Sarah Palin: A Feminist in the Pro-Life Tradition
As human nature itself makes clear, it's not the pro-lifers who went rogue in the first place.


Kathryn Jean Lopez

EDITOR’S NOTE: This column is available exclusively through United Media. For permission to reprint or excerpt this copyrighted material, please contact Carmen Puello at [email protected].

When Sarah Palin speaks, liberal feminists go wild. The woman is like a stilettoed catalyst for backlash from the professional political sisterhood.

Much of the bitterness that gushes forth from the lefty sisterhood has very little to do with Palin herself. It’s about the things she represents. She’s a seemingly happy mom, surrounded by her husband and a big family. Pro-life, religious, conservative. Political powerhouse. Depending on who you are and what your gripe or wound is, you can add  to and subtract from this list.

A recent source of feminist madness over Palin was a speech she delivered at a Susan B. Anthony List fundraiser in Washington, D.C. The group supports candidates who are pro-life. They do so in the tradition of America’s early feminists, who were pro-life. The Susan B. Anthony List and groups like it, such as Feminists for Life, educate and promote the largely forgotten or otherwise suppressed history of the women who fought for the 19th Amendment. They were smart women, at home with their femininity and perplexed by those who would deny the very power of life within them. They didn’t all have to be mothers to have an appreciation for the difference that creative force of nature makes in a woman’s life.

In many ways, the women among the tea-party activists of today — identified by Palin as part of a “mom awakening” going on — would be quite at home with their foremothers. If polls I’ve seen and rallies I’ve attended are any indication, they’re pro-life and sensible. They’ve seen the pain that the last few decades of social radicalism have wrought. They’re a danger to the feminist establishment.

In her speech, Palin talked about “a new revival of that original feminism of Susan B. Anthony.” She said, “Together, we’re showing young women that being pro-life is in keeping with the best traditions of the women’s movement.”

Palin talked about “empowering women.” In her worldview, that means making sure women who are pregnant in “less-than-ideal circumstances” know that they have options. She talked beautifully about her son Trig and the beautiful challenge of raising a son with Down syndrome.

As the former governor of Alaska tends to do, Palin rallied the crowd about the future and their role in it. Referring to the recent health-care debate and the disappointment so many so-called pro-life Democrats turned out to be, Palin talked about a “new pro-life, pro-woman majority [that] will actually be pro-life when it counts, when those votes are needed.”


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

NRO Polls on LockerDome

Subscribe to National Review