How the March for Life and the Women's March value women differently

This week, Washington will be the site of two opposing marches, one day apart. Both will feature hundreds of thousands of marching women. Both will say they are standing up for women’s rights. But only one truly values the entire being of a woman, while the other asks her to reject a significant part of herself to ultimately become “empowered.”

The first march – the March for Life – values the entirety of a woman, including her entire biology and her ability to be a mother, and doesn’t put her at odds with the children she holds in her womb.

The Women’s March, on the other hand, specifically advocates the idea that legalized, unrestricted abortion is necessary to achieve “collective liberation” for women. This is quite an odd stance when you consider that for over a century, until the 1960s, feminist leaders saw abortion as a form of male oppression that was at odds with their feminism and that rejected a significant part of their womanhood.

MARCH FOR LIFE -- HERE'S WHY I (STILL) MARCH

In fact, it wasn’t until pro-abortion men started pushing legalized abortion into the women’s movement in the 1960s that abortion and feminism became connected.

In the 1950s and 60s, women faced serious problems of inequality. In the workplace, women were fired simply for becoming pregnant. The growing feminist movement sought to right these wrongs, but it also attracted certain self-interested men who worked to convince feminist leaders that they needed abortion in order to achieve equality with men.

But this wasn’t really a solution to the inequality women experienced. Instead, it further entrenched that inequality by confirming that pregnant women were unwelcome in the workplace and that the ending of a human life through abortion was the only way for a pregnant woman to succeed in an unjust world.

Two of the most influential men who campaigned to legalize and mass-market abortion in the United States were journalist and activist Larry Lader and abortionist Bernard Nathanson, co-founders of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, now known as NARAL.

Lader’s goal was the complete repeal of abortion laws as a means of controlling population growth and upending the sexual morality of the day. He worked to push abortion on the 1960s feminist movement, knowing he needed to use women to promote his agenda if it was to be successful.

In his book “Aborting America,” Nathanson recorded what Lader said to him: “If we’re going to move abortion out of the books and into the streets, we’re going to have to recruit the feminists. [Feminist leader Betty] Friedan has got to put her troops into this thing—while she still has control of them.”

Abortion has done nothing to correct the oppression and inequality that women face; instead, it has perpetuated that oppression and inequality. Abortion is one more excuse to neglect and discriminate against pregnant women, because it gives women the Faustian bargain of purported equality in exchange for the life of their child.

So Lader and Nathanson enlisted the help of Friedan, the co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Friedan’s initial stance on women’s equality did not include legalizing abortion, which was consistent with the feminists who had come before her. Early feminists Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other suffragists saw abortion as a form of female oppression; a tool used by men to control and abuse women. Paul called abortion “the ultimate in the exploitation of women.”

Lader had to work to convince Friedan that abortion was something that women needed for both social and economic equality. Lader and Nathanson lied to sell abortion to her and the public at large. Nathanson would later confess, “We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions and fabricated polls which indicated that 85% of the public favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5%.”

“When we spoke of [deaths due to illegal abortion], it was always 5,000 to 10,000 a year. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false,” he admitted.

The truth was, in 1972, the year before Roe v. Wade, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics, 39 women in the United States died from illegal abortions, and almost as many, 24, died from legal abortions.

But these lies were effective, and Lader was able to convince Friedan and others. When Friedan introduced an abortion resolution to the members of NOW at its 1967 conference, only 57 people voted in favor – just over half of the attendees. Many of the dissenters walked out. Two days later, NOW issued a news release declaring abortion was part of the women’s rights movement.

Today, nearly a million abortions are committed every year in America, and more than a third are committed by Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the country – and one of the sponsors of the Women’s March.

Men like Lader and Nathanson offered abortion as a way for women to achieve equal treatment in the workplace. But to say that abortion is the solution to a woman’s pregnancy is, in essence, to agree with a boss who thinks a pregnant woman isn’t worth keeping on the job.

Abortion has done nothing to correct the oppression and inequality that women face; instead, it has perpetuated that oppression and inequality. Abortion is one more excuse to neglect and discriminate against pregnant women, because it gives women the Faustian bargain of purported equality in exchange for the life of their child.

So when the Women’s March descends on Washington, promoting abortion as a path to women’s liberation, it is continuing to play into the hands of generations of men who have sought to push abortion on women for their own sexual gratification, untethered from any responsibility or commitment, and it is promoting the lie that a woman can achieve equality at the price of a life.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

My hope is that all women will see the truth of history. My hope is that we will see that real feminism promotes and accepts all aspects of who a woman is, sees men as equal partners, and sees children as gifts. My hope is that our demand will not be the right to take the lives of our preborn children, but that instead we create a society that defends the right to life of all human beings and celebrates the unique power of a woman to be a mother and a man to be a father.

At Friday’s March for Life, hundreds of thousands of us will gather in support of this ideal. I hope the Women's March will join us.