Rochester Red & Black stands in opposition to the anti-feminist agenda of the “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices.” Formerly known as “Feminists Choosing Life” and “Feminists for Life,” this organization seeks to present itself to the public as a friendly part of the local progressive community while in actuality working toward a single goal: revoking a woman’s right to choose!
The “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices” are neither feminist, nor are they truly in favor of non-violence. It should be obvious that one cannot oppose women’s basic right to control their own bodies and still claim the title Feminist. Ultimately, an anti-choice agenda is itself a violent agenda that, when successful, leads to pain, assault, victimization, and often death of both women and children.
In places in the world where reproductive choice is outlawed, botched illegal abortions are consistently among the leading causes of death for women. It was the same in the United States until women’s right to an abortion was legalized in 1973. Since the dawn of time, women have terminated pregnancies. No law can alter that. Criminalizing reproductive choice can only result in unsafe abortions, incarceration of women, and the increases in poverty and domestic violence that accompany involuntary parenthood. It’s worth remembering that when abortion was illegal in this country, it was not uncommon for back-alley abortionists to rape or assault women without consequence. The anti-choice agenda is an inherently violent one. Therefore, this organization’s claim to favor “Non-Violent Choices” is as false as its claim to Feminism.
The strategy of “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices” is and has been to present a friendly face for their medieval agenda and to insinuate themselves into progressive organizations and coalitions by pretending to care about other issues on which we agree. To see victories in social justice, we sometimes have to work with those with whom we disagree to accomplish goals on which we agree. The problem is that “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices” have a proven track record of paying lip service to progressive issues in order to get their foot in the door, and then focusing 100% of their effort on pushing their only true agenda: restricting women’s freedom.
Rochester Red & Black wishes to express our further disappointment in the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence for associating with an organization solely devoted to revoking the reproductive freedom of women.
We do not believe that this signifies an anti-choice position on the part of the Gandhi Institute. We respect much of the work of the Gandhi Institute in the Rochester community, and hope that they will publicly share their perspective on the perceived relationship with “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices.”
Ultimately, the anti-choice agenda is one that calls for state violence against women and uses scare tactics and intimidation in the meantime. We must demand that the Gandhi Institute rectify their error by publicly dissociating themselves from the so-called “Feminists for Non-Violent Choices.” If the Gandhi Institute truly stands for principled non-violence, it has to act like it.