The Federal Reserve recently announced that the $10 dollar bill is getting a redesign: the founder of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, is going to be replaced by a woman.
The lucky (though deceased) lady has not yet been determined, and the Treasury is asking the public for input. Therefore I would like to nominate Susan B. Anthony. After the New York Times hosted a discussion that included proposals for candidates such as Harriet Tubman (good) or Margaret Sanger (bad). I think it’s important that the woman represented on the $10 bill is a unifying figure, one who fought for justice for all people. Susan B. Anthony is just such an important figure—mentioned in the Times discussion—who worked tirelessly for all Americans to have equal rights under the law.
Susan B. Anthony's efforts led to the passage of the nineteenth amendment for women’s suffrage. But she also fought for the right of women not to be pressured by the men (and women) in their lives to undergo invasive and violent processes which destroy the child in the woman's womb.
The prosecutions on our courts for breach of promise, divorce, adultery, bigamy, seduction, rape; the newspaper reports every day of every year of scandals and outrages, of wife murders and paramour shooting, of abortions and infanticides, are perpetual reminders of men’s incapacity to cope successfully with this monster evil of society.
She understood that a mother with an unwanted pregnancy is in a difficult situation, but Anthony was more willing to help her in her trials than to end the life in her womb: “Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so that their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them.”
This great woman of American history has broad appeal, and harkens to a time when women’s rights did not imply the destruction of human life. Susan B. Anthony’s image on US currency would be a reminder to Americans that we should constantly fight for justice, even in situations where the law does not promote but rather discourages it.
Dominic Bouck, O.P., is a Dominican brother of the Province of St. Joseph and a summer intern at First Things.