Women’s History Month: Fighting for the Rights of Us ALL

By Sharon Greenip, Director of Education and Training

March is Women’s History Month, commemorating the vital role women have played in shaping our nation’s history.  Throughout our country--in museums, schools, and organizations--countless stories will be shared about the feminists of our history.

But, did you know that the earliest feminists were also passionate pro-lifers?

The National Review notes, “Without known exception, the suffragists opposed abortion. The same women who fought for the rights of slaves to be free and for women to vote also worked for mothers to be supported and to protect every child — born and unborn.”  It was these forerunners of equal rights for women that realized one could not overlook the rights of all people – females, slaves, and the most helpless: the unborn. 

Susan B. Anthony (pictured above) is one of the most well-recognized leaders in equal rights.  A friend of Frederick Douglass, she worked to abolish slavery.  She petitioned tirelessly for the right to vote, appearing before congress every year between 1869 to 1906, and yet not living to see that right which would come some 14 years after her death.

The Susan B. Anthony List, whose mission is to end abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders, tells of Anthony’s pro-life passion.  The famous suffragette referred to abortion as the “horrible crime of child-murder,” and is also quoted as writing, “Guilty? Yes. No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who…drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime!”

No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent... [that decision] will burden her conscience in life...

Susan B Anthony

The National Review’s interview of Serrin Foster, President of Feminists for Life, notes that the organization “believes that abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women.”  Foster recounts the work of Alice Paul, who successfully led the movement to enact the 19th Amendment.  Paul lived to see, unfortunately, a new wave of feminists born who embraced the sacrifice of children through abortion.  She is quoted as saying, “How can one protect and help women by killing them as babies? . . . Abortion is the ultimate in the exploitation of women.”

Abortion is the ultimate in the exploitation of women.

Alice Paul

This year is particularly special in the fight for women’s rights, as it marks the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.  The Washington Examiner highlights the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who is often recognized alongside Susan B Anthony.  Stanton’s pro-life position was undeniable, as she believed “abortion contributed to the oppression of women as second-class citizens.”  She is also known to have called abortion “inconceivable” as well as a “crying evil.”

Abortion contributed to the oppression of women as second-class citizens.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

These women and countless others have labored for equal rights, whether for woman, slave, or fetus.  We have seen them accomplish what many once thought impossible.  The right to vote for women is no longer a question.  But, the right to life remains one.  The Pregnancy Clinic is thankful to be part of those that stand for the right to life.  Perhaps many of us will see a day when it isn’t questioned.

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