Women have had the right to vote for 100 years. That’s how long it has been since passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 19th amendment granted American women the right to vote. With its passage women came out from their dependence into the full sunlight of civic freedoms.
You’ve come a long way baby
The right to vote was the beginning of a list of goals achieved by the early women’s movement. It also gained for women the right to control property, defend themselves and our children from abusive husbands, to earn degrees, and join professions previously reserved to men.
Interestingly, the early women’s movement activists did not fight for was the right to abortion. They did not understand abortion as a woman’s right. Rather, they considered it a wrong against their sex. It is today’s pro-life women who best preserve the suffragists’ ideals. We should always reflect on where we are and where we came from.
Decades of strident abortion activism blocks out this important part of history. Today’s feminists have left behind the demand that abortion be “safe, legal, and rare.” That is not enough. Today the demand is the outright celebration of “shout your abortion.” I killed my baby… really? Not cause for a party.
Abortion was not an act of liberation
The courageous suffragists who did the hard work of starting the process would feel shocked. They would sadden at today’s pro-abortion feminists’. Today’s feminists have complete disregard for the nature of abortion. They disregard its effects on women who have them and our larger society.
To the first women’s rights advocates, abortion was not an act of liberation. From their perspective, it was coercion, not a triumph, but a tragic defeat. Abortion did not empower women. It degraded them by treating their fertility as a defect. They did not view their sons and daughters as undesirable or disposable. Children were cherished as the next generation.
They also understood abortion empowers men by absolving them of responsibility in the sexual act. The very basis of the equal rights movement was the inherent dignity of every human person. It makes sense that such a movement should frown on abortion and infanticide. Those are acts that end the life of a defenseless child. How can one be more oppressed than that?
Early women’s movement had its priorities straight.
The suffragists understood young lives were being sacrificed due to crushing poverty. They knew women were bearing the brunt of irresponsible behavior of selfish men and women alike. Early women’s movement leaders did grok the callous indifference of the wider society. They understood women resorted to the unnatural acts of abortion and infanticide to save themselves. Such was their powerlessness and desperation.
Women’s enfranchisement gave them the longed for ability to receive and raise their children. Susan B. Anthony said, “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own… has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”
A century later, hundreds of thousands of “unborn little ones” are willed away from American women each year. This is not because of crushing poverty or unjust laws. It is happening because we have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked. We listened to the false promise of “sexual liberation.” We bought the deception of treating fertility like a disease.
Today, as a consequence of this, our “unwanted” children are flushed away. Materially we have more than ever before. Morally and ethically we are bankrupt.
Women have come a long way. They enjoy privileges and opportunities inconceivable for much of human history. But the awful fact is; today, we are sacrificing far more of our children to abortion than we ever did before. Pro-life women are eager to complete the work the early women’s movement began. Isn’t it time to recognize their full liberation? A liberation acknowledging women’s full rights and the dignity of unborn children. Today’s pro-life women celebrate the dignity of the unborn.