By Abigail Crneckiy, Intern
Too often, the pro-life movement is labeled anti-women by those who claim that we only care about the unborn child in the womb, and not his or her mother. (As if we have to pick and choose who is cared for!) The pro-life movement rejects this unnecessary conflict between care for the mother or child, and instead cares for both the mother AND child. This care isn’t given by allowing harm to either party, but rather by recognizing the inherent value of both lives and the struggles that come from having an unexpected pregnancy.
In Wisconsin, Wisconsin Right to Life provides a wide variety of resources to pregnant mothers who need help. There are 12 pro-life pregnancy centers across the state where expecting mothers can get access to free ultrasounds. WRTL helps women connect with and find these facilities that give quality, life-affirming care to both the mother and child. WRTL also connects women to 123givelife.com where women can find pregnancy centers near them, anywhere from right down the block to fifty miles away. The Abortion Pill Reversal Network is also alive and growing in Wisconsin, which gives women who regret taking the first medical abortion pill a second chance to save their child. This is an option that many abortion providers do not offer, despite their insistence that they support a woman’s right to choose. Additionally, WRTL provides emergency grants through pregnancy centers to women who need a helping hand paying rent or utilities, getting out of an abusive relationship, or dealing with a complicated pregnancy. The pro-life movement knows the value of getting women these resources which are essential to helping them access care during and after pregnancy.
The pro-life movement also is pro-women as it advocates for an end to female feticide, or sex-selective abortion. Currently, only 11 US states ban sex-selective abortions. 30 years ago, Amartya Sen estimated that 100 million girls were missing worldwide due to female feticide and infanticide. The number has only grown since then. The majority of these cases occur in India, parts of South America, and parts of Africa. A cultural preference and perceived superiority of males over females contributes to millions of parents killing their baby girls. We tend to think of this issue as occurring around the world, and that the United States wouldn’t allow such blatant and violent sexism to occur. However, in 39 states, it is completely legal to kill your unborn daughter solely because she is a female.
Pro-life organizations are fighting against this practice and fighting for girls to be protected from gender based violence. In Wisconsin, the Shield the Vulnerable Act aims to protect all unborn children from discrimination because of gender, race, disability status, and more. This bill, similar to most pro-life bills, has no punishment for the mother pursuing the abortion. The pro-choice movement often claims that pro-lifers want abortion seekers to go to jail or be punished for their decision to abort their child. However, this is not the case. There is no punishment for the mother under this bill, only for the doctor who chooses to perform the abortion after learning of the intentional female feticide.
The pro-life movement across the nation is dedicated to providing care to both the mother and the child before and after birth. The resources listed in this short article are only a snapshot of what the pro-life movement offers in Wisconsin and nationwide. When looking at the variety of resources, available, the “anti-woman” rhetoric doesn’t hold up, and the pro-life movement is continually adding more and more resources to this list.