Along with the American Conservative Union, on Tuesday, June 17th, the March for Life hosted a seminar on Capitol Hill entitled “Women Know Best – Conservative Solutions Work,” to encourage and equip Capitol Hill staffers to confront the false “war on women.” You can read Jeanne Monahan’s remarks on her blog post, entitled “What it Really Means to be Pro-Woman.” A full recap of each of our speaker’s remarks is below, and more pictures are available HERE.
Yesterday I had the distinct opportunity of participating in a conference with a remarkable group of women. These women have a wide variety of life experience and backgrounds– ranging from a young actress to a former Member of Congress, to a person considered the most powerful woman in business in America during a period of time.
What brought us all together yesterday is that we believe conservative ideals help women to most fully flourish. We also know that all issues are women’s issues, not just one. Below is a snippet from my remarks yesterday.
“As the President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, my organization’s goal is to help build a culture of life in the United States— a culture in which no woman in her right mind would ever choose abortion. A culture in which marriage, family, religious freedom are all respected. A culture that is about loving women, loving babies, and loving life. A place where people are encouraged and enabled to fully and humanly flourish.
Sadly, in many ways this is not our current cultural reality. There are so many confusing messages out there especially about the issue of abortion. Of course we are all well aware of the false “war on women” rhetoric.
I’m of the mind that the real war on women is more about a crisis in what it means to be human; to be a person, and in particular, a woman. One might call it a crisis in anthropology. Which may sound very heady but I think it especially impacts our young women negatively by presenting very confusing messages to them.
On one hand, we are defined by our body — I saw a study of women recently – what makes you feel worse — losing a job; problems with friends; 10 extra pounds? The majority answered 10 extra pounds. We are in a culture that places a premium on looks from head to toe. . On one extreme– you are almost defined by your body and what you look like.
The other extreme is the belief that “what I do with my body; it doesn’t mean anything – it’s only physical.” As if just being “physical” also depletes emotion. “It’s only physical” pops up in the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine – perpetuating the idea to women that just being “physical” doesn’t mean anything.
Perhaps it is the case that the body has significance and much to “teach” about how we were made and how we will find fulfillment; the body can’t be detached from me. Our bodies make clear that women are completely, intrinsically, different but complementary, to a man. So a woman’s capacity to be a mom falls well within this.
Recently Gloria Steinem, famed feminist, was quoted saying that “if we [women] didn’t have wombs we’d be fine.” In doing so she is perpetuating the idea “don’t define me by my capacity to have children”. My question to women is: is it a good thing to view a woman’s capacity to bear a child as a form of slavery or bondage that she needs to be freed from or at the very least in control of? I think not. To pretend that a woman’s capacity to bear children is insignificant is not empowering to women. It’s the opposite.
What we really need is be pro-women without leaving out any part of her, like the amazing beautiful fact that she can be a mom.
A pro-abortion industry has influenced our culture so much that abortions are almost glorified in Hollywood. We need a culture that values life in this country and we need to move beyond the ways that liberals define women.”