Exciting local news

The university I work for will be holding a Pregnancy Resources Forum in April. The college pro-life group and NOW chapter are co-sponsors, and the student Senate voted to assist with the project as well. That’s a pretty amazing amount of cooperation on the goal of reducing abortions and making the campus a friendlier place for parenting students.

Feminists for Life and I have parted ways in recent years, but I still really admire the work they’ve been doing on college campuses. Check out their “dream campus”, FFLU, for a vision of what a college campus might look like if it were designed to include students with family obligations.

I’ll be posting more about the forum and about the changes that (I hope) come about on this campus as a result.

9 thoughts on “Exciting local news

  1. Jen, that is great news!
    I agree, that Feminists for Life’s work on college campuses is its strong suit.
    So what specifically has parted your way from FFL’s? I can begin to imagine, but will leave the telling to you.

  2. It was a combination of things. Really, ever since the group moved to Washington, I’ve felt that it was playing it safe, not wanting to offend the establishment pro-lifers. The explicitly feminist rhetoric I was used to in the early to mid-80s gave way to more soft-focus “pro-woman” language that could mean just about anything. FFL used to take a position that women have a right to contraception, but they’ve dropped that. They put a lot more focus on celebrities, including honoring some people whose claim to feminism is pretty shaky. The Susan B. Anthony List doesn’t even require candidates to be self-identified feminists, as far as I know, although I don’t think they’re an official part of FFL. FFL also just doesn’t seem responsive to the membership; at least, I was never able to get any replies to my emails or phone calls toward the end.

    I’d like a radical feminist organization that’s out there explicitly making the connections between sexism, racism, economic injustice, and abortion. I don’t know if FFL really was that group, or if I’m just remembering it rosily, but it’s not that group now.

  3. Jen, I joined FFLA in 1986, and I distinctly remember a much more strongly, authentically feminist organization that had no qualms about supporting women’s right to freedom of conscience in prevention. It was also more responsive to the concerns of the members.

    The SBA List is a separate organization. It was originally founded by the undeniably leftist Rachel MacNair, but it was quickly coopted by rightwing antiabortionists and seems very focused on putting and keeping candidates of that sort in office. Sigh…

    I’d like a deeply radical organization like the one you imagine, too, one that takes a “reproductive justice” approach. The Nonviolent Choice Directory is an effort to fill that void in part. But I have been wondering what else can be done, so that people like you and me can join and stand up and be counted. After all, for one, something like 85% of prolifers in the US support a right to contraception. There must be more of us around…

    I’m thinking about drafting some kind of manifesto and inviting people to endorse it, just for starters…

  4. How to start an organization?
    Just do it!
    Probably the easiest thing to do would be to have some coalition of existing groups and interested individuals, centered around an online manifesto and action items.

  5. Jen, i’m pretty sure I will be attending the forum you’re talking about. Will you be there? I’d very much like to meet you in person.

    And oh yes, count me in on any radical, reproductive justice-type organization you all come up with!


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