Feminists are skipping work Wednesday to show the world what it would be like without women, but the pro-life movement says the world will already never know the hundreds of millions of mothers, daughters and sisters who have been lost to abortion.
The Women’s March, which organized the “A Day Without a Woman” protest, is unabashedly pro-choice. Its sponsors include Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, among other abortion proponents.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, called that a “cruel irony.”
“Consider the cruel irony of today’s strike: the lives of millions of women have ended in the womb because of abortion, and millions more mothers have been wounded by a predatory abortion industry,” Ms. Dannenfelser said in a statement. “Strike organizers miss the mark when they fail to stand up for smallest and most vulnerable of our sisters.”
“These women are not just missing one day of work, but an entire lifetime of contributions to the public good, due to abortion,” she said.
“A Day Without a Woman” coincides with International Women’s Day. The organizers of the protest encouraged their supporters not to show up at work, not to spend money — unless from small businesses owned by women and minorities — and to wear red to stand up for women’s rights against President Trump.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said any movement that purports to speak for women must acknowledge the toll that legalized abortion has taken on women and girls around the world.
“It has been said — politically and culturally — that for one to be pro-woman, one must be in favor of abortion,” Ms. Mancini said in a statement. “This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Abortion doesn’t help women or their children – it tears their lives apart. The truth is that life is an empowering choice for women and their developing babies.”
Predominantly female crowds held political rallies in cities across the country to mark the occasion. Ten arrests for civil disobedience were reported in New York City.
The day also resulted in closures in several school districts — including Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Alexandria, Virginia — where too many teachers said they would not show up for work. In some cases, that left single and working moms scrambling to make last-minute childcare arrangements.
“We want this to be a day where women feel empowered to take a stance on their value in the workplace and the world beyond,” the Women’s March said in a statement.
The day of protest comes less than two months after the Women’s March held mass demonstrations the day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration.
The march initially allowed pro-life groups to sponsor that event, but then withdrew their partnerships after a backlash ensued. Its platform is explicitly pro-choice.
Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association, called the day “a sad reminder of the millions of girls who are missing from the world because of abortion, in particular those who were targeted because they were girls.”
“That is why millions of women like myself want nothing to do with the dark irony of claiming to be pro-choice and celebrating a day without women,” Ms. McGuire said in a statement. “We will happily go to work today, both in caring for our families, and in fighting for an end to the anti-woman injustice of abortion.”