Samantha Stanek

Miami University Students for Life will challenge the stereotypes surrounding feminism and the pro-life outlook when they bring Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life for America (FFL), to campus at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 in 001 Upham Hall. 

Foster will give a speech titled “The Feminist Case against Abortion” and explain how a part of the feminist movement has now come to support the pro-life standpoint.

According to the news release about Foster’s visit, she is widely known as a national spokeswoman for pro-life feminism.

She participated in a debate at the 1996 Republican National Convention, served on a discussion panel at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and was interviewed online at the request of Washington Post readers during the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

She has also presented “The Feminist Case against Abortion” internationally at the Life Convention in Northern Ireland.

Junior Amy Schumacher, president and founder of Miami’s chapter of Students for Life, said the organization chose to bring Foster to campus because of her expertise on feminism and pro-life beliefs.

“The main goal is for there to be discussion,” Schumacher said. “Abortion is a taboo issue right now and some people are really passionate about their viewpoints.”

Students for Life is also collaborating with the Association of Women Students (AWS) and Catholic Campus Ministry for the organization’s first major event.

“We have no specific group of people in mind that we’re trying to target,” Schumacher said. “If people have similar ideologies to us, then we’re just preaching to the choir. We would like people to come that don’t have the same views as Foster or have different views to be discussed afterwards. We want progressive dialogue that is constructive.”

Following the speech, there will be an optional question and answer session facilitated by Foster, as well as a break-out discussion sponsored by AWS.

“I think a lot of people get the idea that feminists can only be one thing,” said junior Caroline Renfro, president of AWS. “With a program like this, it brings out different perspectives most people wouldn’t think of and blurs notions to decide what feminism really means. In AWS, it’s (feminism) is an important idea and needs to be explored in one’s own mind and in one’s own community.”

Renfro said it would be beneficial to integrate new perspectives in the debate and provide a safe space to talk about the issues and differing opinions.

According to Schumacher, Students for Life was started last spring and is still fairly new on campus. They focus on a wide variety of topics, ranging from abortion to suicide prevention.

Other upcoming events include traveling to Washington, D.C in January for the Right to Life March and a Celebrate Life week next semester.

According to the news release about Foster’s appearance on campus, FFL is a non-sectarian, grassroots organization founded in 1972 by continuing the efforts of early feminists like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The organization strives to educate women who are thinking about abortion as an option and provide them with other practical solutions. 

The event is free and tickets are not needed to attend.