I just read the above article and am elated to discover there are those in the religious world who are taking a sensible approach to abortion.
A coalition of faith groups has been formed whose members are interested in speaking up in favor of abortion rights, contraception access, and comprehensive sex ed.
It’s about time!
Yet, in the same article it’s worrisome to read that despite public outcry, some states have passed record-breaking numbers of restrictions on abortion and family planning … and this very narrow religious view of abortion and sexuality is increasingly being enshrined into law. This dramatic increase has been mainly driven by just a handful of states that have a particular focus on enacting the harshest laws against abortion since Roe vs Wade: North Dakota, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina.
Regarding their objectives, Rev. Harry Knox, the president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the spokesperson for this article, made this comment:
“For too long, the extreme Religious Right has dominated the public conversation about religion and sexuality. But the truth is that most people of faith, like the majority of Americans overall, support access to contraception, comprehensive sexuality education, and reproductive health care — including abortion.”
“Our campaign is very much based on the idea that compassion begins at home.”
Certainly those who adamantly oppose abortion will look with disgust and horror at this group. However, for me it’s extremely heartening to know there are those in religious circles who are willing to be a positive force for compassion and understanding and who are interested in promoting respectful dialogue about this very controversial topic.
The current political scene has (once again) brought the abortion issue to the forefront with the Religious Right loudly proclaiming their “Right to Life” mantra. (This time, they’re even sticking their noses into the use of contraceptives!)
Now they’re pushing for a nation-wide mandate that abortion providers perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. This in itself is unnecessary (and costly, around $200) if the woman has made her decision, but they don’t stop there. They also want to require the provider to offer (encourage?) the woman an opportunity to view the image.*
Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, recently asked this biased question: “Shouldn’t abortion-seeking women see the life they are about to end?” (I get so frustrated with men sticking their noses into this issue!)
There are several reasons why a woman will choose to have an abortion. The following statistics come from the National Right to Life website:
- Feels unready for child/responsibility – 25%
- Feels she can’t afford baby – 23%
- Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities – 19%
- Relationship problem/Single motherhood – 8%
- Feels she isn’t mature enough – 7%
From a woman’s point of view (the only one that counts), these are all valid reasons. After all, she’s the one who will be responsible for the major care of the child.
It’s been said that the recent anti-abortion comments made by certain Republican candidates are not “an attack on females.” Oh really? What do they call it?
I’m not going to get into the debate as to when a fetus becomes a ‘real’ human being. That’s way beyond my grade level – and, to my thinking, everyone else’s. But I will stand up for a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. And no one – male or female – has the right to interfere.
*According to the Guttmacher Institute (a non-profit organization that works to advance abortion rights), seven states — Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and most recently, Virginia — now have this mandate in force.
ADDENDUM – February 10, 2014
So it’s pretty hard to assert that a developing organism within a womb is a separate human being until it is born and begins to form its own individual experiences of the world. Since men have no existential understanding of what it’s like to be pregnant, a man should not have any say on the issue of whether or not a woman has an abortion unless he is married to the pregnant woman and intends to offer financial and emotional support after the birth. Likewise, a woman should have no say on whether or not a man uses Viagra, unless she is his intimate partner.