Why I Marched: A Letter From A Pro-Life, Republican, Anti-Government-Making-Women’s-Decisions, Stay-At-Home Mom

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I am a married, Pro-Life, Republican, mother of two, and I marched. I wrote this in light of how many women are attempting to shout down women who marched. The myopia of those belittling our efforts is befuddling. I suppose this is where we have arrived – us vs. them until bruised and bloodied we all fail. To all the women who believe they have plenty of rights and they are plenty equal… how do you think you got those rights? The short sightedness and historical amnesia at play here is dangerous. It was barely 100 years ago that women were being beaten and jailed for trying to VOTE. 

By Renee Contreras De Loach – I have seen a lot of anti-march posts. I am not sure if people really don’t understand or if this is just another opportunity for women to pretend they are better than other women. This “othering” is anything but charitable or enlightened though it is often couched in religious or faux empowerment language. These posts range from condescending to hostile – calling women sleazy, irresponsible, murderers, and at one point insinuating absurdly we don’t want to be “real” women.

First, women all over the world use hormones and IUDs for a number of health reasons: getting pregnant, staying pregnant, preventing cancer, treating fibroids etc. “Birth control” is only one use – it needs to be covered by insurance because it is necessary health care but many law makers disagree. I marched for critical services to remain covered.

Second, I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks years ago. It was devastating. In an attempt to shame women having abortions there are efforts to force women to have a funerals 20 weeks +. I can’t even imagine if every one of my multiple miscarriages would have required an expensive funeral. It would have been financially devastating on top of our already broken hearts. Many mothers have been forced to carry sick or crippled babies to term and deliver them even when they know the baby will die risking the mothers life and in some cases causing unnecessary prolonged physical suffering to these tiny humans. I marched for them.

Third, around the time I had my baby girl Kate, a friend learned that her baby had no skull – and would die immediately after birth – and further she would not be able to deliver this baby without a skull. They induced her and “delivered” the baby. Technically, this is what some ignorant people are referring to as late term abortions and trying to BAN. I marched for her and me.

Fourth, 1 in 3 women are victims of sexual or physical abuse. Most girls are abused as GIRLS/minors. Women around the world are being mutilated as part of tradition or religious rites. Some women in the world are killed when they are raped. Even in the U.S., women have been punished or kicked out of college for being raped. Around the world and in the U.S. child brides and polygamy still happens. So they have been victimized and they are victims and they don’t need people shaming them for acknowledging it. I marched for them too.

Fifth, in some countries women have been forced by their governments to abort their babies. In other countries, governments denied birth control and forced women to have one child after the other. For that reason I believe the government should NOT have say over women’s bodies… ever. Our supreme court agrees. So I marched for the 30 million aborted Chinese baby girls that the government decided didn’t deserve life because they were less valuable than boys. I marched for their mothers too.

If you haven’t experienced abuse, mutilation, miscarriages, oppression, wage gaps, or been denied necessary medical care because you can’t afford it… GOOD. I am happy for you and I truly mean that. But in this wide world you are the exception, not the rule and you should be grateful, not judgmental. I hope this helps people understand the wide range of issues around the world (50 countries) that women and men marched for.

Sincerely,

Renee
(a Pro-Life, Republican, Anti-Government-Making-Women’s-Decisions, Stay-At-Home Mom)


Lead Photo Credit: Taken by Renee at the Women’s March in Eureka, Northern California. She told us, “The march was enormous and overlapped itself. Many people of many colors and beliefs. Awesome! I attended with my husband, daughter and my daughter’s friend.”

  • Melody

    I’m not against the march, but some of the items in your list…

    No one would consider delivering a baby who cannot live an abortion. Many doctors don’t even call them abortions any more when they have to remove the baby because of an eptopic pregnancy or some other non-viable situation – because that would be confusing and imply there was any chance that child was going to live at all. No one wants to punish a woman for these very sad situations.

    On the other hand, doctors can sometimes be really eager to recommend abortion. I’ve met a couple of healthy kids the doctors insisted were going to die soon after birth or be deformed. I don’t know why they thought that, but in interest of not prolonging their suffering, they would have killed healthy babies.

    Forcing someone to kill their child – at any age – is not remotely the same as forcing them to not kill their child. That’s like saying you think ISIS is wrong for beheading children so no organization should be able to prevent a mother from beheading her own kids if she wants.

    • Katrina

      Just for terminology’s sake, an abortion is the medical term used any time a baby dies/passes prior to becoming full term and being birthed live. So if someone miscarries at 7 weeks, we call it a spontaneous abortion, whereas if a mom chooses to have an abortion at 7 weeks we call it a therapeutic abortion. The term abortion though is used for both. Typically if a baby dies after 20 weeks we change the terminology from spontaneous abortion to stillborn; however if labor is induced (such as in the case of a mother not wanting to carry a baby with significant congenital anomalies to term, only to have them pass shortly after birth) it would still be referred to as a therapeutic abortion, or late term abortion. I’m an obstetrics provider.

      • Melody

        Yes, I am aware that the term abortion is used for both. My point there was that some doctors use a different term for the sake of clarity, because no one is trying to outlaw miscarriages.

        • They might not be trying to, but that is effectively what they are doing by introducing bills with such restrictive language. People need to be aware that “abortion” doesn’t just cover “elective abortions” of presumably healthy babies. That’s what pro-lifers think when they hear the word, so more education, even anecdotal, is a good thing.

          • Melody

            Do you really think that they’re incapable of differentiating between a miscarriage and an elective abortion in legislation? Or that there wouldn’t be an enormous backlash on every side of aisle if they passed the legislation and tried to use it to punish women who miscarried?

            Everyone knows someone who has had a miscarriage. I know a lot of them. I know one woman who miscarried 7 times. I know another who had an abortion when she was young and now has miscarried 3 times. Both are fiercely pro-life and neither are concerned that somehow the legislation would target them for their miscarriages.

        • Catherine Kane

          but they’re trying to require expensive funerals for miscarriages, even early ones. It’s punative and designed to punish women

          • Melody

            I think the intention is to highlight that the babies are still people. But I agree that it’s a bad way to go about it.

    • C.L.

      It is considered an abortion medically – and it says “abortion” on the paperwork you sign (when it’s a medical doctor in a medical hospital performing the removal of the baby). And because it says that word it becomes legally an abortion – and any government involvement would include that procedure. The government should not be involved….period.

      • Melody

        I know a lot of pro-life ladies who have miscarried. I know a couple who have had an elective abortion and who have also miscarried. None of them seem remotely concerned that the government is somehow about to confuse their miscarriage with an elective abortion. Several people were able to describe the difference right here in the blog comments – while still using the term abortion for both. I think our politicians, limited as their minds may be, are capable of doing the same.

    • Shawn Fahy

      Au contraire. Years ago, as a child abuse investigator, I was called out to a case involving a newborn. Physicians realized the child had not developed a brain, only a brain stem, which controls only the most basic of functions, and would not continue to do that long term. They didn’t find out until the pregnancy had passed the legally allowable date for an abortion, and the mother was PROHIBITED from leaving the state to obtain one. She was forced to carry the child to term, and then wait for the brain stem to stop functioning. I held that baby. There was no child behind those eyes.

      • Melody

        Then fight for more nuanced legislation – don’t insist that because there are some rare cases that the law doesn’t currently make allowances for that no legislation can be had

        • We don’t need more legislation. We need the current Roe v Wade statutes followed and for politicians to stop introducing punitive and prohibitive legislation against Roe v Wade.

    • Alyce Miller

      Actually, you might want to look up the various terms and familiarize yourself with them. “Abortion” covers a lot of procedures. Even a miscarriage is called a “missed abortion,” and often requires the same post-abortion procedure.

      • Melody

        I don’t think you understand what I’m saying here – it’s not that I don’t understand the word abortion is used medically for multiple situations.

  • monkeyonfire

    Thank you for your words and your solidarity!

  • Jessica Wolf

    Thank you for your viewpoint!

  • mnstrongmama

    So if you are pro-life but support the right to abort doesn’t that make you pro-choice? Or are you Pro-Partial-Choice? I believe there should be some regulation, no one should be having abortions at 39 weeks because they decide they just want to focus on their career instead.

    • fernaig

      Good Lord. NO ONE HAS ABORTIONS AT 39 weeks. That’s called birth! There is NO SUCH THING as partial birth abortion. It doesn’t exist. You can’t get an abortion after 24 weeks.. you DELIVER A BABY.

      • Kristen Nations

        Yet they do! So sad for the baby

        • Catherine Kane

          actually, they don’t, unless life of mother or baby is at risk

          • Kristen Nations

            She said you “cant” get an abortion after 24 weeks. Thats simply not true. And btw, the life of the mother being at risk is misleading. Even the cases where they claim the life is at risk is 2%. but in reality it isnt really there . There are no times when you would die if you didnt abort. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (1982-1989, appointed by Ronald Reagan) made the following comments:
            “Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.
            If, toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarean section. His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature and perhaps immature depending on the length of gestation.
            Because it has suddenly been taken out of the protective womb, it may encounter threats to its survival. The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.”
            But even more damning was this statement from Alan F. Guttmacher, the “father of Planned Parenthood”:
            “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.”

          • EXACTLY. You just proved our point. It is not “late-term abortion” at that point, it is “induction of labor.” Late-term abortion DOES NOT EXIST.

            If the baby can live outside the womb it is labor/birth. Otherwise, the only “abortion” that takes place past that point is if the baby is already stillborn and they are removing it from the womb, which is still called “abortion.”

          • Kristen Nations

            Actually no it is a still born 20 weeks and after. Medically an abortion before 20 weeks. Abortions are performed after 20 weeks while the baby is alive. It is not induction when you are purposefully killing the baby. the baby would have lived if the abortion had not been performed. Nice try.

        • fernaig

          Except no. This simply does not happen. It doesn’t. It’s entirely illegal and no one would do this. Babies are delivered, period.

      • John Clark

        What do you call it when an abortionist pries open the skull of a baby still in the birth canal?

        • You’re Insightful

          ^^^Needs to take a well rounded sex-education, family planning class. Along with a scientific, policy based course on abortion. Looks like John enjoys propaganda. Good luck!

    • Marcy

      I have no words, at least no respectful ones, to respond to your contention that women have abortions at “39 weeks because they decide they just want to focus on their career instead.”

    • Danaand

      in the history of asinine comments on the Internet, I’m gonna rank yours in the top 5.

    • Trollhagen

      I’m pro-life and a woman who does not regret having an abortion. You are confusing being pro-life with being anti-abortion.

  • Kathy Mathews

    I enjoyed your piece quite a bit. Thanks you for your important contribution.

  • Thank you for writing this piece. I’m tired of the judgement. I completely understand someone being pro-life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be anti- everything else related to women’s sexual, physical, and emotional help. There is room for all of us at this table is we can have a little more respect and understanding.

  • Lisa Nobile Callahan

    If you want people to take why you are marching seriously, do this March yearly and not as a response to an election.

    • BWF

      I suspect that this willbecome an annual event. Should that come to pass, I hope that you will realize the gravity of this movement and not show disdain for people who marched.

    • Catherine Kane

      people are marching specifically because of the current situation which threatens to make these situations worse for women. Maybe it would be good to take that seriously, as opposed to set arbitrary criteria for hoops people have to jump through to be taken seriously

    • Nicole in Paris

      I have no idea why we would need to march yearly – the last 8 years have allowed women to progress in many ways, kept many safe, changed laws that were good for women and therefore families. Now, we see a return to an age which does not bare repeating.

  • readteach

    The article focuses on the exceptional cases of abortion. What percentage of total abortions are exceptional? I believe I read that over 90% of abortions are merely for women’s convenience. Evidently, the women don’t know that sex can cause pregnancy, that birth control can fail, and that they have control over their bodies even before they engage in sex. What a concept!. Sex is now recreation, and any inconvenient consequence is expendable. Barbarians at the gate.

    • Catherine Kane

      and where would that number come from? anyone can put a random number online, but unless there’s actual data to back it up, someone is trying to mislead you

      • readteach

        And, here’s a comment from a Facebook thread I was following. I’ve kept the writer anonymous, but she was responding to another person’s argument. Of course, you might decide she’s just a troll and doesn’t know what she’s talking about:

        I am being rude by pointing out an error in your argument? That is laughable. I think in actuality you are offended that I pointed out an error in your argument. That doesn’t make me rude although that is a common response. I taught health education and human sexuality for 7 years. I understand the failure rates of birth control. I also understand that every behavior we engage in involves consequences. Sex is an adult behavior with very adult consequences. Sometimes it results in unplanned pregnancies and STDs. In a perfect world we could avoid those but we live in a world where people want to do whatever they want and then avoid the consequences. That is not reality. Abortion is a life ending consequence for the baby. Your statement was that women “can control what she wants her body to do.” I didn’t misinterpret what you said. I actually agree with you. A woman can control what her body does because she has the ability to not have sex. More than 98% of all abortions each year are for convenience of the mother because she didn’t plan to get pregnant. Less than 1% are the result of rape or incest. Having sex may mean pregnancy. When people are willing to accept that fact maybe we as a society can start to rebuild the broken family unit. In the last few years the number of babies born to unwed mothers exceeded the number of babies born into married households. Marriage isn’t for everybody and raising kids isn’t for everybody but no one has ever given me an example of a time someone died from not having sexual intercourse. I also agree with you this is not just a woman’s responsibility. Men in our society tend to slither under whatever standard we set and we, as women, keep lowering the standards thinking that makes us “equal”. Having sexual freedom didn’t earn us equality — it lowered the standard to the point that there is no value to relationship beyond the sex. We should want better for ourselves and all women.

      • readteach

        I see that both of my replies to you are “waiting to be approved by Women You Should Know.” What is this? Censorship?

        • Charlie Hayes

          You got evidence or you gonna keep deflecting and pretending you made a point? Nobody is taking your word for it.

          • readteach

            Get over yourself, Charlie. I posted multiple links to statistics from government and other credible sources. I posted them in reply to at least two commenters. I was informed that my replies were waiting to be approved. There was nothing vaguely foul in my language, so I must conclude that I’m being censored or that whoever manages the site doesn’t want your inquiring mind to know. Just google “why women have abortions statistics.” Do your own homework.

      • Catherine,

        The CDC reports that less than 4% of abortions are for medical reasons or due to rape. These are commonly known statistics.

    • You’re Insightful

      State your source! I forgot trolls don’t have legit data.Fake news right here^^^^ folks. Readteach is fake news too or at minimum, a misnomer. Sad!

      • readteach

        I see that my reply to you is “waiting to be approved by Women You Should Know.” Is this censorship?

      • readteach

        You are not the least bit insightful. This site blocked my response to you. So, do your own homework. It’s easy. I know because, as a high school librarian for decades, I did other people’s homework all the time. Just google “why women have abortions statistics”. Go ahead. It’s easy.

    • John Clark

      I’d say we’ve got barbarians inside the gates—including “pro-choice” males who treat women worse than cheap dates.

      • You’re Insightful

        Another misguided opinion. ^^^^

    • Leelee

      I’m interested in how you would handle this particular situation: Say you have a 30 year old woman who is married with two kids. She and her husband both work but they know they are in no financial position to have any more kids at this time. As you say, sex can cause pregnancy and birth control methods can fail so should this woman and her husband never have sex again to ensure they don’t run the risk of having an unwanted pregnancy? If not, what would you suggest she do if she did get pregnant and knew they couldn’t afford another child? That is not an “exceptional case” but it is certainly a common reason for abortion

      • babshill

        Ever heard of Norplant??? Norplant is a hormonal implant used for birth control. It is effective for up to five years. Norplant uses hormone-carrying rods about the size and shape of matchsticks inserted under the skin, normally in the upper arm. There are all kinds of alternatives in these times that could prevent the possibility of unwanted pregnancy. What I’m against is that with all we know today, abortion is being used primarily as a method of birth control. I agree with the woman who posted above — this article cites some very extreme cases. How about all the irresponsible women and men (boys and girls) who have sex without consequences (or preventing them) being a thought in their head??? How about the women who have multiple abortions because they don’t want to be pregnant but did nothing to prevent it in the first place? What about them?

    • Dani

      Hi Readteach,

      May I ask how old you are and if you are/were married with a husband? If so, did you only have sex to procreate? Once you got pregnant, did you stop having sex until you birthed the child and were physically ready to carry another child? Once you hit menopause, did you and your husband stop having sex? If you or your husband for some reason were unable to procreate, was your marriage sexless because sex is, in your view, only for procreation? My assumption here, based on your views, is that the sole purpose for sex in your life was to carry a child. So every time you and your partner had sex, the ENTIRE purpose of that was to make a baby, correct? Not for pleasure, connection, or to foster a better relationship?

      “women’s convenience” is an interesting term, and incorrect. I’d like to know where you got the 90% figure. Could you please cite that? Women have abortions for all types of reasons: they don’t think they would be good parents, there are issues with either the mother or the fetus, they are not financially stable enough to bring a child into this world, or… or.. they just don’t want children! Are you stating that women who don’t want to be mothers suck it up and just have a child anyways? And be resentful of that child? What do you think that kid’s life will be like, knowing that he/she has a mother who doesn’t really want him/her? (hint: adoption here isn’t the answer to this question, because then you are effectively stating that women are no more than birthing machines and you are mandating that they carry an unwanted child to term to give them up. And women are better than that, we have rights.)

      • dfvfsdg

        I agree, a women should have free reign to kill her child. It’s nobodys business. Her child she can love, call it the most precious thing in the world, Or just throw it the f*ck away if it get’s in the way of her party schedule.

        • Dani

          Is your view of women that low? Did you read my comment at all or just get angry and stab at the keyboard in retaliation? I will repeat: there are many reasons (financial, health, current life situation) that play into why a woman may choose to get an abortion. Not that it doesn’t fit into a partying lifestyle. It seems from your comment that are you are vehemently pro-life. Cool, don’t get an abortion. but i also hope that you care about that child after it’s born into a potentially untenable situation. I hope you donate clothing, money, food, $ for childcare, education etc. the true concept of Pro life extends to more than a fetus.

          Additionally, I hope you have had (or will have) non-judgmental conversations with women who have had abortions so you can hear for yourself the wide spectrum of reasons that women choose abortion.

          That’s the last comment I will make to you, because I’m pretty sure you’re here to just angrily troll, as opposed to engage in conversation.

        • Laura

          And dfvsdg if you are a man – I hope you wear a condom each and every time you have sex. Because if you are reproducing, it’s no wonder the world is such a mess.

      • readteach

        You are hilarious. Absolutely hysterical. So, now I owe you my life story? I don’t think so. No pro-life person I know wants to shame anyone. I just want them to be fully informed and consider the alternatives, including the psychological fallout years later. This site blocked my posts that included cited sources, but you can find them yourself by googling “why women have abortions statistics”. The stats are pretty common knowledge to those who stay informed.

        • Laura

          Funny I just did a search for those statistics and couldn’t find your numbers. You say that no pro-life person wants to shame anyone? I will grant you that one, because most of the pro-life people I know feel that women who have an unintended pregnancy need support for the first 3 years of a child’s life for the child to have a good start. It is the PRO-BIRTH people who masquerade as pro-life who consider them to be burdens on society and want to cut funding for programs that would assist them. So take your stats from FOX News and Breitbart and stop promoting them as truth. How about consulting the CDC or the Guttmacher Institute for your stats.

          • readteach

            It’s not funny at all. Search harder. Here are stats from Guttmacher (I believe Dr. Alan Guttmacher has a connection to Planned Parenthood). It was one of the links I previously posted but was censored. The states are several years old, and you can give them credence or not. The good news is that abortions have decreased. The bad news, according to what I read at one of the credible sites, is that 45% of abortions are second abortions. Add up everything from “would interfere with education” to “not ready for a child” –that is, personal convenience.

            http://ABORT73.COM/ABORTION_FACTS/US_ABORTION_STATISTICS
            WHY DO ABORTIONS OCCUR?
            • In 2004, the Guttmacher Institute anonymously surveyed 1,209 post-abortive womenfrom nine different abortion clinics across the country. Of the women surveyed, 957 provided a main reason for having an abortion. This table lists each reason and the percentage of respondents who chose it.
            <0.5% Victim of rape
            3% Fetal health problems
            4% Physical health problems
            4% Would interfere with education or career
            7% Not mature enough to raise a child
            8% Don't want to be a single mother
            19% Done having children
            23% Can't afford a baby
            25% Not ready for a child
            6% Other

          • Sharon Palmer

            Abortion stats are hard to nail down – people often don’t want answer survey questions about why they got their abortion during their abortion, so not sure where you think the reliable data comes from…. I don’t like answering surveys after I buy something from a website, let alone after a major medical procedure.

            But, yes, many are undertaken by mothers who already have a child and feel that having more would interfere, usually financially, with their ability to support the child that they already have – I would hardly characterize that as an abortion “for convenience”. In my opinion, that’s just tragic if a woman feels like she has to choose between your ability to provide for your living child and your unborn child, or maybe that the father is too violet or whatnot and doesn’t want another child in that situation.

            You are obviously ranting on this page…Why did you quote the book title “Barbarians at the Gate”? Do you equate the tragedy of abortion with the tragedy of corporate takeovers and companies overburdened with debt b/c corporate CEOs pursued LBOs or are you just stupid and spouting off….

          • readteach

            Everything that is legal is not moral. Abortion assumes that there is nothing immoral about killing a child in the womb, but killing a child 7 inch down and out of the birth canal is immoral, even murder. Very strange to me. No, I was referring to the origin of “barbarians at the gate” from the Greek, but I won’t call you stupid.

  • Alyce Miller

    Thank you for this. I am both pro-choice AND pro-life. YES! No one is “pro-abortion.” But I cannot stand in another woman’s shoes and make a choice for her. I, too, have had miscarriages. Miscarriages are also known as “missed abortions.” I also was once in a position in which doctors urged me to terminate a very early pregnancy for reasons I won’t go into, but they were serious health issues (for the fetus). While struggling with what to do, I miscarried a few weeks later. Nature took care of it. But that’s not always the case. I really appreciate your article. It’s important not to judge others and instead find common ground. Rich women will always be able to get medical care of any sort, because they can afford to travel and have the best care. I do not believe in legislating one of the most private and personal choices another woman must make. I want to keep abortion services safe and legal in this country, and available to ALL women.

    • Sharon Palmer

      I agree. I’m Pro-choice, and I don’t want there to be abortions, but I know nature has a way of being cruel and I think women deserve excellent medical care. Anti-abortion advocates concoct this idea of a woman who casually and easily gets an abortion. This is a cartoon idea and not based in any kind of reality. Most abortions involve a lot of bleeding and passing tissue like a miscarriage – no one goes through a miscarriage or abortion lightly – how could you? I can’t even fathom the pain of some miscarriage/abortion stories. I don’t think there’s a legislative solution – so I trust women and mothers to make these very grave decisions about their pregnancies, hopefully with the most competent medical advice.

  • John Clark

    In defense of women I will say, speaking as we all are in general terms, that the behavior of men (to use the word sloppily) at public demonstrations is even more repellent than theirs, if you can still believe it after last weekend.

    In further defense, not all or probably most women marchers were, or normally are, as loudmouthed, vulgar, gross and disgusting as their exemplars of the day.
    Given the truth of this, you must also allow that women who, for their own intelligent reasons, chose not to take part or were offended by the behavior of those who did, also have knowledge, opinions, morals, and dignity. By slurring them in any way, you befoul your own stated cause.

    • You’re Insightful

      Thanks for your misguided opinion. We so called vulgar, loudmouthed, gross, and disgusting women (I prefer the term nasty) will use this information to validate and further our cause.

      • Leslie Gardner

        Yep.

  • Retmama

    Your piece explains why you marched. I haven’t publicly spoken about my feelings pro or con about this march but I do know that I saw much anger, hatred, animosity and heard a great deal of unbelievable rhetoric! I don’t have to be reminded by a Womens march how I inherited my rights and freedoms as a woman. I don’t know honestly how these matches will change anything in other countries. I do believe these marches were about a woman’s right for abortion. I would like to say those cases or reasons for abortions you pointed out are not what most people, who may be against abortion, are thinking of when the talk is about abortion. It’s true that these cases make up about 2-3% of all abortions. The rest reportedly were varying reasons. I do believe that we as women are responsible for the choices we make and the consequences that result from those choices. I don’t know if women marching for their individual reasons, and it sounds like there were many different agendas, will make any differences in the United States or other countries but I do believe that I can take my stand for what I believe just like you and not be “judged” by any other woman. I am a woman, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter, a conservative Christian Republican woman who will stand for what I believe in and will respect all other women for what they stand for whether I agree with them or not. There are solutions for all problems but they will not come by hatred or anger or by forceful means.

    • Trollhagen

      If you think that’s all it was about you really should come to the next one.

    • Donna Tabor

      There were dozens of reasons to march other than abortion.

      Just a few: access to family planning, clean air and water, equal pay for women, gender equality, marriage equality, safety, access to healthcare and insurance, financial stability. Also, the stability of programs some of us have paid into for decades, like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

    • Mary Friedman

      AMEN Sister. That was all beautiful stated Retmama! Thank you.

    • K

      I don’t know anyone who marched in favor of abortion. I know several people who marched in protest of the condoning through election of someone like Trump despite his being so blatantly misogynistic. We certainly can no longer teach our children that the role of POTUS requires someone to be worthy of respect.

  • Leslie Gardner

    Renee, thank you. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for exhibiting such courage. The kind of courage that most women who decided to belittle our efforts only wish they had an ounce of.

    I have yet to share my pictures and videos documenting my incredibly breathtaking experience Saturday in D.C. because I’ve been too hurt and angry. And that’s after months of enduring repulsive, vulgar and downright threatening comments regarding my candidate of choice. After opening my Facebook page to share my treasures Sunday, only to stumble across the viral “second-class citizen” post that literally sickened me (because a couple of friends shared the status), I’ve still not shared the beautiful images captured.
    I thought long and hard how I would respond with conviction AND class. I typed and deleted at least 20 times because I didn’t want to upset anyone. Yeah, stupid right? Did any of those women think for one second before jumping on the holier than thou bandwagon, sharing the shallow and thoughtless words of someone else? Doubtful.
    So I posted my message yesterday and am still stewing over how many ‘friends’ I’ll lose because of it.

    I am a medical professional, liberal, pro-choice, single mother of 2 biracial young men. Our lives are most likely fairly different but our mission is very much the same.

    I marched for an end to
    -complacency towards sexual abuse
    -racial, gender and cultural stereotyping
    -mens’ power over a woman’s body
    -the belief that we should sit down and shut up

    I thank you, again, for your words. They are golden. For maybe they’ll open the eyes of those who believe only crazy, pot-smoking, ultra liberal, baby aborting, transgendered homosexuals are the ones seeking equality.

    Your letter just truly made my night.

    Best wishes for health and happiness to you and your family, with much love and respect,

    Les

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  • Trollhagen

    Thank you. We all, male and female, have the right to make our own decisions about our own bodies. Only women are called on to defend it.

  • David Cisco

    What about the unborn baby’s for right to live or is it just a piece of meat to be torn apart and thrown in the trash?

    • 1614omra

      If a pregnancy is unwanted and/or likely to put someone in a cycle of poverty– THEN YES. An unborn baby IS NOT WORTH MORE THAN A LIVING, BREATHING PERSON. And don’t you dare say anything like “Well then you shouldn’t be having sex.” because guess what? YOU CAN’T STOP PEOPLE FROM HAVE SEX. But you can stop the rate of unwanted children and cycles of poverty. And spare me the “adoption” argument. If people really wanted to adopt, we wouldn’t have hundreds of thousands of kids in foster care. Also, some of us, like me, are 25-40, highly educated, employed, in committed, long term relationships, with paid bills, a good roof over our heads. AND WE DON’T WANT CHILDREN. Even if we are on birth control, it can fail. And I’m not sacrificing my awesome life for a pregnancy. I get to travel around the world, sleep late, chase my ambitions, use my degree, work full time ALL THE TIME, spend my money on myself, save for my retirement, control my own life and when my parents are old, I’ll have the time & money to take care of them. They sacrificed WAY TOO MUCH and worked too damn hard to see their daughter’s potential cut down by children. If I got pregnant accidentally by the end of the week, I’d only be pregnant for another few days. So yeah, a baby that I don’t want has no right to take my life away from me. EVER. Oh?? What if my mom felt the same way as me and I was never born? Good for her! She’d have gone to college, had a real career and maybe wouldn’t have gotten stuck in her piddly home town of conservative, narrow minded bigots– who she hates. I wouldn’t have known any different. But I can only day dream of my mother, as a free, educated woman. Then I wouldn’t have been the first person in my family with a B.A. and an M.L.A. SHE WOULD.

      • elleesttrois

        Right on! Bring it. I’m tired of people w/ a one note myopic view that doesn’t see the other side of not being able to have an abortion.

        I’m an adopted child. I would not have blamed my bio-mom for having an abortion. Life is hard.

      • Sandra McPherson

        Then please get Sterilized instead of possibly KILLING a Human ! People like you should not even have the possibility of conceiving a child.

        • CadronBoy

          Amen. Let me say it again: If you simply cannot stop from having unprotected sex please consider sterilization instead of KILLING a living entity in the event of pregnancy.

      • Andrea Byrnside Hill

        This is probably the saddest thing I’ve read in a while, and the past few weeks have been pretty abysmal. Many of my friends marched, and I supported their right for peaceful protest and their passion for women’s rights, but I was extremely disappointed with their overall approach. For example, in one breath I saw someone bash Trump for being misogynistic while wearing a p*#sy hat and verbally yelling at a man walking near the protest. For what you ask? He was a man that was assumed to be a Trump sopporter. This was in front of children too. What you said about your Mom not having a “real career” is just sad. Maybe she was happy “just being a Mom.” I’m educated and worked as an engineer for 10 years, but I also have 4 young children and now am fully devoted to staying home and raising them. In my opinion, there is nothing more rewarding than the job I am doing now. Did I give up my career, money, expensive vacations, and a life of parties? Yes, and let me tell you…it is the best and most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. You don’t want kids, fine, but saying that they’d destroy your potential is just plain sad…and 100% wrong. If your degree and your job are what make you happy in life, I think it says more about your character rather than the millions of women that you are bashing.

        • Sharon Palmer

          Your career was about partying and getting nice clothes? No wonder you left it – in that case doing anything else was the better choice.

          • Mary Friedman

            Gargantua that was a very low blow and you should be ashamed of yourself. You are also 100% wrong!!!!!!

        • Mary Friedman

          All beautifully stated Andrea. I too left a “high” paying career after 10 yrs. and became a full time Mom. Best thing I ever did!
          I was at the top of my field in Los Angeles, but that was just a blank space for me once I achieved it. The most REWARDING thing I will EVER do is be a Mom. Our children, and the legacy of faith we give them, is the most important and consequential thing we can do with our lives.

      • CadronBoy

        So lets see — the option is to either kill a living entity or “travel around the world, sleep late, chase my ambitions, use my degree, work full time, spend my money on myself” — so it is purely a selfish endeavor. OK I understand.

    • elleesttrois

      When’s the last time you were pregnant?

  • Can we please stop with the wage gap argument. It has been proven over and over again to not exist. I know it’s convenient to keep using it, but any gap isn’t due to women actually getting paid less. It’s due to circumstances.

    • Donna Tabor

      Prove it.

    • babshill

      I’m sick of this one, too. Guess what? I know a lot of WOMEN who make more than I do and don’t deserve it. I also know a lot of women who made more because they were willing to “give a little more” (if you know what I mean). Pretty women make more than ugly women. Skinny women make more than fat women! We can fight about this crap all day long! Life ain’t fair and life’s tough. Get a helmet. It’s all related to the “human” factor.

    • JR

      “but any gap isn’t due to women actually getting paid less. It’s due to circumstances.”

      So then there IS a wage gap, even though you say there isn’t. If you want to make the point that we are blaming it on the wrong reason, then fine. But don’t lie about whether or not it exists.

      • So I can tell that intellectual honesty isn’t your strong suit but being a sarcastic smart ass is. Read the word “circumstances.” That means an individual has circumstances that may affect their pay. That is not a “Gap” accros the board. Please try to read better or next time I can write in crayon for you if that will help you out.

        • 244664

          But aren’t you the one who said gaps don’t exist and then started describing circumstances under which they do exist? And couldn’t one circumstance be that the employers are simply paying women less than men?

          • No I didn’t. Systematic pay gaps don’t exist. That is what everyone is talking about. If a woman decides she want’s to work less hours, That isn’t a pay gap. But false accounting adds that in there and tries to pass it off as a gap. It isn’t a gap. It’s a choice to work less hours.

    • Laura

      I can and will say you are mistaken. When I graduated from college, I was hired to do the same job as a man who started working 2 weeks before I did. We were doing the same job, for the same company, with the same amount of prior experience, none, we were new grads. I was paid $5000 a year less than he was. It took me two years of fighting to have that corrected. So yes, the wage gap is alive and well in many sectors.

      • I am assuming you are in Australia. This conversation is about America. That is where the march takes place. What happens over there is completely on you guys.

    • David, what does that mean… “It’s due to circumstances.” ? I’d like to hear more about that.

      • What ever decisions a person makes in their life. Working less hours, working a different job. Could be that a company as a whole has to make paycuts across the board, so now those employees may make less than the normal rate for that position. Rarely is it because people get paid a different salary based on sex. Even then it goes both ways. I have paid women who work for me more money because they work harder and get work done on time and are more proactive.

        • David, I’m glad to hear you pay women based on merit – would that were true in many other companies… not all, but many. If you want I’ll find some links for you once I finish something else I’m doing… yes, I will find and post some links here.

          • Thanks. I have the benefit of being very small and not a lot of overhead or typical issues a big company has to deal with. I can truly focus on performance and reward anyone who works hard. I am lucky that way, but also, I am not a millionaire lol.

  • Sandra McPherson

    Yes women you have the right to make decisions about your rights & body. But if you don’t want children Please be Responsible & get Sterilized.

    • Janet

      Sterilization is a permanent solution. Birth control is about controlling *when* you get pregnant (hence the term, birth control). It may be months, or years down the road before a woman wants to get pregnant. For some it may be never. Hormonal birth control is also used to help women who suffer from endometriosis. If you’ve never experienced it, great. But I’ve known women who’ve had it and it is an extremely debilitating condition. There needs to be many options for women because one size doesn’t fit all.

      • Meli Taylor

        I’m a Christian woman waiting til marriage to have sex and I use birth control to regulate my periods and normalize my hormones. It’s made my life 100x better.
        Seriously, birth control is wonderful in so many ways, not to mention that it significantly decreases the number of abortions. If you don’t want to use it, that’s fine by you, but trying to keep it from other women is disastrous and morally repugnant.

        • Kristen Nations

          Birth control has always been available it has never been kept from women.

          • Clara Flores

            it has when insurance companies don’t offer them and low cost clinics get defunded

          • Spiritfed

            Google and see when birth control was illegal – in my mother’s time! And even the pill at first single women could not get Rx

          • A. L. Locasio

            False

          • Mary Friedman

            Exactly. I don’t know where these misconceptions are manufactured, but its rampant!!!

    • Donna Tabor

      WOW. Do you realize that is straight out of Hitler’s playbook?

    • Jan Edwards

      Sterilized? Uhhh, you mean tubal ligation? If you’re going to make a statement such as the one you did, at least dont equate your own gender to animals. Secondly, you talk about responsibility? Being responsible is called taking birth control which is what we are fighting for? Thirdly, it costs money to “get sterilized!” Fourthly, from one woman to the other, YOU ARE THE REASON WHY MILLIONS MARCHED THIS WEEKEND. I find it astounding that you put the whole responsibility on the woman. Go figure you didn’t consider men getting vasectomies.

    • Julie

      I will add to Janet’s response… I have known women that WANTED a hysterectomy, tubes tied, or whatever for a variety of reasons and were told NO by their doctor, simply because they were of child-bearing age and might change their mind. Or were told to wait, often for a year or two, before the doctor would even consider it. Most of the women I know that this has happened to had medical conditions that caused them a lot of pain, that something like a hysterectomy would fix, but were still told no because the doctor was asserting that he (they’re usually male) knew better than the patient regarding procreation. That is yet another choice women should be allowed to make. I’d venture to guess if a 23 year old woman marched into her doctors office and said she wanted her tubes tied, she’d have to put up a pretty good fight and might even need to see multiple doctors before finding one that would do it. This isn’t even addressing the fact that elective surgery often isn’t covered by insurance!

  • JRebecca

    Thank you for sharing your reasons for marching. They are valid – for you. What I cant understand is how you can match your reasons 4 &5 while marching beside someone like LINDA SARSOUR, who supports Sharia Law. What would you say to her about child marriage, wife beating, honour killing, using their own children, boys and girls, as the front line in wars, and then praising them as martyrs, as well as that Sharia law sees you, as not a Muslim, as an infidel, a kaffir (please check the use of this word before you call me a racist), as a lower species? By tying yourself to such people (and she is not the only one) I believe the march was hijacked for all the wrong purposes.

    • Donna Tabor

      Really?? You would negate every other valid reason for standing up for women’s rights because you THINK that a SINGLE person has a belief system different from your own? And how, exactly, are you so sure that Linda Sarsour represents every other one of the five or six million people who marched? Seems extremely iffy to me. And maybe an excuse not to really look at what’s happening to the more than 180 million women and girls in the US who are affected by this administration’s outdated, misogynistic policies.

      • Mary Friedman

        What are the outdated misogynistic policies you speak of?

    • Clara Flores

      I was one of “such people”…
      First of all, Linda Sarsour is a human rights activist, not a Sharia law supporter. Also, Sharia law wasn’t part of the platform.
      Why are we discusding her and not Donald Trump? Why aren’t you outraged and terrified about having “such a man” as President?

      • Mary Friedman

        There are many articles supporting JRebecca’s comments Clara. LINDA SARSOUR is not the type of “human rights activist” you are thinking of. She is also said to be associated with Hamas, has relatives in jail in Israel for terrorism charges, and has been involved in many other suspicious activities. You’d have to suspend all reason to disregard the articles. Just GOOGLE her or go to my Facebook page, Mary Friedman, where I posted some.

  • JRebecca

    Please allow me a second response to your blog. Pro-life groups were removed from the March’s list of official sponsors. As a “married, Pro-Life, Republican, mother of two, ” Did you challenge that in any way? and if not, why not? (Please take this as interest and debate rather than a challenge).

    • Patricia Maurice

      Well first I think pro life is a misnomer. Pro life does not exactly equate with anti abortion. To be pro life you have to be anti death penalty, anti gun, pro maternity leave and universal health care and living wage, pro free education etc. and in all honesty you even have to be an anti military pacifist. I question someone being pro life but anti birth control (e.g. Catholic) and anti abortion for the sake of a mothers life– these are not clearcut. If you believe in guns military etc you are not pro life. Thou shalt not kill. Turn the other cheek. If you are Christian, as many anti abortion people say they are, you must know that Christ died for us. He did NOT kill for us. There were indeed anti abortion groups marching. I disagree with them not being allowed to be official sponsors as long as they did not call themselves pro life unless they were totally pro life instead of just anti abortion. I consider myself pro life but I am very different from most of the anti abortion people I spoke to politely and listened to at the March. That said they will have their chance to March officially in the annual march on Washington. They just shouldn’t call themselves pro life unless they are consistent.

      • Clara Flores

        Thank you for the honest, congruent response. What a breath of fresh air you are! We disagree on abortion (I’m pro-choice, which is also, in a complicated way, not pro-abortion only), but pro-life as per your definition. I love it. Thank you for sharing.

        • Patricia Maurice

          As far as pro-choice goes, I believe we need to ensure women and families have every possible manner of support necessary to be successful parents, and that children and families are supported first and foremost–else, anti-abortion is not necessarily pro-life. So I can’t really call myself either pro-choice or anti-abortion. I just want to see people given every opportunity possible to be good people and live good lives.

      • Sheila Odom Hollinghead

        Your position is debatable. If Person #1 is threatening to kill 100 people, let’s say, and Person #2 kills Person #1 to save 100 lives, I would have to call Person #2 Pro-life. Also, the commandment, translated correctly, should read “Thou shalt not murder.”

        • Patricia Maurice

          These discussions are so interesting. What you are saying gets into some of the dilemmas studied by computer scientists and ethicists. And, as far as the translation goes… I hear from my religious studies colleagues that it depends on which religion and which translation. The different translations have led to divisions and wars over the centuries. Thank you for your comments. Mine were not written to be rigorous by any means (purposely( but I certainly enjoy the conversation.

    • Spiritfed

      As an individual and as a member of a Catholic Women Speak group we wrote letters protesting limiting the sponsoring groups allowed as well as stating the original purposes of the march in no way stressed abortion as a common or only factor but rather far reaching statement of justice and freedom from discrination for every individual. And then all of us whether we were prolife or pro choice marched together to signify we stood together to practice works of justice and mercy toward all.

  • Chandra

    Thank you for this wonderful piece of writing…your fifth point about the Chinese “one child rule” is skewed..tit is my understanding that the government, in an order to control overpopulation, mandated the rule. The Chinese people, according to their cultural biases, chose to abort baby girls or adopt them out, because they are less “valuable” than the boys…it’s a cultural thing…not governmental.

    • Roni Sutton

      It becomes governmental when following the government’s rules results in this type of cultural genocide. There was no question this would happen and the government is culpable.

    • Clara Flores

      On thr the same page and I used to think the same about forced abortions in China. The information has surfaced of forced abortions and sterilizations after the first child. Mostly in urban areas with higher population density and government control. Awful.

  • Martina Dalton

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • Carolina Reyes

    Renee,

    I would like to extend my warmest congratulations and support for your article here. A moderate, level-headed voice like yours is desperately needed to rise above the backlash you described in regards to the Woman’s March, and unify those from disparate political backgrounds.

    You’re a wonderful, clear writer and I hope you’ll continue to use your platform to show moderate and conservative women that their views, support and voices are welcome within the broader gender equality movement. We most certainly should not foreget our history. Although we might not all agree on some of the finer points, as you so eloquently said, just because some women have not experienced discrimination first hand, does not mean that we shouldn’t all work together towards towards a more equal future.

    I’m sending lots of positive energy your way, and hope you will remain strong in the face of some of the negativity I am seeing in these comments.

    All the best,
    Carolina Reyes (a quite liberal, pro-choice, Democrat, hoping to foster bipartisan cooperation)

    • Roni Sutton

      Hear, hear, I as an also liberal, pro-choice, independent but left leaning person agree. Renee, it is voices like ours, raised not in screeching condemnation, but attempted understanding, compassion and compromise that will finally win the war against hate. At least, I hope so.

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  • readteach

    Fact #8: Less than 1% of all abortions are performed to save the life of the mother. Unless it’s botched and the baby survives (yes, this has happened), 100% of abortions are lethal. Less than one percent are performed to save the life of the mother. Why did so many people I know have to go to China or Korea or Russia to adopt children?

    • Angela Brighthop

      what you are ignoring is they don’t want that less than 1 percent to have safe access to an abortion.And what people like you do is pretend this will end abortions . No only thing it will do is send desperate women in search of desperate dangerous alternatives.

    • Charlotte MacFarland

      No one has to go to China or Korea to adopt children. My state, Kansas, has the largest number of children in foster care ever. We are begging for people to step up and adopt. That is true all across America. My church has people in their eighties adopting children because so many are not adopted. The people I know who went to China actually told me they had a better chance there of getting really bright child! How moral is that. The children I work with aren’t adopted because they have disabilities or because they are older children. I know many gay couples who have adopted older children or children with disabilities because they know so many heterosexual couples don’t want them and those children are easier to adopt. Many couples only want a perfect child. And, children with fetal alcohol syndrome often can’t fit into normal environments. Some are violent. It takes special people to adopt children with problems. However, in my town alone there are plenty of children longing for families.

      • wolfypuppy

        ❤❤❤ thank you!

      • Sheila Odom Hollinghead

        The reality is that red tape prevents many from adopting. We have made the adoption process such a bureaucratic mess! I know a couple who were in the final stages of adopting a child with learning disabilities due to fetal alcohol syndrome. The biological aunt stepped forward and the state allowed her to take the child. This devastated the couple who had been fostering the child for eighteen months.

        • Linda

          No one is obligated to carry a child to term so someone else can adopt them.

    • Barbara Tahan Res

      Who are you to decide?

      • readteach

        I decide for myself what is moral or immoral, to define life or death, what is human life, half-human or inhuman/I humane. You decide for yourself. Both of us are free to express our views; both of us are free to change our views or not. I don’t know what pro-abortion people want that they don’t already have, You have won the legal debate to kill children in the womb. I have the constitutional right to say it’s immoral. I can’t be more clear than that. Aloha! In Hawaiuan, that is not only hello and goodbye but blessing you with the breath of life.

        • Barbara Tahan Res

          You have a right to decide for yourself, nobody else. All we want is the right to decide for ourselves. If you think it is immoral, don’t do it, but don’t force your views on others. Aloha

          • readteach

            I agree with you. You reject my views. Enough already. A hui hou.

    • Tina Brand

      Love women. Consider if men could bear children (uterus transplants already happening). Consider if they could get pregnant not by choice or intent but because of an assault or ineffective controls (human and medical)? Do you think even anti-abortion men wouldn’t reconsider the focus on blastocyst/embryo/fetus over the sovereignty of their own body? This is the question, really. Not that anyone isn’t loving born or unborn children.

      • Sheila Odom Hollinghead

        Many believe some women and men do not take responsibility for preventing the conception of a child. The women then use abortion as a method of birth control, according to this belief. This does happen, especially to young teens. I would hope maturity kicks in and they learn better. Tina Brand, I reject the assault portion of your premise above. Some might say that many men force women to have sex, and I do know that happens. However, young teens and women should not put themselves into vulnerable positions. And I know many protest and would say men should control themselves. And I agree. However, it’s not reality. Men are going to pressure women to have sex–that’s the reality. Since it is our bodies, why don’t we protect ourselves, by birth control or by staying out of risky situations? Fathers, brothers, friends should also be our protectors. And we can scream all we want that even if we put ourselves in a risky situation, the man should not take advantage of us but that’s living in a fairy tale. Unfortunately.

        • Tina Brand

          Thanks for the thoughtful reply Sheila. I included assault with ineffective controls (human and medical) because assault should never be the fault of the assaulted even if in reality the assaulter believes himself (rarely herself) somehow provoked. I agree girls and women need to be wiser, more careful, but I in turn must reject that male agreesion is the fault of the female in not avoiding the situation, a bodily condition they are only half responsible for. Because in so many ways when you inhabit threatening spaces (anywhere dark or intoxicated or unclear (whether in public or private)) you should nonetheless have a right to personal safety. Being smaller, weaker, and economically or psychologically dependent cannot be a license for being pressured into a surrender that has such life changing consequences as procreation. The argument that reality favors male dominance / female subordination and always will, cannot stand up to my scrutiny. Reality changes. People change, individually and socially. See history and the moral arc of our world in time bending toward equality and justice, even if imperfectly. I’m not a utopian, but I’m not so pragmatic as to excuse all bad behavior simple because humans are a flawed species captive to its endocrin system. :-). So I hope you are in favor of prophylactic birth control, which is currently threatened by Republicans in power as belonging in the category of general healthcare for women. And I hope you are in favor of equal rights for women, which will give girls and women the social standing to pursue life, liberty, and happiness with equal confidence and protections that boys and men have. This was the mission of the women’s marches in response to a president and a controlling political party that explicitly seeks to elevate male power by fighting against gender justice and constraining female access to equal constitutional and social protections. The error of this patriarchal approach is that men and businesses do better when women are equal partners. Apolitical science and statistics prove this around the world.

        • Linda

          Way to go, victim blamer. People like you make me SICK. I am in my 50s now but was gang raped in my 20s. THey wanted to blame me for having a few drinks or the fact that I was not a virgin at 23. Despicable disgraces of a human being. I can only wish on people like you that you would suffer the same fate I did. You are a vile, disgusting “human” Women also don’t need men as protectors. I am glad I went further with my education than you did. I also raised my daughter to understand that if a man does not show respect to a woman, he is a piece of subhuman garbage, like our president. Live with what I do lady and then go talk. Years of meds and therapy don’t help either.

        • Mary Friedman

          Well said. You are a “realist”, which is a party I would register to if it was a choice. Hey that’s an idea! Let start a “REALISTS”
          party. I really haven’t liked what the Dems., Repubs., or Indeps. have done in the last 2 decades. 🙂

    • Linda

      I am all for adoption, but no one is obligated to carry a baby to term so someone else can adopt them. Abortion is not your business and definitely needs to say out of the government. Making abortion illegal would never stop it from happening. That is something that people with closed minds will never understand.

      • readteach

        Open you mind.

  • As a pro choice, progressive who supported Bernie Sanders, I too marched for the reasons you state. I am absolutely delighted to see what I hope will become a true dialog between us – and those like each of us. Thank you for your courage…

  • Conorsgma

    Thank you for joining the voice of reason. I wanted to march but I was ill. Again, to you and all the women who march on my behalf <3

  • MM G

    Does Renee know that one of the head co-chairpersons, Linda Sarsour, believes in Sharia Law? Not only that, she hopes Sharia Law comes to the U.S. Does Renee know some of the disadvantages of women under Sharia Law? Some examples include but are not limited to: Very young girls (ages 3-12) being forced to marry, genital mutilation, not being permitted outside your house unless covered head to toe in a burka, if a woman were to be seen walking in the street with a man other than her husband, father, or brother, she could be stoned for adultery, if you’re a woman of a different faith other than what they are preaching as true Islam your risk is extremely high in being gang raped all legally, of course. Also, do you know that Women Pro-lifers were rejected and prohibited to join this march? I thought the march was for all women!!! Guess not! I’d love to hear from Renee after she reads my comment; I doubt I will.

    • Melissa Rowell

      Ridiculous. Just ridiculous.

      • MM G

        Melissa Rowell, would you care to discuss why you think my comments are ridiculous?

    • Clara Flores

      I don’t know what Renee knows. However, she explained why SHE marched, not the misinterpretation of one the leader’s beliefs.
      Secondly, nobody was prevented from participating in the march. The “pro-life” stance was not included in the platform of the march and movement.
      This brings us back to Linda Sarsour, an experienced activist for human rights: even if the false claims of her support for Sharia Law were true, those were not included in the platform.
      Follow Sarsour @lsarsour . She’s an extraordinary woman.

    • Melissa Rowell

      That is a smear campaign, and it is false. She is a woman’s rights activist. That’s not even logical.

      • Linda Sarsour is all for sharia law being brought to America. The evidence is in her Twitter account for anyone to read if they cared to know the truth.

    • Barbara Tahan Res

      You are an idiot

      • Name calling is for children. I should know I have three of them. Linda Sarsour most definitely is trying to spread sharia law to America. Just check her Twitter account it is in her own words.

      • Tina Brand

        Maybe, but maybe not…just perhaps not well informed? Or not yet able to analyze sources for credibility and accuracy or include credible evidence in a debate? Critical thinking is a learned skill and often emotion gets in the way of thinking critically able some things.

        • MM G

          Tina Brand, Thank you again for a level-headed answer. Be back later.

    • Cait

      No one was ‘prohibited’ from the marches. This is completely false information. Even those opposed to it were allowed/welcomed. How do you think Renee joined? She’s a pro-life woman. Doesn’t sound like she was rejected to me.

    • Tina Brand

      Linda Sarsour does not hope Sharia Law comes to the US. What is your source for this statement? Please provide so we can assess that it is credible. No pro-life women were rejected…it is possible anti-abortion women asked to join the organizers and were not invited to help organize because the position that is anti-abortion and anti-birth-control for all women under all circumstances is anti-woman for the reasons Renee so eloquently presented. Where is your evidence for that statement, MM G? I think it would be very helpful to the discussion to bring credible evidence of these assertions to the discussion. Thanks.

      • MM G

        Tina Brand, thank you for having a discussion. I will do my homework to present this type of information to you as soon as possible. As of this writing, I do not have the sources to give you. I will not be on the computer the rest of today, Friday until late Saturday night. Please be patient for my sources.

        • Tina Brand

          Hey thanks! I will be patient…maybe do a little research myself, meanwhile, as I have also heard such assertions made by others but not by anyone I trusted. Catch you later, then 🙂

      • Mary Friedman

        Please see in my response to MM G above for the source of the information on Linda Sarsour. She is a long time proponent of sharia law. I am anxious to hear what you find out, and confused by your blanket statement “she does not want to bring it to the United States.” As if its OK anywhere else. Hello Women of the World…this is barbarism!!

      • Gina

        Have you not read her tweets?

    • Mary Friedman

      Well I read it, and I have been trying to raise an alarm about the co-chair,Linda Sarsour, the Sharia Law advocate. The information comes from THE AMERICAN PATRIOT DAILY NEWS NETWORK in an article titled: The Three Most Deplorable Moments Of The Women’s March On Washington.

  • Clara Flores

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. In full disclosure, I’m a liberal and vote Democratic, most of the time. I believe in a system of multiple opinions. I’ve been saying for years, where are the Conservatives with logical, informed arguments? We need you and we need you to be louder! Thank you, sister. Thank you.

  • Melissa Rowell

    I love this letter and this woman. I’m very grateful and happy that she can be pro-life herself, and still feel compassion for other women. I hope other women read this letter and come to be better understand of what this march meant to so many. The women’s march was monumental. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, and meaningful. I wanted to be there so bad, I just plain didn’t have the money to go. But I love my brothers and sisters that did and feel very grateful to them.

    • Tina Brand

      I’m understanding why Renee calls herself pro-life, but critically she is not categorically anti-abortion which does not mean she is full on pro-choice, but also deviates from that hard-line, pro-embryo/fetus-life-mother-as-mere-gestating-and-birthing-vessel position. I hope she and her family can reach out to her anti-abortion-under-all-circumstances — or anti-birth-control — friends and raise their consciousness to empathize and focus on fighting assaults on girls, women, and mothers wherever or however they occur. It doesn’t require being categorically anti-men or pro-women, just being for gender justice, for equal rights, equal protections under the law, and parity in representation, education, and economics. It elevates all men, relieves them of the toxic effects of supremacy, and does not lessen their standing, when men and women of all races and creeds support girls and women as equal humans deserving of equal opportunities.

      • Linda

        Those are extremist on the far right. I know many repubs, as my entire family is and they are not against abortion or birth control. You get some real nut cases on the right, but they are not all like that.

        • Tina Brand

          Thanks Linda. I would agree and say there are nut cases at both extremes of the political spectrum and that for my personal wellbeing as a woman, the nut cases on the extreme Republican side, some of which are now setting policy in the halls of government, are more of a threat 🙁 Anyway, I know not all Republicans are against abortion or birth control, thank goodness. I do feel hopeful about the future as there is much common cause across viewpoints that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

          • Mary Friedman

            I am a conservative Republican, former Catholic, and former liberal. I have never known anyone against birth control in any walk of my life other than the Duggar TV family!

          • Tina Brand

            That’s encouraging to hear…except I think the anti birth control people are in congress making laws and in the executive branch making policy. Not good for women or men. Not sure who such views are good for.

    • Mary Friedman

      My sentiments exactly, and I share in her self description of being a Pro-Life, Republican, Anti-Government-making-women’s-decisions, Stay at home mom.

  • wolfypuppy

    Thank you! Speak loud. I’ve been trying to reach people across the political abyss. Thank you for showing women how much we can all work together.

  • Molly

    Phenomenal article. Thank you.

  • Barbara Tahan Res

    If there were more people like this, America would be a better place to live in.

  • Wendy W

    Bless you and your family for seeing the reality behind the rhetoric.

  • kimsherman

    I couldn’t support because the main reasons for the march was to be anti Trump and pro abortion.

    • Linda

      There is no such thing as pro abortion

      • Miljana Mandich

        Of course there is. You are either pro-life or pro-death. No middle ground. Therapeutic abortions have always been legal,even the Catholic Church approves choosing the mother’s life when the baby endangers it. Every other abortion is killing a LIFE.

    • Mary Friedman

      That’s what I am afraid of. This march was really ANTI TRUMP and pro-abortion. Perhaps all of the marchers were not aware of that, at least I hope so, because this anti Trump stuff is promoting anarchy, and riots. The Democratic party plans to keep it up. They freely admit this on the nightly news now. The mainstream media is supporting it as well, except for FOX News which liberals hate of course. So much for the peaceful transfer of power that Hillary said she supported. She went on to say she would be HORRIFIED if Trump protested the election results, assuming she would win, I guess. Now that she didn’t, anything goes, and it seems the left has determined to drive Trump out in anyway they find necessary. And another alarming issue of this march was that three of the keynote speakers were very very radical. 1. Angela Davis, a domestic terrorist who killed a Judge and was associated with the Jim Jones Cult that poisoned it’s followers in a South American jungle, and 2. A muslim woman who is a long term supporter of sharia law, and 3. Maddona who mentioned blowing up the White House, killing President Trump, and burning down the White House. She spoke more than once. The secret service “interviewed” her afterward, and they let her go, but she could be arrested for it later. This is really insane and its been building for years, because although the nation is basically 50/50 left and right, or liberal and conservative, the media CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC are all in the tank for the liberal side of the argument. It’s outrageous and unfair but they believe they won the progressive culture war, and they can do what they want, by any means because their goals and morals are so worthy that THE ENDS JUSTIFIES THE MEANS. After 8 years of not enforcing our country’s laws as written, they are quite the emboldened group of folks, who seem to be losing their minds at this point. Its a worrisome situation for the nation and our civil society.

      • Gina

        The main stream media is owned by Leftists. Journalists should be held accountable for reporting lies and stirring the pot. As I once heard said, “Those who stir the pot should have to lick the spoon.”

  • Scottman

    I’m not sure if this person is lying about being a Republican or if she has just been bamboozled by the left. First, birth control does not have to be free for it to be considered covered. Second, there are no efforts to force women who have abortions or miscarriages at 20+ weeks to have expensive funerals. The Texas law she is referring to requires the remains to be buried or cremated instead of dumped with medical waste. Third, there is nobody that believes that if a baby dies after being born without a skull it’s considered a partial birth abortion.Fourth, the woman that was “kicked out of college for being raped” was a student at BYU that said she was raped after she voluntarily dropped acid. She was expelled for violating the school’s drug rules. Fifth, I do hope her marching is successful in stopping the 30 million forced abortions in China.

    • andrea

      She might be a Republican but I think she is actually by everything she said pro-choice not pro-life. I dont see why she can’t call herself a Republican.

    • Linda

      I know many republicans that are pro choice. It is not so unusual. All the repubs in my family are pro choice and they are not far right christians either.

      • Bunny Slave

        Viva Barbra Bush!

    • The funerals for miscarriages and abortions is what Mike Pence set up in Indiana when he was governor. He may now try to pass it nationwide, we just don’t know. Clinton said she was for late term abortions when it involved the mother’s life or if the baby was going to die when born, but many people have accused her and other women of having late term abortions when there is no reason, which is not true.

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  • Tripper

    This woman can call herself “pro-life” but the fact is the vile leftists who coordinated this march did NOT want pro-lifers there. So the author of this article was NOT invited to march by the people she wants to march with.

    • Eric

      Actually, anonymous troll, everyone was welcomed. I am sure you cannot understand that. Have someone explain it to you.

    • Bunny Slave

      You are NOT in possession of any facts- The womans’ march date in San Francisco was also the routine anti-choice rally; the Woman’s March invited the anti-choice women to join them. It was the anti-choice people who chose not to. BTW Pro-Choice is just that- YOU and any other woman can choose to carry a pregnancy to full-term- NO ONE is going to tell me (pre-menopause me) what I can or can’t do with my body; take a page from Barbra Bush!

    • Roberta Rinaldi

      You are not being factual. There were not any invitations extended to pro-choice or pro-life women. In fact, we want more pro-lifers to show solidarity against Trump. It makes our resistance more powerful.

  • Lisa Ahn

    Thank you.

  • SaL

    This is not a prolife, republican writing this for sure! LIES

    • Valerie Pusey

      More truth than you can face, perhaps?

    • Linda

      DO you realize that there are republicans out there that are pro choice? I know several of them. They all do not follow republican beliefs.

      • Bunny Slave

        Viva Barbra Bush!!!
        AND 98% of my Catholic HS sisters are pro-choice- on a personal level these gals choose life BUT on a legal level pro-choice. Pro-choice works both ways.

  • Marcy Harbut

    You. Are. Awesome. <3

  • Linda King

    This author is anything BUT prolife!

    • Linda

      Why? Does the fact hat she says women with deformed babies who will not live should not be forced to carry to term?? What makes her not pro life?

    • Eric

      And you are anything than pro-critical thinking.

  • Valerie Pusey

    So-called pro-lifers are not pro-life, they are pro-birth, don’t care after that. Perhaps this writer embodies the REAL meaning of pro-life – ALL lives, ALL their lifetime. Tired of hypocritical, self-righteousness.

  • Linda

    This is exactly what the anti marchers seem to not understand. It is wonderful you had such a perfect life as a woman. I have NOT and I was raped, the victim of sexual harassment and sexism.

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  • Lovey

    I do not agree with all that she wrote, some of it is true and my heart goes out to those who have endured the horribleness of this world. I know that we haven’t been shown the peaceful and rated PG parts of the protest, I hope that there was some and that it wasn’t all of this negative representation. I cannot support people who run around showing their body’s the way I have seen, wearing vaginas on their heads, speaking horrible things about men and women who don’t agree with them and speaking in ways that would make even the most fowl of mouths blush. It makes me sad to see people acting this way.

    • There would have been no “vaginas on their heads” or speaking fowl language if it hadn’t come from Trump first. In addition to other things it was a march against sexual assault, which Trump says he can do because he is a celebrity.

    • Eric

      Your POTUS made all of that okay. Get it now? Ask someone nearby if you do not.

    • fernaig

      NO arrests. NO trouble. An incredibly peaceful and tidy march. You’re making stuff up. And let’s remember why people wore those hats and held those signs? Because our current President bragged about grabbing women’s genitals. If you want to blame anyone, blame him for lowering the debate to this level.,

  • Mary Gill

    Thank you, Renee. I agree. We have so much that unites us.

  • Jan

    thank you for reminding people that abortion is a necessary medical procedure that saves lives in a lot of cases. Thank you for sharing your very personal experiences.

    • Gina

      More women die from risky abortions than they do from pregnancies and birth.

      • fernaig

        Not sure what you mean by ‘risky abortions.’ Pregnancy is about the most dangerous thing in a woman’s life. If by risky you mean unsafe abortions in conditions where abortion is banned, then yes.

        • Gina

          Get your facts straight.

      • Roberta Rinaldi

        Not in civilized countries where abortions are done in clinics or hospitals.

  • Charlotte MacFarland

    All of this makes me sad. Here’s why. We have always had a huge division when it comes to the issue of abortion. Christian women, as well as agnostics, line up on both sides. I believe that the issue of abortion, for now only, needs to be on the back burner. Pro-life women should not feel they have to march separately from pro-choice women when it comes to Donald Trump. We should ALL be marching NOW against Trump for reasons we should ,as decent, moral women, agree on. Those issues are, first of all, the environment. As parents and grandparents, the environment should be our first cause. If not, it’s game over for the born and the unborn. We are destroying the earth God gave us and we, as women and nurturers, should be taking bold actions here. Trump wants to wipe clean power off the books, withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, promote coal, oil and natural gas exploration even in our beloved national parks, revoke the “endangerment finding” that climate change poses a threat to public health, and many other items as part of a plan leaked from a Department of Energy transition memo. We need to let legislators know we will not stand for that. Second–Trump and his minions are out to destroy our First Amendment rights by silencing the press and denying science; that hurts both sides of any debate. We must stand together to demand that our press is a free press and that, in a democracy, facts matter, even if they are uncomfortable. Most moderate pro-life and pro-choice Christians should agree on the necessity of preserving the environment and the First Amendment. Can we unite in our love of our planet and our right to speak openly and hear the truth? Otherwise, a true demagogue will prevail. My father, who was a Missouri Synod Lutheran minister, always said that the devil is a spirit alive in this world, and you can recognize that spirit because the devil is the father of lies. Trump revels in lies. We must stand together against true evil.

    • Carole Rydberg

      I’m 78 and marched with my “Great-Grandma for Choice” sign. I did it for a young woman who graduated from my high school with me in 1956 and was the first of our class to die … of a backstreet abortion. I had four children and five step-children and would never have had an abortion …. but I want any desperate woman who feels that she must terminate her pregnancy to have a safe option so that she does not also die.

      Also marched for a dear friend who learned in her fourth month that her child had a genetic problem and would die at birth, before birth, or slightly after. There was a heartbeat the week before her due date but none the next week. It was hell to hear well meaning people happily asking her, “Is this your first child?, etc.” …. not knowing that the baby would not live. When she became pregnant a couple of years later, she asked her doctor if this could happen to her again and the answer was, “Yes … what would you want to do if you knew that this baby had the same problem and would die?” This very religious friend said, “I would want an abortion.” How many heartless people would condemn her for not being willing to carry another baby nine months knowing it would die?” Fortunately, that child was fine and is now in college.

      I also marched for those unable to conceive …. and hope that another woman might help them to make their dream of motherhood a reality.

    • Gina

      There were many pro-life women that tried to march with the original march and were ostracized and ridiculed. All press should be vetted and report only the truth, not their opinion which has become commonplace.

      • Tina Brand

        Not true. Get your facts from credible sources.

        • Gina

          I did. It was directly from a friend of mine that was there and turned away because she was pro-life. Stop believing what you think are credible sources.

          • Tina Brand

            So your friend went to the march with MANY others and was turned away? Hmmm. I was in Boston and I saw no one turned away, but I admit I was not involved in organizing and also did not see people who were explicitly anti-choice at the march (which I feel is anti-life, not pro life because there is more life involved than blastocysts, embryos, and fetuses, as you well know). So Gina, credible sources are not a matter of belief and neither are facts. So respectfully, again, I am very sorry your friend was turned away or felt unwelcome, whether she was alone or with many like herself. But I am sure you can understand that being against a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body, including what happens to any even temporary part of her body, would have been out of place in a demonstration in support of women’s rights including our sovereignty over our bodies and any even temporary parts of our bodies. Alas, yes, gestation of offspring does occur in a woman’s body but we have moved (and must continue to move) beyond considering women mere biological vessels, incubators, to be controlled. I fervently wish for modern medicine to make possible pregnancy in males so they can then upend their careers and interests and do the gestating themselves! I’m serious. I believe that is the best anti-abortion and anti-choice solution. It would be really great for men, too! I am hopeful as advances are made in uterus transplantation, such pregnancies in men resulting in caesarean births of healthy offspring can take the pressure off of women and anti-choice advocates alike. So I hope you will find common cause with and continue working on behalf of keeping government out of people’s body choices.

      • Roberta Rinaldi

        Not true. Many pro-life marched.

  • Bunny Slave

    You are clearly a very intelligent woman and the movement- everything you have articulately mentioned above needs you! You are the voice of reason amid so much rhetoric and lies that have brainwashed so many on the conservative side of the aisle. The truth is, this election has hurt everyone and as I see it conservative the most in many ways. It is important that you are vocal as you can helped people who have been brainwashed- for example believing that Planned Parenthood is all about “baby killing” when in reality babies are at risk when woman do not have access to prenatal care and of course all the points you have made. Thank you for marching and please continue to do so- you are the voice of reason in a see of people parroting “you lost, get over it, stop whining, cry babies….” we ALL lost and those that follow Trump are bound to suffer the most. Finally, I went to Catholic High School and after 30 years we are still in touch- my HS sisters are mostly Pro-Life on a personal level (ie. their “choice” is not to abort) and at the same time Pro-Choice as in they believe in the legal right to choice, their choice being to have a baby as opposed to abortion. Choice works both ways…

  • Bunny Slave

    P.S. Viva Barbra Bush!!

  • Tina Brand

    Yes, Brita, thanks. I had seen that snopes account but was waiting to see what MM G’s source might be. In my response to Mary Friedman above, I rattled on at length about being careful to guard against fake news and misinformation. I’m glad we’re all willing here to have the discussion and maybe learn together. I certainly learn new stuff all the time, but am constantly called upon to think critically, analytically, and to be very cautious about unfounded claims.

    • Mary Friedman

      I can’t find that response Tina. Can you resend it?

  • Mary Friedman

    A POSITIVE SYMBOL OF UNITY?

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