevention, and provision of support for those who have experienced various forms of violence.  Rapists should be prosecuted no matter if the victim becomes pregnant or not, no matter if she has an abortion, miscarriage or live birth.  And it goes both ways.  If the rapist is a woman preying on minor boys, the adult is responsible. 

Our consistent belief in feminist principles is why we support passage of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), H.R. 2299.

The U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution recently voted to support CIANA.  If passed, CIANA would provide up to a one year imprisonment for anyone who performs an abortion on an out of state minor not accompanied by a parent.  Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has 158 co-sponsors and bipartisan support; Senator Marco Rubio has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Opponents of the bill argue that in some circumstances pregnant girls turn to adults not their parents for help in crisis pregnancy.  If these adults, such as grandmothers or adult sisters cannot assist the teen in procuring an abortion across state lines, opponents argue, then minors will seek unsafe alternatives to terminate pregnancy.

Experts reject this argument.  Dr. Bruce Lucero – who has performed over 45,000 abortions – cautioned that men who get minors pregnant, not the minors’ parents, are the issue.   Dr. Lucero wrote in the New York Times,

“. . . a parent’s input is the best guarantee that a teen-ager will make a decision that is correct for her—be it abortion, adoption or keeping the baby. And it helps guarantee that if a teenager chooses an abortion, she will receive appropriate medical care.”

Teenagers seeking abortions out of state, Dr. Lucero added, often delay until the procedure is more expensive and riskier.  Without parental involvement, pregnant minors are less likely to return to clinics for follow-up care or tell their parents they are suffering complications following an abortion.

Polls consistently show that 70% of Americans strongly favor parents being notified when a minor seeks an abortion, and that a majority of Americans also favor laws that would prevent the transportation of minors over state lines to circumvent parental notification.

The lives of young girls are irrevocably changed by predators who rape them then transport them for a secret abortion. Girls—as well as Women Deserve Better® than Abortion. Parents have a right to know and a responsibility to protect their daughters.

Serrin M. Foster has lead Feminists for Life since 1994. Read Serrin’s original testimony before the US House Judiciary in support of Laci and Connor’s Act: and Serrin’s answer to the key question, “what about rape?” as it relates to abortion.  She invites you to join Feminists for Life on Facebook.  Link to