Hemant Mehta’s post on Anne Nicol Gaylor, abortion rights activist, and the main founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, who died on June 14, ends with this tribute,
Think of the world we’d live in if more of us followed her lead.
Metha’s words echo George Eliot’s tribute to Dorothea, the heroine of her novel Middlemarch (1871–2):
But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
Stephanie Zvan cautions,
as a female atheist activist of a prior generation,[Anne Nicol Gaylor is] always in danger of being written out of history. Yes, even having done all that.
Don’t let her be forgotten. Take a moment to celebrate a life devoted to making a difference. Read an appreciation of her life, and recognize the quotes that are used so often and attributed to her so rarely. Read her writing (including her book Abortion Is a Blessing) and share it with others.
This kind of legacy is the only form of immortality we’re offered. If anyone has earned it, Anne Nicol Gaylor certainly did.
The quotes Zvan mentions can be found at Perry Street Palace & Friends:
Abortion is a blessing.
There were many groups working for women’s rights, but none of them dealt with the root cause of women’s oppression–religion.
There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.
Nothing fails like prayer.
Please take the time to read the “Tribute to Anne Nicol Gaylor” on the Freedom From Religion Foundation website.