Not all feminists are pro-choice

I am the mother of a 5-month-old girl. I have struggled to ask myself, how will I tell her that, until she was born, her value depended only on whether I wanted her or not? That if her existence in any way conflicted with my vision or plans for my own life, she was disposable. This does not look like the world I want for her. It does not look like a world where women are truly free.

This way of passing judgment on the worthiness of another person’s life has direct ties to the patriarchal culture that we as women have struggled to overcome. As a woman, I refuse to be valued by whether or not I am “wanted” or “useful” to men, or by their standards. I believe that all people have inherent value and dignity, and that my freedom ends where another person’s life begins. There can be no true realization of human rights without human responsibility.

Like many women who identify as pro-choice, I also envision a world in which women are freed from injustice. But in my vision, that is not a world where women have the civil liberty to end human life. It is rather a world in which pregnant women and babies are sacred – and supported.

The notion that the abortion debate is about the subjugation of women denies the reality of who the pro-life movement really is. The pro-life movement is led by women, many of whom who have had intimate experiences with abortion. Women are a gender majority within the pro-life community. They are supported by men who also believe that women deserve better than abortion.

As a member of the pro-life community, it is not my objective to blame or shame women who have had abortions or pass judgment on women in desperate situations. Rather, it is to take responsibility for being part of the society that has fallen short of honoring them. I think they deserve so much more.

Emily Donegan

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