Catholic. 100% Pro-life. Feminist.

“Like other pro-life feminists,” says Fiorella Nash, “I see abortion as a form of exploitation and a sign that contemporary feminism has lost its way.”

British writer Fiorella Nash is a pro-life feminist. Her latest book, The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women (Ignatius Press) is the result of ten years researching life issues from a feminist perspective. A passionate defense of her position, the book is as controversial as it is well-argued in exposing and confronting the hypocrisy behind mainstream feminism’s continuing support for the multi-million dollar abortion business.

Recently, from her home outside London, Nash spoke to Catholic World Report.

CWR: You describe yourself as a ‘pro-life feminist’ – what exactly does that term mean?

Fiorella Nash: It really means exactly what it says. I am 100% pro-life, in that I believe in protecting human life from conception to natural death, and I am 100% supportive of the continuing struggle for equality between men and women. Like other pro-life feminists, I see abortion as a form of exploitation and a sign that contemporary feminism has lost its way. No social justice movement should be built on the blood of the innocent. I don’t believe we can fight for women’s lives to be valued and protected if we actively promote the killing of others.

CWR: What has been the reaction to your message from other feminists?

Fiorella Nash: Very mixed. A small number of open-minded feminists are actually prepared to listen, even if they don’t agree with me, and the results are very positive. …  For the most part, though, the response has been predictably hostile: protests, inflammatory articles in student newspapers, students trying to convince me that I’m a religious fanatic or have some deep-seated psychological hang-up, activists who invite me onto their talk shows to shout me down, have a good shriek and scowl at me across the microphone. I’ve even been likened to an ISIS terrorist!

In a way though, it makes my point for me. If we’re not mature enough to discuss the issues in a respectful and intelligent manner, we’re simply playing into the hands of misogynists who treat us like children.

CWR: So you are viewed with suspicion in some quarters?

Fiorella Nash: [Laughs] That’s one way of putting it! I’ve had protests and walk-outs from individuals on both sides of the debate. Pro-aborts tend to be more aggressive and spiteful in their attacks, whereas I have to admit that the resistance I have had from the pro-life side has been much more muted and generally more constructive. Apart from a few men patronizingly dismissing my position or trying desperately to convince me that I don’t really believe in all this “femmy stuff”, the concerns I have heard from the pro-life side tend to be genuine worries about going anywhere near feminism at all.

Having said that, I have been overwhelmed by the interest and support given to the book so far, even by groups who might normally view the subject with suspicion.

CWR: In The Abolition of Woman you call on all feminists to account for their silence around the subject of abortion. What do you mean by this?

Fiorella Nash: Abortion has become almost a matter of dogma within mainstream feminism and the obsession with defending and promoting abortion at all costs has led to the injustices to women caused by abortion being ignored or even justified. I look at injustices all over the world, such as forced abortion in China, gendercide in India and the aggressive promotion of abortion in developing countries in the name of maternal health, but I also draw attention to injustices much closer to home. Whilst feminists are marching in their pussy hats and handmaid’s tale costumes, monsters like Kermit Gosnell are protected by a protracted media silence and ‘brave’ feminists are bullying and silencing women who question the abortion ideology.

CWR: What do you think is the common ground, if any, between pro-life feminism and mainstream feminists?

Fiorella Nash: I think that there are many issues of mutual concern, too many to list. For example: child marriage, FGM [female genital mutilation], intimate partner violence, trafficking. One hundred years after Britain gave some women the vote, women around the world still face many challenges and hardships which all people of good will should be coming together to change.

CWR: What do you see are the challenges ahead for pro-life feminism?

Fiorella Nash: How long have you got? We need to be more vocal and more prepared to stand our ground. I was delighted to hear that when a pro-life feminist group was banned from a Women’s March last year, they turned up with their banners anyway. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced by bullies who claim to speak in our name. Beyond that, there is a huge need to talk about pregnancy as experienced by millions of women. We spend so long talking about the extreme cases that we do not always talk candidly enough about the everyday challenges facing pregnant women – sickness, employment problems, poor maternity care, isolation in the face of family break-up. But first and foremost, we need to be a vocal, visible presence within the broader debate.

CWR: Why did you decide to write this book? And why now?

Fiorella Nash: I have been working up to this for a long time. I first put pen to paper on the subject of pro-life feminism with an article in a British Catholic journal nine years ago and I was completely unprepared for the response. There was some negativity – a patronizing telling off from one reader “we don’t want to be backing these silly ideas…” and a demand that I desist, an admission by someone else that her husband had responded to my article by flying into a temper and shouting large quantities of foul language about me. However, the response was overwhelmingly positive and I started to write and lecture on the subject of pro-life feminism at conferences and universities. The book is the culmination of years of research, university talks, and debates on the different life issues. I certainly couldn’t have written the book without the support of my colleagues at the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

CWR: You are known primarily as a novelist, was it hard changing gears and crafting a work of non-fiction?

Fiorella Nash: It was certainly challenging getting back to academic writing but, alongside my creative writing, I have been a researcher in this field for years. I think the biggest challenge was ensuring that every single point I made could be backed up because the abortion debate is such a contentious field that the other side will pounce on absolutely anything to try to discredit an argument they don’t like. In the end, this was probably a good thing because it forced me to be very thorough in my research, when if I had been writing on a popular subject, there might have been a temptation to cut corners.

CWR: What do you hope to achieve with the publication of The Abolition of Woman?

Fiorella Nash: It’s very trendy at the moment to talk about taking people out of their comfort zones. In a sense, that is what I am trying to do with this book. Challenge people’s assumptions and ask readers to look beyond the slogans and the jargon that have come to typify the abortion debate. I also hope that the information in the book, particularly on lesser-known subjects such as commercial surrogacy, may be of use to those who have an interest in life issues.

CWR: Are you hoping to write more on the subject of pro-life feminism?

Fiorella Nash: I am still writing and speaking on the subject but I hope to have the opportunity to write another book in the future.

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About K. V. Turley 61 Articles
K.V. Turley writes from London.


  1. I’m not buying it (literally). All the issues mentioned here as common ground for mutual interest between so call pro-life feminists and pro-choice feminists are also of interest to concerned, pro-life men (for everyone actually) which the author here is compelled to admit. Further, all one needs to do is to spend an afternoon on a National Organization of Women website or Facebook page to see that feminism is as the very forefront of the progressive movement with its tentacles in every aspect of society. It is beyond saving and beyond rehabilitation. Feminism has for years been the cloak of the finally, full-grown LGBT leviathan, which now overshadows and rules over it, since it now sits upon the throne of gender neutrality. Feminism sees racism everywhere and has even become a vehicle for radical environmentalism and the hatred of everything traditional. Trying to make feminism pro-life is like trying to make communism pro-religion (an experiment the Vatican has taken on in China). Let’s just all concentrate on saving women rather than saving feminism which is just one more power or principality (like communism) waiting to be cast into the eternal fire. That being said I do appreciate the author being at the forefront of the protection of all women.

    • I respect Fiorella because she is 100% pro-life but I tend to agree with Inigo. I am a woman. In this day and age, I expect to be taken as an equal to men and I find that I am. Feminism covers many things and, more often than not, is a can of worms, espousing whatever gripe precocious women deem to be an issue. It seems to me that ‘feminism’ is an issue for educated middle class women. It is a non-issue with the ordinary mother, rushing to pick her kids up from school, get the shopping done and a family meal on the table. In making this statement, I realise I have laid my cards on the table.

      • Yeah, I pretty much agree with you, but perhaps “educated middle class women” should be replaced with something like “single, female, college graduates in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who are unhappy with their relationships and careers and have plenty of time to waste.” Something like that.
        Most of the mothers I know are middle class educated women with careers or some sort. (I assume here you mean college educated. There do not seem to be many stay at home moms anymore, unless they are homeschoolers.)
        I have heard the occasional (career lady) gripe about being treated poorly by the occasional man at their work site or at the club, but they handle the issue themselves and move on…not by wasting precious time screaming about it in front the television, FB, or court system.
        Having said that, I gotta run and pick up cat food at the vets, fold laundry, make dinner, and get my 9th grader started on more WWII history homework. Big, big project due in two weeks…

      • Thanks Mum! What Catholic Moms deal with each day is trying to keep their young female children away from feminism. They cannot afford to encourage them to be feminists because just about any feminist group they encounter in real life and in their neck of the woods will be anti-Catholic. I believe that Fiorella’s heart is in the right place. I’m just hoping the title of her next book is: “Why I Stopped Calling Myself a Feminist”!

  2. In Catholicism, the equal dignity of woman and man as created by God is a given. In secular feminism, leaders drank the Hugh Hefner Playboy philosophy kool-aid (while he and other misogynists fund pro-choice causes and organizations), and believed that access to contraception and abortion would level the playing field. What feminism has done in its worship of contraception and unrestricted abortion is reinforce the very roots of the sexism and chauvinism that claim they want to neutralize. Implied in their ideology is that fertility is at worst, a disease; at best, an optional nuisance. So in contraception, they attempt to separate their fertility from their person. Like the Playboy playmate (or Penthouse Pet), they allow themselves to be objectified and therefore, de-personized, which elective sterility makes easier. Then, in abortion, they de-personalize an unborn child so as to kill it, and thus de-personalize themselves. Enter Harvey Weinstein et al. This is liberation???? I will likely not read Ms. Nash’s book. But I hope she and others can make the above argument above the cacophony of the lies the father of lies has planted in such prideful hearts.

  3. We are pro-life. You describe Ms. Nash as a 100% pro-life. I would read into this article that she takes the stand that would overturn Roe and make any and all abortions a crime. We want to see where we and the church differ.

  4. I get a little concerned when I hear “equality” is the objective. So much wrapped into that word and however one wants to define/measure it … nearly impossible to attain … not only between the sexes, but within the same sex. Yes, I suppose the answer is “equality in opportunity”. But that just begs the same issues — be it gender, age, race, intelligence, nationality, etc.

  5. She may be pro-life but her “struggle for equality between men and women” is not Catholic in that men and women’s equality exists in their image and likeness of God. Beyond that, they have differences and different roles as assigned them from God that always make them “unequal” but necessary.

    The term “feminist” in my opinion is an attack on womanhood and motherhood; a secular construct to divide men and women and make them antagonists.

    • It seems to me that the feminist demands that women be equally present in all career fields or they’re being oppressed is stating implicitly that women’s traditional roles are valueless. So they are denigrating women as much as their much-derided “male chauvinists.”

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