Can You Be an Anti-Abortion Feminist?
Yes and No.
The conclusion that I’ve come to is, sure you can be a feminist with a personal moral or religious objection to abortion, and believe we should try to reduce the need for abortion by advocating for accessible childcare, healthcare and comprehensive sex education and healthy non-abusive relationships. But if your political priority is banning abortion or until then, making it as inaccessible as possible, then no I don’t consider you a feminist.
Because you’re in league with a movement, that on the whole does not support the above things I just mention that could help women, relationships, families and children be healthier, and you’re opposing movements that *do* support those things. So at the point, I can’t really trust you to have a meaningful commitment to advocating for women and feminism.
There are some feminists that are not as supportive and understanding of issues mothers, and women in relationships with men (married or not) face, and this has alienated many women from our movements.
However, who’s been promoting laws protecting women from domestic abuse? Building and operating shelters? Laws against marital rape? Who’s been accusing these activists of “breaking up families” and denying that marital rape, or even date rape are real things? Who’s been telling us that if women and children obey husbands & fathers as the God-appointed “head of the household” that they won’t be abused? That if girls and women dress in the right way, and keep company with the right men, that bad things won’t happen to them?
Take a good look at who you are supporting, and ask yourself, are these people advocating for the best interests of women?
Another thing, 21st century Western feminism means that yes, you need to be pro-GLBT. I do expect this to spread to the rest of the world, it is not an Evil Decadent Western thing that we are shoving down other people’s throats, even if some Christians and Muslims in the developing world may claim.
I understand that some religions and cultures around the world, and even right here may need to do some re-examining and re-thinking about how they see gender and sexuality , and that those reform efforts are best led by people within those cultures and religions. Feminists outside those cultural contexts can lend their moral and financial support, and spread the word about pro-feminist/pro-GLBT and progressive Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, and so forth. We can keep examining our own cultural prejudices and assumptions and create space for other points of view, without compromising our principles.
Entry filed under: Feminism/Gender.