CLARION – Serrin Foster, President of Feminists for Life of America, will present “The Feminist Case Against Abortion” on Nov. 20, 7 p.m. at Carlson Library Level A.
Foster’s lecture will address 200 years of pro-life feminism and explain how the modern women’s movement came to support abortion. Foster’s speech has been included in the anthology “Women’s Rights,” published in 2001 by Greenhaven Press as one in a series entitled “Great Speeches in History.”
Founded in 1972, FFL is a national non-sectarian, grassroots organization that continues the efforts of the early American feminists, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, to systematically eliminate the root causes that drive women to abortion by facilitating practical solutions. FFL has emerged as the link between the pro-life and pro-choice organizations, working on legislative efforts such as child support enforcement and the Violence Against Women Act, and opposing the child exclusion provisions in welfare reform.
Most recently, FFL’s efforts on college campuses have inspired the introduction of the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act (S.1966, H.R. 4265). The bill, which has already passed the House of Representatives, would provide grants to eligible institutions of higher education to establish student services offices for students who are pregnant or parenting, students anticipating a birth or adoption, and students who place a child for adoption.
Foster is widely recognized as a national spokesperson for pro-life feminism. During the 1996 Republican National Convention, Foster joined fellow pro-life advocates Ambassador Alan Keyes and USA Today special correspondent Linda Chavez in an abortion debate with Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania at an event hosted by the Creative Coalition. At the invitation of Washington Post readers, Foster was interviewed on-line during the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
In 2000, at the invitation of former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, Foster participated in a panel discussion on abortion at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She was joined by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) and former abortion provider who has since become a pro-life activist, Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, and Bill Baird, director of the Pro-Choice League.
Some of Foster’s national media appearances include CNN International’s discussion in 2001 of the abortion ship “Aurora,” opposite an attorney representing the Feminist Majority, and C-SPAN’s “The Politics of Abortion,” in 1996 with author Naomi Wolf and former treasurer of the United States Bay Buchanan.
Internationally, Foster presented “The Feminist Case Against Abortion” in 2000 at the annual Life Conference held at the Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Northern Ireland. Foster was a featured speaker in 1998 at the first-ever joint pro-life and pro-choice conference in Dublin, Ireland, entitled “5,000 Too Many,” a reference to the number of women who leave Ireland for abortions in the United Kingdom each year. Foster also spoke at a U.S. Department of State “Bringing Cairo Home” conference in 1995 on the parallels between the needs of women in developing countries and the obstacles faced by the early American feminists.
During the summer of 2003 she testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee in support of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The hearings were carried on C-Span.
Feminists for Life has distributed pregnancy resource kits to colleges across the country and is leading a discussion on developing practical resources for pregnant and parenting students. Planned Parenthood’s INsider newsletter calls the program “the newest and most challenging concept” in college organizing and predicts that it “could have a profound impact” on colleges “as well as Planned Parenthood’s education and advocacy efforts.”
The lecture is sponsored by Students for Life. For more information contact Dr. Thomas Rourke at (814) 226-4872. To schedule an interview with Foster contact FFL at (703) 836-3354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. FFL’s website is www.feministsforlife.org.
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