Pro-Life Feminist Group Had ‘Completely Positive’ Experience at Women’s March

New Wave Feminists, the first pro-life group to have its partnership status with the Women's March revoked, will also join the March for Life.

By Liberty McArtor Published on January 26, 2017

The Women’s March on Washington removed New Wave Feminists from their list of partners less than a week before the historic march took place last Saturday.

The Dallas-based non-profit was the first of three groups to have their partnership status revoked, simply because they were pro-life.

Many pro-life women responded on social media, saying they no longer felt welcome at the march, even though they had previously planned to attend.

But not Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa. Despite the public snub from the Women’s March, the founder and president of New Wave Feminists was determined to participate.

“If they think that pro-life feminists don’t exist, then we have to show up to say, ‘we’re everywhere,'” she told The Stream.

“Completely Positive”

Still, she was nervous. With the controversy over pro-life participation still hot, she worried there might be violence — and she would be an easy target with her “pro-life feminist” sign. “Please be careful,” her husband said.

So Herndon-De La Rosa didn’t initially hold up her sign when she arrived for the march, hoping to connect with other members of her group rather than advertise her controversial position alone. But when she couldn’t find her fellow pro-lifers, she held the sign up anyway.

Within three minutes, she was approached by a marcher.

“So glad you girls are here,” the woman said. “Thank you for coming out here and being bold and being feminists.”

Similar comments came throughout the day. Some women admitted that even though they were pro-choice, they appreciated pro-life participation.

Other women approached Herndon-De La Rosa’s group, which eventually congregated on the steps of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, to confide that they too were pro-life.

“It was completely positive,” Herndon-De La Rosa said of her experience at the march, “which absolutely shocked me.”

“Awakened a Sleeping Giant”

“What the feminist movement needs is a life affirming component. And what the pro-life movement needs is a pro-women component, a feminist component.”

Herndon-De La Rosa believes the controversy over pro-life participation in the women’s march “awakened a sleeping giant.” Many women previously felt afraid to admit they were pro-life, she suggested, because they’d been told that you couldn’t be pro-life and be a feminist.

For Herndon-De La Rosa, the pro-life movement and feminism “totally correlate.”

“What the feminist movement needs is a life affirming component,” she said. “And what the pro-life movement needs is a pro-women component, a feminist component.”

A New Wave of Pro-Life Activism

While many assume that New Wave Feminists indicates a new wave of feminism, that name actually represents a new wave in the pro-life movement, Herndon-De La Rosa said.

She believes the mainstream pro-life movement often portrays women in crisis pregnancies as victims. She would rather send a message of empowerment.

“I was 16 and pregnant. I thought I couldn’t do it. You can,” she said, adding that community support is crucial — which is why New Wave Feminists helps women find such communities in their areas.

For Herndon-De La Rosa, “the real face” of pro-life activism isn’t the person protesting in front of abortion clinics, though those are the people the media focuses on.

“The pro-life movement is [made up of] the ones who are giving up their nights and weekends, or the extra bedroom in their home for women,” she said. “Nobody understands that those are the people that are really serving women well.”

“It’s very hard for people who don’t know where to get the life affirming resources to find them … We want to offer alternatives so women don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood.”

Herndon-De La Rosa plans to promote such service with a new project — an app called Help Assist Her. The app will pinpoint a woman’s location and reveal all the women’s health organizations in the area. The app includes both government funded and charity organizations that provide women’s health services, but not abortions.

Help Assist Her will be rolled out by state, starting in New York. People can follow its progress by visiting HelpAssistHer.com and signing up for the newsletter.

Herndon-De La Rosa says that Planned Parenthood has positioned itself as a primary provider of women’s health services, despite being the number one provider of abortions. She believes the most effective way to defeat Planned Parenthood is to promote other organizations that provide health services for women, but are pro-life.

“It’s very hard for people who don’t know where to get the life affirming resources to find them,” she said. “We want to offer alternatives so women don’t have to go to Planned Parenthood.”

The Marching Continues

Soon after returning from the Women’s March, Herndon-De La Rosa got up before dawn to fly back to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life, taking place Friday. This year, her eight-year-old daughter will participate too.

As New Wave Feminists posted on Facebook, “Once we start marching we don’t stop!” 

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