Can you be both pro-life and pro-woman?

Can women stand against abortion and still call  themselves feminists? This is a question that has arisen before, but it is being brought to the surface again because of this Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.

Even though they formerly were officially partnered with the march, New Wave Feminism has been officially removed as a partner just four days before the march.   The Women’s March official statement apologized for the mistake of including an “anti-choice” group in their march organization.

The Women’s March has established themselves on a platform that fights for a woman’s right to abortion.  New Wave Feminism has said they are unapologetically pro-life.

New Wave Feminism recently wrote on their blog:

When I imagine what the world would look like if our fertility were treated as the super power it is, and the life of the unborn human given the respect it deserves, I see a place that’s a whole hell of a lot more pro-woman than what we have now.

To break down the situation, women are telling women “You can’t march alongside me! You don’t stand for women because you want rights for all women! This march is inherently grounded in the fact that we stand for the right to abortion for women outside the womb at the expense of women and children inside the womb.”

Which begs the question – can you be pro-life and a feminist?

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What does the term ‘feminist’ mean?

Is there a set definition of the word, or has it succumb to the increasingly murky waters of relativism, where I define my own kind of feminism, which can differ from your type of feminism?

My undergraduate minor is in women and gender studies, which by no means makes me an expert on women or gender.  But the question on the label of feminism is something that I’ve wrestled with quite a bit during my time in the minor program and after graduation as well.

Watch this post for for updates as the story, as well as my thoughts on the subject of Catholic feminism, take shape.

 

Thoughts from a girl two weeks away from a wedding

I think I began planning my wedding around age seven.
I knew the colors and the cake – purple, and three tiers respectively.
By age ten, I knew the location and the time of that big day.
Saint Joseph Church on Van Buren Avenue, and noon.
By age sixteen, I’d chosen the wedding gown, four bridesmaids, and a maid of honor.
And by twenty, I was just waiting for the man.

Because I’d met a lot of Christian boys, but not a lot of Christian men.
I wanted a man who would fall to his knees in love of God and service of me.
And I wanted to do the same for him.
I wanted to love when I was ready, not when I was lonely.

Wherever he was when I was growing up, planning our wedding day,
I’m pretty sure he wasn’t thinking about the color and texture of his tuxedo.
Or how dashing the purple boutonniere would look against a suit jacket.

But now I’m two weeks, fourteen days, 336 hours away from saying “I do.”
And we have the colors, and the cake, the church, the time, the women surrounding me, and the dress.  And I’m preparing for a life-long love with a man who I love more than I thought was humanly possible.

And it is all happening in ways that I never imagined and better than I ever dreamed.  Because ‘love’ never happens the way you think it should – but then you find that reality is better than all of your dreams combined.

I used to struggle with the word “submission”.
It sounded archaic.
I didn’t understand it.
Then I found out that it meant ‘under the mission of’ – and it changed everything.
Because this man that I’m marrying?  I know his mission in life.
He wants to get to Heaven.  And he wants me by his side on the journey there.

When Father Zarse asks me in 2 weeks, fourteen days, 336 hours from now
to repeat: “I, Chloe, take you, Joseph, as my husband” I will probably start
repeating before he finishes the sentence.  And later I will apologize for my anxiousness.

Then I’ll explain how I’ve been wanting and waiting to say those words for so long.
Through a 10 month countdown that started on a mountaintop in the sunrise light.

And how excited I am to climb all of life’s mountains, valleys, and in-betweens by his side as his wife.

Because I’m excited.  I’m thinking about him and our life together all the time.
I’m lying away at night, staring at the ceiling fan praying for him.
Because in 2 weeks, 14 days, 336 hours I am marrying my best friend.

And I’m going to decorate a home with him and do everything with him.
Like watch weird YouTube videos, and be beside him right when he wakes up, and nudge him out of bed, bribing him with coffee and probably bacon.

We’ll laugh until our side hurts, and be there to hold each other when life happens and things get squishy and messy and we are reminded of how human we are.

He knows what I look like without makeup.  And how I smell after not showering for six days.  How I love the little things.  He’s going to find out how I wander around and sip coffee in the morning.  And how I dance horribly and have a very small amount of funny faces that I make.

And I know the face he makes when he is thinking.  How he drums the steering wheel along to the rhythm of songs.  How he can back into parking spaces like nobody’s business.  I’m going to find out how he eats cereal and what it sounds like when the door opens after a long day from work and he comes in exhausted.

We want to be saints together.  He’ll probably be the patron saint of engineering (move over Saint Patrick) and I’ll be the patron saint of coffee drinkers.  He’ll be up in Heaven helping those hard working engineer students with electromagnetic theory homework.  I’ll be recommending vanilla lattes over hazelnut.  It’ll be beautiful.

Please keep us in your prayers.

The next 2 weeks (not that anyone has a countdown going or anything) are going to fly by. Before we know it, we’ll be starting our new life
together as Mr. and Mrs. Langr…and it’s going to be beautiful.

“Young people are always searching for the beauty in love.  They want their love to be beautiful.”
Saint Pope John Paul II