As the only female candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Carly Fiorina holds a strong stance toward feminism—one that may allow her to appeal to female voters across party lines. Fiorina’s blend of conservative values and feminism distinguishes her from any other candidate in the current field.
Because of the apparent contradiction in her values, liberals may be confused as to whether or not they should support Fiorina. Specifically, they may question if one could ever support a woman who wants to defund Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, some may question how she could truly be a feminist without being pro-choice.
The biggest misunderstanding that people make about abortion is that being pro-life is synonymous with taking away women’s rights. Fiorina is against the act of killing fetuses, not the act of taking away women’s rights to their own bodies. While one does essentially lead to the other, Fiorina is still a feminist despite her beliefs on abortion.
One’s stance on abortion essentially boils down to personal beliefs, meaning one can neither be empirically right nor empirically wrong. Being in a very liberal or a very conservative environment can make one forget that these are just beliefs—not facts. People are not against abortion to further inequality between women and men—people are against it because they are against killing unborn babies.
Fiorina’s stance on abortion does not mean she cannot be an empowering woman who could potentially make a great president. It is simply her view on an issue that does not change her fight toward equal rights for women.
Fiorina does believe that abortion is acceptable in the cases of incest, maternal endangerment and rape. Still, there is no reason to believe that Fiorina would intently focus on social issues such as abortion as president. She has made it clear that her top priority is the country’s economic health.
Fiorina has also expressed her goals to make birth control available over the counter, to support women owning their own businesses and to increase access to women’s social safety net programs.
Fiorina is undoubtedly and unquestionably a feminist. She supports women and the struggle to break the glass ceiling. Because of her pro-life views, however, she is unfortunately not even considered an option for some female voters.
Some mainstream feminists tend to look only to the Democratic Party for feminist representation. Fiorina is a successful businesswoman who started off as a secretary and moved up to being the first woman CEO in Hewlett-Packard history. Fiorina is the strong, independent and well-spoken woman that we all hoped Hillary Clinton would be.