By Elizabeth Prata
The Hulu/FX TV show “Mrs. America” is on now. The first 6 of 8 episodes have been released. The series examines the pitched battle in the 1970s between liberal feminists and conservative women, the former pushing for the Equal Rights Amendment to be ratified to the Constitution and the latter opposing it. The reasons for the pro and con are explored in the series, each episode of which is shown through one of the women’s perspective. At the top of the heap on the Stop ERA side is Phyllis Schlafly and on the pro-ERA side is Gloria Steinem. I’ll review the series when it concludes.
By the time Schlafly got involved with opposing the ERA, the movement had made huge gains through 35 legislatures. Any amendment to the Constitution needs a Super-majority of states, or 38 state legislatures to vote yes in order to pass. Feminists had gotten comfortable with the near certainty that it was going to sail through.
“Congress had originally set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979, for the state legislatures to consider the ERA. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. With wide, bipartisan support (including that of both major political parties, both houses of Congress, and presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter) the ERA seemed destined for ratification- until Phyllis Schlafly mobilized conservative women in opposition”, explains Wikipedia.
Five states first ratified the ERA but later voted to rescind or otherwise withdraw their approval by the 1979 deadline (Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota). Seven more states ratified the amendment after Schlafly began organizing opposition, but another five states rescinded their ratifications. The battle was on.
It should be noted that there were many Equal Rights Amendments to State constitutions that had already been passed at the State level by the time the Federal ERA came to be. How many? I began my count from 1972 and prior when the Federal ERA had passed both House and Senate, thus presented to the state legislatures for ratification. Alaska, California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming had already enacted state amendments to their constitutions, with several states originally having already incorporated equal protections of both genders in their founding constitution to begin with, such as CA in 1879, WY in 1890, UT in 1896.
Though not in the original text of the federal ERA, other feminist issues became indelibly connected with it, most notably abortion.
The feminists wanted legal abortion on demand. Abortion almost made it onto the 1972 Democratic national platform. The term ‘abortion’ was distasteful to politicians and supporters of the ERA fight, so Gloria Steinem invented the term “reproductive freedom.” We know the phrase today more commonly as “reproductive rights”.
After graduating from college in 1956 Steinem spent two years in India. There, she became pregnant. She did not want the baby. Steinem traveled to London to obtain an illegal abortion, an act, as we know, that murders your child. As Steinem later revealed, the doctor who performed the murder said this to her:
“You must promise me two things. First, you will not tell anyone my name. Second, you will do what you want to do with your life.”
Steinem dedicated her 2015 book to the now-dead doctor, who she named, breaking her promise. She wrote, “I believe you, who knew the law was unjust, would not mind if I say this so long after your death: I’ve done the best I could with my life.”
Let’s examine this perspective.
First off, the best a person can do with their life is give it over completely to Jesus Christ.
That said, Steinem’s 2015 book was written when she was 81 years old (She’s 86 now). Hearkening back to that seminal moment, her abortion, is interesting in the extreme. She believed that without it, she would not be able to do what she wanted with her life. She insists that abortion gives a woman a ‘right to control her own body’. But she already had a right to control her own body, choosing to use it for pre-marital sex. She controlled that. She chose it. The pregnancy that resulted was an unwanted consequence of her control over her body. That is when she picks up the fight for so-called “control”, in order to escape the result of her choice.
She also controlled her own body when she sought the abortion and laid down her body for the doctor to find the child in her womb and kill it. The fact that it was illegal didn’t deter her. She breezed right through that barrier and controlled her body’s child murder. It’s erroneous for women to say that having easier abortions means they are getting control over their bodies.
The implication from the doctor’s statement is that a woman who becomes a mother can’t ‘do what she wants with her life’ and Steinem’s life-long search to live up to his exhortation, is that babies are a weigh-down, a millstone and an obstacle to personal fulfillment doing practically anything else besides being a mother. This is wrong. The Bible calls being a mother a great blessing and children a gift from God.
Sinners can’t and won’t do obey God, but are still responsible for their actions when they break His law. Fornication outside of a one man-one woman marriage is a breaking of that law, a sin. Steinem broke God’s law. (1 Corinthians 6:9 says fornicators will not inherit the kingdom. The Bible calls them wrongdoers, unrighteous, sexually immoral.)
However, He gave her a child anyway. Children are a blessing, not a curse. (Psalm 127:3). Steinem sinned again by not only rejecting God’s gift of a child, but murdering it.
Steinem had called the abortion law “unjust”. Man’s laws are often ‘unjust.’ Only God’s laws are perfect. But a man-made law that prevents murder is far more just than the breaking of it for the selfish reason of personal convenience.
Steinem continued in life by touting her abortion, claiming she feels no guilt, and applauds other women to do the same. This is literally Romans 1:32.
Steinem is 86. The Lord has generously allowed her to live to a ripe old age. But life does not live forever in this mortal body, and when she dies, she will be fitted for a body that will last for an eternity. She still draws breath and can repent, as all sinners must do before they shuffle off this mortal coil. God will forgive the fornication. He will forgive the feminism. He will forgive the child-murder. He will forgive it all.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7).
She has spent her life trying to kick down doors that she perceived to be closed to her. But there is only one Door that matters, and unless she repents, that door will be closed to her, permanently and forever. (John 10:1-2). The wrath of God abides on Gloria Steinem, as John 3:36 says.
I have prayed for her. I hope she does repent. But if Steinem does not, as with any sinner who meets her Creator in eternity, those who break His law will pay the eternal penalty. The irony is, if Steinem does not repent, she will be forever punished in the Lake of Fire, while her aborted child will blissfully enjoy Jesus in glory forever. Gloria Steinem will have done what she wanted with her life. Was it worth it?