With the Supreme Court poised to overturn its 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the United States, an activist who describes herself as a “pro-life feminist” believes that the country is not ready for such a change. Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, founder of New Wave Feminists, shares her perspective with Yahoo News.
DESTINY HERNDON-DE LA ROSA: As somebody who got pregnant at 16 years old, like, when that second line shows up, you are absolutely terrified. It is just this whirlwind of chaos. And I knew that I was never going to have an abortion, but I can tell you, it didn't make it easier in that moment.
A lot of times in the pro-life movement, it feels like it's really focused on the politics of just restricting abortion. But growing up, my mom always said, it's not enough to be against something. You have to be for something.
For the last decade, I've been doing the work. I've been walking alongside women. I've been trying to help them find and access resources all over the country. And it really opened my eyes up to the fact that we're not ready to overturn Roe.
Legally, I understand, is a very, very big deal. But at the heart of the matter, is it going to actually help women choose life? I don't-- I don't know that it will. Because it's 2022.
If Roe is overturned, it's not like abortion disappears. It goes back to the state. So we're going to have a lot of states that have very strong restrictions and other states that have zero restrictions. And unfortunately, there are going to be so many women who have had one option taken away and are incredibly desperate at this point.
I mean, we live in a very divided, bipartisan nation right now. So people have been given this script that what are you? What is your label? Are you a Republican? Are you a feminist?
You know, which label can I put on you to expedite my way of thinking about, you know, what opinions I'm going to choose to have about you. And I always thought I had to be a conservative because I'm pro-life. But at the end of the day, what have we actually given women to make it more sustainable for them to choose life?
I have actually voted for a Democrat here in Texas. And people were not very happy about it because he was extreme on the abortion issue. But there were things that I thought were incredibly pro-life about what he was saying.
And at the end of the day, he's running against the pro-life candidate. But he was the one talking about making a society that was more equitable for sustaining life.
- I will only vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who believes in a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own body. And who has the health care access to be able to do so.
DESTINY HERNDON-DE LA ROSA: No group, any group-- feminists, pro-lifers, Republicans, Democrats-- they're not monoliths. Really, if you think through it, feminists fight for women. Pro-lifers fight for the unborn child in the womb.
I would say pro-life feminism is the more consistent option because it's fighting for both equally hard. It's making sure that these systems change so that that woman's life is not over with an unintended pregnancy. And that child is going to grow up and thrive, not just survive because it is living below the poverty line with no access to education or health care or any of these other things that are vital for their development.
That's the thing that I wish people understood even about pro-life feminism. They have this idea of what they think we are. But when they truly talk to us, time and time again, people who are adamantly against everything that I stand for in their minds will come up and talk to me and say, oh my gosh. That's-- I support this. I actually support this.
They're mad at themselves for supporting it. And I'm like, yeah, because it's very common sense. And it's what a lot of people agree with. How do we love our neighbor? How do we help people better?
I think that that goes beyond just pro-life feminism. I think that if we practice listening and talking and truly seeing people and hearing them and seeing their hearts, we would find-- we would find a whole lot of new friends and fewer enemies.