From the Congressional Record, 1-19-11
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Rep. Schmidt discusses the legacy of pro-life women who fought
for the Right to Life
Mrs. SCHMIDT. Thank you so much for those kind words from my friend
from New Jersey.
You know, Mr. Speaker, when we talk about abortion, we think of this
as a 40-year-old movement. We think about 1973 and Roe v. Wade, and
that that was the catalyst to move this movement forward. We think
about people like Barbara and Jack Wilke from Cincinnati, Ohio,
pioneers and leaders who actually coined the phrase, right to life.
Mr. Speaker, we forget that this is not a 21st century issue. This
is a centuries-old issue.
You know, it was actually the suffragists, those women over 150
years ago, who talked about women's rights, the right to vote, the
right to own property, the right to speak, the right to run for
public office, who also talked about the right to life.
To these women, the very concept of feminism demanded that the basic
human rights be extended to everyone without exception, including
the unborn. And feminism meant rejecting the use of force to control
or destroy one another, particularly among the most vulnerable and
defenseless of the population.
So to suffragists, the act of abortion was much more than harm
imposed upon a woman and her child. It was a frontal assault on
womanhood and feminism, and an insult to the philosophical
underpinnings of their cause.
And how do we know this? Well you know, Mr. Speaker, all we have to
do is look at their writings. All we have to do is look at people
like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and ``The
Revolution.'' They both wrote extensively about abortion, calling it
infanticide and child murder.
Susan B. Anthony also wrote, ``Guilty? Yes. No matter the motive,
love of ease, or a desire to save from suffering from the unborn
innocent, the woman is awfully guilty who commits abortion. It will
burden her conscience in life; it will burden her soul in death.''
Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate for President, stated
similarly that ``Every woman knows that if she were free, she would
never bear an unwished for child, nor think of murdering one before
Sarah Norton, who first challenged Cornell University to admit
women, also pondered whether there would ever come a time when ``the
right of the unborn to be born will not be denied or interfered
And Alice Paul. We all remember Alice Paul, the author of the Equal
Rights Amendment. Mr. Speaker, it may surprise you. She stated
abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.
You know, I could talk all night about this, but we have women's
history month in March, and I hope that I can be invited back again
to speak more on the history of women and the human rights pro-life
movement, because it's not just about human rights for one
individual, it's about human rights for all individuals, the unborn,
the born, and the elderly.
So I thank my colleague from New Jersey for hosting this forum
tonight. I really appreciate his leadership in the pro-life
movement, and we are going to continue to forge ahead until everyone
in America has the right to life.