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Please also see FCLNY’s Instagram and Facebook FAQ hashtags. The hashtags listed are linked to FCLNY's Instagram.

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1. Question

What is pro-life feminism?


Pro-life feminism is a global movement that promotes the whole personhood of women with solutions that uphold the fundamental dignity of all humanity, including the humanity of our children. Guiding our mission is our adherence to the recognition of the fundamental rights and dignity of every member of the human family. 

Pro-life feminist issues include:

  • Political economic, social and spiritual freedom

  • Freedom from violence, coercion, sexual exploitation, and objectification

  • Access to education and healthcare, including education related to physical health and well being

  • Freedom to work and receive a fair wage

  • Freedom to pursue goals and have children

  • Flexibility in work/family life

2. Question

How can you be a feminist and be pro-life?


A. We are feminists because we recognize that women are at their best when they defend the weak and the vulnerable and those in need. Abortion kills the smallest and most defenseless humans. It harms women by making us into aggressors toward our own children. We oppose abortion because we care about both women and their irreplaceable children. Our position is to advocate for non-violent solutions for both mother and child.


The founders of the feminist movement all opposed abortion in the strongest terms. Pro-life feminism actually preceded pro-choice feminisms and has been here ever since. It was only in the 1960’s that the National Organization of Women (NOW) incorporated abortion into their version of feminist goals and intertwined the idea of abortion and feminism in the minds of the public. Renowned feminists against abortion include Alice Paul (author of the Equal Rights Amendment), Graciela Olivarez (charter member of the National Organization of Women) and Fannie Lou Hamer (woman’s rights and civil rights leader).

3. Question

Why do you focus on abortion? Why aren’t you talking about ____?



FCLNY devotes a significant amount of attention to the subject of abortion for several reasons.

  • Elective abortion is the leading cause of death of humans in the world and it’s avoidable. 

  • Abortion is the most hotly contested human rights issue of our time.

  • Misconception and untruths have largely shaped the abortion debate. The public is largely uneducated about abortion.

  • Abortion is central to discussions on feminism

  • As understood through the consistent life ethic, abortion is a root cause of many of our social ills. 

  • FCLNY is part of the Consistent Life Network (CLN). CLN members are committed to non-violence and oppose government sanctioned lethal violence including war, abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia. To best utilize time and resources, CLN members often focus on one area of the consistent life ethic.

  • While FCLNY does occasionally address events in the news, we primarily focus on the discussion of principles. News events are ever changing, whereas principles are foundational to attaining social stability and peace. 

4. Question

Is FCLNY taking steps to help women facing unplanned pregnancies and children who are already born?



Because our society has been attempting to solve problems through the violence of abortion for decades, there is a great deal of work to do and change to facilitate. This has always been true when any progress in the area of human rights has occurred. You can look at our recent post containing 10 bills FCLNY is urging NYS legislators to consider to give you an idea of programs we lobby for. Please also see FCLNY’s guides containing information on resources available to women across New York State. These include our Pregnancy Resource Center Directory, Bed & Bread Resource Index, and Survivors of DVAST Resource Index. We recognize the tremendous work that needs to be done but the injustice of abortion must be corrected in order for our society to begin to properly address the needs of families facing unexpected pregnancies.


5. Question

What about a woman's right to bodily autonomy and women who do not want to be pregnant? My body, my choice. 



In the overwhelming majority of cases, pregnancy is the result of consensual sex, meaning two people freely engage in the act that is known to potentially make new, completely dependent human children. In the law, parental obligations do not arise from continuing and ongoing consent, but from an affirmative duty to care for one’s own children. For example, parents can’t decide one day to consent to feeding their children but remove this consent the next day. If the child starves because the parents withheld food, this is the parents fault. Likewise with the pre-born child, the parents have unique responsibilities to the child they created, including the responsibility not to harm them. Children do not place themselves in their mother’s womb and do not ask to be dependent. They are needy by nature and these needs and demands are known before conception. Women who do not wish to be pregnant can use their own agency to decide with whom and when to have sex and whether or not to take precautions against the conception of a child before a child exists. After the child exists it makes no sense to blame, punish, and kill the child for their parents decision which caused their existence and dependence in the first place.


The vast majority of women who get abortions do not cite “not wanting to be pregnant” as their main reason for terminating. They cite reasons that have to do with after the baby is to be born, like lack of resources and support. “My body, my choice” comes with the destructive flip side of placing all responsibility for pregnancy squarely on the shoulders of women. It has removed responsibility from men and society to step in to care of women and children. Millions of men have abandoned pregnant women since Roe because of Roe. Roe has contributed to the feminization of poverty. The feminists who want abortion because they “don’t want to be pregnant” are hurting the women who are forced to resort to abortion.

6. Question

Abortion doesn’t affect you. How is it any of your business?


Killing is never a private matter. Using our laws to kill children is our business. Elective abortion undermines the entire foundation of our country because it rests on the assumption that we are not all created equal. 


Legal abortion access depends upon the participation of society in order to exist. As members of this society, we can say “no” because abortion conflicts with the fundamental principle that we are all created equal. 


Abortion kills a precious and irreplaceable child. Just as we would not sit by if a helpless born child was in danger, abortion just as surely kills a child. 


Passive acceptance of any injustice is cooperation with injustice. Child abuse, human trafficking, slavery, racism, rape are all examples of injustices that may not personally affect everyone but still need to be spoken out against. Justice demands action against dehumanization even if we are not the victims. 


7. Question

What about abortions in cases of rape?


FCLNY wants to support all women in choosing life because their child is still a completely unique and irreplaceable human being. For the rare occasions of pregnancy resulting from rape, states can still choose to allow limited access to abortion in these cases while outlawing the vast majority of elective abortion procedures. Arguing that all abortion should be legal and a right because of the vast minority of cases doesn’t make sense. If you oppose abortion in every other case but rape, you have more in common with the pro-life position than the pro-choice position.


8. Question

What about pregnancies where the mother’s life or physical health is in danger?


Abortion when the life or physical health of the mother is threatened was legal prior to Roe v. Wade and will remain legal even in states which enact very pro-life laws because it’s fundamentally different than elective abortion choice. In cases like ectopic pregnancy there is no way to save the child’s life and the mother’s life is put at grave risk. Treatments which seek to help both mother and child but inadvertently end in the child’s death are not the same as procedures which are intentionally undertaken with the purpose of directly killing the child. These cases are called “choice” because they are elective and alternatives to abortion exist. We support procedures intended to save a mother’s life when her life or physical health is threatened.


9. Question

Are pro-life views based only on religion?


Morality consists in drawing a line somewhere. Pro-choice people do this too. They draw a line at viability or birth or shortly thereafter as to when it is wrong to kill a human being. They too invoke what is “right” or “ethical” when defending these judgments and are equally “religious” in these assessments. But, unlike the pro-choice position, which determines personhood based on how someone feels about another human’s life, the pro-life position is based on the scientific reality of when an individual human being’s life begins. The pro-life position bases the standard of personhood on an objective marker, while the pro-choice side relies upon feeling and it’s own “faith” as to when life is worthy of protecting.

10. Question

Isn’t abortion a right that has been normalized in many other cultures at other points in history?



All progress we have made in human rights has come from recognizing the irreducible value of the individual. It is only by recognizing that human beings have rights inherent to their existence that rights can be understood as being inalienable and inviolable. By this understanding, rights have their source outside of government and human authority. Governments exist to recognize and protect these rights, but not to grant them. This is what makes us all equal - that no human being or group is the source of our rights. 


In order to justify abortion, rights are instead understood by the regressive idea that those in power can grant rights only to those human beings deemed worthy of them. This same thinking has led to every human rights abuse. By this logic, only some human beings have value and rights. To grant someone ownership over another human being, and the capability to destroy them at will, is not a mark of liberty but actually has more in common with despotism and fascism.


Just because an action has existed throughout history, this does not make an action ethical. Historically, people have also cast off newborns, the elderly and the disabled and enslaved others citing necessity and their own survival as justification. Human history has always had a problem of scapegoating certain populations of human beings and subjugating these vulnerable people to the whim and will of those in power. Women do not escape this cycle of oppression by resorting to abortion, they merely transfer their oppressed status to their children who through no fault of their own need their mother and father’s protection. Modern civilized societies show progress not by oppressing the vulnerable, but by protecting them.


11. Question

The pro-life position assumes that the unborn are people, but not everyone shares this view. Why can’t someone choose what option is best for them based on their own definition of “person”?


People have chosen not to recognize all kinds of humans as persons in order to harm, kill and objectify them. Personhood must be defined by objective criteria - science - or any major abuse of human rights is possible. By biological measures, the pre-born are very much alive and members of the human species. Every individual human being’s life begins at conception. Anyone who says otherwise is adopting a philosophical, not biological, definition of life. 


12. Question

Why bother mentioning later term abortions? Aren’t they only done when the mother’s life is in danger or because the baby has a serious malformation? They are only 1% of all abortions. 


1% still represents 10-15,000 abortions performed at or beyond 20 weeks gestation. These procedures are gruesome violence toward children, some of whom resemble babies in the NICU. Later term abortions are also an area of common ground among pro-choice and pro-life Americans. Most Americans do not approve of abortion in the second and third trimesters.


Data from the Guttmacher Institute shows that most women who undergo abortions after 20 weeks do so for non-medical reasons. Roe v. Wade’s companion piece Doe v. Bolton allowed for broad health exceptions to restrictions on abortion post viability. These exemptions include mental, emotional, psychological, and familial health. Later term abortions are arguably not necessary to maternal physical health because these procedures still necessitate the delivery of a child. Because the child can be removed from their mother’s body with care for both mother and child, there is no reason why these children must be deliberately killed before birth. 

13. Question

If abortion is illegal, won’t that mean more children in foster care?


Foster care and adoption are two different systems. Often children in foster care are not eligible for adoption because the goal of foster care is to reunite them with their families. On the other hand, babies placed for adoption are adopted very quickly. There are an estimated 2 million couples waiting to adopt in the U.S.

14. Question

I am a … law student, and I consider myself a liberal but have found myself struggling in recent years with liberal feminists seeming "celebration" of abortion. I consider myself "pro-choice with limitations". I wondered what your organization's stance is on bodily autonomy and safe access to abortions should a woman deem it necessary. 


Is this organization "absolutely" pro-life? Or is the goal to merely regulate abortion legislation and stop the perpetuation that an abortion is something to celebrate within feminism?


Thank you for your questions and interest.  We definitely agree with you that the celebration of abortion is deeply troubling.

We consider ourselves to be absolutely pro-life, in that we object to elective abortion procedures.  We do not object to medically necessary interventions like treatment for ectopic pregnancy or emergency delivery later into pregnancy to save a woman's life and would agree that women need safe access to these procedures.  In such medically necessary cases, (ectopic pregnancies or emergency delivery) the child may die as an indirect consequence of the procedure, but the death of the child is not the intended outcome of the intervention.  Whereas with elective abortion, the child's death is the entire purpose of the procedure.  "Choice" means alternatives to killing exist and because the child is an irreplaceable human being, we advocate that society recognize the humanity of the child and offer abundant, loving, non-violent alternatives for both mother and child.  


With regard to bodily autonomy, because the vast number of all abortions follow consensual sex we would argue that women do in fact have bodily autonomy without abortion.  Women and men can choose with whom and when to have sex and whether or not to take precautions.  However after conception, the scientific reality is that a new human being is present and the first premise of universal human rights is that all members of the human family have human rights.   Sex is known to potentially create new and completely dependent human children (meaning the parents freely caused the dependency of the child).  In the law, parental obligations do not arise from continual and ongoing consent, but from an affirmative duty to care for their children.  The first duty parents have to their children is to not harm them and every human has the most basic right to live free from violent destruction.   Assuming responsibility for the needs of others we have created--is true empowerment.  "My body" rhetoric isolates and places the responsibility for pregnancy solely on women.  Whereas true equality exists only when both men and women assume equal responsibility for the children they create, not equal abandonment of responsibility.  We highly recommend reading the work of Erika Bachiochi JD, especially Embodied Equality, to understand how abortion choice actually undermines true equality and works against the stated goals of the feminist movement.  Please also see our page, Essential Feminist Resources, for more information. 


We hope this summary has been helpful, but please feel free to reach out to us with any further questions or concerns!

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