Can You Be A Pro-Life Feminist? Cecile Richards Calls Pregnancy Decisions 'Fundamental’ to Women’s Equality

Posted: May 11, 2017 5:00 PM

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards gave an interview to Bustle Wednesday on the future of the nation’s largest abortion provider under the Trump administration. Richards seemed to be caught off guard slightly when she was asked if you can be pro-life and a feminist.

“Well I mean I believe that feminism is about equal rights for women,” Richards replied, acknowledging, “I think that you can personally have your own, I mean everyone does have their own feelings about pregnancy and abortion and I completely respect that but I think being a feminist is recognizing that you can’t make other people, you know, adhere to your own personal views.”

Ultimately though Richards claimed that “actually what I think is fundamental to women’s equality is being able to make their own decisions about their pregnancy and that to me is you know part and parcel to what being a feminist is about is respecting women.”

“I think one of the things that’s unfortunate in this country is for too many years there’s so much stigma for women around their reproductive lives and we need to quit doing that,” she concluded. “I think we need to let women again have access to their full range of options and again have access to affordable health care so they can be healthy, safe, and, live their best life.”

Former Texas State Senator and failed candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, gave a similar answer when Bustle asked her the same question arguing, "My brand of feminism says you must support reproductive rights in order to fully embrace and stand behind the advancement of women."

This perspective on feminism would come as news to groups like Feminists for Life and New Wave Feminists made up of feminists that are unabashedly pro-life.

“No woman should be forced to choose between sacrificing her education or career plans and suffering through a humiliating, invasive procedure and sacrificing her child,” the Feminists for Life write on their website. “We refuse to choose.”

“The unborn fetus is inside of someone else's body and often considered part of the woman's body itself,” the New Wave Feminists explain, “But science shows us that the fetus has its own body, separate DNA, a separate heart beat and brain waves, and is a totally unique genetic creation.”

The group wants to work to make abortion “unthinkable” and support women with resources so that they never need to get them.

They were removed from the partners list for the Women’s March in January due to their anti-abortion stance.

Ironically, the group’s leader Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa told Slate that she was marching with a sign featuring a quote from a comment then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made on "The View": “Of course you can be a feminist and be pro-life.”