Who Are the REAL Feminists?

Which famous nineteenth-century American, referring to the practice of abortion, wrote, "I deplore the horrible crime of child-murder"? Well, you might think it was someone like the eloquent minister Henry Ward Beecher. Or maybe it was the fiery abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison. But surprise: The person I'm talking about is Susan B. Anthony, the famous women's rights pioneer, and she was as staunchly pro-life as they come. Anthony understood something modern feminists don't seem to grasp: that abortion is actually an assault on the dignity of women. Most of us first heard of Susan B. Anthony in the late seventies, when the feminist lobby persuaded the government to mint a dollar coin bearing Anthony's profile. It was about the same size as a quarter, so people tended to confuse them. After a brief two-year run, the coin was pulled from circulation. But it had accomplished what the feminists hoped for. The coin vaulted their heroine, Susan B. Anthony, into the public consciousness. But what feminists kept under wraps was Susan B. Anthony's pro-life convictions. In that goal, they've been less successful—mainly because another group of women has made a point of advertising that aspect of Anthony's beliefs. These woman have formed the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee that raises money for the purpose of electing pro-life women to national office. The List was formed a few years ago as a pro-life counterpart to Emily's List, which raises money to elect pro-abortion women to office. Jane Abraham, wife of Michigan Senator Spence Abraham, is the president of the Susan B. Anthony List. As Mrs. Abraham says, “[Putting] pro-life women in Congress helps counterbalance the false image of women as being monolithically pro-abortion. By electing pro-life women to positions of political prominence we can show women... that it's okay to believe in women's rights and still be against abortion." The group's use of Anthony's name highlights the fact that equating women's rights with legalized abortion is historically inconsistent. Frederica Matthews-Green, who is on the board of the Susan B. Anthony List, explains that equating women's rights with legalized abortion is intellectually inconsistent as well. "The initial fallacy," she says, "is that women have to kill their children to succeed in their careers and in life. This makes women and their own children into mortal enemies.” "But that's not true," Matthews-Green adds. "Killing her own child hurts the woman. It's heartbreaking to her. The loss of her own child "is the biggest tragedy a woman could go through." Matthews-Green is right, and we Christians ought to help expose the inconsistency of abortion advocates who equate women's rights with abortion rights. You can reach the Susan B. Anthony List by calling (703) 683-5558. The group gives money to Republicans and Democrats alike—so long as they're pro-life. And the next time you see one of those rare dollar coins with Susan B. Anthony's profile, grab it and show it to your friends—especially your women friends. It's a chance for them to see the unflinchingly pro-life face of a true feminist.


Chuck Colson


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