Articles From The Writings of Vasu Murti

Nonviolent Femmes

History shows women were discriminated against, subjugated and oppressed and it led to their demanding equality. In previous centuries, for example, women were not allowed to vote nor own property.

Polls have found more women than men opposed to abortion, and abortion works to the advantage of exploitative males, relieving them of any responsibility for child support, etc. The feminist movement was pro-life from its inception through the 1960s.

According to the late pro-life feminist, historian, and vegetarian activist Mary Krane Derr (1963 - 2012), who credited me with having caused her to become a vegetarian, “The debate raging over abortion today is not the first one in American history; there was one during the Victorian era.”

Derr writes that despite the large monetary loss involved, The Revolution, the suffragist paper put out by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton refused to run ads for patent medicines because these were frequently thinly disguised abortifacients.

A similar policy was practiced by Woodhull’s and Claflin’s Weekly, the paper published by free love advocates Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin. The Weekly constantly attacked Madame Restell, a well-known New York City abortionist. Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to attempt to run for President, was a fierce opponent of abortion. The Weekly (December 24, 1870) proclaimed, “The rights of children as individuals begin while yet they remain the foetus.”

According to Woodhull: “Men must no longer insult all womanhood by saying that freedom means the degradation of woman. Every woman knows that if she were free, she would never bear an unwished-for child, nor think of murdering one before its birth.” (Evening Standard, November 17, 1875)

“Victorian feminists,” Derr observes, “were highly critical of Victorian sexual ethics. They affirmed the value of sex for pleasure and communication as well as procreation, for men and women alike... they celebrated motherhood itself as a uniquely female power and strength which deserved genuine reverence.”

According to Derr, “From early in the 19th century, Americans — even lay people — were exposed to enough information about embryology to enable them to make a critical and ethically significant distinction between contraception and abortion: the former practice did not terminate a human life but the latter one did.”


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