Rosemary Geraghty is used to people not understanding what she means when she says she’s a pro-life feminist. To send a message and make her point, she marched in the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.
A junior at the University of Pittsburgh, 20-year-old Geraghty wasn’t originally planning to travel to D.C. But she changed her mind less than a week before the march. She, together with five colleagues from the college’s pro-life student group, decided to make the trek after the march organizers had approved, and then abruptly revoked the status of an official partner from New Wave Feminists.
New Wave Feminists is a Texas-based national group that describes itself as “Badass. Pro-Life. Feminists.” The group was temporarily listed as a partner on the march’s website, until pro-choice activists complained and demanded the group’s removal. They argued that it is impossible to be an advocate for women’s rights while not supporting the right to abortion.
Despite the march’s flip-flop on whether or not anti-abortion groups were welcome, Geraghty was determined to be part of it and so were about 40 other pro-lifers from across the country. Geraghty affirms the march’s principles of non-violence and women’s rights as human rights.
To Geraghty, pro-life means believing all human beings — including the pre-born — have a certain level of intrinsic dignity and value, regardless of their circumstances or stage of life. And feminism, she maintains, is a movement for equality.
“When we’re talking about equality, we need to apply that to all people — gender, religious background, ability level and everything else,” Geraghty said. She believes that it is ableist to view a fetus as less valuable because it is not fully sentient, or does not have a heartbeat yet.
Geraghty calls herself “fairly liberal” and identifies as LGBTQIA. She leads a student group called Choose Life at Pitt and works as a social media coordinator for Life Matters Journal, a national publication that describes itself as nonsecular and nonpartisan. Geraghty uses the same terminology to describe herself. She’s an atheist. Her cell phone case reads, “Politics Kills.”