I used to be a pro-choice feminist.
I never pondered out the pros and cons. I just knew that I wanted to be a working woman. As I stood on the cusp of adulthood in the early 70′s, feminism appeared, advancing my cause of equal opportunity in the workplace. And I have much to be thankful for: a lifetime of career accomplishments and the ability to contribute to my family through my work.
Yet, even as a young woman when it came to personal relations with men, I had a much more traditional model in mind–I wasn’t planning to be the one who got up to check on scary noises in the night. That much equality didn’t make sense. In my heart I wanted a man who was stronger, someone to protect and guide if not provide.
So, I bought into the sexual revolution not so much to be liberated, but to be validated. I wonder how many of my peers did the same? I can’t say, but I know that the need for validation left me vulnerable, and ultimately utterly dependent, on men to define my worth and to determine my future. When the man I loved and hoped to marry abandoned me to abortion, pro-choice became my refuge from the shame and rejection. Career was cold comfort to say the least.
Abortion destroyed my female dignity–as if the child I had produced was less than nothing and something only fit to be destroyed. How can that dynamic ever liberate us as women? Abortion on demand may relieve us of our duties as mothers, but it can never free us from becoming one.
It has been a long road back and I owe so much to my husband who helps me live out God’s ideal for marriage. It’s neither feminist nor patriarchal. We simply both yield to Christ. And as each of us draws closer to Him we find ourselves closer too.
Catherine Adair, our guest this week on Cradle My Heart Radio, understands the feminist dilemma better than most. When she resorted to pro-choice feminism after abortion she pursued it as a high calling, eventually working at Planned Parenthood selling abortion to other women. She too has seen what happens when we take this ideology to its logical end. She too is now helping women and defending children.
Catherine’s compelling story of leaving the abortion industry, moving from pro-choice feminism to offering women a true choice through faith and community support is an eye-opening conversation to listen to.