The day after Donald Trump’s Inauguration, thousands of women will march on Washington to demonstrate for women’s issues. But pro-life women–even pro-life feminists, even pro-life feminist liberals–will not be allowed to join the demonstration.
As a self-described feminist and law student who wants to correct racial wrongs in the criminal justice system, Maria Lyon agrees with Hillary Clinton that “women’s rights are human rights.” But when thousands of women march on the capital the day after Donald J. Trump is inaugurated as president, she will not be there.
The reason: She opposes abortion.
“It’s hard, because right now it feels like if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-woman,” said Ms. Lyon, 23, who studies law at the University of Wisconsin. “That’s kind of the traditional rhetoric. It’s like if you care about women and you care about women’s rights then you should be pro-choice.”
Ms. Lyon is not the only feminist agonizing. Across the country, women who oppose abortion — including one in six women who supported Hillary Clinton, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center — are demanding to be officially included in Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. But those requests have been spurned, creating a bitter rift among women’s organizations, and raising thorny questions about what it means to be a feminist in 2017.
“If you want to come to the march you are coming with the understanding that you respect a woman’s right to choose,” Linda Sarsour, a Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American Muslim racial justice and civil-rights activist, and one of four co-chairwomen of the march, said in an interview on Tuesday.
Photo, Elvert Barnes, Pro-Life Chicago, Creative Commons License