Women’s March Drops Anti-Choice Partner After Outcry. Who Are the New Wave Feminists?

Destiny Herndon-Delarosa founded New Wave Feminists, an anti-abortion group that was nixed as an official partner for the Women's March on Washington. (Photo: Robin Marty/New Wave Feminists)
Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa founded New Wave Feminists, an antiabortion group that was nixed as an official partner for the Women’s March on Washington. (Photo: Robin Marty/New Wave Feminists)

Think “pro-life feminist” is an oxymoron? So do lots of folks — including the Women’s March on Washington’s organizers, who nixed antiabortion group New Wave Feminists from its official partners just hours after apparently granting its approval.

“The Women’s March’s platform is pro-choice, and that has been our stance from day one,” noted the public statement blasted out on social media on Monday. “We want to assure all of our partners, as well as participants, that we are pro-choice as clearly stated in our Unity Principles. We look forward to marching on behalf of individuals who share the view that women deserve the right to make their own reproductive decisions. The anti-choice organization in question is not a partner of the Women’s March on Washington. We apologize for this error.” March organizers did not respond to a request for further details.

The statement came after a flurry of backlash about the Texas-based New Wave Feminists being added as an official march partner, which was announced by the group on Sunday through an excited Facebook post: “Super pumped to rep prolife feminism at the Women’s March on Washington alongside Life Matters Journal and many other badass Prolife feminists!” it read, including a screenshot of the group’s name included in the official lineup.

That — along with an article in the Atlantic about “pro-lifers” who are joining the march, in which event co-chair Bob Bland states, “Intersectional feminism is the future of feminism and of this movement. We must not just talk about feminism as one issue, like access to reproductive care” — sparked social media outcry, including from noted feminists Jessica Valenti, Shelby Knox, and Jaclyn Friedman.

In the Atlantic article, Bland went on to note, “We’ve had some really interesting discussions with conservative folks and folks who identify as pro-life.” She said she’d heard from many women who identify as conservative and plan to march — but added that the organizers were in general agreement that “a woman’s body is a woman’s body is a woman’s body.”

Meanwhile, plenty of other women are now taking offense to the pro-choice principles of the Women’s March on behalf of groups like New Wave Feminists.

Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, 33, is the founder of New Wave Feminists. She tells Yahoo Beauty that she became pregnant at 16, and that she was able to keep her baby because of her “support system” of family, and that while her group is morally against abortion, “We’re not looking to make it illegal. … Efforts to overturn Roe without addressing the root of the problem won’t solve it.”

Herndon-De La Rosa says her group decided to head to D.C. after hearing people talk about how “pro-life women were not invited,” explaining, “We laughed at that. It’s a public march; you don’t get invited.” But they did want to be an official partner, and so Herndon-De La Rosa filled out an online application for the group to be considered by march organizers, offering up details including its website and social media pages.

“The idea that we tricked them or it was done in error I don’t believe,” she says. “We have an opinion that might be unpopular, but it’s not an insane opinion. And women have different opinions about things.”

Herndon-De La Rosa adds that while the organization won’t be an official partner, it will still be represented in D.C. by about 50 women of varied religions and affiliations. “Unfortunately, we do have some Trump supporters [in our ranks],” she notes, calling the president-elect a man who has shown “blatant misogyny,” but also adding that she gets why some women don’t see her organization’s members as feminists.

“I understand that,” she says. “But by including us in the march, that opens up a dialogue. … We treat our unborn children as property, and in my opinion, that’s not a feminist philosophy.”

Related: Madonna Announced She’ll Be at the Women’s March With a Shocking Photo

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