UPDATE 4:35 PM: The Women’s March on Washington has removed the pro-life group New Wave Feminists from its list of official event sponsors after backlash from feminists arguing that pro-life women are not welcome in the feminist movement. One of the most prominent of such responses:
Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. That’s not how it works! The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism.— roxane gay (@rgay) January 16, 2017
Here is the official statement from the women’s march, apologizing for the “error”:
Our statement regarding press today: pic.twitter.com/z1y9cfFFvY— Women’s March (@womensmarch) January 16, 2017
Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa of New Wave Feminists told LifeSiteNews that the group will still attend the march. “It appears that the [Women's March on Washington] only wants to include a ‘diverse’ array of women who think exactly like them,” she said. “That’s unfortunate, but we will not be deterred.“
According to Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti, pro-life women should be excluded from the upcoming Women’s March on Washington — and the feminist movement, for that matter — because their opposition to abortion makes it impossible for them to be authentic feminists.
Valenti’s tweets came in response to a detailed piece by Emma Green in The Atlantic about pro-life women who will join in the women’s march this Saturday in the nation’s capital, billed as counter-programming to Friday’s inauguration ceremony for President-elect Donald Trump. Her tweets from this afternoon:
Horrified that the @womensmarch has partnered w/an anti-choice org. Plse reconsider – inclusivity is not about bolstering those who harm us.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 16, 2017
We need to stop the myth that feminism is simply ‘anything a woman does.’ Feminism is a movement for justice – abortion access is central.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) January 16, 2017
Some pro-life groups will be in downtown D.C. to protest the women’s march, due to the fact that it is co-sponsored by virulently pro-abortion groups such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. The march’s organizers also released a “guiding vision” statement that advocates “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people.”
Late last week, though, a Texas pro-life group — New Wave Feminists — joined the women’s march as a sponsor, representing just some of the many pro-life women across the country who oppose Trump’s election for other reasons. According to Green, one of the march’s co-chairs cited intersectionality as the basis for including the pro-life group: “We must not just talk about feminism as one issue, like access to reproductive care.”
But that reasoning isn’t enough for Valenti, who seems to suggest that women aren’t authentic women at all unless they support “justice” — which, in her view, means a woman’s legal and accessible right to the murder of her own child. Her belligerence follows on the heels of a recent comment by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, who remarked on the GOP majority’s latest effort to defund Planned Parenthood saying, “That’s their manhood thing.”
Even aside from the absurdity of these arguments, such unconscionable attacks on pro-life women denigrate a large share of the nation’s female population: Recent data from the Pew Research Center shows that 40 percent of U.S. women believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.
At the very least, self-proclaimed “feminists” such as Valenti and Pelosi should recognize that women of good faith can differ on questions of reproductive health and related policy. But, at best, authentic feminists should oppose abortion, as it permits a woman to reject her own motherhood by rejecting the life of her child.