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:: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 ::

From the President of Feminists for Life (imho, the NUMBER ONE "pro-life" organization):

"April 13, 2004

Dear Feminist for Life:

As Kate Michelman leaves her 20-year post with NARAL in April 2004, I will celebrate my 10th anniversary with Feminists for Life.

You may be surprised to learn that Kate’s story has moved and inspired me.

Kate Michelman’s husband abandoned her with “no car, no home, no job, no money.” She had three children—and she was pregnant. 

In short, her story was one of a pregnant woman without practical resources and without emotional support. And like so many others, her story ended with a desperate act: she feigned insanity before a hospital board in order to obtain an abortion.

Thirty-one years after Roe v. Wade, women know the gut-wrenching truth about abortion. Women sacrifice their children because they believe they have no other choice.

The crucial question now is, “Don’t women deserve better than this?”

Think for a moment about some of the assumptions behind the status quo, and how ridiculous they are.

How is it, for example, that women are made to feel incapable of raising a child unless everything is perfect and planned?

How is it that women became convinced their own children were their mortal enemies? That children are an obstacle to success?

Who decided that news of a pregnancy should be followed by “I am so sorry” instead of “Congratulations! How can I help?”

It’s ridiculous that NARAL and other abortion advocates wrap themselves in a “flag of freedom” while women are coerced into abortion. Their movement underestimates women, insults women, does nothing to address the difficult problems women face.

Feminists for Life—this little-organization-that-could—has a different approach:

Women deserve better than abortion.

We believe in women. We are creating real solutions. We are challenging the status quo.

As I look back on the last decade, I think of all those who have helped me along the way, and the sacrifices that you and I have made to help those at highest risk of abortion. I have learned so much. We have come so far.

Together we have achieved some major breakthroughs.

FFL has shifted the focus to what women need, bringing together unlikely partners to win victories such as family and medical leave, stronger child support enforcement, health care for pregnant women, resources to fight violence against women, and more.

FFL has mobilized celebrities such as its Honorary Chair Patricia Heaton and Co-Chair Margaret Colin, who have brought new attention to the pro-woman, pro-life movement—and let others in the entertainment industry know they are not alone in their pro-woman, pro-life convictions.

FFL’s unique College Outreach Program has focused attention on college students, who are at high risk of abortion and who are the leaders of our future.

FFL has changed hearts and minds through “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” presented across the U.S. and internationally. FFL’s Vice President Sally Winn and I have gone to venues where we were told to “expect trouble” yet found that students who came to protest said they agree with most of what we say and are willing to work with us on pregnancy resources. 

FFL’s Pregnancy Resource Forums have provided a catalyst for changes that help pregnant and parenting women, replacing hostility with hospitality. MIT, which before didn’t even think about pregnant women, recently announced maternity leave policies; Vanderbilt pro-life students just held their first Forum; Georgetown continues to hone its services through an annual Forum; and more.

FFL’s ad campaign has reached more than 4 million students. Now our “Covetable Stuff” merchandise is helping pro-life students share our pro-woman message wherever they go—including classrooms, dorms, and student unions. And our incredible recently upgraded website (www.feministsforlife.org) has become a recognized resource for writers and researchers.

Since 1994, abortions have declined by 30% among college graduates.

A clear mission. Strategic programs. Advocacy for woman-centered solutions. Lasting change. Results.

Feminists for Life recognizes that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women. We are dedicated to systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions. Women deserve better than abortion.

Women deserve better. It isn’t just a slogan or a PR tactic. It isn’t window dressing for the pro-life movement. It is our heart. It is our commitment to real solutions.

It is who we are and what we do.

Like Susan B. Anthony, we are defying the status quo and calling on everyone to address the root causes that drive women to abortion.

Together we are educating an entire movement about our rich feminist legacy. You can see we are transforming the pro-life movement, from the grassroots through all levels of leadership. Pro-woman pro-life conferences, op-eds, and bumper stickers are appearing everywhere. Everyone is using FFL’s pioneering message.

Can you believe how many groups are now talking about the early American feminists’ opposition to abortion? 

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton never saw the day when women could vote—their most cherished goal.

But I believe that if we put into hyper-drive our women-centered solutions, and challenge abortion advocates to join us in providing real support for women, we will see the end of legalized abortion in our lifetime.

The “Berlin Wall” of Roe is beginning to crumble.

Kate Michelman recognizes this as she addresses college audiences across the country. “Not since Roe v. Wade has the threat to reproductive freedom and choice been so great," she says. "We're all redoubling our efforts on college campuses and among young people."

What NARAL sees as a threat to “freedom” and “choice” is in fact the promise of real freedom and choice for women. If we succeed, women will finally be free of the desperation of seeing no choice other than the violence and trauma of abortion.

Indeed, the real solutions FFL is promoting and implementing today will hasten the end of legalized abortion, and we are educating the next generation of leaders and activists to support and serve the women and children at highest risk of abortion.

It is not enough to say “no” to abortion. We must say yes to life—the woman’s life and her child’s life.

We must ensure that the solutions women need and deserve are available when Roe is no more.

Here is what we need to do next.

1. Stand up, be counted—and spread the word. There are still many who would join us but have not yet heard the message. Order FFL bumper stickers, shirts and caps that tell the world you refuse to choose between women and children!

2. Put your money where your heart is. You can see, looking back on the past decade, that committed activists following in the steps of our feminist foremothers can do a lot with just a little when they have a strategic woman-centered plan and the resources to implement it. 

3. Believe that we will succeed. Ours is a life-affirming mission of hope, truly empowering and ennobling women. If we commit ourselves, Susan B. Anthony’s promise is ours: “Failure is impossible.”

In the past decade I have received a lot of the credit for our
efforts. But it is you, and thousands like you, who have made it all possible.

I thank you and all FFL members for the stories you have shared, for the volunteer time that took you away from family and friends, for the countless sacrifices you have made. Some have lost relationships. Some have lost jobs. You have given generously. 

Your work, conviction and investment have made an enormous difference in the lives of women. I want you to know your joy, your hope, your faith in women and your support for students have effected real change.

Our vision is to end abortion as we know it: to ensure that pregnant women have the practical and emotional support they need, so that abortion becomes unthinkable, a relic of the past. It is a momentous and humbling proposition. And yet, ten years ago, I never would have believed we would have come as far as we have. Looking ahead to the next ten years, I believe we can really achieve this goal.

Just think what that would mean—the lives saved and transformed, the pain prevented. It’s within our reach, but we must strive for it as never before.

Your continued and generous support is essential. You are making this happen—thank you.

For women, for life,

Serrin M. Foster


If I had to choose only one "pro-life" organization to give my money, time, effort to, it would be Feminists for Life without question.

Give, give, give to Feminists for Life. Get a bumper sticker or start with a monthly pledge. Even if it's five bucks. DO IT TODAY for women, for life!

:: ashli 8:51 AM # ::

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