Do Women Have Too Many Rights?

Kristan Hawkins
By Kristan Hawkins | May 9, 2012 | 5:01 PM EDT

Last week, pro-life groups at the University of Washington-Seattle hosted former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson to speak on their notoriously secular campus.  It was controversial to say the least.

There were death threats leveled at the student pro-life leaders and dozens of protestors armed with coat hangers attempted to shut down the event by not allowing Abby's voice to be heard.

Besides Abby’s reputation as a pro-life activist, the title of the presentation may have easily sparked debate: Do Women Have Too Many Rights?

I've encouraged student pro-life groups across the nation to use this title before for other speakers and events they hold on campus. I think it's a great way to start the discussion on campus and, yes, spark the interest of pro-choice students.  We want those on the other side of our issue to come and hear our speakers. It’s no use speaking every time to fellow pro-lifers.

When we talk about abortion, how does the pro-choice side label the discussion? In order to keep abortion mainstream, in spite of the fact the majority of Americans don’t personally like abortion, they have to state over and over again that abortion isn't about the personhood or humanity of the unborn child, it's about the mother's rights.

To the contrary, the pro-life side maintains the true matter at hand is the fundamental personhood of the unborn baby.

The questions this title raises are difficult, yet paramount for our nation to address: Does the mother have the right to kill her child simply because the child is alive and residing within her? Is abortion a right? Who determines what our rights are?

Is this title anti-feminist? No. The original feminists, like Susan B. Anthony, were against abortion – and, so are today’s true feminists.

Although I rarely use that term because of its pro-choice connotation, I'm certainly a feminist. And, I know I'm not alone.

I think a large majority of Americans are feminists, too. We believe that women should have equal access to educational and political opportunities, equal pay, not be treated in sexually demeaning ways, and have the same chance as men to obtain employment, loans, housing etc. We believe women should have the same rights as men.

But, the definition of the word "rights" is where I disagree with those 1960s and 1970s feminists.

While women should have the same rights as men, equality doesn’t mean that women should have government-funded, unrestricted access to abortion on-demand, in all nine months of pregnancy.

Pregnancy is not a curse. Being pregnant does not make me a less valuable human being than my husband. While having a career and being a mother can be challenging, I have never looked at my children as barriers. In fact, they have made me a better woman. I view the ability to become pregnant an advantage of being a woman, something that men should envy.

Do I believe women have too many rights? Absolutely not. But, if you believe abortion is right, then yes I do, because it's not a right that is ours to be had.

No one has the right to take the life of another innocent being simply because of his or her age, abilities, level of dependency, or location.

Editor's Note: Kristan Hawkins is the executive director of Students for Life of America.

See more "Right Views, Right Now"