Feminists for Life Celebrates Pro-Life Women

(December 1998) Fifteen "Remarkable Pro-Life Women" are profiled in the winter issue of The American Feminist, published by Feminists for Life of America.

The late Mother Theresa is the most well known member of the list because of her great humanitarian work over the years and her staunch pro-life advocacy. In her address to the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, she said, "We have sent word to the clinics, to the hospitals ... 'Please don't destroy the child ... we will get a home for your child.'"

Many figures in the entertainment business made the list: Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of the popular mainstream rock band The Cranberries; former "Melrose Place" actress Hunter Tylo, who successfully sued the show's producers after they fired her when she became pregnant and refused to have an abortion; and Patrician Heaton, co-star of the hit comedy series "Everybody Loves Raymond." Heaton, while taping "Women of the House" with Linda Bloodworth-Thompson "had a bit of inconvenience on her hands - Heaton's real-life pregnancy. A smiling Heaton told Bloodworth-Thompson ... 'That's what you get for hiring a pro-life person for your show.'" Heaton recently agreed to chair a year-end outreach and fundraising campaign for Feminists for Life.

Noted USA Today columnist Linda Chavez is praised for her active championing of the pro-life position in the media. Feminists for Life also praised legal pundit Mary Ann Glendon, a Harvard professor. Her commentary "When Words Cheapen Life," which countered charges that pro-life rhetoric led to a shooting at a Boston Planned Parenthood abortion facility. FFLA also profiles Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics and executive vice president of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation.

Leading the pack of politicians included in the Feminists for Life list is Mary McAleese, president of the Republic of Ireland, who wrote, "The myth that to be a feminist is to be pro-choice has forced many women to resign from the name of feminism." Also on the international front, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who said, "I dream ... of a world where we can commit our social resources to the development of human life and not to its destruction." She surprised many with an impassioned pro-life statement at the 1994 Cairo population conference. Bhutto's powerful speech drew massive applause as she insisted that abortion is "not a means to reach population stabilization."

Feminists for Life profiles several American political figures: Lindy Boggs, current U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican and former Democratic member of Congress from Louisiana; Rep. Anne Northup (R-KY), a staunch pro-life supporter who is the mother of two adopted children; and pro-life Democrat Gov. Joan Finney who defeated a pro-abortion Republican to become Kansas' first female Governor.

Two black women receive special mention from FFLA: Louisiana state Rep. Sharon Weston, a black Democrat who "takes an active role in addressing the problem of teen pregnancy," said, "[I]f we really understand our history as African-Americans we know that abortion is a form of genocide." Dr. Pamela Smith, who is also mentioned, serves as the president of the American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNs and has testified numerous times before Congress in support of the partial-birth abortion ban.

Also profiled: Mary Cunningham Agee, founder of the Nurturing Network; Emory University professor Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, who was forced to resign as the head of Emory's women studies institute after addressing a Feminists for Life meeting and admitting the president of Emory University Students for Life into the Women's Studies graduate program; and Cecilia Klingele, a college student who became a full-time parent and chairs a pro-life group at the University of Wisconsin.

For a copy of the issue or more information about Feminists for Life contact Feminists for Life of America, 733 15th St. NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005.

Source: The American Feminist, Winter 1998-1999.
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