By Michele Hendrickson, Eastern Regional Director
In the last ten minutes alone, I’ve read “Picnic with Piggy” to my daughter for the millionth time, convinced my 4-year-old that butter is not a food group, and registered five more students for the Students for Life National Conference! Welcome to the life of a pro-life activist and mother.
Since I’m on such a productive roll, I thought I would pause and take a moment to answer a lot of questions I’ve been receiving this week about our participation in the Women’s March on Washington this weekend.
Questions from students like….
“I voted for Trump, I’m pro-life, but I’m not sure if I should participate in this March. Is this for me?”
“I didn’t vote for Trump, but I’m also anti-abortion. How can I help?”
“I originally planned on joining the Women’s March, but now that they’re officially pro-abortion, I’m not sure what to do.”
And finally, the big one…
“This march seems to have a clear pro-abortion message; do we even belong here?”
The short answer is, YES, pro-life women 100% belong at the Women’s March. Here’s why…
- Planned Parenthood and the Abortion Industry do not own Women’s Rights. Call it feminism, call it commonsense, call it whatever you want. The idea that women are equal human beings is not new, it’s not owned by one group, and abortion advocates are the least consistent with this principle. Preborn female humans are destroyed in the womb, every day, through legal abortion. Born women who walk into Planned Parenthood are being sold a lie that abortion can somehow solve all their problems.Our presence at the Women’s March is critical to show the Pro-Life Pro-Woman position.
- This is not about Trump. That’s really all I have to say about that. We have students joining us from all backgrounds and political affiliations.We’ll be at the Women’s March to show that no matter who you voted for, we should all be united for Women and in opposition to the biggest violence against women: abortion.
- We belong anywhere abortion is being glorified. Some are questioning their type of participation because of the March’s “Unity Principles”. Do we join? Do we protest? I think defining our involvement as either one would be a mischaracterization of our efforts. We will not be protesting women’s rights – we are women! But at this point, simply joining has become more complicated.In case you haven’t been caught up, here are the “Unity Principles” of the Women’s March:
- Ending Violence – We 100% agree! In fact, we would argue we are far more consistent with our beliefs of nonviolence than any abortion supporter. Abortion destroys innocent members of our human society.
- LGBTQIA Rights – Our pro-life student leaders identify as Gay, Straight, You-Name-It, because we know that ALL people, no matter how they identify, can understand the importance of protecting those who are the most marginalized among us: the preborn.
- Worker’s Rights – Obviously! In fact, we’ll up the ante and add PAID Maternity and Paternity leave so that our society can better support working families.
- Civil Rights – Another obvious YES! We hope the Women’s March itself will uphold their own unity principle here, protecting “freedom of speech”.
- Disability Rights – It is a great tragedy that abortion has reduced the population of Down Syndrome persons in the United States by an estimated thirty percent. Persons with disabilities are valuable, no matter what age.
- Immigrant Rights – I am a third-generation Italian-American woman. My heritage is important to me and I’m thankful for the opportunities this country has provided for my family. Another obvious no-brainer here.
- Environmental Justice – Yes! I am the girl at the party who brings an extra grocery bag just in case they don’t recycle. Who wouldn’t want a clean environment?
- Reproductive Rights – As defined by the Women’s March is, “access to safe, legal abortion” – DEAL. BREAKER. The Women’s March is way off in their description here. I should have the freedom to use my body to reproduce as I see fit. Once I’ve used that right to create another person, that new human should be treated equally. Having access to healthcare that helps me take care of my body is important to me, and I deserved this from the very moment my body came into being – conception. Before I was born, I was a person who deserved healthcare, not a price tag on my death sentence in the name of Reproductive Rights.If you’re still not sure how to feel about this, let me put it to you this way…Would we happily and fully join a march that had any other act of violence in its Unity Principles?
Quick exercise: replace abortion with something else.
“access to safe, legal, human trafficking,”
“access to safe, legal, dismemberment of newborns,”
“access to safe, legal, spousal abuse,”
Those things are crazy! I would never risk any possible association with those violent principles, no matter how much I fully support the others.
So I want to make it clear what Students for Life will be doing at the Women’s March:
We will not compromise our pro-life position.
We will not be inconsistent.
We WILL march on behalf of equal rights for all humans, born and preborn.