Aug
5
2016

Dear Susan B. Anthony

By Denise Hunnell, M.D.

Lovely Warren, the mayor of Rochester, New York, left a note at Susan B. Anthony’s grave following the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party candidate for president. The note says:

We thought you might like to know that for the first time in history, a woman is running for President representing a major party. 144 years ago your illegal vote got you arrested. It took another 48 years for women to finally gain the right to vote. Thank you for paving the way.

If Ms. Warren knew anything about Susan B. Anthony, she might have been less anxious to disturb Susan B. Anthony’s eternal rest with the news that Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated as a major party candidate for president. Susan B. Anthony would be horrified to see that the push for women’s equality has devolved into unfettered support for abortion and the rejection of femininity.

Therefore, I would like to offer my own letter to Susan B. Anthony.

anthonyDear Ms. Anthony,

You always fought so hard for the human dignity of all people. First you advocated against slavery. You then fought for equal rights for women. You demanded that women be able to own property and vote. You would not compromise on the dignity of all persons and you allowed no distinction between women based on race. You referred to abortion as “child-murder” and “ante-natal infanticide.”

Therefore, it is with great sadness that I must tell you that Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party, believes no child in the womb deserves protection from abortion at any point during the nine months of gestation. She idolizes Margaret Sanger, a racist and supporter of eugenics who pushed for the elimination of African-Americans through birth control and abortion because she considered them “human weeds”. Clinton supports the abortion of unborn children because they have genetic anomalies like Down syndrome. She sees no problem with the fact that in many areas of our country, Black children are more likely to be aborted than to be born. She views pregnancy as a disease and fertility as a disorder that must be combatted for women to be successful.

I know it must break your heart that such a woman is being hailed as a feminist icon. But her brand of feminism does not reflect all women. There are many women today who exemplify the feminism exalted by Pope St. John Paul II in his encyclical Mulieris Dignitatem:

Therefore the Church gives thanks for each and every woman: for mothers, for sisters, for wives; for women consecrated to God in virginity; for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person; for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community; for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility; … The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine “genius” which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness.

I know that you would be pleased that in the upcoming election, I and many other women are refusing to vote for a female candidate who demeans womanhood by claiming that a woman must have the right to kill her unborn child if she is to be successful. Authentic feminists are refusing to vote for a female candidate who applauds the extermination of unborn children with disabilities. Strong women who support religious liberty are refusing to support a female candidate who demands churches change their doctrine to accept abortion. We will not be bullied into voting for a candidate just because she is a woman. We know that women and their families will not flourish under the oppressive lies of radical feminism.

I hope that in a few years I will be able to tell you that a woman has been nominated to be president who understands that femininity is a feature, not a bug. A woman does not have to destroy her fertility or deny her role as a bearer of children to be a valuable member of society. She will recognize the intrinsic human dignity of every person from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. Rather than looking at people as androgynous beings, she will celebrate the beautiful complementarity of men and women, each being equal in dignity but distinct in their nature. She will be your kind of feminist and will be a tribute to your legacy.

Dr. Denise Jackson Hunnell is a Fellow of Human Life International. She graduated from Rice University with a BA in biochemistry and psychology. She earned her medical degree from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. She went on to complete a residency in family medicine at Marquette General Hospital, Marquette, Michigan. Upon completion of her training, Dr. Hunnell served as a family physician in the United States Air Force. She was honorably discharged. She continued to practice medicine all over the country as her husband’s Air Force career kept them on the move. In order to better care for her family, Dr. Hunnell retired from active clinical practice and focused her professional efforts on writing and teaching. She has contributed work to local and national Catholic publications as well as to secular newspapers including the Washington Post and the Washington Times. She also teaches anatomy and physiology at Northern Virginia Community College Woodbridge Campus. Dr. Hunnell serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. Other affiliations include the American Academy of Family Physicians, The Catholic Medical Association, and the National Catholic Bioethics Center. She received her certification in health care ethics from the National Catholic Bioethics Center in 2009. Dr. Hunnell has been married for nearly thirty years to Colonel (ret) John F. Hunnell, an Air Force test pilot. They have four children and are blessed with three grandchildren so far.
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