Earlier this month, the group Women Deliver held a conference in Washington, D.C. entitled “Delivering solutions for girls and women”, but from a Pro-Life point of view, they are part of the problem, not the solution. This became clear when the conference held a panel forum which discussed ways in which abortion could be pushed internationally and a plenary session titled: “Contraception's Promise: A Better Life for the World's Women”. Women Deliver sees abortion and contraception as ways to “free” women and give them a real “choice.” Their actions, however, spoke differently.
On the last day of the conference, representatives from the National Right to Life Committee stood across the street from the conference building and handed out pink bags labeled “Celebrate Motherhood” that contained models of a 12-week-old infant and the feet of a 10-week-old infant, information regarding growth during pregnancy, and maternal mortality statistics. Conference participants who accepted one of the bags and entered the Women Deliver conference had the material confiscated. NRLC.org reports: “Conference organizers were heard telling attendees that the pink bags contained information that was 'anti-human rights,' 'anti-choice,' and 'anti-woman.'” Notice that they did not say the information was false. These actions hurt the credibility of Women Deliver when they claim to be “Delivering solutions for girls and women.”
Actions like these call for real and authentic solutions for women who are in need. Abortion and contraceptives are not the answer. In 1995, Pope John Paul II wrote a “Letter to Women” in which he outlines the false view that Women Deliver have of the fundamental dignity and value of women. The Pope states that we must, “condemn the widespread hedonistic and commercial culture which encourages the systematic exploitation of sexuality and corrupts even very young girls into letting their bodies be used for profit”. We need only look at our society to see that, fifteen years later, the Pope's words still have not been taken to heart. Our culture is saturated with physical gratification, and labeling contraceptives and abortions as “reproductive healthcare” will only worsen the problem.
A deeper problem that John Paul II writes about is that we have lost a sense of authentic womanhood. He states that there must be, “an effective and intelligent campaign for the promotion of women, concentrating on all areas of women's life and beginning with a universal recognition of the dignity of women”. Groups like Women Deliver may claim that they are working towards such a goal. The Pope, however, argues that in order for this to be achieved, we must “grasp clearly the ultimate anthropological basis of the dignity of women…” This means that there are certain qualities of women and men present simply by the fact that they were made women and men. Motherhood is such a quality. The Pope stated: “We need only think of how the gift of motherhood is often penalized rather than rewarded,” and “much remains to be done to prevent discrimination against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers.” When Women Deliver discards pink bags which “Celebrate Motherhood,” how can they claim to be working for women's dignity while denying such a fundamental and beautiful aspect of what it means to be a woman?
Clearly, one task for the Pro-Life movement today is to regain an understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman. With this clear grasp of the very nature of ourselves, we can then begin to show acts like contraception, abortion, and other anti-Life measures as the true evils that they are. This can only be done, however, when we are able to recognize an authentic dignity of women that truly liberates, instead of objectifying women.