No Higher Court: Contemporary Feminism and the Right to Abortion

By Germain Kopaczynski | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER SIX
PRO-LIFE FEMINISM

Pitting women against their own offspring is not only morally offensive, it is psychologically and politically destructive. Women will never climb to equality and social empowerment over mounds of dead fetuses, numbering now in the millions. As long as women choose to bear children, they stand to gain from the same constellation of attitudes and institutions that will also protect the fetus in the woman's womb -- and they stand to lose from the cultural assumptions that support permissive abortion. Despite temporary conflicts of interest, feminine and fetal liberation are ultimately one and the same cause.1

I n this chapter, our aim is to construct the outlines of a feminism without abortion as its linchpin. If 1949 witnessed the birth of The Second Sex and the pro-choice message of Simone de Beauvoir, it was also the year of Romano Guardini's The Rights of the Unborn.2 If 1986 was the year of Simone de Beauvoir's death, it also saw the publication of one of the major criticisms of the abortion mentality, one which envisioned a "pro-life feminism."3 Our previous chapter shows pro-choice feminism

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1
Sidney Callahan, "Abortion and the Sexual Agenda: A Case for Prolife Feminism," Commonweal 113 8 ( 1986), p. 236.
2
Romano Guardini, Das Recht des werdendes Menschenlebens. Zur Diskussion um den Paragrapb 218 des Strafgesetzbuches ( Tübingen and Stuttgart: Wunderlich, 1949). It has been reprinted in Guardini's two-volume Sorge un den Menschen ( Würzburg: Werkbund, 1962), I, pp. 162-185. References are to the 1962 edition.
3
Cf. Sidney Callahan, Abortion and the Sexual Agenda.

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