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patricia heaton

Serrin Foster
President, Feminists for Life
photo by Keith Ito

Biography from Feminists for Life:
Serrin M. Foster worked in the nonprofit sector for the past twenty years. Since 1994, Foster has served Feminists for Life of America (FFL), initially as Executive Director and currently as President.

Like the early American feminists who opposed abortion, Feminists for Life works to systematically eliminate the root causes that drive women to abortion by facilitating practical solutions. FFL has emerged as the link between pro-life and women's organizations, working on legislative efforts such as child support enforcement and the Violence Against Women Act, and opposing child exclusion provisions in welfare reform.

Recognizing the critical need for practical resources for pregnant and parenting students, Feminists for Life launched a nationwide initiative to ensure that college students have the resources they need to make life-affirming choices. Through its College Outreach Program, FFL provides pregnancy resource kits to college health clinics, students, advisors and counselors across the country, and leads on-campus discussions on developing practical resources for pregnant and parenting students on college campuses. Foster has lectured and moderated Pregnancy Resource Forums at top colleges across America, including Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame and Texas A & M, and internationally at Oxford and Cambridge universities, among others.

Foster is widely recognized as an international spokesperson for pro-life feminism. During the 1996 Republican National Convention, Foster joined fellow pro-life advocates Ambassador Alan Keyes and USA Today special correspondent Linda Chavez in an abortion debate with Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania at an event hosted by the Creative Coalition. At the request of Washington Post readers, Foster was interviewed live on-line during the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

In 2000, at the invitation of former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, Foster participated in a panel discussion on abortion at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. She was joined by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) and former abortion provider who has since become a pro-life activist, Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country, and Bill Baird, director of the Pro-Choice League.

Some of Foster's national media appearances include CNN International's discussion in 2001 of the abortion ship "Aurora," opposite an attorney representing the Feminist Majority, and C-SPAN's "The Politics of Abortion," in 1996 with author Naomi Wolf and former Treasurer of the United States Bay Buchanan.

Internationally, Foster was a featured speaker in 1998 at the first-ever-joint pro-life and pro-choice conference in Dublin, Ireland. Entitled "5,000 Too Many," a reference to the number of women who leave Ireland for abortions in the United Kingdom each year. The conference was inspired by Feminists for Life's Pregnancy Resource Forums and addressed alternatives to abortion and practical resources for pregnant women in Ireland. Attendees included former Prime Minister John Bruton and members of Parliament.

Foster also spoke at a U.S. Department of State "Bringing Cairo Home" conference in 1995 on the parallels between the needs of women in developing countries and the obstacles faced by the early American feminists.

In 2000, at the annual Life Conference held at the Parliament Buildings at Stormont, Northern Ireland, Foster presented "The Feminist Case Against Abortion." This speech has been included in an anthology on Women's Rights edited by Jennifer Hurley, as part of a series published in the fall of 2001 by Greenhaven Press titled, "Great Speeches in History."

Prior to her work at FFL, Foster served those suffering from a no-fault brain disease for five years as director of development for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Arlington, Virginia. She began her service to others with seven years at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a national research hospital based in Memphis, Tenn. that cares for children stricken with a catastrophic illness. Foster is a graduate of Old Dominion University, in Norfolk Virginia.

Foster serves on the advisory boards of the Susan B. Anthony List, the Ivy League Coalition for Life and American Collegians for Life. She has been recognized by Marquis Who's Who in America and Who's Who of American Women (1).

Foster points out that “Alice Paul, author of the Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion the ultimate exploitation of women,” Foster said. “And Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton championed the rights of women to vote, of slaves to be free, and of our right to life. So if they understand their rich feminist history, they'd understand abortion is a betrayal of feminism.” (2)

“We refuse to choose [between] women and children,” she said. “We refuse to choose between sacrificing our education and our careers for our family…Our focus is to systematically eliminate the reasons that drive women to abortion.” (3)

(1) Serrin M. Foster, Biography,

(2) Melissa Charbonneau, "Pro-Life Feminists Return to Feminist Roots.",

(3) Melissa Charbonneau.

For more information on Feminists for Life see

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