While working behind the scenes with Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch’s staff to prepare for Dobbs v. Jackson, the case that could very well spell the end of Roe v. Wade, I was asked if I wanted to speak at the rally that would be held on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. What an honor. But when I looked at the enormity of the goal for this, of all days, I had to ask: Who would best personify the notion that women can handle motherhood while juggling a career?
Because the court and abortion advocates have a history of underestimating women, to me it is essential that the public should SEE professional women — and mothers — who did not feel forced to choose between themselves and their children, their education or career, and their families. So I suggested one of our former interns, Katherine Beck (now Johnson).
In the summer of 2013, Katherine spent the summer educating Hill staffers and other interns about our original research documenting the pro-life sentiments of the first wave feminists and sharing our “Pro-Woman Answers to Pro-Choice Questions™,” our message that Women Deserve Better® than Abortion, and a resource website that they could use to assist and educate their constituents. (Now we also have our WomenDeserveBetter.com helpsite.)
Katherine went on to William & Mary Law School, where she was instrumental in bringing me to address students at her law school and also the undergrads at two back-to-back events (the latter resulted in an FFL Pregnancy and Parenting Resource Forum℠ the following year!) Soon after graduation, Katherine married another attorney, and a year later, they had a beautiful daughter, pictured above.
So you can see why I suggested that Katherine would be a perfect person to address the rally. Little did I know that Katherine had submitted an amicus brief in support of Mississippi regarding Dobbs v. Jackson! (You might have read her story in “Sheer Joy,” our most recent issue of The American Feminist.)
In her speech 10 minutes before the U.S. Supreme Court expected to hear oral arguments, Katherine made the case, “As Attorney General Fitch explained in Mississippi’s brief before this court, the case for Roe is built on lies told to women that access to abortion is necessary to achieve their dreams in life. I didn’t have to have an abortion to achieve my goals in life. I didn’t, and no woman has to.”
“Women are not empowered by taking away the rights of our children,” Katherine declared, noting that abortion advocates “claim that my daughter must be able to kill her child to achieve her goals.”
But then I got a big surprise of my own as she concluded her remarks!
“They claim that the child in my womb has no legal right to exist. We reject these lies.
“We know that my daughter and little girls everywhere not only deserve the right to exist but are able to dream of their careers and families, too.
“They know the child in my womb, though small, is a unique person who deserves to live. We fight for these children, the littlest and most vulnerable ones in our society. We call on the Supreme Court to finally recognize Mississippi and every other state’s right to protect the unborn.”
I had no idea she was pregnant again — this time with her son!! I am overjoyed for Katherine and her husband.
Katherine’s story is unique in many ways. But what is not unique is that so many of our interns and student leaders and activists have carried what they learned from FFL into their adult lives. I have received so many precious emails and notes. They belong to you, too.
- Three of our Board members and two of our staff began as student activists or interns.
- Recently, a reporter remembered hearing me speak at Tulane as she asked for an interview.
- One most precious note was from a young man who was able to address the answers of his then-girlfriend, who became pro-life.
- Another was from a young woman who said she came to mock me at the University of Delaware. After warmly welcoming her personally to my lecture, she wrote, “You made me ashamed, in a good way,” telling me she is now working for women who have faced violence through abuse and abortion.
So now I ask you: Where were you when you first heard of Feminists for Life and our message of empowerment and our pro-life feminist history? Was it at school, online, in print, on TV, at a rally, etc.? We also want to hear how you are part of the solution and make a real difference in the lives of women. Inspire and empower others with your video.
We are collecting these stories — in writing and in short video clips — as we prepare for our 50th Anniversary Celebration. FFL was founded a year before Roe. And we hope to see the end of it this coming year.
No matter what the court decides next June regarding Mississippi’s 15-week limit on abortion, FFL’s messages and solutions will be needed throughout pregnancy and beyond. And we want you to be a part of this historic year by celebrating YOU.
Please send us your short answer by email by Monday, December 20. You can also send us a short video by January 17, which is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Give your message of hope to the next generation.
Because women — and girls — deserve better,
Serrin M. Foster
Feminists for Life of America
Women Deserve Better
& The American Feminist
P.S. I know this season is busy for everyone, but what could be a better gift than to empower the next generation of women at risk and the future leaders in all fields, now in high school and college?
Help us reach them (like Katherine in the picture below!) so that they know, “Women deserve better. Girls deserve better™. And you are Forever Priceless℠.”
Send us your tax-deductible gift (which will be matched!) and your story. Pass it forward!