It seems that the issue of abortion has been made a pawn in the game of conservatives without the concommittant compassion that should be a part of every Christian's life. The Supreme Court's careful balancing of the rights of the woman and the rights of the fetus has been glossed over in an effort to paint the decision as simply "legalizing abortion." I wonder how many Christians have even read the decision?
My husband and I were forced to make a heart-wrenching choice. We had a baby who had microcephaly, and who died at 14 months. When we finally gained the courage to try again, and I became pregnant, we rejoiced until the devastating news that the fetus had another chromosomal defect that would be fatal. The baby would either be stillborn or die in its first year. How could we go through that experience again, and how could it be "Christian" to force us and our extended family to bear that pain? We had both suffered major depression after our son died. We are Christians. We consulted with our Christian doctor, our Episcopal priest, and our consciences. I had a second-trimester abortion which required hospitalization. We grieved that loss, and had a private ceremony and mass with our priest. We surrendered the soul of that fetus back to God.
How dare someone else tell me that we should not have made that decision! That abortion should not be legal and safe for another woman who is placed in a similar position? That a youth who is raped by her father ought to bear that child and be reminded of that horror for the rest of her life? There simply is not a way to legislate these difficult issues and it is simply not the place of government to do so. Roe v. Wade is the best balance of rights and even the more conservative Court in recent years has reaffirmed that balance. I think the formulation "abortion should be safe, legal and rare" is correct. I do not think it is a decision that should be made lightly, but the fact is that women who feel so strongly that they do not want to go through with a pregnancy have attempted to kill fetuses by any means whether safe or not in the past, many have killed themselves in the process,and they will continue to do so if denied a legal abortion. This is a serious health risk for them, and who are we to say that they should be denied a safe and sanitary procedure?
Because the Christian "right" has co-opted Christianity, I no longer attend a Christian church. I belong to the Unitarian Universalist congregation, which recognizes the validity of different religious traditions.
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