January 27, 2022

Jezebel lies about us (and you)

On January 4, Jezebel published an opinion piece, “There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Pro-Life Feminist,'” which was not only stunningly ignorant of basic history but also committed outright libel against FFL President Serrin M. Foster by claiming she used media interviews to “discredit rape victims.”

We promptly sent a response by FFL Speaker and rape survivor Joyce McCauley-Benner to Jezebel’s editors but have been ignored for weeks. We have chosen to publish it in full below.

Because women deserve better,

Damian J. Geminder
Director of Public Education & Editor
Feminists for Life of America

Kylie Cheung, author of “There’s No Such Thing As A ‘Pro-Life Feminist,'” would probably be surprised that our anti-abortion, pro-woman history didn’t start yesterday. In fact, the co-founder of Feminists for Life of America, Pat Goltz, learned from Alice Paul herself that we were not the first pro-life feminists, saying the first wave feminists were. And that conversation started FFL’s research and documentation of our pro-life feminist foremothers.  

It was 50 years ago when Goltz co-founded Feminists for Life, the year before the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision in Roe v. Wade. Since then, we have worked together with those on both sides of a contentious debate. FFL was the only pro-life group in coalition fighting the family cap and other child exclusion provisions in welfare reform, as well as the only pro-life group to advocate for the original Violence Against Women Act and the Child Support Enhancement Act. FFL President Serrin M. Foster was in the room and lobbying legislators on the Hill.  

The author’s attack on Serrin was as ill-informed as her understanding of pro-life feminism, but both could easily be fact-checked by a simple search of FFL’s accomplishments on feministsforlife.org documenting our support for a strong societal safety net.  

I have worked on a racial justice task force, with victims of sex trafficking, and at a domestic violence shelter; advocate for low-income families; and run a utility assistance program. Most important, as a sexual assault survivor who discovered I was pregnant after rape, I chose life for my son, not because some scary “anti-abortion activists” forced his birth, but because I may not have known who his father was, but I did know who his mother was!!  

It was Serrin, the very one whom you accuse of discrediting rape victims, in a single dishonestly timestamped clip, who gave me my voice, and my power, back. Without the amazing work of Feminists For Life, my journey with them as an FFL Speaker and writer, and Serrin’s total belief in me, I would not be who I am today.  

I invite Jezebel readers to learn our feminist history and work together with us on the issues we agree on. Listening to the voices of those who struggle during pregnancy, birth, and parenting has become our task list.  

Because women — and girls — deserve better,

Joyce McCauley-Benner
Speaker, Author, Advocate
Feminists for Life of America

Editor’s Note: We encourage you to read Joyce’s articles, “What to Do If You Have Been Sexually Assaulted” and “Do You Know the Signs of Intimate Partner Violence?”

FFL Speakers are available for your next in-person or virtual event (see below!). To have Joyce deliver “Victory Over Violence,” her personal story of discovering she was pregnant after rape and not knowing who the father was, or to have Serrin present her acclaimed speech, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” email us at info@feministsforlife.org. Thank you.