This mantra drives the recently-released film, Suffragette. The historical fiction is based on real events and influential figures, and the film’s singular aim is to underscore the incredible sacrifices that were demanded of first-wave feminists before their steps towards equal rights could be realized. The Suffragettes lived in a climate where most men – and many women – did not recognize the inherent equality of the sexes. After decades of gestures demurely asking for equal representation under the law, the courageous Suffragettes of late-19th and early-20th century England understood that their voices would not be heeded until they commanded the attention and legislative action they deserved.
The Suffragette movement resonates with many Millennial Pro-Lifers, and the mantra, “Never surrender; never give up the fight,” is one that we, too, have adopted. We were born during abortion’s heyday in America. But as we grew up, the tide turned. More and more young people rejected the lie that abortion is good for women. The Suffragettes laid the groundwork for our understanding of equality, and we are reclaiming the integrity of that movement by rejecting abortion, the greatest usurper of human freedom.
Pro-Life Millennials stand on the shoulders of feminist giants: of the Pro-Life feminists of yesteryear who insisted that equal rights should extend to all women – even those in the womb. “Abortion,” said feminist great Alice Paul, “is the ultimate exploitation of women.” Indeed, the pioneers of the feminist movement were Pro-Life without known exception. According to Feminists for Life, “our feminist foremothers opposed abortion and (like Susan B. Anthony) sought to address the root causes that drive women to abortion.”
Indeed, any self-proclaimed “feminist” who promotes abortion as a “woman’s right” is not really a feminist at all. How did a sham version of feminism become popular? The sexual revolution momentarily subverted the feminist movement. At that moment in history, the Supreme Court strategically swooped in to declare a so-called “right” to abortion which they – an all-male panel of judges– tenuously conjured up from the 14th amendment’s “right to privacy.” But the integrity of the feminist movement is being restored, led by stalwart Millennials who are solidly Pro-Life.
The Pro-Life movement is reclaiming feminism, and feminism is reclaiming the Pro-Life movement. Despite vehement protestations by the radical remnants of the sexual revolution, Pro-Life and Pro-Woman go hand-in-hand. Pro-Lifers spent several decades avoiding the feminist label because feminism had been commandeered. But we have been galvanized by revelations of what the abortion industry actually does to women– from the personal testimonies of countless women harmed and undercover investigations exposing the abortion industry’s deeply misogynistic tendencies. The façade of “pro-abortion feminism” is crumbling.
Clare Boothe Luce, whose lifespan bridged the gap between the Suffragette movement and feminism’s subversion during the sexual revolution, remained committed to the integrity of her feminist foremothers. She rejected the notion that abortion and women’s equality can coexist in a peaceful society, saying: “I do not accept the extraordinary proposition that women cannot achieve equal rights before the law until all women are given the legal right to empty their wombs at will – and at the expense of the taxpayer.” Luce’s statement underscores the extraordinary audacity of the abortion industry’s demand for taxpayer subsidy on the basis that “women will suffer” without such provisions. The irony that the most vicious inflictor of suffering on modern-day women – the abortion industry – invokes feminist principles in order to fund their product is not lost on us. Fortunately, the wind is in the sails of Millennial Pro-Lifers, and the trajectory is set firmly towards the restoration of a Pro-Life, pro-woman society.