State laws are declaring fetuses’ constitutional rights â but what of the mothers’ rights?
"The question all of these cases pose — the question that the Personhood USA really raises — is: As a society, do we believe that there is a point in pregnancy where women lose their civil rights?"
National newsmagazine committed to enhancing the entire social work profession by exploring its difficult issues, new challenges, and current successes.
I think that the author does a great job of articulating the struggles between faith and social work practice; however, there is a middle ground. It’s not always as black and white as he makes it out to be. There is grey. There is a relationship between morality and human rights. It’s a viewpoint that is valid and not often talked about. It’s a tough sell for both sides, but it’s another option that needs to be stated. You can believe in the Bible’s authenticity and still fight for human rights. As I’ve said before, Jesus would have advocated for anyone who faced oppression. Jesus was a social worker. He is THE social worker.
I feel so encouraged when I find yet another practical Christian who aims to make abortions rare, not illegal. I love what she wrote here and I find that she has put this into words better than I have done in my previous posts.
"As Hillary Clinton once said, I want to live in a society where abortion is “safe, legal, and rare.” What if, instead of striving to make abortion illegal, we Christians worked toward making it rare?"
While researching this topic of being a Pro-Choice Christian, I stumbled upon some great articles of fellow Pro-Life advocates who also understand the importance of being Pro-Choice politically. I also found some articles that condemned those who called themselves Christians but were also Pro-Choice (like me) stating that I’m a liar and that I obviously need to read my bible. What I realized is that the miscommunication between these views is a matter of having unclear definitions. So I’d like to take this time to clarify.
Being Pro-Choice does NOT mean “Pro-Abortion” — in fact, I would like to argue that most Americans are against abortion. I would also like to argue that both Pro-Choice and Pro-Life stances are based on Christian values. On the one hand, Pro-Life is clearly for the preservation and sanctity of human life. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet of the nations.”- Jeremiah 1:5. On the other hand, Pro-Choice advocates for the love and equality of human beings among each other, something that Jesus practiced daily. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”- Galatians 3:28.
I’m against abortion and here is why:
1. I’m a Christian and I was raised to believe and understand that abortion is never the right choice. Whether or not we ever decide when a baby becomes a “human” is irrelevant to me. A baby, no matter the stage of development nor how awful the circumstances of the pregnancy, is a miracle and a gift.
2. We all find ourselves in situations that we never imagined we would be in at some point in life and I believe that God uses those times to shape us and grow us. From my own personal experience with pregnancy, I found myself considering abortion because I was frightened of such a life changing event even though I knew abortion was wrong. What I gained by HAVING the opportunity to CHOOSE life for my baby is invaluable. I gained confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, maturity and independence. I would have felt the opposite of these if I had chosen to abort my pregnancy.
3. I am a product of an unplanned pregnancy and because my mother and father believed in and loved God, I am here today. I also chose life for my daughter, who is a healthy, happy, intelligent (already speaks two languages) 7 year old who radiates joy from the inside out. Life is hard, but the rewards are unimaginable.
I’m against legislation banning abortions and here is why:
1. I feel that we can’t have matters of the heart be dictated by law. Craig M. Watts, the minister of the Royal Palm Christian Church in Coral Springs, FL speaks to this perfectly. He says:
“…I believe that abortion should not be a factor for Christians when assessing politicians or political parties. A compelling reason for this is that there is no evidence that restrictive laws and policies have any impact on reducing abortions. None. Research reported on earlier this year showed “restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates.”Those who have done the most research on global abortion policy have found that restrictive and punitive laws simply do not serve their purpose: “Just as laws banning abortion do not stop women from having them, it is equally true that permissive laws do not cause them to do so.””
2. We can’t expect our fellow women to gain autonomy if we make choices for them. This is a slippery slope to the kind of society that our nation in its origin was fleeing from. Also I charge each of you to think about how it must feel to have a choice made for you. You feel that people don’t trust you, don’t respect you, and don’t value you. I just can’t stand with group who will allow people in society to feel this way.
Without putting legislation on the “life” issues, I’ve offered one solution to abortion already, which you can read below. I believe the minister in this article: http://www.redletterchristians.org/you-can-be-pro-choice-politically-and-be-a-pro-life-advocate-in-your-community/ has another solution. He says, “As a pro-life advocate I must work to improve public schools, address childhood poverty, seek quality health care, create opportunities that enable children to choose hope and a future rather than gangs and despair. Actions like these aide in reducing the rate of abortions.”
Another great article discusses the efforts to making abortion RARE and legal. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/gpr/09/1/gpr090102.html
These things can’t be done alone. As I said before we have to work TOGETHER to create communities that are improving schools, poverty, health care, spirituality, offering encouragement to one another as well as opportunity for all.
First, I would like to begin with some statistics on abortion. Overall, the percentage of abortions taking place in the United States has decreased over the last few years. As a social worker, my mind is engineered to look at the complexities of situations and relationships. To take into account every environmental, relational, racial, and religious factor that effects every crisis situation. How many of the women in these statistics come from religious backgrounds where the shame of sin is so deeply and hatefully preached? If we can remove the shame associated with unplanned pregnancy I believe we can make the already decreasing rate of abortions even smaller. I desire to remove the shame not just within the families and households who practice Christianity but also in the streets, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and other public arenas where unmarried women carrying children are seen. With the shame struggle eliminated, we can focus on the more important issues of unplanned pregnancy. We must shower frightened women with compassion, support, and understanding.
- Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended; about 4 in 10 of these are terminated by abortion. Twenty-two percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion. (AGI).
- In 2009, 85% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women (CDC).
- Women living with a partner to whom they are not married account for 25% of abortions but only about 10% of women in the population (NAF).
- 50% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25; women aged 20-24 obtain 33% of all U.S. abortions and teenagers obtain 17% (AGI).
- In 2009, adolescents under 15 years obtained .05% of all abortions, but had the highest abortion ratio, 785 abortions for every 1,000 live births (CDC).
- Black women are more than 4.8 times more likely than non-Hispanic white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are 2.7 times as likely (AGI).
- 37% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 28% identify themselves as Catholic (AGI).
- At current rates, nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion (AGI).
I also came across this website and blog discussing the image of Jessica Simpson, unmarried posing nude while pregnant for Elle Magazine. I found this section of her blog submission to be right on point with what being a Pro-Choice Christian is about: removing shame and fostering joy.
“Objection #1: Pregnancy outside marriage is shameful
One of the most common objections expressed a fear that Caryn was somehow whitewashing an otherwise disgraceful situation. Because Simpson is unmarried, numerous commenters believed her pregnancy to be “shameful” and embarrassing. Unlike pregnancy in marriage, which Christians should celebrate, pregnancy out of wedlock is outside of God’s will and we should not hesitate to feel shame about it.
While there is an element of truth to those sentiments–namely, that God intended children to be born into married families–we need to look closer at this logic and where it takes us. First and foremost, pregnancy itself is not a sin. Sex outside of marriage is the sin, and pregnancy is one consequence of that sin. Although the consequence that is pregnancy can pose difficulty and obstacles to couples who engage in sex outside of marriage, the pregnancy itself is not a punishment or an ugly smear on creation. In fact, that pregnancy signifies the potential for God to bring good out of bad, to bring life out of death.
Scripture is pretty clear about human life. We are to honor it and celebrate it. And while we may not celebrate the circumstances that led to that new life, this distinction is critical. If we do not distinguish the shame of premarital sex from pregnancy, we will continue to see Christian women get abortions in large numbers.
When pregnancy is treated like a scarlet letter of shame that must be borne for 9 months, an already difficult situation is made much worse. As much as we must decry the rising level of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in this country, we must simultaneously celebrate the lives that were spared in a culture that not only exterminates new life in less than ideal circumstances, but shames the women who courageously choose to keep their children. This is a tension we must hold onto.” —Sharon at