No Higher Court: Contemporary Feminism and the Right to Abortion

By Germain Kopaczynski | Go to book overview

PREFACE

H ow did the practice of human abortion go from its atheistic roots in the exis philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to the classrooms of Christians? To explain how pro-choice feminism came about is one of the two major aims of this work. The second is to argue for a pro-life feminism, a feminism without abortion as its mooring and mainstay. Our study will lead to two conclusions regarding abortion and contemporary feminism: 1) Atheism, not feminism, is the real root of the abortion rights mentality; 2) there are many feminisms.

The right to abortion begins to take shape when Simone de Beauvoir articulates the feminist culturalist credo: "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman." All of contemporary feminism is a commentary on this single sentence.


The Power of Words

The octogenarian priest and I approached the little group of approximately twenty-five college students. They were sitting on the ground in a semicircle and chanting the refrain: "Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide."

We walked by the group without incident and entered the auditorium at Smith College to hear Alice von Hildebrand lecture on feminism, abortion, and motherhood.1 On the ride back home, I

____________________
1
Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts is the alma mater of American feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and plays an important role in the former's Feminine Mystique ( New York: Dell, 1963) and the latter's Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem ( Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992).

-xvii-

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No Higher Court: Contemporary Feminism and the Right to Abortion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Introduction - "A Fight Against the Work of God" 1
  • Chapter One - Simone De Beauvoir, 1908-1986 19
  • Chapter Two - Mary Daly, 1928- 61
  • Chapter Three - Carol Gilligan, 1936- 101
  • Chapter Four - Beverly Wildung Harrison, 1932- 137
  • Chapter Five - Pro-Choice Feminism 181
  • Chapter Six - Pro-Life Feminism 203
  • Bibliography 227
  • Index 239
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