Purple Sash Revolution

Posted on February 4, 2020 By

by C.J. Williams


Past and present converged at Nancy Pelosi’s office in Washington D.C., January 22nd, 2020. It was the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Women across the nation were celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage.

And a large crew of women — myself included — were tying it all together with a purple sash and a brash but respectful statement:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, stop obstructing justice.

That frigid Wednesday morning, we gathered from across the nation on the steps of the House offices. The crowd swelled. Women donned our purple sashes, emblazoned with the statement: Equal rights for preborn women. And as the crowd swelled, so did the media.

So did our statement.

The event, spearheaded by Brandi Swindell, and Stanton Healthcare, was promoted well ahead of time as the #PurpleSashRevolution. Pelosi has repeatedly refused to allow a vote, or even discussion, of the Infants Born Alive Protection Act. The fact that more than half of those infants are women seems to escape her. So does the point that that those early suffragists didn’t suffer handcuffs, verbal abuse, and constant excoriation by the press so that a woman representative could promote another system wherein violence, using people as property, and rights based on the oppression of others could be ensconced again in our legal framework. Abortion itself, late-term, mid-term, and in the first few weeks of pregnancy, does just that.

Medical murder post-abortion is just the gruesome logical follow-through. House Democrats, under Pelosi’s leadership, have blocked the bill from receiving a vote more than 80 times.

Before the press conference got well underway, a few of us also raised the concern that contrary to the nonviolent principles of her suffragist forebears, Pelosi has never used of her influence to remove the President’s unchecked executive authority to use nuclear weapons.

C.J. Williams & Danielle White Versluys

Over 20 young women myself included, spoke to the press. Statements came from Camille C., of Students for Life, as well as from event organizers and abortion survivors.

“We are going to Speaker Pelosi’s office to call for an end to infanticide and demand she allow a vote on protecting children born alive from late-term abortions,” Brandi Swindell of Stanton International said as we headed into the building, “It is unconscionable that Speaker Pelosi is refusing to allow a vote on this critical human rights issue.”

In line with the civil rights activists of the near-past, and the suffragists of the further-past, we trekked inside and peacefully sat in front of Nancy Pelosi’s door. “We pray that Nancy Pelosi embrace the fundamentals of her feminist forebears…of her Catholic upbringing,” Rev. Pat Mahoney prayed as over 40 men and women jammed the stairs behind us.

“Why are you doing this?” a man — an aide? — asked me. He didn’t stop to give me his name. But he got my reply, “We’re obstructing her door until she stops obstructing justice.”

Within moments of sitting down — while some women prayed, and others sang — the D.C. police shouted out a first warning. Then, in split-second succession, warning two and three came. Legs flew and protesters who couldn’t or wouldn’t risk arrest scrambled for the corners of the hall.

Nine of us marched out proudly in handcuffs. Nine of us put our lives on the line for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.

Nine of us made a peaceful statement with more than words — with our bodies, time, and presence: violence is never a just solution, and we’ll sit on your porch til you’re just too darn fed up with us not to choose to protect the lives of our most vulnerable from violence.

“Participants [wore] purple sashes to stand in solidarity with our founding sisters who heroically worked to empower and inspire women by securing the right to vote and strongly embracing human rights and equality,” said Swindell, tying the past to our present. ”Suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood against abortion and rejected the notion that abortion violence is a way to advance women’s rights.”





abortioninfanticidewomen's rights

  1. Benedict says:

    “We are non-sectarian and non-partisan. We welcome people of any faith and of no faith and people with different political philosophies. We seek to be a diverse network united by a common commitment to the protection of all human life.” Yes, people claim that the CL doesn`t mean going soft in abortion and than we go to your Facebook page and see two of the three administrators endorsing a pro-abortion fundamentalist like Tulsi Gabbard, who wants to see the right to abortion in the Constitution, Bill Samuel saying that the Republican Party isn`t really anti-abortion and Julie Smuker saying that she would “relutanctly” vote for the Democratic pro-abortion candidate whoever he is. No wonder most pro-lifers in the United States don`t take CL seriously and have no interest in endorsing it. Yes, you are partisan, because you are a liberal institution who, in one way or another, wants to minimize the pro-life on abortion cause and ends up supporting pro-abortion politicians. I am done with you and I invite all pro-life supporters not the have any association with the CL. Where is the “consistency” of claiming to be anti-abortion and then supporting people who have no respect for unborn human life and then trash the leading pro-life party in the United States?

  2. Bill Samuel says:

    Thank you for commenting, but I think there are some misunderstandings here.

    I think there may be some confusion between analysis and support. We do some analysis, both in what is issued and in private comments by CLN Board members, of relative positions of candidates. Tulsi Gabbard is not pro-life, but she is the only Democratic candidate for President who has publicly called for any restrictions at all on the availability of abortion. Noting this difference between her position and that of all the other candidates is not an endorsement of her. I am a CLN Board member, and I am not aware of any CLN Board members who have endorsed her candidacy.

    My comments on the Republicans and abortion may have sometimes been over-broad, and in at least one case recently I have modified the comment to note I do not believe that no Republicans are generally committed to opposing abortion. I could note, for example, that Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was a pro-life leader before holding office and is very sincere in his commitment. While he is not CLE, he has taken positions on other issues which differed from Party leadership in order to be more consistent with overall respect for human life, and he has been punished by the Party leadership for doing so.

    I, and at least some others in CLN and many others generally, see the Republican Party as viewing the abortion issue as one in which they can obtain the votes of people who disagree with many Republican stands on other issues. We see the Party as a whole taking enough steps on abortion to get some pro-life cred, without ending abortion or removing it as an active political issue. I particularly note there was a period in which Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, but did not act to end abortion. The Supreme Court in the Roe decision noted that the meaning of “person” was not defined in the Constitution but Congress had the right to define it, thereby showing how Roe could be overturned without a Constitutional amendment or a Court reversal. However only a small number of Republicans in Congress have supported legislation to define the unborn as persons, and when Republicans were in control of the federal government they did not move on this legislation. It has never been supported by Party leadership.

    CLN is a nonpartisan organization. It includes people with a variety of different emphases among our core issues, and a variety of different perspectives on how to work for them within our political system. During past Presidential elections, Board members have informally discussed what they were going to do in the Presidential election. When we have done so, we have found that we were divided among several choices. In 2020, I am only aware of one CLN Board member who is actively supporting a major party Presidential candidate. Most of the interest and support in the consistent life community I have seen is around the candidacies of American Solidarity Party candidate Brian Carroll and Independent candidate Mark Charles, both of whom see themselves as committed to the consistent life ethic – which is not true of any major party candidate.

    The Republican Party has trumpeted its opposition to abortion and taken some steps in accordance with that, but IMHO several Democratic Party candidates – while horrible on abortion – are better (but not necessarily where we are) on 4 of our 6 core issues than the incumbent Republican President or most Republicans. Is this enough to make them worthy of our support? CLN folks differ on their answer to this question. I personally don’t think so.

    • Thomas says:

      I think it was George W. Bush who said in a 2000 Reader`s Digest article that he will not be pushing for that kind of pro-life legislation because “the country wasn`t ready yet” for it. There were some attempts to do that before. In 1983, there was the Hatch-Eagleton Amendment. From Wikipedia: “Introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Thomas Eagleton (D-MO) on January 26, 1983, under S.J.Res. 3 and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The matter was referred to the Subcommittee on Constitution on February 22 and hearing were held by the subcommittee on Feb 28 and March 7. On March 23 the Subcommittee “[a]pproved for full committee consideration with an amendment favorably”. The Committee itself ordered the resolution to be reported with amendment without recommendation on April 19, and the resolution was reported to the Senate and placed on the legislative calendar on July 7. The resolution finally came before the full Senate on July 27 and 28 failing passage by a 49-50 vote.” This was in a time when the number of pro-life Democratic congressmen was I quite bigger than today.

  3. Bill is a former president of CLN, so his comment above has great weight And I hope that it explains why many of us are not confident about the Republican Party being solidly pro-life.

    That said, I would like to address what I think maybe is a deeper cry of anguish on the part of the person criticizing CLN. How can our society even deserve to survive if we exult in the dismemberment of little babies by their own parents? Unless the abortion rights movement can be overcome, there is little hope for any human decency. So how can we spend any time working on other issues?

    First of all, let me say that I am in deep agreement that abortion is the greatest evil that we face in our world today. I am totally against the death penalty, for example, but it would be as great an evil as abortion only if politicians were claiming the right to put people to death on demand and were proud of it (only if they claimed the right to treat anyone they disliked as the terrorist Soleimani was treated).

    However, I think life is menaced from many directions today. Of course, we should defend the bulwarks where the greatest attack is coming from. But that doesn’t mean we can neglect the other places where our fortifications are weak and where the enemy (disregard for the dignity of human life) is also on the attack. We are in grave danger of losing the sense of the sanctity of human life in our society, so that means we should cooperate with those who are trying to defend that sanctity in many places, even if they are not working at the place where we correctly understand the immediate danger to be greatest right now. I think this is why Pope St. John Paul enunciated in his encyclical The Gospel of Life that we must oppose the death penalty. He saw opposition to the death penalty as one of the few remnants in our society of a sense of the sanctity of life, and so he thought we should work with it rather than against it.

    Although I am a member of the board of CLN, I am making these arguments simply as an individual. I am not claiming to speak for CLN in any way. So let me go further and tell you that I think support for President Trump is essential at this moment in our history. We are at a crossroads , where we can make tremendous gains on the pro-life anti-abortion front or incur tremendous losses on that front. I don’t see us as at a similar crossroads with regard to our other issues of poverty, racism, war, capital punishment, or even euthanasia (where the danger is a gradual slippage into a pro-death mindset, rather than a clear crossroads moment).

    So let’s stick together and fight the good fight for life, not fight among ourselves. All pro-life people are good guys, even if we disagree deeply about strategy and tactics sometimes.

  4. Benedict says:

    Thanks for your answers. I keep my opinion that the CL while works in theory, in practise leads quite often to the weakening of the pro-life stance on abortion. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin himself recognized that in a time when the Democratic Party had a more influential number of pro-life members than nowadays. I can give the example that the CL is often used to criticize those who oppose abortion and euthanasia while supporting the death penalty, while is rarely used to criticize oponents of the death penalty that support abortion. In fact, your Facebook page has praised people with the anti-death penalty stance who have extreme views on abortion, and this is now the official stance of the Democratic Party. The CL, despite all their claims otherwise, often ends up minimizing the pro-life on abortion stance while allowing, to allow the vote for a party where most politicians have no respect whatsoever for the unborn human life. A real CL would mean the plain and simple rejection of voting or praising for pro-abortion fundamentalist politicians, whatever is their stance on the death penalty. Bill Samuel just made my point when he wrote: “The Republican Party has trumpeted its opposition to abortion and taken some steps in accordance with that, but IMHO several Democratic Party candidates – while horrible on abortion – are better (but not necessarily where we are) on 4 of our 6 core issues than the incumbent Republican President or most Republicans.” If they are “horrible” on abortion, where they stand on other matters should be irrelevant, and thats all. Have any of your supporters tried to debate with Democratic politicians and tried at least to have them soft their stance on abortion? Thats why the pro-life abortion stance should stand alone, while not implying that we should not be against euthanasia, the death penalty, unfair wars, etc.

  5. Benedict says:

    I also would like to point that a growing number of pro-life people in the United States opposes abortion, euthanasia and also the death penalty, but find your aparent opposition to any wars extreme, and also would agree with me that the CL weakens the anti-abortion stance, and thats why they don`t support it. I can point that leading pro-life pages have much more likes than your Facebook page, LifeNews.com, has 999 172 likes, Live Action has 2 589 602, LifeSiteNews (the most conservative), has 204 284, while the Consistent Life has just 3298. This says it all.

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