By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
On February 15, women around the world celebrated the 189th birthday of feminist Susan B. Anthony, but there’s one thing about this heroine of women’s rights that pro-abortion feminists would rather not recall – she was vehemently pro-life.
“Many of our opponents want to hide the fact that Susan B. Anthony and the other women suffragists were staunchly pro-life,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a group dedicated to helping pro-life women get elected to office. “But both you and I know that to be pro-woman is to be pro-life!”
Susan B. Anthony believed abortion was murder. “No matter what the motive, love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering the unborn innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits the deed. It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death,” Anthony once wrote.
Anthony, a Quaker, was born in New York on Feb. 15, 1820. She was 29 years old when she became involved in abolitionism and then temperance (the abolition of liquor).
While engaged in this work, she became acquainted with another famous suffragette, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The two would become lifelong partners in political organizing, particularly in their work for women’s rights. Stanton, who was married with children, was said to have been the idea-person while Anthony, who never married, did most of the organizing, traveling and speaking.
Both women were firmly pro-life.
“When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged,” said Anthony, who blamed men, laws and the “double standard” for driving women to abortion because they had no other options.
Like most of the feminists of her era, she believed that only the achievement of women’s equality and freedom would end the need for abortion, and used her anti-abortion writings as yet another argument for women’s rights.
Stanton was of the same mold. She once classified abortion as “infanticide” and said, “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”
Anthony devoted her life to campaigning against slavery, in favor of temperance, and in trying to win voting rights for women in the United States.
She died in 1906 at the age of 86, fourteen years before the passage of the 19th Amendment which finally gave women the right to vote.
“Today, in the face of new challenges, we continue Susan B. Anthony’s legacy by ensuring that all life is protected under the law,” Dannenfelser said.
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