Politics, The World

No, Women’s March, that anti-choice organization on your list isn’t feminist

How a snafu by the Women's March on Washington shed light on the problem of anti-choice feminists.

The Women’s March recently released its Unity Principles. At the very top of that list is this entry:

“REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.”

So what was the anti-choice group New Wave Feminists doing listed on their partners’ page? Several images from the self proclaimed pro-life feminist group’s facebook page show that they were accepted. The process, which seems to be limited to filling out a Google Form leaves ample room for questionable partners to be accepted. A  review of the list shows that there are businesses as well as political and community organizations listed as official partners.

In a statement to The Tempest from New Wave Feminist founder and president Destiny Herndon de la Rosa said, “When we applied to partner with the WMoW, we clearly stated that we were prolife, so I do not believe it was an oversight.”

It’s hard to imagine that anyone on the Women’s March team would have thought a self-proclaimed pro-life organization was in line with the march’s values which are stated so clearly. In a statement, the Women’s March said that New Wave Feminists was not a partner and apologized for the error.

Though it may not be obvious from their name, New Wave Feminists are a danger to women’s rights because they specifically lobby and protest against choice. You can absolutely be against abortion personally and be a feminist, but you can NOT be against choice and wear that label. Their Facebook page is filled with grateful posts from women who are trying to reconcile feminism and being pro-life, but this organization does not exist simply as a haven for feminists who have personal or religious problems with abortion. Instead, they seek to take the right to choose away from other women.

The Women’s March on Washington includes reproductive rights at the top of its unity principles because they are a cornerstone of the feminist movement. New Wave Feminists seems to have lost sight of the fact that feminists advocate for the right to choose, not for increased abortions. Plenty of people, including recent Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine have expressed their personal qualms about abortion but at the end of the day, the only feminist stance is to support choice for all women. That is where we draw the line.

In her statement, Herndon de la Rosa said that “It’s unfortunate that a march claiming to be diverse and inclusive only wants to partner with those who subscribe to one way of thinking. There are so many other issues, besides abortion that we as women MUST come together on. “ I can guarantee that there will be women at the march who are personally opposed to abortion, but there’s a big difference between them and the New Wave Feminists organization. Only one of them is actively fighting to support policies which hurt the women they are marching with and for.

  • Katherine Kaestner-Frenchman

    A lifelong nomad, Katie is passionate about storytelling, Judaism, feminism, foreign affairs, and wine. When she's not working, she's throwing dinner parties, taking photos or putting her Art History degree to good use as she explores Europe.