SPEAKER Feminist Argues Against Abortion, Praises GU Pregnancy Resources By Maya Noronha Hoya Staff Writer

Gabe Cappelli/The Hoya Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster called abortion a “form of violence against women” in a speech delivered on Feb. 27.

Feminists for Life President Serrin Foster praised Georgetown’s resources for pregnant students in a speech to about 60 students on Feb. 27.

“[Georgetown] is the model school for the entire country in developing pregnancy resources for women on campus,” Foster said.

Georgetown’s forum on pregnancy resources began seven years ago. It annually helps at least one pregnant student, according to members. There are about 10 young mothers currently attending Georgetown, according to Hoya Babysitting Services.

“[The attorney for Roe v. Wade] Sarah Weddington first argued Roe v. Wade on the basis . that women could not complete their college education if they were pregnant.”

According to Foster, young women can manage pregnancy while attending college and Georgetown was one of the first schools to make this possible.

Foster stressed the importance of establishing resources for pregnant students. “One out of five abortions is performed on a college student . women have abortions because of a lack of resources,” she said.

The university now allocates special housing for pregnant students and Georgetown’s Right to Life plays host to a pregnancy forum each fall, holds fundraisers for diapers and formula and assists the local Northwest Pregnancy Center. This year, students started Hoya Babysitting, which provides student volunteers with an opportunity to care for other students’ children.

Unlike other organizations, Feminists for Life follows the motto “Pro-Life, Pro-Woman.” Unlike groups such as the National Organization for Women and the National Abortion Rights Action League, Foster said Feminists for Life asserts that “abortion is a form of violence against women.”

“We proudly carry on a 200-year-old legacy of pro-life feminism whose core principles continue to be non-violence, non-discrimination and justice for all.”

Foster also discussed the 200-year-long history of abortion rights opponents, which began with pioneers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul and Mary Wollstonecraft. These supporters of the first U.S. anti-abortion laws were followed by Larry Leider of the National Association to Repeal Abortion Laws and Bernard Nathanson. Leider and Nathanson began the abortion rights advocacy movement because they thought that overpopulation would cause starvation.

Chaplain-in-Residence Theresa Leonetti, who attended the speech, said she was surprised to hear about the early feminists. “I appreciate that she remind[ed] us of the early feminists [who] were against abortion,” Leonetti said.

Former Georgetown Right to Life President Elizabeth Brown (COL ’02), who attended the speech, also commented on the pro-life movement.

“Some people will tell you that the pro-life movement is against women, but Feminists for Life flies in the face of those claims,” she said. “This pro-life movement is about defending the strength of women and the potential of every human life. It’s about the right to life of women, and the right to life of children and against violence against women.”

Junior Julia Chan (SFS ’03) agreed. “A lot of my friends are budding feminists and pro-choice by default. I came wondering how you can be pro-woman and pro-life,” she said. “As a Catholic student, I don’t want to be dismissed as being backward for being pro-life.”

Serrin Foster’s speech entitled “The Feminist’s Case Against Abortion” has been included in the women’s rights series of the anthology Great Speeches in History by Jennifer Hurley. Foster organizes a college outreach program which has also been held at Stanford, Oxford, Fordham, Yale, MIT and Vanderbilt.

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