Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
Volume 2 Significant Other and Volume 3 A Subversive Movement now also available!
El libro electrónico (en Español) también ya está disponible

So go on... you know you want to!!! Order a copy Boz Publications

Roe v Wade: all simple?

Roe v Wade – so many rejoicing… and personally knowing some of those who have prayed over years it must be amazing. On this site many of you will have met Michele Perry, a friend of Gayle and mine for years. We first met the end of 2011 in Cádiz when she came to stay with us, five flights later we met her in Jerez airport. In those days we had no car and so had to run to catch the train… running… I had asked Michele ‘how will we recognise you in the airport?’ She laughed, ‘I think I will be the only woman of 4’6″ with one leg in the airport’. True to her word she was, and then we ran for the train, followed by an all but 2km walk back along cobble streets in the wet.

That is a small insight into her bravery. Before coming to us, she lived in a literal war zone, pioneering mission work in South Sudan. Brave is an understatement… and other understatements are ‘sharp’ and ‘always willing to pioneer’.

She is ‘pro-life’. Please read her article in response to Roe v Wade being overturned. Here is simply one quote:

I came to see the Pro-Life Movement in the United States wasn’t about the preservation of life as I once thought. It was about preserving political power

What a complex world we live in. Michele said to me ‘I will probably get in trouble for what I have written’. Well that won’t be the last time for sure.

11 thoughts on “Roe v Wade: all simple?

  1. Brilliant essay Michele. Your end part about vasectomies reminded me of teaching climate change in ecology courses. Inevitably several young men would challenge me about population levels in the world as the cause of climate change. And so I would ask about the ‘V’ word. Were they willing to have vasectomies to do their part? Never. The whole population control argument was just another way to reduce women to the status of children or pets, remove their own adult moral capacity and manage them.
    Yes, abortion is a difficult issue. As someone who reads history I can say that without legal and safe abortions you get illegal and unsafe abortions. Go back far enough and you get infanticide which was common in European Christian nations not that long ago. Infanticide could be done mercifully, at birth or simply through neglect over several years. Hence the orphanage system in places like Britain where in the 19th century the poor would take children, infants and older children that they had no means of keeping. The death rate was around 95%. Putting a child in an orphanage was a death sentence. Many of those orphanages were church supported and operated as places to groom children for the sex trade or domestic and industrial work. In some cases the children were shipped overseas to places like Canada to provide domestic and farm labor thus severing any link with their own birth place and culture. A form of genocide really.
    Life isn’t always nice or easy or simple. And humans, like other animals, seek solutions. It involves difficult choices. Sometimes it is due to the mother’s health. Sometimes, due to medical issues with the fetus. Maybe it is about financial situations or abuse situations or overall lack of support. To bring a child into the world means decades of support and is simply beyond the means of many.
    To expand the argument. . . pro life has to include other species and the earth itself. If someone is pro life then they cannot be a climate change denier or delayer. Pro life means working to promote biodiversity which all life depends upon. Personal moral choices might include losing the lawn for no mow wildflowers, avoiding plastics, going vegetarian, buying an electric vehicle or as I am doing this weekend, fixing small squares in a grid onto my windows to avoid bird strikes. I would love to see the religious right as a group embrace life rather than death. But they seem fixed on death and extending that to all of us. Wouldn’t it be great if we could celebrate the real meaning of being pro-life.

  2. This is brilliantly written article, as a woman living in the U.S., I relate to, and agree with Michele 100%.

  3. “Many of the moral arguments revolve around fetal personhood.”

    this is really the crux of course. If some value greater than zero is placed on the unborn then a web of complex and potentially conflicting moral claims have to be considered. It seems to me that whatever my view here, the aggregate wisdom of humanity tilts toward some value being placed on the unborn (all religious traditions etc) rather than a fully amoral and utilitarian view (USSR). While that is the case, legal systems which (in democratic structures) are designed to reflect the will of the people, will have to continue to grapple.

    blessings all etc

    1. As you point out it is a nuanced and complex discussion. However, I am startled to read that both Judaism and Islam hold views more in line with the now struck down Roe than with conservative Christianity. A few quotes:
      “Abortion is permitted in Judaism, and when the life of the pregnant person is at stake, it is required. Judaism’s approach to abortion finds its basis in the book of Exodus.” That is, that the life of the pregnant person is worth more than the fetus and so should be preserved.
      “There are two statements in the Talmud, codified in roughly 500 CE, that say for the first 40 days of pregnancy the fetus is “mere water” and doesn’t have any legal status at all, which incidentally is the same in Islam. For the first 40 days, the fetus has zero status, and from then on the fetus is considered a part of the pregnant person’s body — it is “as its mother’s thigh.” The fetus is an extension of the pregnant person until birth. It’s like that old slogan “my body, my choice”: it is literally her body! That makes intuitive sense and resonates with Roe and Casey’s delineation that abortion is permitted until viability. There’s a certain logic to all of that.”
      Again, the focus seems to be on the pregnant person and her own bodily choices. And Jewish leaders are suing in some states to restore abortion access right now.
      Interesting eh? Nothing black and white or absolutist here. Instead, a careful consideration of circumstances, differences, equity issues. No simple answers. Here is the link for the article:

  4. I am surprised at the stance Michelle is taking as I think it seems to miss so many points. I will try and touch on a few.
    Firstly the issue is one of health care and not a constitutional right. The health care sits with individual states as it does in Canada and as such the striking down of Roe v Wade simply allows each state to decide how they set abortion law. California and New York will allow a baby being born to be aborted while other states will restrict. That decision now lies with the people of those States.

    Michelle also places the blame solely on Christian right wing nationalism but does not acknowledge that there is an extreme left wing Christian nationalism which is equally destructive. I could write that due to extreme left wing Christian nationalism we have had abortion on demand but we end up labelling and not recognising the issues.

    If we allow abortion in the most extreme cases of rape and incest we would still be stopping 99% of abortion on demand. Is it OK for abortion to go ahead as a baby is being born which California and New York will allow? In Canada there are no abortion laws so this applies there also. My cousin’s son was born at 22 weeks and is a beautiful child. When do we allow abortion? This is a long standing question.

    I am not for Christian nationalism on the left or the right but I am for good decison making and law making, however a label gets put on those Christians simply because they don’t agree with Roe v Wade or even abortion ?

    Michelle then seems to confuse things by connecting the rights of LGTBQ etc to the issue of abortion by saying it is all to do with being pro-life. These seem to me to all be an issue of rights and the hot extreme left wing topics of the day. If we demand that I have a right to anything surely we have missed the gospel which is that Christ lives in me and not I. I find it hard to see how these issues are connected except on the issue of identity and labelling the Christian right as Christian Nationalists might just be a bit of name calling to get what you want ?

Comments are closed.

Post section built on the WordPress platform. | Theme: Perspectives 18, a fully-responsive, mobile-first design developed by © Martin Scott. | Site contents © Perspectives, 2007 - 2022, all rights reserved. | If interested in a customised site email: Martin Scott.