2004 Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai

Feminists for Life of America remembers Kenyan pro-life feminist Wangari Maathai, who died September 25, 2011. An environmental and political activist, In 2004 Maathai was the first African woman to receive a Nobel Prize “for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.”

In a conversation with Norway’s Dagen newspaper reporter Jostein Sandsmark, Maathai said regarding abortion: “Both [the woman and her child] are victims. There is no reason why anybody who has been conceived, shouldn’t be given the opportunity to be born and to live a happy life. The fact that a life like that is terminated, is wrong. When we allow abortion, we are punishing the women…. and we are punishing the children whose life is terminated…. I want us to step back a little bit and say: Why is this woman and this child threatened? Why is this woman threatening to terminate this life? What do we need to do as a society? What are we not doing right now as a society? A part of that answer lies in this House [the Kenyan Parliament building].”

Considering root causes that drive women to abortion, Maathai suggested the reinstatement of an earlier Kenyan law making fathers financially responsible for children they fathered: “That law was removed by men in this Parliament. Now I think we are too lenient on men. We have almost given them a license to father children and not worry about them. That is part of the reason why women abort, because they do not want to be burdened with children whose fathers do not want to become responsible.”

Wangari Maathai’s remarks appear in the expanded second edition of the book ProLife Feminism Yesterday and Today edited by the late Mary Krane Derr, former FFL President Dr. Rachel MacNair, and Linda Naranjo-Huebl.