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Pro-life Pitt student aims to take hypocrisy out of casual politics

Pro-life Pitt student aims to take hypocrisy out of casual politics


Rosemary Geraghty believes that her beliefs on feminism and abortion can co-exist. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Assistant Visual Editor)



Matt Maielli
/ For The Pitt News

August 31, 2017

Rosemary Geraghty’s club at Pitt was accused, on social media, of being composed of “radical feminists” and “social justice warriors” promoting “transgenderism.”

“And I was like, ‘Absolutely — you got me,’” she said with a laugh.

Geraghty — a purple-haired, nose-ringed, queer, feminist atheist, in her own words — is a senior political science and communication double major and president of the pro-life club Choose Life at Pitt.

As a pro-life feminist, Geraghty knows that she is in an odd position at what is a very liberal University. She doesn’t prefer to use labels, but her politics put her further left than most people — liberal and conservative — on campus.

“Everyone likes me when I get to be like, ‘Pro-lifers aren’t really pro-life!’ and I get a lot of friends,” Geraghty said. “Then I start to talk about why I am also against abortion, and I lose all my friends.”

Geraghty is the new media coordinator at Rehumanize International — a nonprofit based in the South Hills that promotes the consistent life ethic — and protested at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions last year, detailing the “consistent life ethic” to anyone interested.

The consistent life ethic is a political philosophy opposed to abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, assisted suicide and war. More simply, the consistent life ethic opposes the destruction of life at all stages of consciousness — from conception onwards.

The phrase itself traces back to a Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, Humberto Medeiros, in the 1970s, but Geraghty believes that the ideas and values contained within the consistent life ethic are much older than American politics — she points to traditional Buddhism and even LaVeyan Satanism as schools of thought that teach the value of life at every stage.

Aimee Murphy — Geraghty’s boss at Rehumanize International — is among Geraghty’s list of people who inspire her. And Murphy — the nonprofit’s executive director — returned the praise.

Rosemary Geraghty has been quoted as an activist in Marie Claire, PublicSource, Jezbel, and The Atlantic. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Assistant Visual Editor)

“Honestly, adding Rosemary to our team has been one of the best choices that I think our hiring team has made,” Murphy said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Rosemary shy away from a difficult conversation, whether it’s on abortion or war or torture or euthanasia.”

And Geraghty’s outspokenness hasn’t gone unnoticed — she has been quoted as an activist and writer for the consistent life ethic in several publications, including Jezebel, Marie Claire, PublicSource and The Atlantic.

Geraghty sees her consistent views as just one way to take some of the hypocrisy out of casual politics. But that’s more of a fortunate side effect, because she truly believes in it. She also doesn’t feel that she has to reconcile her views on abortion with her feminism in any way — the two can simply coexist.

And Geraghty’s pro-life beliefs don’t stop at human lives. She lives a cruelty-free and vegan lifestyle and is a member of Panthers for Animal Welfare — Pitt’s vegan and vegetarian club on campus. She tabled for the club Sunday at Pitt’s student activities fair, telling students who came to the table about the club’s trips to animal shelters and farm sanctuaries.

Maria Fenner, the vice president of Choose Life, describes Geraghty as open-minded — specifically citing Choose Life’s counter-protest of the pro-choice march at Pitt in the spring as an example of her level head and her ability to not force her beliefs onto people.

“She always tells us that we’re not here to change people’s minds, but to educate them about what we believe,” Fenner said.

Essentially, Geraghty is after a type of “radical inclusivity” that she thinks could be part of the future of American politics.

“I think that so many people are disillusioned by the political climate in this country that I think they are looking for something else, and that the consistent life ethic might fill that void,” Geraghty said.

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