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We feature commentary but most of all action alerts on the same positive, abortion-reducing measures we cover in the Directory.

These measures include post abortion healing; male responsibility; comprehensive sexual/reproductive health education; all voluntary pregnancy prevention methods, plus rape and incest prevention & treatment; and life-affirming ways to get through crisis pregnancy and beyond.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

Are Feminists for Life Really Feminists? Part One

In the January/February 2007 issue of Mother Jones, Emily Bazelon's "Suffragette City" examines whether the avowedly prolife organization Feminists for Life of America can authentically call itself feminist as well.

Bazelon sounds more open-minded and fair than some journalists who have taken on the question, and more power to her for that. But she rests her case on the same problematic conclusions that for decades have staved off the possibility of prochoice feminists engaging with, understanding, and cooperating on common-ground issues with genuine women's rights advocates who oppose abortion.

--She criticizes the group for "its context-free quotes from suffragists. (Anthony and her contemporaries didn't oppose abortion for the reasons that the pro-life movement does today. They considered the procedure a symptom of women's powerlessness, and feared it would blur the line between a 'fallen woman' and a 'lady.')"

--Bazelon finishes with a statement from Frances Kissling, longtime head of Catholics for a Free Choice, regarding FFL's policy/nonpolicy on pregnancy prevention methods: "Feminists for Life want to present themselves as progressive women, whose only interest is protecting women. But when you hear them talk about contraception, it gets weaselly."

I will do my best in some forthcoming posts to address these criticisms. I have been involved in prolife feminist work for over twenty years--including work as a member of Feminists for Life, but on certain points and increasingly a discontent and dissenting member.

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