Evangelical Christians trample my religious freedom by applying their convictions to all in the abortion debate

The abortion debate in America is a contentious one that I have no interest in rehashing here. While I have many thoughts and opinions on the issue, most of them fall outside of the kind of rational discussion I prefer to instigate on my little site dedicated to the wonderful as opposed to the profane.

Something I cannot ignore of late are the actions of multiple states—tellingly, states which tend to be poorer than the U.S. average with a markedly less educated populace—as they defy the moderate will of the majority of American citizens and the affirmed constitutional right of individual Americans to follow their own faiths and consciences with regard to abortion procedures.

Activists at the extreme of both sides pervert this complex and morally fraught issue by ignoring subtleties and braying out absolutes and ultimatums. I reject those dangerous simplifications from both the right and left. Most Americans believe that some abortions should be safe and legal. Less than half of Americans support either a total ban or the complete freedom to terminate any pregnancy.

In particular, as a Jewish woman, I find it offensive that conservative Christians are promoting their religious beliefs in the political arena with a total disregard for the separation of church and state.

This separation, of course, is another freedom guaranteed to each of us by the Constitution.

The actors on these Supreme Court defying laws like to portray themselves as sole legitimate arbiters of God’s will. Upon signing the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in America, Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a statement that she did so because “every life is a sacred gift from God.” Of course, with no exceptions in the Alabama bill for survivors of horrific crimes against girls no matter how young or women whether competent to consent or not who become pregnant, it’s obvious that Governor Ivey feels some lives are more sacred than others, and that it is her place to judge such matters.

Jewish law argues that a mother’s life must be saved at the expense of a fetus if the parent is in danger and the process of childbirth has not yet begun. “[T]he life of those already living comes before the life of those yet to be born.”Jewish law also recognizes the mental health of the mother as a vital factor in making the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Other faiths advise their adherents differently.

It is evangelizing pure and simple for this kind of dictatorial Christian to attempt to subvert my religion with her own when it comes to my family’s medical decision making.

There are suppositions about the moment that “life” begins, but no definitive answers from science yet to trump matters of faith and belief. We may someday know when the spark of animation—or the soul—enters the bundle of cells that grow into living flesh. We do not know now beyond a general range of viability dates for human babies.

From my perspective, it would be wise for people who value unborn lives above those of living women to invest heavily in the technological leap of gestating fetuses outside the womb. If it were possible to “harvest” unwanted pregnancies and nurture them elsewhere, some of the moral quandaries would change if not diminish. Certainly at that point those with the most extreme viewpoints on the subject of abortion could offer to save every unwanted child and assume the costs—financial, social, and emotional—thereof.


5 thoughts on “Evangelical Christians trample my religious freedom by applying their convictions to all in the abortion debate

  1. I am a “Christian” who hates what’s going on with taking the choice away from grown women who should ideally have dominion over their own affairs. Its really scary what is going on these days.

    • I’m glad you feel welcome to post here. I respect your faith and your right to be different from me, and I prefer for our government to be very careful about infringement of that right to differ. There’s no one religion whose adherents are all perfect paragons of humanity. We should all cultivate compassion. 🙂

    • Both great links! Thank you.

      1) Your first link leads to:
      “How new humans are made: cells and embryos, twins and chimeras, left and right, mind/self/soul, sex, and schizophrenia”
      by Charles E Boklage:
      Is this book approachable for an audience without specialist training in medicine or biology? I do find it interesting–and not surprising!–that it has two 5* and one zero* review. I’m wondering what is so contentious to make one reviewer hate it so thoroughly? I hope it is a lack of adhering to popular extremist dogma. 😉 Does it have a particular “spiritual” orientation as the negative reviewer suggested?

      2) Regarding the NPR article:
      I love that this article covers the science as well as the ramifications. It is no small thing to grow a fetus outside of the womb in either the medical or the moral sense. As a bridge between unwanted premature birth and full term development, however, the promise of it is breathtaking.

      I really appreciate your thoughtful comment. 🙂

  2. As an atheist biologist, with two daughters, and close friends and ex-students (who have become friends), a number of whom have had the horrendous experience of having to make that terminal decision, I have, like you, much to say on ethics, spirituality and the science. But very little of what I want to to say is un-biased by my beliefs and training, and the debate gets heated quickly. Thank you for a thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive addition. There are too few of those around I fear.

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