Discussing
Making Space for Pro-Life Feminists

Tamara Hill Murphy

Tamara Hill Murphy
January 19, 2017

By refusing to partner with pro-life feminists, Women's March organizers undermine their own principles of inclusiveness.

Darren Sombke
January 19, 2017

This article is one of the best things I've read here. How many abortions are performed in the world because the unborn child happened to be a girl? The fact that the Women's March organizers would exclude pro-life women is extremely telling and totally outrageous. My only disagreement with the author is that I wouldn't recommend any pro-life woman attend where she isn't wanted and not to go and inflate their numbers. Thanks for the thoughtful piece.

Tamara
January 19, 2017

In Reply to Darren Sombke (comment #29829)
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Thanks for your encouraging comment, Darren. Your point about pro-life women attending the march is well taken. I've read and heard from various women wrestling with that themselves. Thanks again!

Jim Dekker
January 19, 2017

Thank you very much. I am not a woman, but have--as a pastor--dealt with oppressed, humiliated, invisible, wounded women often. In all those years, though, I have only twice been told that she had had an abortion. Both times I was told through tears. Both abortions were not wanted, but were considered absolutely necessary for reasons I would still validate and affirm today. The women did not feel guilty; the tears were simply because of sadness at having been in circumstances that did not permit support for the women who were at the time alone or abandoned by the man, shunned by family. Of course, I cannot say, but I would not be surprised that those women would march, regardless of their opinions on abortion.

I should hope that perhaps the march organizers will yet re-consider and recognize solidarity with all women more important than an ideological position that precludes compassion for those who differ. Thank you again for this thoughtful piece.

Doug Vande Griend
January 20, 2017

This is a good article. Like the author I applaud any movement seeking justice for the most marginalized among us (well, maybe excluding those whose prescriptions actually result in injustice).

What I will always reject though is what seems to be the incessant inclination people have, these days especially, of rather arbitrarily dividing up the human population into statistical groupings before declaring whether the individuals in that group are oppressors or oppressees. Injustice (properly defined) is injustice, regardless of whether the person not receiving justice is male or female; black, white, or brown; Dutch, German, or Japanese; Republican or Democrat; or even rich or poor.

I suppose what first rubs me wrong about this march is that is purports to be a "women's march," as if being a woman is some necessary definitional component for injustice to be injustice. I would say the same of a mens march or a black persons march, where a definitional purpose claim is to fight injustice for that group. "Demands" from these groups are every bit demands from "special interest groups" as those made by the fossil fuel or pharmaceutical industries.

I'm sure I'd get pushback on my characterizations here, but I think the exclusion of these particular feminists (those who are pro-life) supports my suggestion.

Rob Cheshire
January 20, 2017

I believe when you support the 'right to Life', your pro-human, not necessarily pro-women, a feminist etc...Whe we stand for the preservation, or 'rights' of any humanbeing to exist.....It's a Good Thing

Tamara
January 21, 2017

In Reply to Jim Dekker (comment #29831)
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Thank you, Jim, for reading and offering a thoughtful comment. I hope that during today's marches there were a lot of healing connections made - the sort that don't make the news, but do make a difference. May God bless you in your ministry.

Tamara
January 21, 2017

In Reply to Doug Vande Griend (comment #29833)
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Doug, thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I agree that there are times we place people into sub-groups to our detriment. I'm not sure I completely understand your concern with the Women's March. I'm grateful that we celebrate a rich history of freedom of protest in the U.S. The act of protest - by its very nature - brings populations together who share common identities (and there were many different protest groups in DC this weekend). Women are responding to the threatening and derogatory rhetoric that was used during this last campaign cycle so it makes sense they would use the opportunity this weekend.

Thanks again for reading.

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