By: Clare Venegas

January 20, 2017

Women from all over the country are expected to descend on Washington, D.C., and cities throughout the country, tomorrow to protest the perceived threat posed to “women’s rights” by a Republican-controlled federal government.

On the surface, the march sounds well intentioned. After all, who wouldn’t want to support women’s rights? But this is not really about all women, it merely political deception pushing one particular, narrow agenda.

Women protest Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the GOP in front of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

I consider myself a feminist, so I’m 100 percent in favor of women’s rights. The problem is, I’ll bet my next paycheck that those march organizers wouldn’t count me (and millions of other women like me) in their “feminist” camp.

Why? Because I’m pro-life and a conservative, and for them, being a pro-woman, pro-life, conservative feminist is an oxymoron.

But there are women like me all over the country, and our numbers are growing.

Gallup’s most recent tracking survey shows women who self-identify as pro-life on an upward trend, while those calling themselves pro-choice are declining. And, if last year’s election is any indicator, I’d venture to guess that many of the 45 percent of college-educated women (not to mention the 62 percent of non-college-educated women) who voted for Donald Trump likewise consider themselves pro-life, or were at least agnostic enough on the issue to forgo voting for Hillary Clinton.

You see, millions of women, especially those of my fortysomething generation, grew up believing that we could accomplish anything in life.

We’ve actually lived out the ideals of the old Gloria Steinem/bra-burning brand of feminism. We’ve graduated with college degrees at an equal or higher rate than men. We’ve gotten jobs, climbed the corporate ladder and, in many cases, even become the primary breadwinners of our families. Stay-at-home dads are not an anomaly these days.

So, when march organizers declare “women’s rights are human rights,” and say, “we will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society,” their words sound great but are both hypocritical and disingenuous to many women just like me because, while they preach inclusion, they specifically deny those of us who do not share their political beliefs on abortion, economics or any number of other issues.

Sadly, they have hijacked the rhetoric of women to suit their political agenda.

Yet, if the march is really about protecting women and defending the marginalized, you would think that groups behind the march would support all women, including women with different political perspectives.

Sadly, the underlying reality of this so-called “women’s march” is an attempt by a political special interest to promote its very narrow brand of feminism. And that is not true feminism at all.

Pro-life feminists know our history. Suffragists who won women the right to vote almost 100 years ago fought for women’s full participation in society, yet were adamantly pro-life. They understood the importance of the family and the protection of our children as hallmarks of a just society.

Many of us have come to realize that true feminism embraces women who choose to work, who want to stay at home and who try to strike a balance between the two — and celebrates them for those choices. We understand that what makes us women — our unique ability to give and nurture new life — is something to be celebrated, not suppressed.

Democrats do not speak for all women. Progressives do not speak for all women. Special interests, like Planned Parenthood, the “premier sponsor” of this march, do not speak for all women. To actually be feminist means to support women regardless of their political perspectives.

Clare Venegas is president of Obria Medical Clinics, which operates five licensed community health clinics that provide reproductive health care in Orange and L.A. counties.