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Not Your Average Harvard Feminist


In a statement, a preview of which was made exclusive to NRO, Serrin Foster, head of the group Feminists for Life, mourns the death of Benazir Bhutto, who she calls “an international advocate for women and children, born and unborn, especially those in developing countries.”

Foster says of the former Pakistani prime minister: “A pro-life feminist, Bhutto consistently promoted a holistic approach to addressing the needs of women by emphasizing the empowerment of women. Bhutto urged world leaders to address health issues including increased nutrition and immunizations. She advocated the protection of women from domestic violence and war. And she connected the need for education of girls and women to their ability to work, and a woman’s ability to work as essential to achieving economic independence.

Foster adds: “Bhutto also refused to choose between meeting the needs of women or between protecting unborn children from abortion,” Foster said. Bhutto called the common practice of gender selected abortions “tragic” and said it “still haunts a world we regard as modern and civilized.”

There’s also this from Foster, which Hillary Clinton might not like to remember:

In her address to the U.N. Fourth World Conference held in Beijing, China, Bhutto explained, “To please her husband, a woman wants a son. To keep her husband from abandoning her, a woman wants a son. And, too often, when a woman expects a girl, she abets her husband in abandoning or aborting that innocent, perfectly formed child. As we gather here today, the cries of the girl child reach out to us.”

Bhutto challenged delegates attending the conference “…to chart a course that can create a climate where the girl child is as welcomed and valued as a boy child, that the girl child is considered as worthy as a boy child.”

A reader highlights this from George Weigel’s Witness to Hope:

The image of the Cairo conference as a clash between the United States and the overwhelming majority of world opinion on the one side, and an isolated, prudish, mysogynist Vatican on the other, was shattered in the first hours of the conference itself. On September 5, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan — unmistakably a woman, unmistakably Harvard-educated, and unmistakably a major political figure — took to rostrum during the opening statements to defend the “sanctity of human life” and to condemn the Cairo draft document for trying to “impose adultery, sex education . . . and abortion” on all countries.