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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Abortion and Women's Equality

A couple of weeks ago, I entered a pro-life essay contest in the Diocese of Sacramento hosted by Catholics for Life. I was informed last week that I had won first place. Yesterday (Tuesday), I was recognized at the pro-life mass at the Cathedral and was asked to read my essay at the pro- life rally on the capitol steps. Here is the essay I submitted:

How Abortion Hurts Women’s Equality and Degrades Individual Women
By Katelyn Sills

Today, abortion has been championed as “a woman’s right” and described as a “liberty” by the United States Supreme Court. On January 22, 1973, in the Roe vs. Wade decision, the Supreme Court struck down individual state abortion laws and made abortion legal up until the time of birth in all fifty states. The Supreme Court says that “Roe is an integral part of a correct understanding of both the concept of liberty and the basic equality of men and women.” Yet, our country is slowly realizing that this may not be true. Abortion hurts women’s equality and degrades all women. In this essay, I will explain how women, as a result of on-demand abortion, are seen as inferior to men and how in actuality, it is the pro-abortion attitude that impairs women both born and unborn. This impairment does not only affect women who have abortions, but all women, those in the past, present and future.

First, let us examine women from our past. In the last hundred years, women have seen enormous progress in gaining equal rights with men, only to have abortion destroy many of those rights and liberties. Women suffragists led the campaign for women’s rights, and the vast majority of these women were very strongly anti-abortion. Susan B. Anthony, one of the most widely recognized feminists, said, “I deplore the horrible crime of child 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… but oh! Thrice guilty is he who drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime.” Susan B. Anthony’s newspaper, The Revolution, stated that, “When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton said that “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 wish.” Mary Wollstonecraft condemned those who would “either destroy the embryo in the womb, or cast it off when born.” Victoria Woodhull, the first female presidential candidate, said "The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the foetus." and "Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth." Thus, early feminists in the past understood that abortion is a symptom of inequality and exploitation, and certainly not a solution for women. Continue>>>>

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