In 1973, the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down by the Supreme Court; legalizing a woman’s right to have an abortion.
Two years before that, in 1971, our United Church of Christ came out in support of a woman’s right to choose.
For 51 years our denomination has championed this basic human right. That is why the recently leaked Supreme Court decision to reverse this ruling and deny women this human right hits our denomination hard. It is demeaning, draconian, and backward-thinking to say the least.
Our church has always held the view that it is immoral to legislate what a woman can or cannot do with regard to her own medical health; and that includes pregnancy. This should always be her own choice.
To legally require a woman to complete a pregnancy (which is essentially the intent of those who are anti-choice), removes any agency she has over her own body and is, therefore, patently unjust. It is also dangerous given that many will seek unsafe ways around such laws.
This United Church of Christ perspective is rooted in the theological belief that God has gifted every person with free will. We are guided in our decisions by the Holy Spirit, but that Spirit never forces us to do anything. In the end, we decide things for ourselves and we must then own those decisions.
In other words, choice is not only a civil right, it is a divinely constituted right. It is what makes us human. Consequently, to legally remove this right is, by definition, in opposition to our understanding of the Christian faith.
I am confident that no woman has ever taken the decision to have an abortion lightly. It is one of the most traumatic choices one can make. Still, it should only and always be hers to make.
Who should be involved in that choice? Only her doctor, her partner, and her God. The government should have no role in this whatsoever.
See you in church,