The Declaration of Independence led to America’s freedom from Great Britain and reminded the world that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are God-given rights enjoyed by every person equally on the day of his or her creation. But in the 236 years since the Declaration, our country has faced a constant internal struggle to resolve the paradox that so many people are still not free.
It was only 150 years ago that feminists fought along with other abolitionists to liberate African slaves from bondage in “this land of liberty.” And then many of these same women, considered property themselves at the time, fought successfully to unfetter themselves from their own shackles.
Yet here we are, so many years later, with some women choosing to subjugate themselves to the whims of men by becoming sterile beings just so they can go to school and work without fear of reprisal for their “fertility problems.” Larry Lader, an advocate for population control who co-opted the feminist movement for his own purposes, used that fear of lost opportunities to promote contraception and abortion as the great equalizers for women.
But fertility isn’t a problem that needs to be fixed before women can be equal with men. In fact, fertility ensures the very survival of our species, and consequently, pregnancy and birth bring some of the greatest joys in our lives. A true feminist celebrates her fertility and doesn’t let her employer, college professor or lover push her aside because she gets pregnant. She walks boldly into that “man’s world,” belly first, and goes about her business. And she certainly doesn’t give the man in her life a pass on fatherhood at the expense of her body and the life of her unborn child.
One of the feminist movement’s founding mothers, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, said in 1848 that “when we consider that women have been treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” The mother of all feminists, Mary Wollstonecraft, in 1792 condemned those who would “either destroy the embryo in the womb or cast it off when born” as violating the very nature of things.
Because of Lader’s co-option of the authentic feminist movement, however, many women have remade themselves in man’s image to unnaturally fit into what both still perceive to be his world. All the while, these modern “feminists” imagine they are free by presenting a superficial and sexually permissive pretense of femininity as they pursue their degrees and careers. Yet, their true feminism is lost, because they have rejected the fertile ground on which their womanhood is built.
Today’s fast-track mentality that encourages contraception and abortion is more than degrading to women, it is a war on the very nature of women and their unborn children. This is the very opposite of feminism, it is subjugation.
No woman with the resources and independence to be herself could be convinced that she should kill the child growing naturally inside her. The physical and emotional scars abortion leaves behind do permanent damage to a woman’s body and mind.
No feminist would purposefully distort the natural hormonal balance of her body with birth control to offset her God-given fertility. Only ignorance, fear or oppression could lead a woman to poison herself with too much estrogen, which besides preventing pregnancy can lead to the growth of cancer cells or blood clots and an early death.
Clearly, the women who choose to put themselves in situations where they think they need contraceptives or abortions do not believe they have a choice in the matter. To purveyors of sexual liberation theory who have confined women to this fate, contraception is the first choice, and if that “fails,” abortion is the final choice. But is abortion truly liberating women if our innate gift to create new life is now viewed as the burdensome side effect of casual pleasure?
True feminists should consider all of their choices as they come to terms with their fertility, as should the men they choose to associate with. Pregnancy does not have to be planned, but it should always be respected. Women will truly be free when the men in their lives accept their fertility, which sometimes results in pregnancy and birth. This very natural and essential process should never isolate a woman from the respect of her family, her peers or her employment, and she shouldn’t let it.
What kind of society are we accepting if the joy and miracle of bringing a new life into the world becomes a burden? It certainly is not one that will last.
Shannon McGinley is acting executive director of Cornerstone Action, Cornerstone Policy Research and Cornerstone PAC.