Few people know that the early feminist movement was staunchly Pro-Life. Ironically, many feminist groups, such as NOW, have made advocacy for abortion their priority—a goal that would have startled and disappointed the founders of the suffragist movement. Other groups, however, including Feminists for Life and Susan B. Anthony List, have preserved the true message of these founding women, who spent significant time writing and lecturing on the atrocity of abortion and its degrading effects on women.
The following is a sample of the wisdom and efforts of one of the Pro-Life movement’s founding mothers. (Excerpt from Pro-LifeFeminism: Yesterday and Today, by Kane Derr, Rachel MacNair, and Linda Naranjo-Heub.)
Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, America’s first female physician, was rejected from over a dozen medical schools before being admitted to Geneva Medical College in 1845—and only then was accepted as a prank. Despite relentless harassment, she graduated at the top of her class and subsequently started the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. She boldly hired many female employees as well as Dr. Rebecca Cole (the nation’s second African-American female physician). The Infirmary became a safe haven in New York City for single pregnant women—who were otherwise ostracized and left to die. She, too, challenged the medical community to understand that life began at fertilization.
Our hope and prayer is that Texas Right to Life will carry on this vision of Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell and of the numerous other Pro-Life heroines as we seek to restore true womanhood and build a Culture of Life.