I did not participate in the Women’s March on Saturday, and I am loath to support it as a bystander.
I do not write this to shame those who did participate. Many women who marched did so with genuinely good intentions. I too am concerned about President Trump’s objectification of women. That was one of the many, many reasons I did not support him during the election. I am also incredibly thankful to first wave feminists — women like Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony, among others — who fought bravely and persistently for women’s rights. If feminism means supporting the equal dignity of women, I support that.
But I do not believe that these issues were at the heart of the March on Saturday. Instead, the principles of the March (as set out by the organizers and as promoted by the vast majority of the participants) fell more in line with the radical tenets of second and third wave feminism, which I cannot support.
I went back and forth about whether I should say anything about the March. After all, if you don’t have anything nice to say, isn’t it better to say nothing at all? But I cannot stay silent amidst the onslaught of positive posts I’ve seen supporting this so-called “diverse” and “inclusive” event. Even many of my friends, who I know would call themselves pro-life, were caught up in the fervor of the movement.
But I think we should all step back and take a serious look at what this movement actually represents. Allow me to explain my decision…
On the March website, the organizers set out several “Unity Principles.” The marchers can be “diverse” in their backgrounds and beliefs, but they must at minimum swear fealty to these eight principles.
Among these uniting principles is the March’s support for “Reproductive Rights,” further described as “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”
In other words, women’s rights only matter to the March organizers once those women are born. Unborn women are disposable. Their right to life is void.
This principle was further confirmed by the March when they turned away any pro-life organizations that requested to sponsor or partner with the event. In their statement regarding this decision, the March organizers explained, “we look forward to marching on behalf of individuals who share the view that women deserve the right to make their own reproductive decisions.”
They could not make it any more clear that the March was only intended for those who agree with the principle of abortion on demand and without apology.
In case there was still any confusion, the March organizers also invited speakers like Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, to headline the event. Richards is an outspoken advocate of legalizing abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, up to the moment of birth. After Richards spoke, Kierra Johnson, president of a pro-choice organization called Urge, came to the podium wearing a t-shirt proclaiming her love for abortion.
These are the primary reasons I chose not to participate.
By marching, I would be signing off (even if unintentionally) on the uniting principles of the March. By marching, I would be “marching on behalf of individuals who share the view that women deserve the right to make their own reproductive decisions.” I cannot support that statement, and therefore I did not march.
How many millions of women will never be able to protest in defense of their rights because their greatest right — their right to life —was violated before they were even born? I refuse to participate in events that perpetuate this great tragedy.