True feminism comes with respecting oneself as a woman and respecting men and the roles they play in a woman’s life. With that respect comes the respect for unborn children as unique and precious life in the mother’s womb. A true feminist realizes that the child she is carrying is another, completely different life who has the same amount of choices to make as the mother. A true feminist does not look upon pregnancy and parenting as an obstacle in her life but as a part of her life. True feminists fight for the rights of the unborn and become voices for those who cannot speak.
The original feminists understood this and fought for the right to life all the while keeping their feminist beliefs and rights. This can be exemplified by Susan B. Anthony, an original feminist from the nineteenth century. Throughout her life she worked towards equal freedom for women and for women’s rights. Yet she was profoundly pro-life and showed this throughout her life. Anthony tirelessly campaigned for suffrage, poor and professional women’s employment rights, the liberation of prostitutes, children’s rights, abolition of slavery and the death penalty. She termed abortion as “child murder” and “infanticide.” On the issue of custody decisions she even once said: “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”
Another example of a pro-life feminist is Dr. Juliet Stillman Severance. Severance wanted marriage and motherhood to be life-affirming choices for women. In an article she wrote for the “Universe” she wrote the following: “I’m sick of hearing women berated for foeticide, when, seven cases in ten, the husbands and prospective fathers are more to blame than are the mothers. ... when the hapless mother shrunk from the crime ... he would laugh at her fears, and quiet her conscience by saying there was no life in the fetus until a certain number of months gestation had passed. Women have told me, with streaming eyes, that their husbands have insisted that they should destroy the life of their unborn babes.”
These two women were authentic feminists who supported and protected life, especially unborn life. The feminists we see today such as the ones in Buenos Aires, topless, attacking the men praying in front of the San Juan Cathedral, are not true feminists. Those are women who do not respect themselves and men’s roles in society. It is completely possible to be a great feminist, support women’s rights, and yet be pro-life and support the rights of the unborn.