Last December my parents bought me this pro-life feminist sweatshirt from Life Matters Journal as my birthday present. It’s soft, cozy, and makes a statement – a very bold, supposedly impossible statement: people can be both pro-life and feminist.

Front: this is what a PRO-LIFE FEMINIST looks like

Back: Core Tenets of Feminism

  • Equality: For all human beings, regardless of gender, race, religion, politics, age size, or any other circumstance.
  • Non-Discrimination: Because any act of discrimination (whether it be sexism, racism, ageism, or ableism) is contrary to human dignity.
  • Nonviolence: Because non-discimation in practice means that every human being has the right live a life free from violence.

For Info about Pro-Life Feminism, check out:

  • feministsagainstviolence.tumblr.com
  • ffnvc.org
  • newwavefeminists.com
  • propeaceprolife.org
  • guidingstarprojects.org
  • alicepaulgroup.com

Now that the cool of Autumn is here, I’ve begun wearing my sweatshirt again. Because the message is controversial, and I dislike being involved in confrontation and stress (empath here!), I’ll admit to being nervous about wearing this out in public. I live in the Madison area of South Central Wisconsin, a place where Planned Parenthood and  “pro-choice”  have many passionate supporters, so I’m never sure how people will react when they see the message of “pro-life feminist.” Surprisingly, the only feedback I’ve received has been positive. The first time I wore my sweatshirt out a lady told me how much she liked it. This morning another lady told me she liked the shirt, although she had a lot more to say than just that.

I walked my kindergartner into his class today and, as I was walking back to my vehicle, I passed an older woman who was jogging by. I noticed her glancing at my shirt so I nodded as I walked past her. A few feet down the sidwalk I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was the same lady and she was telling me she wanted to read my sweatshirt. After she read it she began talking about it with me. She said she agreed with all the tenets listed on the back and wanted to hear more about my position. She shared that she used to be a nurse practicioner in a nearby town and was pro-life herself. In her years as a medical practicioner, she said she had come to the conlusion that abortion was a terrible thing but sometimes necessary. She said that she believed the best approach to reducing abortions was to prevent the unwanted pregnancies in the first place through comprehensive sexual education, including a healthy approach to sexuality. I agreed with the importance of that and added that I felt like doing everything we could to make pregnancy unnecessary (socail aid, support programs, etc.) was very important as well. As we finished our discussion she told me, “You keep on wearing that shirt!”

I intend to do so.

This encounter has encouraged me to continue boldly living out my belief in a consistent life ethic/pro-life feminism. My current situation doesn’t allow me to do much, but I intend to do as much as I can to support local women, children and families who find themselves in tough situations.

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