Women from a Presbyterian church will be traveling to Washington, DC this weekend to take part in Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington.
The church, located on the campus of The College of Wooster, states on its web site that “We are drawn together by our commitment to creating a faith community of acceptance and working for peace and social justice in God’s world. … Those who join our church typically share our strong sense of social justice and mission to the world and to those in need. “
The announcement – Why We March! – included quotes from several women which “boldly state why we are engaging in this historic moment and larger movement. As women, mothers, sisters, granddaughters, grandmothers, advocates and leaders at Westminster and in the Wooster community, here is why we are motivated to march:”
“It is important to stand up for what is right even when the truth is simple: women’s rights are human rights, meaning my rights are human rights. Everyone should be respected in a nation committed to justice, equality, and freedom, especially those without a voice. It is the cornerstone of democracy.” Sarah Huffman, junior at the College of Wooster, Political Science major
“I want to represent women who cannot take part and who have been kept silent by family and societal pressure. I am marching for a maternal grandmother who was severely abused by her husband at a time when abused women felt powerless and were powerless.” Linda Barbu, Member at Westminster, Elder, Benevolences Committee, People to People Advocate and Seeker of Justice in Palestine
“I want to attend the Women’s march in Washington DC because I want to add my voice to the voices of the other women there. I want it to be known that we will be watching our new administration to ensure that our country continues to treat its citizens and the citizens of the world with dignity and respect.” Helen Siegel, Senior at the College of Wooster, Baptized Presbyterian, Living Wage Campaign
“I plan to attend the Women’s March on Washington because I wish to be part of a bold public statement to the incoming Administration about the necessity of protecting the fundamental rights of women. Women’s rights are human rights.” Cheryl Weiss, Member at Westminster, Congregational Care & Vegan Potluck Coordinator, Passionate about Just Immigration and Palestinian Liberation
In an article written by Rick Jones of the Presbyterian News Service, Emily Oshinskie, a Young Adult Peace worker at the church is quoted as saying “Women are often left without a model in our larger political world. So I think this is a great moment for women to come together from across the nation and feel connected. Women are being asked to reshape what leadership looks like and you have various identities coming into play including women of color and the LGBTQ community.”
Unfortunately, pro-life women are not included in the “various identities coming into play.” While women of color and the LGTBQ community are welcome at Saturday’s March, pro-lifers are not.
According to the Washington Times, the pro-life group New Wave Feminists, which claims that it wants to “take feminism back from those who have corrupted it,” was briefly listed as a partner of the March, until fellow feminists and marchers started protesting on Twitter and other social media forums.
Twitter responses included:
- “Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. That’s not how it works! The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism,” feminist Roxane Gay wrote on Twitter.
- “Horrified that the @womensmarch has partnered w/an anti-choice org. Plse reconsider- inclusivity is not about bolstering those who harm us,” feminist writer Jessica Valenti said
- “We need to stop the myth that feminism is simply ‘anything a women does.’ Feminism is a movement for justice – abortion access is central,” Valenti said in another Tweet.
Following the backlash, the pro-life group was removed as a partner, and the following “official statement” was published:
“The Women’s March platform is pro-choice and that has been our stance from day one. We want to assure all of our partners, as well as participants, that we are pro-choice as clearly stated in our Unity Principles. We look forward to marching on behalf of individuals who share the view that women deserve the right to make their own reproductive decisions.
The anti-choice organization in question is not a partner of the Women’s March on Washington. We apologize for this error.”
Responding to the hullabaloo over its participation, New Wave Feminists Founder and President Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa told Life Site News that the Women’s March “only wants to include a ‘diverse array of women who think exactly like the.” She called the decision of the organizers’ “unfortunate,” yet still plans to attend. “On the 21st, we march,” she said.
On its web site, New Wave Feminists claims that it wants to “take feminism back from those who have corrupted it. Sometime before we were born our womanhood was traded for a handful of birth control pills, the “privilege” to degrade ourselves in playboy, and the ‘right’ to abort our children. It’s time for the return of common sense feminism which refuses to exploit women in the name of liberation and create victims while settling for equality. …”
Commenting on the controversy in yesterday’s “Daily Briefing,” Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that “The fact that abortion is the central article, if not the only article, of the feminist creed was made very clear in a controversy that just broke.”
He continued, “The march is a feminist statement, but it’s not going to include all feminists, only those feminists who clearly and publically adhere to the first article – the only article – of the feminist creed that ‘Thou shalt not ever question a woman’s right to abortion, much less speak up for the sanctity of human life or you are written out as a feminist.’”
Also commenting on the issue was Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of The Presbyterian Lay Committee and host of the The Reconnect. When discussing Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington during her Jan. 17 show, LaBerge used the term “mean girls” to describe those participating in the March, adding that they have “shown their teeth, and it’s not pretty.”
“The reason I call them ‘mean girls’ is because they are about the most hypocritical, feminist fundamentalists you are ever going to find,” she said. “They are trying to take away the ‘woman card’ of every woman in America who is not pro-abortion.”
LaBerge said that no one is getting her woman card. “You’re not going to say to me, ‘You know what, you’re not a woman because you don’t believe that abortion should be the highest priority of every woman in America.’ Of course abortion shouldn’t be the highest priority of every woman in America. What are you thinking?”
To all the people who are going to be watching the Women’s March, LaBerge said “I want you to be horrified – universally horrified –that the passion of these American women is the death of the next generation. That’s what they are so motivated by.”