A Tale of Two Movements: A Women’s History Month Reflection

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Oppression of women and children is not new to America. In the midst of the 21st Century battle for the children in the womb and the women and mothers who are harmed by abortion and dangerous contraceptives, it seems fitting to remember the valiant freedom fighters and abolitionists who fought for freedom in the previous centuries.

In the past, two American movements, The Abolishment of Slavery of Black People and The Women’s Suffrage Movement grew along together. Slavery as a legal institution began in the early years of the American Colonial era and was fully established by the time the United States sought independence from Great Britain in 1776. By 1804, the northern states instituted abolition laws. By the 1850s the South was still defending slavery and its expansion into the territories. A growing number of northern abolitionists denounced the sin of slavery and a growing anti-slavery Abolitionist Movement rejected slavery as a deterrent to the rights of free men. These actions led to the American Civil War. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln freed slaves in the southern states through the Emancipation Proclamation. The Thirteenth Amendment, taking effect in December 1865, permanently abolished slavery throughout the entire United States, including the Border states, such as Kentucky, which still had about 50,000 slaves, and the Indian tribes.

While there were champions for the rights of women from the inception of America, a formal movement was launched around 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 which formulated the demand for women’s suffrage. The women’s battle was tempered during the Civil War, and the flames were fanned anew and the battle continued.

In 1869 the proposed Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which gave the vote to black men, split the movement. Campaigners such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton refused to endorse the amendment, as it did not give the vote to women. Others, such as Lucy Stone and Julia Ward Howe argued that if black men were enfranchised, it would help women achieve their goal. The conflict caused two organizations to emerge, the National Woman Suffrage Association, which campaigned for women’s suffrage at a federal level as well as for married women to be given property rights, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, which aimed to secure women’s suffrage through state legislation.

The groups merged and after 1900 made a new argument to the effect that women’s alleged superior characteristics, especially purity, immunity from corruption and concern with children and local issues, made their votes essential to promoting the reforms of the Progressive Era. Women’s contributions to American participation in the First World War (1917–18) gave the impetus for final victory.

Today, there is still a division in the ranks of women as to what the definition of women’s rights should be. Some women believe that a woman’s rights include the right to kill a baby in her womb. Other women believe that the baby in the womb is a distinctly separate individual person from the mother, and should therefore have civil rights, including the right to live. And there are also many who believe that slavery, women’s rights and abortion are inextricably connected.

Dr. Karen Stevenson, MD, a pro-life advocate, has written an insightful paper that confirms new views on the connection between racism, slavery, and abortion.

While studying the connection between abortion and slavery, one might wish to consider the research respectfully submitted by those who are determined to get to the bottom of the controversies and shed some light on the issue.

1. Excerpt from Utrum by Dr. Karen Stevenson

“As Kathleen Neal Cleaver states in her review of Dorothy Roberts’ book, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the meaning of Liberty, “Roberts learned the significance of reproductive autonomy not from the contemporary abortion movement but from studying the histories of slave women who fought to gain control over their lives.”[1] Any treatise that discusses black women and their reproductive freedoms must take into account the impact of these freedoms on the black community as a whole. Thus, any issue germane to African-American women is also crucial to the welfare of the African-American family and by extension, the African-American community.

Abortion benefits African-American women because it allows them to exercise control over their reproductive destinies.

Slave women in America did not have the right to self-determination, and they had no autonomy over their bodies in any way. The profit driven slave economy benefitted tremendously from their toil and their procreative abilities. The slave woman’s children were not her own, and by the whim of her master, they could be sold away from her, never to be seen again. In post Civil War America, there was no further need for black women to procreate. In fact, her ability to procreate no longer served the greater good.”

2. Excerpt from 2013 Message by Dr. Alveda King

“One can’t help but consider if disregard for the value of women and children is still at the root of abortion today. Consider this, many if not all of the women abolitionists should have been the forerunners of the Pro-Life Movement. Instead, we have a counterfeit “Women’s Rights Movement” which supports abortion and harmful contraceptive drugs today. Why in the world, how in the world could this be?

Remember, both women and men were allowed to be involved with the Anti-Slavery act. But, women could only go so far because they couldn’t vote, and many could not own property. Non-African Women and all slaves were actually considered to be chattel or property back then. So, it was hard for white and black women to be involved as abolitionists because white women were treated in very similar manner to African Americans, and most Black women were slaves. Unfortunately, the same thing was happening to the Native American Population. They were all considered to be chattels.

So the frustrated slave women often aborted their babies (Pure Breed and Mulatto) voluntarily as an act against sustaining future oppression. The Angry Caucasian Wives often coerced or forced abortion on their husband’s “Black Beauties” as a means of retaliation against their own brand of experienced oppression.

If you think about it, the same issues are at the heart of the Middle East Conflict. Sarah’s and Hagar’s sons are brothers with Abraham’s seed, yet their bitter battle still rages. My, what a bitter root of judgment in all these situations!

While many women who were abolitionists ended up becoming women rights activists, bitterness caused them to adopt a contraceptives agenda and finally an abortion agenda to exercise what they considered to be rights over their wombs. So now we have a war on babies and the wombs often led by women and men controlled by a desire for revenge and avarice.”

Read the full text of 2013 message HERE

3. Excerpt from “Jealousy of the Slave Mistresses”

“It is a fact generally observed in slave societies that the mistress is more cruel in her treatment of slaves than the master. It is a fact confirmed by our chronicles, our folklore, our oral tradition, and travelers. There are on record not two or three, but scores of cases of the cruelty of the senhoras de engenho toward defenseless slaves.”

As a post abortive African American Woman, I can attest that abortion kills babies and harms and even sometimes kills their mothers. I bear the harmful fruit of my own abortions in my own body in the form of phlebitis and other lingering health problems from the abortion surgeries and subsequent abortion drugs called contraceptives also meted out to me by Planned Parenthood during my childbearing years. My complete testimony can be found at www.silentnomoreawareness.org. Read HERE or watch HERE

Planned Parenthood, a leader in the women’s movement that believes that the right to kill a baby in the womb is legitimate, lied to me about abortion. They said abortion is safe. It isn’t. Ask all of the dead women and sick women victims of abortion.

While many good hearted people like Susan B. Anthony were abolitionists and supported life affirming women’s rights; at the same time there were many women who were abolitionists that ended up becoming women rights/abortion rights activists whose bitterness caused them to adopt a deceptive contraceptives and finally an abortion “choice” agenda to exercise what they considered to be rights over their wombs.

So now, though the Civil War is over and the Suffragettes Movement is won, we have a war on babies and the wombs of women often led by women and men controlled by a desire for revenge and avarice.

Abortion kills babies and hurts women which is why I recommend that you read Janet Morana’s book RECALL ABORTION.

Also, I invite you to read our book LIFE AT ALL COSTS to receive further enlightenment on these issues, including how Jesus healed my abortion pain.

2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Movements: A Women’s History Month Reflection”

  1. Thank you, Dr. Alveda King for tying together slavery, women’s rights and abortion so powerfully. Thank you also for the links to your testimonies, which I had only read pieces of before. I read your written testimony, and my wife and I listened to the video. Both were very moving and we were and are saying “Amen!” Thanks and praise be to God for what He has done in your life and in your family, and for you testimony of the Gospel of Life and your labors of love on behalf of the unborn, their mothers and their families. God bless you.

    I’ll be liking and sharing this on Facebook, and I’m also going to check out those books.

  2. alv3d@ says:

    Victor,

    Thank you for your kind words and for sharing. Praise be to God who strengthens me.

    God bless you!

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