Pro-Life Group Locked Out Of Pro-Abortion Music Concert
New York -- CAN a woman be a staunch feminist and pro-life at the same time? If one asked the organizers of the summer's hottest tour, the pro-abortion Lilith Fair, the answer would appear to be a resounding no.
The Lilith Fair - back in New York next weekend - has proved to be among the most popular (and profitable) touring music festivals of the last several years. It features a predominantly female lineup, hand-picked by pro-abortion organizer/female artist Sarah McLachlan.
Besides the music, the Lilith Fair is also known to be a haven for pro-abortion groups who proselytize through booths and displays in the center of Lilith's "village" area.
As one of the fair's stated aims is to "raise consciousness about issues that affect women's lives," it is almost a foregone conclusion that a wide range of feminist issues and viewpoints will be represented by the various groups allowed access to Lilith's young, affluent female audience.
Theoretically, any feminist group can expect a warm welcome from Lilith's organizers - unless its activism includes protests against abortion. Then Lilith's village seems a little less welcoming.
At least this is what Feminists For Life (FFL), a pro-life group also dedicated to a "firm commitment to woman's equality and a feminist rejection of violence as a solution to social problems," found out when it tried to gain access to the village area for this year's Lilith Fair tour (which kicked off on July 8 in Vancouver). While groups such as Planned Parenthood and NOW will be pamphleting to their hearts' content, Feminists For Life, which has worked successfully on a variety of pro-life and women's issues, will be forced to miss the soulful-stylings of Ms. McLachlan, Liz Phair, Sheryl Crow and the other acts on the tour that support abortion.
Apparently, to be characterized as a "feminist," it is not enough to lobby for child-support enforcement, or to pressured Congress not to harm single mothers when reforming welfare and work for the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, as FFL has done. Instead, abortion, long at the center stage of the feminist movement, has become the sole litmus test for those who wish to label themselves as feminists.
To oppose abortion on demand, no matter how ardent a supporter of women's issues a person is, negates identification with the entire movement.
While Lilith does not specifically state that support for abortion is a prerequisite for inclusion on the tour, it is surely an unspoken prerequisite.
This is despite the fact that several recent polls, one of them by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, have found an overall erosion for support for legal abortion, especially among the demographic that Lilith so ardently covets, young women of college age. Even the Center for Gender Equity (led by former Planned Parenthood President Faye Wattelton) finds that, overall, most women now oppose abortion except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother's life.
However, polls do not matter to the ardent guardians of the movement.
While it might seem equitable that both sides of an extremely emotional issue are presented to impressionable young women, apparently Lilith is comfortable with toeing the party line.
Serrin Foster, FFL's executive director, puts it more bluntly: "It's patronizing to censor information. We should trust women enough to think for themselves."
For more information go to Pro-Life Infonet.