Pro-Life Leaders Applaud the Pardon of Susan B. Anthony

With news of her pardon, Susan B. Anthony is remembered for her pro-life stance.

In 1914 a horse drawn float declares National American Woman Suffrage Association's support for Bristow-Mondell Resolution drafted by Susan B. Anthony, 1874.
In 1914 a horse drawn float declares National American Woman Suffrage Association's support for Bristow-Mondell Resolution drafted by Susan B. Anthony, 1874. (photo: Public Domain)

WASHINGTON — On the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump marked the occasion by announcing the President will issue a long-overdue pardon to a hero of the suffrage movement.

During a news conference Aug. 18, President Trump said, “She was never pardoned for voting, that’s right, she was guilty for voting. And we will be signing a full and complete pardon.”

Daring to vote in the election of 1872, Susan B. Anthony was fined 100 dollars and arrested. A champion of women’s rights, Anthony was also a fierce defender of the life of the unborn. At the time, the term ‘abortion’ wasn’t used. She called it what is was: child murder.

Standing alongside President Trump and the First Lady for the historic pardon was Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. In a statement on the news, Dannenfelser said:

"Susan B. Anthony fought to expand the promise of human rights and dignity to all people. She and her compatriots provide us with the model of how to advocate for the voiceless and disenfranchised in our own time. It is her courageous example that inspired the formation of SBA List and continues to inspire our work today. We are deeply moved and grateful to President Trump for honoring the legacy of this great American hero and we pledge never to tire in carrying on her unfinished work."

Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, was also thrilled to be present for the event and says the witness of Anthony is an inspiration for the pro-life community today. Nance told the Register:

"It was especially fitting since the 19th Amendment is also known as the Susan B. Anthony Amendment. Her efforts, not fully realized until after her death, ensured the notion that women had the right to avail themselves of America’s founding principles. What a perfect name. Susan B. Anthony said of abortion that it would “burden a women’s conscience in life and soul in death.”  She is a great inspiration because she was courageous and relentless in her quest to protect women. We must follow her example in our quest to protect the right to life."

Maureen Ferguson, Senior Policy Advisor at The Catholic Association and who serves on a committee for the Susan B. Anthony List says the leading suffragist had no issue addressing the true harm abortion has not only on the baby but also on women. She points out that at the time, Anthony was not alone in her thinking.

“Susan B. Anthony has been an inspirational figure for the past 100 years, both for the cause of authentic women’s equality, and also for the rights of the unborn. Susan B. Anthony regarded abortion as violence against women and their unborn children.  Along with the other early suffragists, she viewed abortion as prenatal infanticide, and opposed it strongly.”

The language attached to the horror of abortion during the Suffrage movement is lightyears away from euphemisms adopted today when abortion is addressed in secular society. It’s not abortion, it’s “reproductive rights.” As Dr. Grazie Christie of The Catholic Association points out:

"It’s only in the last few decades that medicine has begun to countenance abortion as “healthcare”.  In Susan B. Anthony’s time, everyone from physicians to the least educated, understood that abortion was the violent and purposeful killing of an innocent human life.  And everyone also understood that in an abortion, the mother was being driven to destroy her child by outside forces like poverty and the irresponsibility of men.”

The Women’s Suffrage movement was full of America’s first feminists but unlike the current movement, most of the members were against abortion. Speaking with Shawn Carney, President of 40 Days for Life, he expounded more on Anthony’s true feminism saying, “Authentic feminism has been desecrated by feminists who seek to destroy the family and make abortion the ultimate empowerment for every woman." Carney added, “The President pardoning Susan B. Anthony gives honor to true feminism… A feminism that celebrates being a woman and cherishes womanhood as a gift, not a weapon.”

Let's hope with the pardoning of Susan B. Anthony, the new era of feminism might begin to remember this true call of womanhood: to protect life as sacred at every stage. 

Clockwise from top left: Christ is adored in downtown Indianapolis July 20; Bishop Andrew Cozzens blesses the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament from the Indiana War Memorial July 20; the Host is elevated at Mass and adored at Lucas Oil Stadium on Day 2 of the NEC.

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