[Life Legal Defense Foundation sent Michelle Smedley and Caitlin Young to represent LLDF at the American Collegians for Life Conference at Catholic University Law School and the annual March for Life. We asked them to record a few of their reflections. A big thanks to these young women for disseminating LLDF material and for representing LLDF as a co-sponsor of this event. Michelle and Caitlin will both graduate in May of this year from the recently “reorganized” Saint Ignatius Institute at the University of San Francisco. Congratulations, Michelle and Caitlin!—Ed.]
Hope for a Pro-Life Future
I found the ACL Conference to be a fantastic experience because it gave me hope for the future of the pro-life movement. Speakers taught us how to start pro-life groups on college campuses and provided us with inside information on how best to approach secular campuses around the U.S., where large majorities may be presumed to favor abortion just because that’s what the dominant culture tells them.
In addition, Patricia Bainbridge spoke on how Planned Parenthood contains the real extremists, Mary Owen spoke on euthanasia, and Serrin Foster, as president of Feminists for Life (FFL), presented a seldom-heard pro-life perspective and told how to get students interested in starting up FFL groups. Plus, there were many additional excellent speakers. I found the talks on Planned Parenthood and Feminists for Life to be real eye-openers, in that people really have no idea how the abortion industry has lied to women about their own empowerment, when in actuality abortion ends in degradation for mother and child.
The true empowerment of women was visible in their active voice in the March for Life, which Caitlin and I attended after the conference was concluded. The March for Life began with a rally at the Washington Monument with a diverse group of speakers, including politicians and pro-life activists. The rally inspired everyone to put his or her energy into marching from the monument to the White House.
It was inspiring to see so many people praying, singing, carrying banners, and chanting in the freezing cold weather, publicly expressing their commitment to life.
The Real Women’s Movement
Those who would champion the “pro-choice” (or rather “pro-abortion”) stance under the guise of being “pro-woman” need to hear what the Feminists for Life have to say. Speaking at the annual Collegians for Life conference in Washington, D.C., FFL spokeswomen called abortion the ultimate degradation of women. And they had quotes from the founders of the feminist movement to prove it.
Feminist Mattie Brinkerhoff said in 1869: “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society—so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is evidence that either by education or circumstances one has been greatly wronged.”
Indeed, FFL asserts that by endorsing abortion as an acceptable option, the modern feminist movement strayed from an original feminist ideology that sought equal rights and protection for men, women, and children— including the unborn.
For, as Elizabeth Cady Stanton once noted: “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” Feminists for Life “recognize abortion as a symptom of, not a solution to, the continuing struggles we face in the workplace, in education institutions, at home and in society,” but believe that when people come together they can find creative solutions to complex problems, especially through the institution of social programs to assist pregnant women.