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Reproductive Rights

Dear Amy,

Thank you so much for reading this letter. It will be so nice to finally get some answers to my questions! I'm sorry this is so long, but I really want you to see where I'm coming from before I ask!

I am a Christian pro-life teenage girl who has always been very old-fashioned and anti-feminist. Recently, I started reading feminist books to try to understand feminists, and I found myself drawn to them- their support for each other and women everywhere, which I never really understood. At the same time, however, I also got "sucked" into fundamentalist Christian websites that preached things like to be a Christian you must home school your children, be extremely submissive, never do anything except homemaking....stuff like that. They had an almost cult-like influence on me....I started believing that! It was scary the influence they had. Fortunately, my mom, dad, and boyfriend (all Christians; and my mom chose to be a homemaker) all said basically-they're too hard-core. You don't have to be like that. I finally realized that God meant men and women to be equal. Yay, what a sense of relief! Now I feel even more open to feminism than ever before (because I've felt like I'm not allowed to be anything but a future quilt making baby machine), but I'm afraid there is no place in feminism for a Christian pro-lifer like me. I love feminist's peaceful activism and sense of responsibility, but would I be accepted? Do you happen to know any good resources?

Thank you!

Sophie
   

Dear Sophie -

A couple of years ago, I would have believed that you were a minority within feminists, but given many conversations I have had over the past few years I know that people like you are increasingly becoming a larger part of feminism. I don't believe that more people are religious or pro-life and feminist, but I believe that more people feel comfortable publicly addressing these seeming contradictions. I think also that feminism has made more a place for women who have different opinions and trust those women to have their own opinion.

When it comes to abortion, I think the fine line is that while you can certainly have those beliefs and act on them in your own life as well as help other women to make different choices, not abortion, I don't think that you can stop - in the form of picketing, bombing, etc... abortion clinics. The entire point is choice and you don't have to support another woman's choice, but you should support her right to it. It's a fine line, but an important distinction. I hope that helps -- and certainly know that you aren't alone -- there are many other notes posted at feminist.com and there is also groups like Catholics for a Free Choice that might be able to help.

Good luck,

-- Amy

 

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