March 8, 2024

Celebrate Remarkable Pro-Life Women® on International Women’s Day!

As we continue our celebration during Women’s History Month, FFL President Serrin Foster offers this additional section from her landmark address, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion.” This time she recognizes four fascinating women (including Graciela Olivarez whose birthday we celebrate on March 9) from the later half of the 20th century to celebrate International Women’s Day!

The pro-life feminist revolution continued long after women achieved the vote. As time went on, our movement has become more diverse and international.

In 1954 Pulitzer and Nobel prize Winning author Pearl Buck wrote an essay about her daughter, who had a severe developmental disability. She titled it, “Every Life is a Gift.” Buck asked herself if she’d rather her daughter had never been born—if only she had known before her birth: 

“Would I have wanted an abortion? Now with full knowledge of anguish and despair, the answer is No, I would not. Even in full knowledge I would have chosen life, and for two reasons:

First, I fear the power of choice over life and death at human hands, I see no human being—whom I could ever trust with such power—not myself, not any other. …I go to the second reason for rejection of abortion, in my own case. My child’s life has not been meaningless. …a handicapped person, brings its own gift to life, … That gift is comprehended in the lessons of patience, understanding, and mercy, lessons which we all need to receive—and practice with one another, whatever we are.”

Graciela Olivarez was the first woman and Latina to graduate from Notre Dame school of law. She went on to become the highest ranking woman in President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

When she was appointed to serve as Vice President of the US Commission on Population Growth, she was one of two—out of 24—to oppose the 1972 report expanding access and funding to abortion, declaring:

“In this affluent country of ours, pregnant cattle and horses and cattle receive better care than pregnant poor women. The poor cry out for justice and equality, and we respond with legalized abortion.”

In 2004, Kenyan environmental and political activist and pro-life feminist Wangari Matthai was the first woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace. She said:

“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.”

One of the most inspiring pro-life feminists on the world stage was assassinated in 2009. For years, Pakistani Prime Minister Benzir Bhutto would speak for women and their baby girls.

“Too often, when a woman expects a girl, she abets her husband in abandoning or aborting that innocent, perfectly formed child. As we gather here today, the cries for the girl child reach out to us.”

More than a decade later, they are still crying out to us for help. And today it is up to us to answer their cries of the mothers and children. Women deserve better, and every child deserves life and love.

Be sure your support is current as we are printing the next great issue of The American Feminist that includes a celebration of Serrin’s 30 years leading FFL!! Not sure? Send an email to 

And please forward this email to family and friends who may not know this part of “Herstory.”

Because women deserve better,

Joyce McCauley-Benner
Director of Public Education