On January 21st, 2017, cities were filled to the brim with women participating in the Women’s March. Women marched, holding hands, holding signs, and firmly grasping to their cause. To many women across the country, the sight of the protest was inspiring and moving.
Yet, despite the initial purpose of the Women’s March being to protest President Trump’s election and inauguration and Women’s Rights in general, the spotlight seemed to shift to one issue in particular: abortion.
The consequence of this focus was the exclusion of pro-life feminist groups, as they were denied opportunity to partner with or participate in the March. These events reveal a misunderstanding common among modern-day feminists, that one cannot be a feminist and pro-life.
Mormon Hub has found a selection of articles that help debunk such a myth, in hopes of clarifying the stance of those who are pro-life feminists.
Just in case you’re not quite sure what the Church’s stance is on abortion, here’s an article written by Angela Fallentine, a Co-Founder of Mormon Women Stand, titled “Abortion: The Mormon Perspective on Abortion and Human Life.” Fallantine explains (very thoroughly) the Church’s beliefs on the issue of abortion, as stated by scripture and General Authorities.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is firmly and openly against abortion, and continues to stand against this ‘assault on the defenseless.’ The Church has consistently opposed the practice of abortion. More than a century ago, the First Presidency wrote, ‘We again take this opportunity of warning the Latter-day Saints against those … practices of foeticide and infanticide.’This issue has always been important to the Church. As President Russell M. Nelson states, ‘As Latter-day Saints, we should stand up for choice—the right choice—not simply for choice as a method.'”
Another article, “An Open Letter To My Liberal Friends,” delves into the point of view of another pro-life feminist, Solveig Gold. A senior at Princeton University and co-founder of the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, Gold establishes herself as a feminist, a staunch feminist at that.
“I am a feminist. Indeed, I am, in some people’s eyes, the worst kind of feminist—the kind who believes that women not only are equal to men, but may, in fact, be superior. As I see it, a woman can do anything a man can do, but she can she can do it better, faster, and in high heels… During my thirteen years at the Nightingale-Bamford School in Manhattan, women ruled… we were taught to be incensed by the injustices that women had faced and continued to face. At least once a month we were reminded that women make only seventy-nine cents to a man’s dollar, but we were told that we could and would fix this. In our navy-blue tunics and matching lace-up shoes, we were told that we could do anything we set our minds to. We were raised to speak up and sing out.”
Gold continues, describing the posts that filled her Facebook and Instagram feeds the day of the March, stating the heart of pro-life sentiment.
“The unhappy truth is that abortion is murder. You may argue that it is justifiable murder, but it is murder nonetheless. A living organism is killed; a being that would otherwise go on to live a life as human as yours or mine is prevented from living. Have we become so desensitized, so removed from reality, that we can joke about this kind of murder, joke about “aborting Trump” and about “the elephant in the womb”? And, what’s more, joke proudly?”
She goes on to expound upon her stance as a pro-life feminist, affirming her personal understanding of the issue of abortion.
As for the polls, the Pew Research Center recently came out with a compilation of polls that examined the general consensus on the matter of abortion. To see those polls, go to “Public Opinion on Abortion.”
Despite a pull towards pro-choice, a deeper look at the results the polls shows a less black-and-white assessment of abortion by the majority of Americans. One article quotes Carl A. Anderson, CEO of the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus, who says:
“‘There is a consensus in America in favor of significant abortion restrictions, and this common ground exists across party lines, and even among significant numbers of those who are pro-choice… This poll shows that large percentages of Americans, on both sides of the aisle, are united in their opposition to the status quo as it relates to abortion on demand. This is heartening and can help start a new national conversation on abortion.'”
What are your thoughts on being a Latter-day Saint and pro-life? Let us know in the comments below!