In 1994, I began sharing our rich pro-life feminist history at top colleges and universities across America.
Who knew that suffragist Tennessee Claflin said, “Childbearing is not a disease, but a beautiful office of nature.” Who knew that her sister Victoria Woodhull, the first woman nominated for President of the United States said “the rights of the foetus begin while yet they remain the embryo.”
Who knew that Alice Paul, the author of the equal rights amendment called abortion the “ultimate exploitation of women.”
Who knew that Eleanor Kirk asked “Can you not see that the idea is to educate women, so that they may become self-reliant, self-sustaining, self respected…”
Who knew that Sarah Norton, who successfully argued admission to Cornell University along with Susan B. Anthony asked, “Is there no remedy for this ante-natal child murder? Perhaps there will come a time when an unmarried mother will not be despised because of her motherhood… and when the rights of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered with.” That time is NOW.
Suffragist Mattie Brinkerhoff put it this way: “When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society — so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged.”been greatly wronged.”
Today we answer those who say that pro-lifers don’t care about women. Today you clearly demonstrate that you care about children after they are born.
Today we say “don’t underestimate women,” unlike Sarah Weddington who argued Roe v. Wade before the US Supreme Court saying that a woman can not complete her education if pregnant.
Oh YES she can! And many will — thanks to those who heard the voices of women who mourn, and who are increasingly silent no more; thanks to those who remembered the women and girls who died from legal but lethal abortion; and most of all, thanks to those who are here — from Cindy Brown (former executive director of Room at the Inn, now Vice Chair of Feminists for Life), to Abbot Placid Solari and the monks of Belmont Abbey who donated the land, and finally to Jeannie Wray (current executive director of Room at the Inn) and the staff, volunteers and donors including the Knights of Columbus.
Today is our victory over violence.
Today we say, you CAN refuse to choose® between women and children. You don’t have to terminate your education or your child.
There are people who unconditionally care for women and their babies. Women deserve better, and thanks to the new Room at the Inn, many more will now have it.