A Youth Pastor’s Appeal to Christians Working to Overturn Roe v. Wade

God’s desire is for that which cannot be forced.

What is the real concern?

  1. The number of overall abortions have been in steady decline. Numbers in the U.S. are currently lower than at the time of Roe v. Wade. Abortion rates are lower where it is legal, and higher in countries where it is illegal.
  2. Abortion is a very personal issue that may have various health related and/or moral implications for different people. *If* an individual wants guidance on this issue, they should consult with trusted people — perhaps their partner, family, religious leaders, and/or with trusted healthcare providers — definitely not politicians.
  3. The separation of church and state is very important to our democracy. Imposing particular religious expectations on a specific group of citizens is akin to forced conversions to Christianity — something I find antithetical to our democracy, to my understanding of religion, and to my experience of God’s love.
  4. Some considerations: 99% of Christians have used some form of contraception, and the majority of people who have abortions in the U.S. are Christian. There is a racist history of abortion and midwifery bans. Abortion restrictions in the U.S. primarily affect people who are poor and disenfranchised, while their more affluent counterparts will be able to travel to other states or even other countries to receive safe reproductive care.
  5. Quotes by Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittester: ​ “I do not believe that just because you are opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, a child educated, a child housed. … I frankly cannot understand why women’s health issues or abortion is absolutely the only life issue that the church has not nuanced. We nuance that men can kill for all sorts of reasons. Men can kill to defend themselves. They can kill to defend the state. They can punish by killing in the name of the state … But women, never — not even to save their own pregnant life. It seems to me to be morally confused. Certainly, it’s morally inconsistent.”
  6. Quote by Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her well-being and dignity…When government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”
  7. Lastly, I’m a trained facilitator for Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive sex education curriculum developed by the UCC and UU churches for all ages, particularly middle schoolers. We don’t teach “Do’s and Don’ts.” OWL affirms shared values including respect, relationships, and responsibility. We give young people choices and tools they can use to evaluate to make their own decisions with regards to gender, sexuality, and reproduction. For example, in teaching young people about abortion, we do not advocate for it nor do we frame it as wrong vs. right. Rather, we explain what it is. We encourage young people from the very beginning to make decisions based on shared values, relationships, respect, safety, health and well-being, not moral absolutes.

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