Pro-Abortion Leader Blasts Pro-Life Feminist Group for Using Abortion Story

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Leader Blasts Pro-Life Feminist Group for Using Abortion Story

by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 20, 2004

Washington, DC ( — When it comes to advocating the best interests of women, there is a changing of the guard. The old pro-abortion feminist leaders are being replaced by pro-life advocates who understand that abortion hurts women and society has more options to offer women in difficult pregnancy situations than just abortion.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Kate Michelman, who is leaving the abortion advocacy group NARAL after 20 years, has a little animosity towards Serrin Foster, a 10-year veteran of women’s advocacy as the president of Feminists for Life.

Michelman blasted Foster on Monday for using her abortion story to raise funds. But Foster says Michelman’s story underscores the difficult circumstances some women face and that NARAL is doing nothing to help them.

In a recent donor letter to supporters, Foster said pro-life advocates "may be surprised to learn that Kate’s story has moved and inspired me."

In 1970, Michelman was a recently-abandoned mother of three "with no car, no home, no job and no money" when she got pregnant. Outside of an illegal abortion, her only option, she claims, was to convince her estranged husband and a hospital to allow her to have one by saying she was mentally incompetent.

"It was a humiliating process that changed my life," Michelman previously told the New York Times. "From then on I was personally and professionally dedicated to advancing the right of women to choose."

Yet, her story inspired Foster to help women.

"More than any other abortion advocate, Kate Michelman served as an inspiration for me to do better for women," Foster tells "Abandonment and lack of practical resources are our worst enemy. When you couple that with a lack of belief in the power and ingenuity of women, you get women giving up."

Foster writes in the letter, "Thirty-one years after Roe v. Wade, women know the gut-wrenching truth about abortion. Women sacrifice their children because they believe they have no other choice."

"Don’t women deserve better than this," Foster asks.

However, Michelman isn’t happy that Foster is using her story in a request for donations.

"An anti-choice group masquerading as a women’s rights group is exploiting my personal experience in order to raise money to outlaw a woman’s right to choose," Michelman says.

The complaint, ironically, comes in an email pitch for money to NARAL supporters.

"Seeing my personal history used to spread anti-choice rhetoric is outrageous," the retiring NARAL president adds. "It’s proof of how far anti-choice groups will go in this political climate – proof, yet again, that we cannot let up for a minute in our commitment to women’s privacy rights and choice."

But, Foster says Michelman and NARAL are the ones who are betraying women’s rights and the original intent of suffragist leaders.

"By her rationale, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the founders of the women’s movement who opposed abortion were just another ‘anti-choice group masquerading as a women’s rights group,’" Foster told

"Our feminist foremothers worked for the first laws to protect women and their children from abortion," Foster explained.

Foster said she has compassion for Michelman and women facing similar difficult pregnancy circumstances and, seemingly, no option other than abortion.

"We are here now for those in the same situation that Kate Michelman was in 30 some years ago — and our door is still open to her," Foster concluded.

Related web sites:
Feminists for Life of America –